New Kids on the Block



A handful of bespoke sporting goods stores have recently opened in downtown Manhattan, displaying a distinct urban influence with their integration of design and sport. New stores like Aether NYC (shown above), Shinola, Patagonia Bowery and Best Made Company, all feature beautifully rendered and sophisticated interiors, and carry a range of refined products to match. There is no compromise on functionality, however, and these shops also offer a variety of accessories curated for the chic sporting lifestyle. Below are the four newest additions to the downtown sport landscape.

Aether’s ethos is the intergration of performance sportswear with a refined minimal aesthetic. Their product line includes a range of technical outerwear for men and women, designed to transition easily from the mountains to the street, and function with style in both. The just opened Soho store features a unique design motif of 36 wooden crates, that combined with white laminate interiors and LED lighting, frame and showcase their products. In addition to apparel, the store carries a range of sporting gear with a similar design orientation, such as the Oru folding kayak, Heimplanet Inflatable Tent, Poc Helmets and goggles, as well as photography books and other artwork.




Patagonia has just opened a lofty full service surf shop in what was formally the world famous music venue, CBGBs. Retaining much of the original architectural detail, as seen in the exposed brick, overhead beams and hardwood floors, the store features the entire Patagonia surf line and surfboards by Fletcher Chouinard Designs. The store also carries a full range of all the other Patagonia favorites, including their 40th anniversary Legacy collection.


Bird's eye view of Shinola Tribeca



Recently opened in Tribeca is the Manhattan outpost of the Detroit based Shinola company, specializing in design objects like watches, leather goods, and their signature bicycles. Shinola is a relatively young company with a long history, having been resurrected from the iconic shoe polish brand. It proudly highlights its made-in-Detroit product line and also carries an array of American made products from other like minded brands. Highlights of the spacious interior are the spiral staircase, steel catwalk and vaulted skylight in the rear, along with a cozy fashion newsstand cafe by The Smile in front.





Opened last spring Tribeca, is the retail headquarters and workshop space of Best Made Company, makers of vintage inspired outdoor sporting goods, camping supplies and tools. Even the most basic items in the store, like a their Chore Glove and Cloth Extension cords, become design objects in the context of this perfectly authentic collection of things, and their axes… yes axes, are items of lust. The store is deceptively small, with most of the merchandise housed in a small space in front. A sliding canvas curtain pulled open, however, reveals a large behind-the-scenes workspace where all the design takes place and various how-to workshop events are held as well.