Band of Outsiders and its creative director Scott Sternberg are celebrating the brand’s 10th anniversary this year. And what better time to open a New York City flagship in Soho?
Designed in collaboration with LOT-EK (also the firm that designed the brand’s Tokyo store), the 2,400-square-foot Wooster Street boutique stocks both the men’s and women’s collections as well as exclusive collaborations with brands like Sperry Top-Sider.
At the September 6 opening, celebrity fans of the brand like Jason Schwartzman and Max Minghella were on hand to toast Sternberg. And in case the tailored clothes and accessories aren’t enough of a draw, Momofuku’s Milk Bar will operate a branch of its coveted bakery in one of the store’s windows offering favorites like Crack Pie and Karlie’s Kookies. We sat down with Sternberg to talk about the brand and its new flagship.
Why did you choose New York for your first US boutique? As an L.A.-based company, was your first thought not the West coast?
“We can’t wait to have an L.A. store, but it made more sense to open our flagship in New York first. The shopping scene in L.A. is a little slow in comparison to a neighborhood like Soho. The great thing about New York is you get loyal shoppers of the brand, but also have the opportunity to introduce it to new people, many of them international tourists just walking around downtown. L.A. is more of a destination shopping town because you have to drive and park, drive and park in-between stores.”
How was your collaboration with LOT-EK different the second time around?
“A second store in many ways is easier than the first. We had the opportunity to learn from some of our mistakes, repeat the things we liked and not repeat the things we didn’t like about the Tokyo store. We also got to be a lot more hands on with New York, making multiple trips from scouting to sourcing materials. Working with LOT-EK was the perfect fit because we both didn’t want the space to feel like a typical retail store and were obsessed with creating a modular, functional store that might look different every time you stop in to shop.”
Who is your ideal NYC customer? How do they wear your pieces?
“They are a guy or girl who cares about fashion, but not in the predictable cheesy way. They care about quality and design for sure but also find the humor in some of the ideas behind our clothes. They want to look cute and mix our preppy pieces in with other brands. Maybe our girl is popping across the street after she buys our schoolboy blazer and getting a Celine trio and then rounding the corner to Isabel for something a little sexy. The guy is coming in every season for a replenishment of button downs, and maybe a new coat and loafers.”
The steamer trunks and road cases are key elements in the store design. What’s special to you about these pieces?
“We wanted the store to feel modern, but familiar at the same time. Steamer trunks remind you of prep school and packing for summer camp, but the materials we used for ours feel fresh and modern. Steamer trunks also lend themselves to being modular and moving around to make the entire space feel different every time a shopper stops in.”
How did you find this space?
“We looked for a long time and worked with a broker to find 70 Wooster. People shop in Soho. Wooster is a dream space because of the high ceilings and all the light. It feels like our own little slice of California in NYC.”