There’s no question the Aether pop up shop, which the L.A.-based outfitter has dubbed the AETHER STREAM, is one of the most awesome moveable retail deployments I’ve ever seen. In concept the formula is simple, take a 34′ Airstream PanAmerica (originally made in Jackson Center, Ohio — what what), hire Paris-based designer Thierry Gaugain to make it look like a bad ass hybrid den / workshop and then attach it to an especially made Armbruster WWII canvas army tent.
I caught the AETHER STREAM while it was in New York during December, but I never got a chance to talk about it here until this past week when I headed out to San Francisco for the third stop on its tour.
The Aether collection appealed to me almost immediately. It’s something the that I personally wanted. The line is technically proficient (read: functional), but also simple and suitable for the city. I appreciated the clean lines and the minimal branding. I also liked the limited (and muted) color story in which Aether operated. A few years later and Aether has evolved to include a strong stable of super functional jackets. And the Aether founders Jonah Smith and Palmer West have keep my attention by staying focused on their mission of making great product.
Jonah and Palmer have also become good friends and have supported almost everything I have done professionally in the last three years — including taking part in the Pop Up Flea, supporting ACL and working with me on the Paul + Williams side (full disclosure and all that good stuff). It has been fun for me because, in a world dominated by boring brands and even more boring retail, Aether has enjoyably created something truly unique. It’s refreshing to see especially because Jonah and Palmer are such good people. It goes back to that Cucinelli thing I spoke about not too long ago. The crux of it is: you can make good products, do interesting things and also be good people at the same time. Seems like the Aether guys have it all figured out.
The AETHER STREAM will be in San Francisco at the corner of Octavia & Hayes Streets (at Proxy) for the next eight weeks.