Whatever they’re drinking over there at Club Monaco, I want some of it. Throughout the past few years the formerly conventional brand has sprouted into a bona fide menswear Mecca, bringing quality goods and innovative designs to men not just here in America, but across the world. Under the careful guidance of Aaron Levine the vice president for menswear, Club Monaco has positioned themselves as a powerhouse in this industry, shaping the look of menswear in the twenty-first century in a way that few, if any, brands of its scale can. Club Monaco isn’t merely building a brand; it’s building an empire.
This week, Club Monaco unveiled the crown jewel of their flourishing empire, in the form of a renovated flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The two level location features not only the full breadth of Club’s collections, but also packs a coffee shop and a Strand book store, lending new meaning to the phrase “destination store.” While the upstairs, which houses the women’s line is light and airy, the lower level men’s shop adopts a more brooding atmosphere, complete with dark wood accents and fixtures fit for a New England country house. It’s more about where we are going than where we have been. The shop goes beyond rugged and industrial to strike the just the right note.
At the foot of the grand staircase lies a shoe salon, displaying everything from Saucony’s nerdwear sneakers all the way up to burly brogue boots from Tricker’s. From there, the space opens up into several rooms, built around the many sub-sections of Club Monaco’s line. (Full disclosure Club Monaco is a client of Paul + Williams.) These clearly defined rooms represent the various concepts that make up Club Monaco’s multi-faceted approach to menswear, including the brand’s signature casual tailoring, a made in the USA gallery, and even an entire room dedicated to cashmere.
As a complement to Club’s diverse collections, the brand has sprinkled in third-party products, from the smallest of accessories like Anonymousism socks, Baxter of California grooming products to high-end technical jackets by Aether. The store, which never seems to end, is not merely a retail space, but also acts as a physical representation of Club’s complete vision. It’s a castle fit for the new kings of modern retail. –JG
Club Monaco | 160 Fifth Avenue, New York City | (212) 352-0936