Patagonia follows the calls of one of its greatest strongholds on the east coast.
The brand – colloquially referred to as “Patagucci” in urban areas, where it’s as popular for its punch and style as it is for its outdoor performance – opens its first location in Brooklyn.
More from WWD
Patagonia joins a slew of mega-brands moving across the bridge into Williamsburg, which is quickly being repopulated as an outdoor shopping mall and tourist destination. The nearly 10,000 square foot space, which will open at 70 North 6th Street, is the largest Patagonia store in New York City and will carry the brand’s full breadth of tech, lounge and gear designs.
Patagonia’s Head of Retail Experience (and former Brooklyn resident), Joy Lewis, has closely monitored the borough’s retail transformation over the past decade. Once Whole Foods and Apple landed, she said it’s a matter of waiting for the right location to become available.
“If we look at New York, we have a pretty solid presence there [Manhattan], but Brooklyn is a pretty significant place. It’s the most populous county in the state,” she said.
“We have so many of our clients in Brooklyn that it made sense. Looking at our customer data, we know that many live in Brooklyn, but they’ve shopped in our Manhattan stores where we’ve had such a strong presence over the past 25 years, so I’m expecting quite a bit of growth in Brooklyn.” added Lewis.
While many urban Patagonia shoppers enjoy the brand’s prestige, attention to color and unisex styling, Lewis said internally this remains a minimal focus for the brand. “Which is funny, even though people see Patagonia as a fashion statement, we still don’t. We don’t do collaborations, it’s never been our thing – we’re trying to make a very fit-for-purpose product for outdoor activities and people adapt and use it how they want.
“For Brooklyn, a big focus for us is – let’s really have fun with the location. There are a lot of retail stores in the neighborhood that are the pinnacle of the experience and very cool, but we didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously,” she said.
The brand’s new store comes at a moment when New Yorkers routinely wait in long queues on weekends to shop at REI Co-op’s SoHo store. While Patagonia was popular in New York City before the pandemic, its resonance is even greater now as city dwellers are spending more time outdoors — and flooding the trails at Harriman State Park and Rockefeller State Park Preserve, both a short train ride from Manhattan are away.
For its Brooklyn location, the brand maintained its sustainable mantras by repurposing old beams for furniture and dressing rooms, while also hiring local artisans and artists to create an ambience that could communicate Patagonia’s “save the planet” mission, Lewis said.
There are a significant number of local artist contributions, including an exterior mural by youth artist collective Los Muralistas, conveying their fight for clean air in Williamsburg; The bathrooms were hand-painted and designed by Jing Wei, while the signage was also hand-made by Olive Panter, and an interior mission statement mural was completed by Colossal Media.
Part of the store will serve as a “shop-in-shop” that rotates approximately every six months. Currently, this area is dedicated to Patagonia’s Worn Wear second-hand program, which allows shoppers to trade in old gear that has been repaired and washed for reuse. The Worn Wear show in Brooklyn features items from Patagonia’s latest collections as well as true vintage items.
Sign up for the WWD newsletter. Follow us for the latest news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.