You may remember that earlier this year, The Shophound headed clear across the country to check out the retail scene in sunny Los Angeles. One of the local merchants that charmed us the most was Civilianaire, a home grown workwear label with a retro flair that we found on West 3rd Street. That this shop struck our fancy is no mean feat because it turns out that L.A. is lousy with heritage and pseudo-heritage boutiques and brands for the denim and workwear connoisseur. Civilianaire came out on top for us because we loved the way they subtly tweaked the expected classic styles with interesting colors and cleverly chosen materials. Most importantly, they didn't seem to take themselves so seriously. Clearly they were more concerned with making appealing sportswear for the here and now than meticulously re-creating dungarees from the gold-rush era. We immediately thought that this shop would be great in New York.
Well, we like to think that our instincts about such things are pretty good, and this time we weren't the only ones with that particular notion. Bowery Boogie tells us that Civilianaire is about to put its first East Coast store in a spot on East Houston and Mott Streets that has been vacant since late last year. Unfortunately, the neighborhood blog was more focused on lamenting the loss of a popular neighborhood bodega in favor of another boutique. It's true that Civilianaire is the kind of hip, upscale store that has accelerated gentrification in many a formerly humble neighborhood, but, in fairness, Nolita has been home to exclusive boutiques for quite a few years now. We shouldn't be resentful to see another one come along, and we are pretty sure that Civilianaire is not personally responsible for kicking any store out of its location. On the even brighter side, its merchandise is almost entirely manufactured in the United States, so think of all the American jobs the company's success is creating. That should be reason enough to welcome this burgeoning chain to New York, no matter who lived in its house before it moved in.
“Civilianaire” Replaces Bodega with Trendy Denim at 55 East Houston (Bowery Boogie via Racked)
Workwear And Heritage Stores Take Root In L.A. At The Stronghold, Union Made, Civilianaire & RRL (5/18/2012)