It may have seemed like a simple relocation when Original Penguin moved its SoHo boutique a few blocks North to Broadway and Bond Street, but there's a little bit more to it than that. Yesterday afternoon, The Shophound was invited downtown to see how a charming, vintage-y label that has done very well by trading on its history of dressing stars like Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra for the golf links is ready to evolve into a modern lifestyle sportswear brand with a new store concept ready to lead the way. Any heritage driven brand will hit the wall with nostalgia appeal at some point, and the folks at Original Penguin are cleverly broadening their appeal with updated design for both its products and its stores to reach a millennial customer who may be getting maxed-out on all that vintage inspired style any minute now. To that end, the retro-style orange-accented interior scheme of the SoHo store has been replaced with sleek walnut wood and crisp white walls with a giant, blue backlit logo on the rear wall for maximum branding effect. A little more space makes for an easier shopping experience as the new shop now has space to highlight the signature "Earl Polo" shirt, a new basic khaki program in updated colors and fits and expanded accessories collections. This isn't just a store relocation, however. The new NoHo store is now Original Penguin's global flagship, and the concept will eventually be rolled out to all of brand's stores (including the other New York City location on Sixth Avenue opposite Bryant Park) as well as the 20 or so units planned to open worldwide this year alone. The updated Original Penguin has been tapped as an expansion vehicle for parent company Perry Ellis International, so expect to see more of the brand's stores appearing in malls and shopping areas soon. Full disclosure: for our trouble, The Shophound was invited to pick a few pieces of the line for ourself, but we didn't need much encouragement to shop. If the brand has gone overboard with '50s-style novelty looks in the past, customers will find a more modern, slimmed down look to the product line as the company positions itself at a new level and gets ready to take on the Banana Republics and J.Crews of the market. See a few more views of the new store in the gallery below.
Original Penguin now open at 654 Broadway at Bond Street, NoHo