Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch neighborhood, Stashed is a new sneaker and fashion destination specializing in progressive brands ranging from Rick Owens, Stone Island, Balmain, Y-3 and Kenzo. Stashed’s founder is Steve Stoute, the entrepreneur who has collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige and Jimmy Iovine to name a few.
The 2,240-sq.-foot retail space is broken up into three galleries: the main gallery, the night gallery and the rust gallery. Each of these become transportive environments within one location, with the consumers able to see through perforated walls and into the adjoining galleries, teasing and inviting them into each space. Discovery is a key component of the consumer experience.
Here, designer Matt Comer and store manager Manne Gonzalez explain how the cooperation with Stoute came along and give more insights into the ideas, assortment and the techniques they operate on the sales floor.
You recently opened a store with Steve Stoute. How did the cooperation come about? Was that a long cherished dream or was it a coincidence?
Matt Comer (MC): It was an easy situation mainly because Stoute leveraged us, a handpicked team from his various organizations like his ad agency Translation, to bring this to life. The idea, the situation of bringing to life a sneaker boutique had always been a dream of Stoute’s from a very young age.
Which five key words describe the store best?
MC: Transportive / windows / elevation / craft / culture
What are the concrete effects of the cooperation?
MC: With everything that Stoute is involved we, the concrete effects of fusing culture, technology, and storytelling is really about pushing culture forward. Present the notion of sneaker culture in a new light, elevating and innovating even in the simplest of ways. That was our mission, our north star with everything from the conceptual design to the curation of the brands we put on the shelves - to push the story and the culture of the streetwear and sneakers…ahead into a new place.
The press release said that “Operating below the office of Translation’s newly opened San Francisco offices, Stashed is designed to deliver an elevated retail experience emphasizing cultural history, museum-quality curation, and world-class customer service to a consumer base that is hungry for product and storytelling. What does it mean concretely? What do customers find there?
MC: One of the biggest differentiators between what we’ve set out to do with Stashed has been to truly merge the product we have curated in-house, the stories of those products and a completely different level of relationship between anyone who walks into the store and our staff. We know that our audience doesn’t just want to go and buy. There is an immersion into product, people want to have an experience and learn and, essentially, fall for product. By bringing together the staff we have and the products we’ve selected and housing it all within the space we’ve created - it’s all been to achieve that relationship.
For all those who don't know the location, can you briefly describe the area and location of the store?
MC: Stashed is located with the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco - a former industrial hub from San Francisco’s past that is found directly in the Central Waterfront just east of Potrero Hill. Surrounded by repurposed warehouses and factories that are being transformed into apartments and the future site of the Golden State Warriors arena, steps away from the store.
What do you like about your 'hood and your customers?
MC: The neighborhood is an amazing cross section of people obsessed with creating and enjoying everything - from cuisine, coffee, pastries, apparel, and beyond. It’s a neighborhood that really feels like a neighborhood, with the businesses all coming together and the residents all being a core part of the fabric with personal relationships and first name hello’s. That same attitude has been something that seems to have spread to almost all of our customers, even those that don’t live in the local neighborhoods but those that extend out into the far reaches of the bay. We’ve been fortunate to develop and foster strong relationships with our audience and look forward to continuing to do so.
What makes your store different and in what ways does your store excel beyond your competition?
MC: As I mentioned before, the relationships are one of the most important aspects of how we operate Stashed.
Manne Gonzalez (MG): To bring together unparalleled customer service to the point where it ceases to feel like a customer/staff relationship. Our approach will forever be casual and friendly.
MC: That said, it seems like the obvious answer, but when we fuse that level of support with the product, storytelling, and design of the space…it becomes something very special for us.
What is important for you in terms of shop fitting and store design? What are the highlights?
MC: Everything we’ve put in place for Stashed has been intentional - from every stitch, fixture, material, and the detail. The entire approach to this project has been to create a highly conceptual, immersive environment that allows our clientele to be transported to different experiences within the store. As such, the design and fittings are all working in tandem to create a nuanced experience that allows our customers to feel that.
The space has been realized as a hidden stash, with three different spaces to present a different offering of products. As you walk through the store our perforated steel walls allow you to see bits and pieces of what lies inside of the next rooms, to get a glimpse and draw you deeper inside of the space. Setting that to ground across a materials palette that draws from the original textures and items found in Dogpatch’s rich industrial heritage, the refined steel frames up Doug Fir, polished concrete, and textures like flat black and rusted steel.
The final detail comes into play in each of our central display areas, but we’ll talk about that later.
How is your assortment structured?
MG: Across categories we try to bring together the best in show from each category across our shelves. In addition to bringing together a wide highly sought after domestic and international brands we also want to leverage Stashed as a way to introduce new brands from San Francisco (though opening up to California based) in each category in order to shine the light on the new, up and coming talent.
What are the anchor brands of the assortment?
MG: Stone Island is without question of our anchor brands, fusing their color and textile innovations with insanely perfect tailoring and technical constructions. In another category but very much an anchor in our store is Baxter of California. Across footwear we will always be anchored by our top tier footwear accounts: NikeLab and Adidas Originals (Yeezy, Y3, Raf, et al.).
What are five products you couldn’t live without right now?
MC: Maaps Delta incense with their pyramid holder to set the tone, direction, and vibe. Our vintage Plaubel Makina 67 camera to capture the moments and show the receipts. The Porter and Yoshida Tanker wallet to keep it all in the bag. Our Lander Moab case for the iPhone X, regulates it by keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter time. Lastly it’s our Stashed x Incase 5400 power block because you always need the recharge.
How important are fairs? Which fairs do you visit?
MG: Our offering all spans collections that push the envelope of quality and design so from showrooms to fairs, we are always on the hunt for brands that speak to that identity and what we’re building at Stashed. From Liberty Fairs, the Japanese shows, and the great spectacle of Paris Fashion Week, we are always moving to find the right fit and bring the right brands into the mix.
What is your view on e-commerce? Does online shopping mean opportunity or danger for you?
MG: In short, e-commerce enables us to have global reach, tap into that same storytelling that we have in-store and the retirect and channel that into our digital presence. Our goal is to create a fusion of the feelings and experiences our digital clients have in the same way that our brick and mortar attendees do.
What is the biggest challenge for retailing right now?
MG: The biggest challenge in retail right now happens to be the thing that we have crafted our experience around tackling…call it our strong suit. We’ve created, and continue to evolve and create, a full shopping experience emphasizing customer service at the intersection of technology, storytelling, and culture.
What kind of technology do you operate to address young customers? I like the way you provide product details one sees on the pic. How does that work?
MC: As mentioned previously, the final highlight of our storytelling are hidden in plain site. Our geometric wooden displays each feature one section of immersive digital storytelling. Hidden in the display is a pressure plate when that is activated once a piece of product is lifted off of it. The reaction is a digital display that comes to life through the wood face, words describing the story and roots of the product we’ve just picked up. Once the item has been put down the display blinks off. It’s a detail that allows for further depth of storytelling to be told in a surprise-and-delight manner. Bringing our audience deeper into relationship with the product itself.
2360 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107