By Raan & Shea Parton
Photos by Andy Barron
In 2007, we moved the Apolis HQ from our childhood roots in Santa Barbara to the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District. Over the next four years we were so thankful for the growing community of people that were drawn to this word "Apolis" which means "global citizen." We noticed that there are a lot of people that are tired of constantly highlighting our differences and would rather just focus on our similarities. We selfishly wanted a place to gather people from all walks of life in Los Angeles to connect and learn. Finally in October of 2011 we opened our first flagship store, Apolis: Common Gallery. This space allowed us to bring global citizens together—through gallery exhibits, dinners, film releases, new Apolis collection debuts and keynote speakers. We have learned so much over the years from our community in Los Angeles and for five years we have been methodically planning our next brick & mortar location.
Recently we came across a space in an evolving neighborhood within Soho's Little Italy District. A space that was managed by an artist that we admire, Tom Sachs. While we were exploring this as a possible location for our second Apolis store, Tom wrote this article for WWD that truly nailed it for us. He gets it on so many levels and as we finished an agreement to move forward we shared with Tom how we see retail being much more similar to the hospitality industry and how our goal with any space we open is for it to serve as a community center. As we signed the lease for 243 Centre Street we realized the name for the store was right in front of us. But before we got ahead of ourselves we began asking friends in NYC what New York really needs. We wanted to create the most useful and engaging retail space for New Yorkers, not us. The feedback ranged from an animal adoption, a Koi pond, a recycle program, and quite a few other ideas that had very little to do with traditional retail. All these ideas have lead us to a final result that we are proud to share today:
Our first flagship in NYC is called, Apolis: Community Centre and it will have similarities to our retail space in Los Angeles. Our friends and advocates in New York have urged us to create a similar space where people can gather, connect and learn. Our new space in New York will blend retail and events with skill-building workshops, live music, keynote presentations, third-party residence, and, of course, our full collection with two exclusive New York neighborhood market bags. If you live in New York please RSVP to the upcoming events, space is limited:
We are incredibly proud to announce the opening of Apolis: Community Centre, our New York flagship store (243 Centre St - corner of Broome, in Soho || Hours: Monday-Saturday 10a-7p, Sunday. 10a-6p). Please join us for our first Saturday (Aug. 13th) for a continental brunch, locally sourced from our neighboring small businesses. The first 10 guests to spend $200 dollars or more will receive one of the brand new New York neighborhood market bags, featured below. Also, we love the global citizen spirit behind the Olympic Games, so today through August 21st if you live in Soho and do not have cable - we will be live streaming the games! We look forward to seeing you in Soho soon. Also, Apolis is looking to hire more sales associates for Apolis: Community Centre - Learn more.
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