Of streetwear pioneer Alife's many 2008 accomplishments—which include fresh collaborations (see their Lacoste Polos and the Parra x Patta sneaker for a couple of our favorites) and stores opening in Tokyo and Los Angeles—what might be the most significant for the seven-year-old brand is the introduction of their new NYC retail location, the A.R.C. Sports Store. Opened Monday directly across the street from their original store in the Lower East Side and named for their ongoing commitment to sports, the space focuses on Alife's branded goods with sport heritage labels like Lacoste, Penfield and Canterbury, as well as select picks from other high-end, technical brands.
Housed in a sleek grey-and-white storefront designed by the Alife crew themselves, the execution of contemporary materials—like spider brackets seemingly suspending the glass counter (above right) and a totally modular peg-based display system (left)—make for a modern shopping environment that's on par with their approach to streetwear.
Perhaps the most telling and surprising additions to the new store's inventory are basics by Comme des Garçons, which makes sense considering their superior construction and materials put them in the category of clothing that's as functional as it is fashionable. The idea is the driving force behind the goods available at A.R.C. Sport, like Suunto watches that feature heartrate monitors but look good enough for a night on the town and Newman gloves which are made for wide-receivers but their casual line works on the field or for urban biking. Other labels offered are now-familiar Alife staples including Patagonia, Arcteryx and Brooks.
On par with all of Alife's thinking these days, collaborations are continuing to evolve with more classic styles, cleaner looks and better materials—all choices keeping it true to original sportswear. Made by hand in Philadelphia, the A.R.C. Mitchell and Ness Varsity Jacket (pictured above, $400) features a specially-engineered diagonal stripe and is a perfect (and on-trend) example of their concept. There's a lot more in store to get pumped about for the future, like the A.R.C. Saucony Shadow 6000 (pictured after the jump, available Christmas Eve), the A.R.C. Canterbury Rugby (below right) and the A.R.C New Balance 1300's (below left, both available January).
See more product shots and store images after the jump.
157 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002 map
tel. +1 212 253 0363