Tucked on a side street in New York's East Village, finding the men's apparel and accessories store Odin can feel like going shopping in your stylish best friend's closet. Opened in August 2004 by co-owners Paul Birardi (ex-financial planner to Coach and Barney's) and DJ/art director/designer Eddy Chai (the store's name derives from his childhood fascination with Norse mythology), it's still a relatively new kid on the block, but fashion hunters who seek it out will be rewarded with a hand-picked selection of goods that Chai describes as "thoughtfully edited." He and Birardi, inspired to fill the dearth of shops for men, stock the space with a unique mix of hard-to-find items that balance tailored looks with streetwear, keeping things fresh with new additions every couple of weeks. Their curatorial priority is as practical as it is personal; a "would we buy it ourselves?" test and fair pricing guide the process.
Goth touches like Haroshi Kure's skull rings (covered Surface2Air, Yohji Yamamoto's label for Adidas Y-3, and Salvor's nature-themed silkscreens (Odin is the exclusive retailer of their tees), make for a one-of-a-kind eclecticism with a bent for cutting-edge design. Comme des GarÃ§ons cologne, for example, was chosen as much for its scent as for the organic form of the bottle. Best-sellers of late include Place des Lices' Eau de Toilette and a leather belt with a resin, Buck-embellished buckle by Shane. Several items, including Salvor's pillows and Kure's rings got their start at Odin and have gone on to make it big elsewhere. On the near horizon customers can expect Japanese imports exclusively in New York at Odin late this Summer, a webzine/store featuring select artist and designer profiles, and an Odin-branded tshirt line with designs of their own and with guest appearances from some of the labels they carry, like a rumored Spring '06 special edition by Trovata). Looks like Odin is on its way to becoming a New York mainstay for those on the quest for something different.
Location: 328 East 11th Street (near 1st Ave.), New York, NY 10003 map
Subway: L to 1st Ave.
Hours: Monday - Saturday 12-9pm (closes at 8pm during Winter); Sunday 12-8pm
Contact: info [a] odinnewyork [dot] com; 212.475.0666