Apolis NYC
by Stephen Garner
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Los Angeles-based, socially-conscious, men’s and accessories brand Apolis has set up a permanent home in New York City. The new flagship store located at 243 Centre Street in SoHo will serve as its first East Coast outpost and the second flagship for the brand. Apolis’ first store opened in late 2011 in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.

The new 850-square-foot space, dubbed the “Community Centre,” will feature the brand’s full menswear and accessories collections as well as a newly launched 100 percent customizable version of its popular jute City Market Bag.

“Creating a venue that brings people together—through gallery exhibits, dinners, film releases, new Apolis collection debuts and keynote speakers—has become a really important part of our brand,” said Raan Parton, co-founder and creative director of Apolis, which is based in Los Angeles. “We see retail being much more similar to the hospitality industry and want any space we open to serve as a community center.”

The spare, white, gallery-style space, will offer year-round, regular programming beginning with a talk by Kyle Westaway, author of Profit & Purpose, a best-selling book on social entrepreneurship, on August 24. This author/expert series will touch on far ranging topics and will consist of one-night only events to multi-week seminars.

Authors/experts participating in the series will be among those asked to curate a library of for-sale books at Apolis: Community Centre. The library will feature authors’ own works as well as select key titles.

In September, the store kicks off a partnership with Compadres Coffee called “Coffee Workshop” that is sponsored by La Colombe. The partnership – part coffee bar, part workshop – will offer private barista training sessions every Friday in September by appointment for the latte-curious. Coffee will also be available for shoppers during the month for donations only.

“We like the idea of customers taking something away from our store in addition to Apolis goods,” says Shea Parton, co-founder and CEO of Apolis. “That could be a conversation, an insight or a skill. We want to look at the whole transaction between customer and brand in a fresh way.”