Atoms opens first pop-up retail location in soho

by Stephen Garner

Emerging footwear brand Atoms will open its first retail location in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Located at 264 Elizabeth Street, the pop-up will run from September 27th through October 31st.

Visitors to the 1,000 square foot shop will be able to try on the brand’s Model 000 sneaker in quarter-size increments and select different sizes for their left and right feet in order to find the perfect fit. The pop-up will also be the only place to purchase a limited-edition Model 000 in an NYC-exclusive neon colorway.

Custom fixtures were designed for the shop by Collector to bring the Atoms’ story to life, from a display unit modeled after the Model 000’s oval eyelets to a one-of-a-kind installation that shows all 47 sizes Atoms offers.

In addition to selling shoes, the founders developed a space that would be inviting to the creative community. Atoms will host a series of events during the pop-up, including a panel discussion curated by Lauri Freedman of the Whitney Museum of American Art and a screening of documentary shorts from director Nicholas Heller.

“When someone puts Atoms on for the first time, you can see their face light up when they realize the shoes feel better than anything they’ve tried before,” said co-founder Sidra Qasim. “We want to make it as simple as possible for people to enjoy that experience, and expanding into physical retail is a natural extension of that.”

“We wanted to showcase our shoes in a unique environment,” added co-founder and CEO Waqas Ali. “But it was equally important that our pop-up serve as a creative clubhouse that could highlight the work of our favorite artists, designers, and filmmakers.”

Atoms was born out of founders Ali and Qasim’s quest to design the ideal everyday shoe. First launched in June 2019after establishing a waitlist of more than 39,000 people, the brand’s Model 000 is the world’s first shoe to come in quarter sizes. In August, Atoms announced an $8.1 million Series A fundraising round led by Initialized Capital, the investment firm started by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Garry Tan.