highsnobiety crowns KITH as the best store of 2016
 

highsnobiety crowns KITH as the best store of 2016

 

drum roll please

 

each year, highsnobiety celebrates the very best in streetwear and street culture with its annual ‘crowns’ awards. divided into eight separate categories, the shortlists are drawn up by their in-house editorial team and the winners selected by popular vote. to celebrate the third anniversary of the awards, designboom has teamed up with highsnobiety to announce the winner and runners-up for 2016’s store of the year. the rest of the categories will be announced tomorrow so make sure you check back then for the full line-up.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

GOLD CROWN – KITH

 

 

envisioned and driven by new york-based footwear and clothing designer ronnie fieg, KITH is a multifunctional lifestyle brand for both men and women established in 2011, as well as a progressive retail establishment. operating under a personal philosophy of giving the consumer more than what they pay for, KITH continuously reminds us of its increasing influence on street culture and beyond.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

2016 was a big year for the brand, who hosted KITHLAND during new york fashion week, a large-scale presentation that included 90 styled looks as well as performances by hip hop artist fabolous and a star studded guest list that included bella hadid and nich wooster among others. with jaw-dropping flagship locations realized by wunderkind design duo snarkitecture, KITH’s retail stores and multi-platform style identity has more than established the brand as the one to beat. ‘it took time for the brand to form an identity,’ says fieg, speaking about the growth of the store. ‘it took a while, because at first, we weren’t a brand. we were a retailer. a lot of [the brand identity] goes back to snarkitecture for their design aesthetic and what we did together to create a solid feel.’

in 2016, the clothing label continued to flourish within streetwear circles, collaborating with colette, adidas, nike and more. bringing pop culture trademarks like the power rangers, rugrats and cap’n crunch into the streetwear sphere, KITH has more than earned its seat on the streetwear throne.

 

see designboom’s previous coverage of KITH’s latest store in miami here.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

SILVER CROWN – KANYE WEST’S PABLO POP-UP STORES

 

 

2016 was a big year for kanye west who opened 21 ‘the life of pablo’ pop-up stores around the world, selling over $1 million dollars worth of merch in each single location. the stores featured a selection of hoodies, tees, long sleeves, jackets and caps, all depicting gothic lettering that varied depending on the city. created in collaboration with canadian designer cali thornhill dewitt, and executed with the help of merchandise firm bravado, ‘the life of pablo’ collection took over the world’s streetscape. with bloated prices, some criticized the hype around the merchandise while others stood patiently in line for hours waiting to get their hands on the ultra-exclusive duds.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

‘the life of pablo’ pop-up stores appeared almost like magic from new york to berlin to singapore. with them, west consolidated his place as a leading personality not only in music but in fashion, creativity, and style.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

BRONZE CROWN – GRAILED

 

 

taking their name from the holy grail—that specific piece of clothing you obsess over, but can’t even find or afford—grailed is a curated community marketplace for men’s clothing, aiming to make great clothes affordable and available to everyone. sourced directly from the closets of fashion-conscious individuals, the result is a highly-curated, second-hand catalog with unbeatable prices.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

2016 was the year where grailed became an indispensable shopping and mobile app for many, issuing up curated collections that included impossible-to-find helmut lang and issey miyake pieces. ‘grailed has truly been living up to its name, evolving from just another eBay alternative into a truly vital online platform with a passionate community behind it,’ comments higsnobiety. ‘a renewed focus on editorial content has also worked strongly to the advantage of grailed, which has proven itself as a valuable source for both shopping, selling and education.’

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE – FACEBOOK

 

highsnobiety states that facebook wasn’t created as a platform to buy and sell goods, but it has certainly been refashioned to accommodate shopping functionality in recent times, in some ways filling the gap that was left with the downfall of internet forums. striking out on release day is very often a maddening reality, and many of us are forced to turn to secondary marketplaces like yeezy talk worldwide (the go-to source for everything kanyeezy, which even expanded to create its own merch line), or supreme talk, among other sneaker and streetwear-dedicated groups that facilitate buying, reselling, proxy purchasing and asking whatever ridiculous questions you feel like.

 

native reselling etiquette and vernacular have developed over time on facebook, and these thriving communities are only growing by the day. while local channels catering to different specific cities also exist, other facebook groups aptly bring streetwear fans together from all over the globe to share their common interests.

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

highsnobiety crowns awards best store 2016 designboom

 

 

for this year’s awards, highsnobiety partnered with new york-based architecture collective snarkitecture to create the prize: a limited-edition key. the medals — manufactured in snarkitecture’s brooklyn headquarters — will be awarded to the winners of the eight different categories. the keys were completely hand-drawn, 3D modeled and laser cut from aluminum panels by a waterjet CNC machine. the matte finish plays with the cleanness of the overall design, resulting in one very special award.

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