Puma & Vans Open Shops Where Clothing Is an Afterthought

Not too long ago, fashion magazines were having a naked moment. Countless rags dedicated lengthy editorials to models in next to nothing, leaving readers wondering where, exactly, all the clothes had disappeared to. Well, it looks like clothing brands are now following suit, with brick and mortar spaces prioritizing socializing over selling. Levi’s has helped lead the way with its series of bi-coastal workshops focusing more on creative, community-based initiatives than clothing. Now it’s Puma and Vans’ turn.

Puma’s whopping 6,500-square-foot pop-up social club, housed in LA’s iconic Sunset Towers, is a draw for fans who hold sports and drinking in equal measure. Drinking as sport, say. Expect darts, foosball, table tennis, bowling, as well as Puma wares in the form of “the classic track jacket and reissued sneakers to exclusive, limited-edition graphic tees.” And, yes, booze will be flowing at night when the space turns into a bar (replete with snacks) for the 21 and over set.

Vans, on the other side of the country, is servicing skate junkies in Williamsburg with a 24,000 square-foot warehouse, called ‘House of Vans,’ dedicated to skate culture. The grand opening is slated for this Saturday, October 16th. Following that, “events for retail skate shops, magazines, artists and musicians” will be invite-only, says ESPN. While none of these brands is the first to throw funds at establishing brand culture over sales alone, the mass movement toward alternative methods of promotion and marketing remains strong. And, in an increasingly digital age, it’s nice to know that major labels still realize the importance and potential influence of tangible culture.

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