Obey picks Paris as location of its first ever permanent store
Obey, the American label headed by street artist Shepard Fairey, unveiled its first ever store in September, situated at 13 Rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth in Paris' third arrondissement, a stone's throw away from Place de la République. The choice of this address makes sense for two main reasons: firstly, a group of leading skate-centric brands have already set up shop on the street, and secondly, since its renovation, Place de la République has become a veritable hotspot for the French capital's skaters.
Prior to the store's opening, the brand tested out its concept with a series of global pop-ups, including one in Paris.
Obey's founder loves Paris and, by all accounts, the feeling is mutual, seeing as the City of Lights has previously offered up its walls as a canvas for some of the artist's murals. The Marianne surrounded by the words "liberté, égalité, fraternité" that Fairey painted in reaction to the November 2015 Paris attacks has even been spotted in French president Emmanuel Macron's office at the Élysée Palace. Nonetheless, Obey almost opened its first store in London, before settling on Paris for its brick-and-mortar debut.
The 60-square-metre store sells accessories, menswear and posters featuring artwork by the brand's founder. Every Thursday, a new poster produced in a limited-edition run of 40 is released, with the official Obey Paris Instagram account revealing each new design on Wednesdays – a savvy teasing technique seeking to boost in-store traffic. Needless to say, since the boutique's opening, these exclusive posters have consistently sold out.
The brand hasn't forgotten about its female fans either. Although women often purchase Obey's menswear products, the label will also be spotlighting womenswear at the new location through a number of one-off events. During the most recent Paris Fashion Week, for example, the label's womenswear collection replaced menswear in the store.
The brand is currently carried by 150 distributors in France, as well as several hundred other points of sale in Europe. Its principal markets include France, the UK, Italy and Germany. The label's showroom in Biarritz manages the French, Spanish and Portuguese markets, and reports directly to the brand's European HQ in Amsterdam, which also deals with distribution in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Only the UK and Italy are served by a local distribution hub.
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