Soho | 337 Lafayette Street | Kith
You don't need to be a streetwear expert, or even really a sneakerhead, to love the Kith store.
KITH SOHO FLAGSHIP:
The main event here is, of course, the shoes. But is it really? Sure, the shoe selection is incredible and the streetwear (especially on the men’s floor) is on point but Kith is really more of a cultural institution than merely a place to shop for shoes or a sweatshirt. You go to Kith to be a part of the culture as much as you do to try on the shoes. I don’t mean to discount the incredible breadth and depth of the product available - especially on the sneaker floor where you can try on shoes from all types of brands from French-cool Veja to Dad-favorite Asics - it’s just that Kith is about more than the sum of its products.
The people who work at Kith embody the brand both aesthetically and through their friendly and approachable manner. They dress the part and enhance the Kith brand by wearing the latest styles from the store and modeling the coolest sneakers. On a recent Monday visit to the store, many of the sales associates were wearing the sweatshirt from that day’s product drop. They speak the same “sneakerhead” language as many of their customers. They are very knowledgeable about all of the different sneaker brands and styles which is quite helpful given how large and somewhat daunting the selection can be. The sales staff make what could potentially be an overwhelming experience (huge product selection, crowded space) fun and seamless.
All stores should have ice cream. Especially ice cream that can be customized with throwback cereals from childhood. The Kith Treats on the sneaker floor makes Kith into much more than just a place to try on shoes. The first floor of men’s apparel feels fresh, bustling and exciting and the second floor with shoes and treats is both fun and bright with something for everyone (sneakers? Sure! Ice cream? Definitely!). The one area of the store that really fell flat for me was the women’s apparel section on the third floor. The floor is smaller and nearly windowless and the merchandise itself felt sparse and uninviting. This doesn’t make a visit to Kith any less enjoyable (again: ice cream, sneakers) but I probably won’t be venturing up to the third floor again anytime soon.
I am, admittedly, not a sneakerhead. I’m also not a streetwear expert. I can’t tell you what number Jordan we are on (that’s a thing right?) or what the latest Kith clothing drop was. I can tell you that it doesn’t matter, I love the Kith store anyway.