Sunday Safari Ft. Pierre Kim
By Michal Edelman Tepper & Daniella Fischel On September 29, 2019
Pierre Kim is the Head of Apparel at Away, the DTC travel and lifestyle brand we know and love that has taken airports and Instagram alike by storm. Pierre has over twenty years of experience in the fashion and activewear industry, most recently at premium men's apparel brand Rhone. With his wealth of experience in the industry and now working on something new at Away, we were excited to hear and share Pierre's five Sunday Safari picks!
You are probably now used to seeing Away's beautifully designed, colorful hard shell luggage anytime you are traveling. They've certainly stepped up the game on traveling in style without breaking the bank. And in doing so, have also created their luggage to not only be beautiful but functional; With an ejectable battery to charge your phone on the go and various interior organizers, we are big fans of how they have changed this category. While they've started with luggage, Away is quickly becoming a true travel lifestyle brand, equipped with weekender bags, accessories, the travel magazine "Here", and soon we hope - fashion.
Since Pierre is tasked with leading this new initiative of apparel for Away, we were excited to get his take on the retail landscape and hear about his five favorite stores from around the world. And with over two decades of experience, he also had many insights to share on the retail industry at large:
"Having spent much of my career promoting the benefits of sustainable apparel, I’m not completely saddened to see the demise of fast fashion companies closing during this so-called retail apocalypse. The shift in consumer habits towards online shopping has enabled a new wave of creatives to connect globally with audiences on a much more personal level. It’s great from a brand perspective. However, what pains me is that, particularly in America, the oversaturation of big-box retailers has virtually pushed independent retailers to the brink of extinction. Being a born-and-raised New Yorker, it kills me to see the demise of so many unique specialty stores. While the neighborhood store may soon be a relic of the past, I try to always support them as best as I can. Here are some of my favorites."
Check out Pierre's store picks and rationale below!
1. JOHN DERIAN
New York, NY | Website
"The John Derian shop in the Lower East Side was originally opened in 1995 to showcase the artisan’s collection of homemade decoupage tabletop pieces. He’s since added two more stores next door, where he features rugs, furniture, fabric, and wall coverings. All the shops feature artisans and collaborators (many of them his friends) such as Leanne Shapton, Hugo Guiness, Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli (owners of Astier de Villa), Natalie Lété, and Livia Cetti. Many of these works are still handmade in his personal studio. It’s truly a special place, especially during the holidays. Every year, my wife and I take the kids so we can each pick out a new ornament for our Christmas tree."
2. MAISON MAYLE
New York, NY | Website
"Our very dear friend Jane Mayle relaunched her label several years ago after a half-decade hiatus. Maison Mayle, as she’s calling the collection this go around, bears many of the hallmarks of its earlier iteration—incredible vintage-tinged dresses, beautiful hand-stitched blouses, uniquely-fashioned jewelry, and gorgeous accessories. Last year, in her local Greenwich Village neighborhood (which she’s called home for the past 20 years,) Jane opened a physical location meant to be a short-term pop-up store. However, overwhelming enthusiasm for Jayne’s return to fashion was so passionate and widespread, she decided to make it a permanent presence in the neighborhood."
3. THE STRAND
New York, NY | Website
"No list of mine would be replete without a bookstore. I can spend hours in a good bookstore and I always try to find them when traveling. Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Liberia Acqua Alta in Venice, and The Last Bookstore in LA are some of my faves. And while I’m blessed to live in a city that still has so many small independent ones, The Strand is not only a NYC landmark but also my home away from home. Built in 1927, the store is famous for its "18 miles of books." It’s also possibly the greatest used bookstore in the world. Searching the bargain bins, you can find anything from a copy of The Grapes of Wrath once belonging to the Rikers Correctional Library to diverse art history textbooks last published in Spain during the 1950’s!"
4. 10 CORSO COMO
Milan, Italy | Website
"I’ll never forget walking into 10 Corso Como in the early 90’s soon after they opened. I’d never seen anyplace so magical. Spread across two floors with a stunning garden and roof terrace, I couldn’t believe that one person (Carlo Sozzani) could have such impeccable taste! The books, the art, the homewares, the music, the design, the fashion – everything was truly unique and special. It’s not a temple to consumerism. It’s a shrine of aesthetics and creativity. In the following years, I’ve been amazed to see them replicate this success in Seoul and Shanghai, making each place feel uniquely and intrinsically tied to the local culture while still connecting back to its Italian roots."
5. ISETAN SHINJUKU
Tokyo, Japan | Website
"If you visit Isetan now, you’ll see an incredibly futuristic department store that is a trend-setting indicator of style at the cutting edge of fashion. But what most people don’t know is that Isetan was actually born in 1886 as a small neighborhood kimono shop. Today’s Isetan Shinjuku is the epitome of what a modern department store can be: a broad collection of both established and also highly avant-garde brands, all curated and merchandised with a very distinct personality: one that is just as international as it is Japanese. The sheer array of products offered is staggering: from home good to tailored suiting, Isetan has you completely covered. Plus I’m a sucker for a good food court and Isetan’s might be the best in the world."
If you don't already, follow us on Instagram @theretailsafari as we highlight some of our favorite brands and concepts and take you with us on our retail safaris in NYC and beyond.