When I first walked into this RVCA store at the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets, I noticed that there is something unusual about this clothes store. The design of the interior is quite like a typical Hollister Store, with the dark background, a lounge at the center, and a grid-like screen behind the cashier station.
But unlike Hollister, this store has incorporated a gallery in the back, a merchandise and shelves showcasing books and pamphlets made by non-mainstream artists. At one of the corners, there are video screens that are broadcasting some skateboard videos, possibly the skateboard team sponsored by RVCA. You can actually put on a headphone and listen to the video.
Just like the store, clothes there have pretty unique design. They are not only closely associated with the larger concept of skateboard and surf culture, but they also injected local elements such as local scenery such as the Golden Gate Bridge. They also have their own magazine with amazing photos and models showcasing their clothes. Just when you think there is it for all the art and gallery, there is an installation about mixing media at their corner display window. Images are actually projected onto disconnected televisions of the last generation. The manipulation of the subject’s functionality is so iconic and beautiful at the same time.
In case you have not figured out their concept of the store by now, it is about stretching the boundaries of traditional action sport apparel. I see the mixing of different art mediums within the store as ways for potential patrons to experience the lifestyle of the surfers or skateboarders who wear these outfits. The store actually puts up an art show to help its patrons understand the story of the clothes they are going to wear. I definitely got an education of RVCA by visiting their store.
corner of haight st. and ashbury st., san francisco – 5:09pm, jan 22, 2013