Aspire To Inspire

BEST RETAIL EXPERIENCE EVER: 3X1 DENIM

The past few weeks have held me away from writing, I’m sorry for that.  I still have so much to share from my trip to NYC, not to mention all the exciting things I saw for the Spring 2013 collections.  All in due time!  And it’s not going to slow down anytime soon.  I head to San Francisco on Sunday for a week for a really amazing event that Cavalier by Jay Jeffers is throwing for Alex & Lee.  It is going to be a retrospective of sort showcasing all of their work over the past 42 years, and it is going to be hosted by Vanessa Getty, Allison Pincus and Alexandra Von Furstenberg to name a few! So excited about this, still working on the outfit! After SF, I head to NYC to pull together a launch party to showcase Corey Lynn Calter’s new line, COREY.  This is event will be amazing as well with actress Nora Zehetner hosting and Tennessee Thomas djing.  Exciting stuff!

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While I was at Coterie in NYC, I stopped into the 3×1 denim booth which is a new venture by denim maven Scott Morrison who also started Paper, Denim and Cloth as well as Ernest Sewn.  This guy is no stranger to premium denim lines and what he is doing this time around I found very special and unique.  This new venture aims to offer the ultimate denim experience, from bespoke made-to-measure tailoring (with over 135 different stocks) to limited-edition runs of prêt-a-porter styles. With a factory in the middle of its Mercer Street store in New York, 3×1 can move from conceptualizing a new design to selling it within three days. I was immediately mesmerized by the sound of this and she encouraged me to stop by the store and take a look.

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The front of the store showcasing all the different varieties of denim the customer can choose from.

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Details to choose from for customization

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Buttons, stitching and rivets to choose from

I visited the store and had one of the best store experiences that I have had in a really long time. The salesman that helped me was so friendly and knowledgable and did such a great job selling me on the line.

There are 3 different types of services they offer:

1.  Ready to Wear:  This collection is off the rack but allows customers to customize each pair by selecting buttons, zippers, etc to put your own stamp on the style.  All of the styles are limited edition and come numbered.

2.  Custom Denim: Customers choose a style they love from 3×1′s vast collection, then they choose the type of denim they want as well as everything from buttons to rivets, stitching and zippers.  The jeans are then made right there in the store for you in a couple of days.

3.  Bespoke Denim:  This is a process where the customer can work with 3×1′s in house designers to develop their own signature style OR  recreate a pair of their favorites that are no longer in production anywhere.

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All the work is done in house right there where you are purchasing your denim.

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I really loved the idea of having the entire process of a brand out of one building.  The corporate offices are in this building with all the designers so they can walk up and work with the customers throughout the day.  All the sewers are beyond a glass partition allowing the customers to watch them while their denim is being made.  It is an entirely transparent retail venture.

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I was obsessed with a pair of jeans that the girl had on in the booth which were double sided stretch skinny cropped jeans.  I went there looking for those which were from the Ready to Wear collection.  First I chose from the several different colors that they offered and then I got to put my customized choices onto the pair that I chose.

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The double sided Ready to Wear styles that I was excited about

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My darling salesman talking me through my customization

I loved that I was able to add little details to make the denim all my own.  It just made for a really fun experience and really added value to my purchase.  While the seamstresses added my final details, I waited and watched and sipped an espresso that they offered while I waited.  The energy was calm and creative in this store and I was a very happy shopper.

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The ladies working on my jeans.

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This is the pair that I bought; khaki front and black in the back. I loved adding the white button :)

After about 15 minutes, my jeans were ready and handed to me in the greatest little hanging garment bag made from recycled denim from their shop.

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The bags are numbered just like the jeans are, I love that.

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They also placed an envelope with a page of written care instructions specific to wearing denim.  I really appreciated all of the different wash and wear techniques that they shared.

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I have been telling everybody about this experience since my visit as this is the type of experience that I am looking for out in the retail environment.  This is the future of retail.  This is what brands need to strive for.  People today want to feel special about what they are buying.  We want our purchases to be unique and have a handmade quality to them.  We want to feel like we are a part of the process.  And we also want to have an experience at the retail level.  3×1 provided all of this and more and I felt very inspired after leaving their store knowing that the type of stores that I dream of are actually out there.  Yes!!

Go and visit the store next time you visit NYC at 15 Mercer Street.  You will not be disappointed!

Check out everything on their website too!

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