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After years of experimenting with brick and mortar, Everlane is finally opening a permanent flagship location, Racked has learned.
The first real store will open soon in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood at 461 Valencia Street (the brand would not disclose the exact open date). Everlane has listed a slew of available jobs on its website, including flagship store leader and retail studio leader.
Last month, real estate blog Mission Local reported that Everlane applied through the planning department to move into the space back in April. The storefront is already branded: It's currently featuring a rainbow flag with the “100% Human” slogan painted on the door.
Everlane was founded in 2011 as a direct-to-consumer brand that sells clothing made in factories with humanitarian conditions at wholesale prices — flying under the slogan “Radical Transparency.” It’s developed a strong customer base both for its ethical implications as well as the low-key fashion staples it sells (some of its products have even amassed 15,000-person waitlists). The brand has raised $18 million in funding, according to Recode, which reported last year that the brand was seeking a valuation of more than $250 million. According to a job posting on the company’s site for the new store, Everlane has amassed more than 1 million members. (That sounds like an email subscriber list number, but the brand wouldn't clarify.)
The Everlane Lab, a showroom the brand's dubbed a “retail experiment” to test new product, opened last year in its office headquarters on Folsom Street, which is in the same Mission neighborhood. (The brand would not confirm whether or not the lab would remain open following the flagship's opening.) Everlane's also experimented with repeat pop-up shops in New York City, where it’s had frequent themed shopping events since 2012, like highlighting shoes or cashmere or hosting sample sales. But a permanent flagship store breaks new ground for Everlane; it’s joining the ranks of brands like Warby Parker and Bonobos that started out with successful e-commerce before putting down any real estate roots.
Everlane officially moving into the brick-and-mortar space is pivotal for the start-up. Just two years ago, CEO and founder Michael Preysman told Racked that the company had no plans to open stores — but the retail landscape has shifted dramatically since then, and he's built a company nimble enough to recognize the sea change and take real action.
While fashion stalwarts like J.Crew and Gap — in many ways the preppy-basics precursors to Everlane, not to mention frequent points of comparison — are struggling with customer loyalty, Everlane's scooping up their shoppers and, it would appear, their doors.