First up, a return to the 2(x)ist Store on Emei Street (Taipei Hsimenting Emei Street No. 52, 1st Floor), where Mr.2 Contest Judges’ Award Winner Chun Huang (“Monk”) stopped by to scoop up swag.
Jason tags a display case holding a pair of 2(x)ist socks. He swears they “encouraged” him to graffiti the walls…Read the rest of this entry.
2(x)ist Creative Director Jason Scarlatti forges on in Taiwan, where today’s adventure leads him to judging the Mr. 2 Contest, followed by a round of the requisite press, and topping it all off with cocktails and karaoke. Hmm … Models+Underwear+Booze+Singing = Just another day in the the life of 2(x)ist.
The Mr. 2 Contest starts to take shape with the models in 2(x)ist FORM. All the action is directly outside one of 2(x)ist’s freestanding shops on bustling Emei Street (Taipei Hsimenting Emei Street No. 52, 1st Floor).
After a few rounds of competition, the 20 participants each donned a different pair of 2(x)ists whilst awaiting the announcement of the winners by Taiwanese celebrity host Nikuun (shown below):
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2(x)ist‘s intrepid Creative Director Jason Scarlatti embarks on a whirlwind Asian tour to promote the latest ranges like SURF, CAMO, and SLIQ, plus interact with brand fans. The first stop? Taiwan, where his (obviously harrowing) schedule involves a little sightseeing, a few 2(x)ist store drive-bys, and acting as judge for the Mr. 2 Male Model Contest.
First up, a stop at one of Taiwan’s mega-department stores, SOGO (Chung Hsiao East Road, Taipei 300, 7th Floor), where 2(x)ist has an dedicated in-store concept shop.
While SURF dominates the front displays at SOGO, CAMO holds court inside. Here, Jason graciously autographed the Jason Brownrigg-shot CAMO ad.
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“Underwear, as a category, had grown over the years to the point that it was one of our strongest departments,” says Injeanious’ Woody Evans. “Also, many new lines had launched and more room was needed as demand grew.”
And of course, 2(x)ist is one of those must-have lines, satisfying the eclectic clientele in a neighborhood as famous for its civil rights roots as for the lively nightlife.
No matter the reason for being in the Castro, Evans welcomes them all: “We cater to gay men, straight men, women, and tourist alike. Each shopper generally has a unique reason for coming in the store. Some just want to see what is new. Some, perhaps, want to find that particular item to wear to spice up their life.”
And lately, the tastiest offerings available are CAMO and SURF, which Evans says are big hits with clients who scoop up multiple pairs. Though don’t assume that every customer is always well-stocked. Despite being open until 9p.m., there’s always a tardy-for-the-partyer knocking down the door with the dreaded “Underwear Emergency.”
“Underwear emergencies usually consist of a customer, at the last minute, deciding to attend one of the many … parties that go on in San Francisco. No one want to be caught dead in old, ratty tighty-whiteys!” Smartly, Injeanious offers a lifeline by carrying an array of colorful, 2(x)ist options.
[Injeanious: Castro. 432 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. T: 415.864.1707. www.injeanious.com]
[PHOTO: Jeremy Dykes via Google (top); 2(x)ist file photo]Read the rest of this entry.
As the song goes, “a house is not a home,” but what happens when a house is a men’s underwear store? Get ready for a home invasion! Under U4 Men is a top retailer of 2(x)ist in the Pacific Northwest, and the Seattle location (smack in tony Capitol Hill) would turn any 2(x)ist brand fan into a homebody.
Steven Lien, owner and president of the nearly five-year-old Under U4 Men, gained inspiration by observing the way Americans shop abroad and particularly in Europe, where single-branded underwear shops abound. Taking it a step further (and adding a little American ingenuity), Mr. Lien felt it was “time to have a Main Street men’s underwear store — one with brand selections from all over the world.”
Thus, Under U4 Men was born in 2006 and quickly expanded to three stores in just 18 months, including the gorgeous Seattle branch which Lien calls “the roots of what [he] fell in love with in Europe.” Situated in a historic 1909 English Revival building, Lien restored the floors, mantles, and library-style shelves to accommodate merchandise. The result is a seamless Capitol Hill-nabe integration lauded by its well-heeled denizens who enjoy the area’s boutiques, dining, and art house offerings.
Fancy façades aside, it’s the product that drives the success of Under U4 Men and with over 40 brands, 2(x)ist is a standout to the unique needs of the Northwestern customer. Says Lien, “Shoppers in the Pacific Northwest expect great service without an attitude. Our stores are fun and the staff is knowledgeable in the fabrics, cut, and fit. 2(x)ist is meeting this challenge, [especially] with the TUX series, which is made with tencel (derived from eucalyptus fiber), … [and] MODAL, made from beechwood tree fiber. These will surely be a hit in the eco-friendly Northwest.”
And one can count Mr. Lien as not only a retailing hitmaker, but also a major 2(x)ist fan. Says Lien, “I’ve worn 2(x)ist for years, so this is a must-have brand for my stores.” … And we consider a house call to Under U4 Men’s Capitol Hill shop a Seattle must as well.
[Under U4 Men:Capitol Hill. 709 Broadway East, Seattle, WA 98102. T: 206.324.6446. underu4men.com]Read the rest of this entry.