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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Inside The New Portland Design Collective with Zebra Club and ROAD

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Boxes are still being unpacked and steamers are steaming away at the Portland Design Collective, but they're here: Zebra Club and ROAD are officially landed in Portland. Those who've spent time in Seattle might be familiar with Zebra (which has stores in both Downtown Seattle and Bellevue, as well as Vancouver, BC and Berlin), but if you've never been (I hadn't), I would interpret its closest Portland antecedent as Local35, with lots of WESC and a bit of Naked & Famous denim along with plenty of G-Star and Stüssy, among others. Though not filled out yet, I think this will be a decent source for denim, and I'm happy to see a healthy rack of Made in USA soft layering tees from Fluxus—good for filling out the particularities of PDC's brilliant vintage selection.

ROAD is a bit of a strange fit, with jeans, sweaters, leather jackets, and a nice selection of men's collared shirts. It doesn't feel like quite the same customer as the man who comes looking for a stage-worthy vintage jacket, but it may prevent him from crossing the street to Brooks Brothers to look for something to go with it, assuming there exists any PDC/BB crossover at all (?… ).

PDC's space in undeniably huge, and it makes some sense to split up the real estate, but with Zebra Club up front, ROAD off to the side in the middle, and PDC relegated to the (admittedly largest) back section, it makes me wish that the vintage wasn't so shrouded from street view. PDC owner Tacee Webb and vintage genius Jeffrey Kyle have a real passion for their procurements, and I'm going to miss glancing over SW Morrison to see an opulent spill of '30s sequins and '70s suede in favor of racks of Chinese-made puffer jackets, but... eh? We'll see how it shakes out. If it were up to me (and lord knows it's not), I would try to integrate the merchandise together to really show the customer how these brands can all make sense worn together, because they certainly can.

ROAD, as presided over by the PDC buck.
  • ROAD, as presided over by the PDC buck.

Some of the many shirting options offered by ROAD
  • Some of the many shirting options offered by ROAD

Naked & Famous for her.
  • Naked & Famous for her.

Cute tees from Zebra by The Furies.
  • Cute tees from The Furies.

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