SINCE the opening morning of Palace’s London, Soho based clothing store on 25/4/15, Lev’s brand has grown from strength to strength; infiltrating it’s way into the firm image of London street fashion as we know it. For years Palace had been overshadowed by the likes of Supreme, Bape, and even Patta; though as fashion is in a constant rotation of trends, this small London based brand has built a firm reputation through collaborations with sport giants Adidas (as an example) leading to a progression above Supreme within this season’s (s/s15) drops in my personal view.
In the past, Palace has been sold by 3rd party retailers such as END, Slam City Skates and Hanon. The occasional pop-up shop took place as well, stocked with in store exclusives and extremely limited collections of which sold out in a matter of days. There have been copyright infringements leading to line withdrawal, as a majority of companies clash with in opening years- the T-Shirt in question here was the Hermes release in 2013 (pictured). Personally, this Tee is iconic for the brand. The vivid print and defined graphic encapsulates the movement and image that Palace were creating at the time. Obviously I am ignoring the Tri-Ferg logo when I say ‘iconic’, as nothing can be as strongly associated as their trademark.
Now, onto the London permanent store. As a huge ‘streetwear junkie’ I felt inclined to attend the lengthy cue, that had formed at around 8am on the day. Doors opened at 11, and I entered at around 2:30pm. The presentation of the store inside was of very original ideas, whilst also being incredibly functional in the light of 100+ teenagers waiting to enter. The entrance hall was of very clean layout; outerwear on the left, skate decks on the right. Past this was a large space stocked with apparel, accessories, caps and a Rolls Royce grill, hung as a symbolic reminder of the brand’s roots. Prior to the opening, the Instagram page run by the brand (Instagram.com/palaceskateboards) featured what is now the store’s party piece- a marble floor imbelised with the letter P. This had social media in awe, overall a result of the hard work and effort that Lev had put into the brand up until this point.
Another point to mention; the staff were the most helpful, and polite that I had ever met in retail.
Lastly, I will pick out my top 2 items of this season; coincidently both are store exclusives from the opening day. Firstly, the collaboration with Shawn Powers in 2 Tee designs, and hoodies. My favourite was the ‘Castle’ Tee in white, as the blue felt detailing stood out on the black Tri-Ferg screen print. I picked this up in a size Large due to its boxy fit. The second release that I enjoyed were a pair of socks that manipulated the standard England 3-Lions shield, replacing the text with ‘Palace’. The reason behind this foremost is that fact that I am, and always have been a football fan. This shield is one of which can be found on my first England football kit, and therefore holds more sentimental value than most items within my wardrobe; not to mention that the quality is outstanding.
So, the reason for Palace’s uprise since around 2013 is not only due to the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ put into the whole image by Lev himself, but I feel that it all leads back to the constant reminder of the brand’s roots. This is a VERY English brand; clearly it is meant to stay this way.