Self Edge NYC: Store Expansion and Exclusive Interview
By Samuel Trotman

Cult men’s retailer Self Edge celebrates its 4th birthday with a new look and party at its NYC outlet. We chat with founder Kiya.

May 01, 2013
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We’re big fans of Kiya Babzani and his expert denim team at Self Edge. The stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York serve the most discerning of denim connoisseurs as well as helping and educating those shopping for their first pair of premium jeans. The stores stock a well-researched and selected pick of rigid denim brands including hard-to find and rare labels, built-to-last core 5-pockets styles and naturally, plenty of Selvedge!

I’m sure most readers of this blog have visited one or all of their brick-and-mortar shops or at least spent some time perusing their website. And big fans and denim-heads of NYC will be pleased to know that the intimate Orchard Street location has had a facelift and expansion. The company unveiled the re-worked store at the weekend in honor of its four year anniversary and seven year anniversary since the very first shop opened in San Francisco. It includes new inventory, custom steel racks and tables designed by Jeff Burwell, two dressing rooms, and an expanded hemming and repairs studio.

The founders threw a party in the new space on Saturday night, with plenty of beer, music and familiar faces from the NY denim scene.

The store was freshly stocked with the new Spring/Summer lines from Mister Freedom, The Flat Head, Stevenson, and all their usual favorite labels. We chatted to founder, Kiya to reflect on the past four years in NY and his plans for the future of Self Edge.

 

Since opening the store in NY four years ago, how have you found the attitude towards premium and selvedge denim developing?

We’ve seen American brands pop up with more frequency, but they’re basing themselves off branding for the most part as most of them are using very similar fabrics and made in the same factories in the US.  We’re all about American made but we want to see the quality to back it, that’s where the Japanese come in.  The quality is top-notch and the price reflects that.

How would you compare the New York store and customers to your other locations in LA and San Fran? 

The main difference I’d say is that the New York customer is far less price conscious when shopping.

Over the years, how has the stock changed and expanded, have you seen people’s tastes shift?

We’ve expanded into everything, especially over the past year.  We’re now doing full lines of bags, eye wear, and even boots and sneakers.

Self Edge has a more men’s driven customer base but are you seeing an increase in women visiting Self Edge? For instance you just started selling women’s stretch selvedge denim under your 3sixteen line…

We saw a gap in the women’s market and that’s where the 3sixteen line of jeans came in.  100% made in the US and sold completely raw and made of pure indigo dyed selvedge denim. They’re awesome and fit very well.  We even have a black/black version coming out June 1st.

What labels sell best in NY?

Iron Heart, Flat Head, 3sixteen, and Strike Gold.

How is the new re-fit of the store changing Self Edge NY?

We’ve nearly doubled the size of the store and are now able to go deeper in stock with brands such as Stevenson. We even carry chinos now!

What other plans do you guys have for the future?

We’re opening a fourth store on July 1st, can’t say where just yet.  We also have a PF Flyers Pop-Up shop happening at our LA store in early June.

Check out the refreshed NYC store at:

157 Orchard St. @ Rivington St. (Lower East Side)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 388-0079

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