Out & About: A visit to The Armoury NYC
In the same way that our online personas are rarely identical to the way we live “IRL”, I have found that stores usually offer very different experiences between their online presence and physical locations. On the one hand, there are great stores that have existed for decades and are just now beginning to realize the power of e-commerce. On the other, you have stores that dominate the internet but have a physical presence that doesn’t do the product justice. There are many degrees of this, but one thing is consistent: a store may have a great web presence or a great physical presence, but it is very rare to have both.
The Armoury seems to be the exception to this rule, as their new store in New York is a flawless extension of the brand’s powerful presence abroad and online.
The Armoury’s NYC store had its soft opening late last year, and it has been wonderful to watch the company’s presence develop in the USA. The store itself is an amazing place - it’s a tall, narrow shop in the TriBeCa neighborhood, with beautiful displays, artwork, and architecture. And, unsurprisingly, all the products in the store are easy on the eyes too.
On the off chance that some of you that aren’t familiar, the Armoury was founded in 2010 by Mark Cho, Alan See, and Ethan Newton. They had a shared vision for a men’s store with a classic, yet international flavor - they have worked hard to bring in unique goods from all over the world, and each one is exceptional. Their selective list of artisans and designers speaks for itself and you should familiarize yourself with it if you haven’t already.
The new NYC store has some familiar names on its roster, as well - Jeff Hilliard of jhilla, Zach Jobe (who ran the NYC styleforum trunk show), Jeremy Kirkland of Run of the Mill fame, and Nick Ragosta (whom most of you have seen all over tumblr). They’ve done a great job of bringing the new store up to the level of the original one without making an exact duplicate; you will see many of the same artisans in the two stores, but there is nothing to suggest that the new one is just a satellite location.
Of course, when you’re limiting your store to only carrying the best of the best, the tradeoff is that things will get expensive. With that said, the Armoury carries many brands that, despite their price, still provide a great value (in my opinion). For instance, Carmina shoes and Ring Jacket suits are not cheap, but hold up to garments well above their price in terms of quality and design. Dollar for dollar they’re some of the best out there, and I had certainly never heard of them before the Armoury men brought the brands into their store.
And, of course, the Armoury’s shelves are stocked with items for the true ballers among us - St. Crispin’s shoes, Jean Russeau leather goods, Orazio Luciano jackets, and more, not to mention the frequent visits from traveling artisans like Liverano and Ambrosi. The stock may vary in style and price, but everything in the store is of exceptional quality and would be a beautiful addition to even the most discerning wardrobe.
Over the past few years it has been wonderful watching the Armourers craft their wonderful “house style;” they have introduced so many exceptional brands to menswear nerds across the world and have taught us a lot about dressing well in the process. Although I’ll have to save up a while before buying anything in this store, I can still confidently say that these men have taught me quite a bit about dressing simply and classically (which, as you know, is the cornerstone of what I write about here).
Nobody can deny the incredible appeal of the Armoury’s selection of goods; their store is probably the only one in the world in which I would be happy to wear anything from their shelves. Even so, what I find makes this company so unique is the people. They feel a bit like kindred spirits to me - these aren’t salesmen, they’re clothes nerds. Most of them came from backgrounds very far away from the retail world - finance, law, tech, and so on - and took a big leap (and a big risk) to turn their hobby into their job. Each person on their team brings a crucial talent to the company, and they all share the trait of being wildly passionate about what they do. I have a huge amount of respect for people like that, and it’s wonderful to see the Armoury team’s hard work pay off.
It’s difficult for me to capture in words how amazing the store is, so I’ll just post some photos instead. Do stop by if you’re in New York, and tell everyone I say hi while you’re there.
Jeff Hilliard browsing the Carmina library
The wildly popular Carmina string loafers
Leather goods galore
Perhaps Ring Jacket’s most iconic fabric - “Creamy Waffle”
Exceptionally beautiful Drake’s scarves, for the man who has everything.
A beautiful store full of beautiful goods.
A sample of the ties selection at 168 Duane St.