Self Edge, a denim boutique with a cult following, will transform its New York City store into an Iron Heart unit for 10 days at the end of the month.
This story first appeared in the October 4, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Self Edge bills itself as “the ultimate denim source” and operates three high-end stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco and on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Its mix is almost entirely Japanese brands with one exception, Roy Denim from Oakland, Calif. Other brands include The Flat Head, Strike Gold, Real Japan Blues, Dry Bones, Sugar Cane, Mister Freedom, Imperial Denim and 3sixteen.
“We specialize in really small artisan brands,” said co-owner Kiya Babzani, who opened the business with his wife, Demitra, six years ago. The aesthetic of the offering is American casualwear of the Fifties, he said, and the labels offered in the store are all exclusive to the North American market. “We offer 65 variations of the five-pocket jean,” he said.
Babzani said Iron Heart, which is a motorcycle-inspired brand from North Tokyo that operates two stores in its native country, has a “huge fan base” in the States. “So we came up with the idea to close Self Edge for 10 days, ship their whole product line to New York and just sell Iron Heart.” In addition to the jeans, the offering will include T-shirts, jackets and accessories, and three special items have been created for the run: a 23-oz. pair of denim jeans, a special denim jacket “with all the bells and whistles,” and a loop-wheeled Iron Heart x Self Edge T-shirt, Babzani said.
The store will hold an opening party at the Orchard Street store on Oct. 20 and will convert back to Self Edge on Nov. 1.
Babzani said although he has considered opening an Iron Heart store in the States, he thinks it’s too risky: “We’re a small business, it’s just my wife and me, and having just one brand is scary.” He said, however, that he expects to announce a fourth Self Edge store location shortly.