Tier — the Brooklyn, N.Y., brand launched by Nigeria Ealey, Esaïe Jean-Simon and Victor James — is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at the Beverly Center shopping mall in Los Angeles on Friday.
“Minimalistic and artistic” is how Ealey described his vision for the 975-square-foot shop. He, Simon and James launched the label, which offers men’s and women’s wear, in 2014 while Ealey was an undergrad at Long Island University Brooklyn. It’s “contemporary, luxury streetwear,” he said of Tier.
Often incorporating artwork into their apparel, it’s no surprise this is reflected in the store, which features paintings inspired by New York City and its boroughs, as well as various objects — from Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to a New York skyline chess set — creating an intimate in-store experience.
“A lot of the store concept came from a lot of my favorite stores and brands growing up and implementing just those things that I’ve seen in certain retail spaces as a consumer,” said Ealey.
“One thing that I always relate back to is going into the [Billionaire Boys Club] ice cream store in SoHo when I was younger,” he continued. “Instantly when you walk in, it smells like ice cream, literally. And so, with that mind-set — that’s another element of adding vision toward your space, right? Even the way it smells. How do people feel when they walk into this space? I thought about the minimalism of the Apple store and how easy it is to process transactions. I looked at one of my other favorite stores, Uniqlo, and the way that they have so much different product, but the way it’s organized and easy to navigate through.…But creatively, I wanted it to feel welcoming. I wanted it to feel like a blend of New York and L.A.”
Ranging in price from $100 to $800, in-store shoppers will find some L.A. exclusives, with about 15 new pieces. The Tier “Essentials” line, a logoed collection of crewnecks, hoodies, sweatpants, shorts and socks in various colors, has been the bestseller, according to Ealey. Tier hats, too, have been popular with fans of the brand — who include the likes of Rick Ross, Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler.
“I’m excited to see how the T L.A. hats do because our T N.Y. hats did really well over the past couple of years,” he said of the caps, $65 each, which showcase a massive T logo superimposed with the letters N.Y.
Why was L.A. the right move?
“It just felt like the perfect time,” said Easley. “The opportunity presented itself. We have a great community in L.A. as it comes to the brand. It was like, this is now time to not only be in a new market, in a new city, but we already have customers here, people transitioning from New York to L.A. We really want to do a lot of other cities also, but starting here with this, it just made sense for this time.…And now that we’re in the Beverly Center, you know, it’s also a representation stance — being an independent brand for this long and being able to have our brand now on level seven on the luxury shopping retail floor of the Beverly Center, being kids from Brooklyn with that admiration and having it actualized and visualize, that just shows other people coming up that, ‘Hey, like this is also possible for you.’ We want to have that impact, culturally.”
The brand has partnerships in the works, and Tier will unveil its next collection, “Project Five,” in September during New York Fashion Week.
“My mind-set, I’m honestly really in a space of development and growth,” he added.