Weatherproof’s president Freddie Stollmack is all about the unconventional, and so too is the company’s new SoHo store.

This story first appeared in the November 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

As the name suggests, Apartment 32 is designed to look like an urban home with a couch, a kitchen counter, a suspended bicycle, a guitar and other unexpected touches. What is even more unusual about the store is the leave-your-BlackBerry-at-the-door policy. Shoppers who stop by the boutique at 345 West Broadway must check all electronic devices. “People will have to actually talk to each other,” Stollmack said.

In keeping with that homey approach, “residents” (as staffers are referred to) will greet consumers as “houseguests” or “visitors.” Whatever you call them, the people who will be spending money in the store can charge their cell phones while they shop or relax on the couch with an espresso.

The 2,000-square-foot space houses only 32 Degree Weatherproof products including 32 Heat ones, apparel that is designed to help the wearer retain body heat. Stollmack noted that 32 Degree Heat slippers are a current bestseller for the brand at Macy’s. In the new store, the company’s first freestanding unit, women’s and men’s outerwear retails from $69 to $139. “I think people want warm and cozy at a price, especially in these times,” Stollmack said.

Thursday’s opening-night party will double as the store’s first weekly “date night,” which will offer shoppers extended hours and free cocktails. Weatherproof will also be entertaining a few potential global partners who are considering franchising stores in Asia and Europe, with Italy and the U.K. being of particular interest.

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