As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and collaboration between brands is the key to bringing passion and imagination to reality. TAG sat down with Nick Angel, the owner of 1st Product at shop 1 673 Glenferrie Road to find out more about his store and the value he places on collaborations.
When it comes to collaborations in Glenferrie between streetwear brands, luxury brands, high-end designers and musicians, 1st Product has all elements covered. This small, independent boutique offers exclusive, limited edition ranges, all of which have been curated and specially designed to cater to the tastes and needs of the fashion-forward male. Nick explains: ‘1st Product is unique in the market because there is always something novel in the store; new arrivals come in weekly and are generally only available for a limited time before being shifted out to make way for more up-to-date products’. As the name suggests, 1st Product is the first place to go for products that can’t be found anywhere else, and Nick aims for his store to be an extension of his customers’ wardrobes. 1st Product celebrates its unique brand by not conforming to the shift to online shopping which seems to be the direction of most fashion labels. Nick prides himself on running a ‘bricks and mortar store’: a store that allows and encourages customers to come in, to discuss, touch, feel and try before they buy.
Another refreshing element to 1st Product is that it isn’t all about the sale. Instead, there is a strong emphasis on customer service, and Nick prides himself on the personal relationships he has developed with his customers. 1st Product is an inimitable place where passionate customers can come in and discuss products in detail and gain a real understanding about the concept behind the product before committing to the purchase. A shop that is exclusively tailored to the needs of the stylish man, 1st Product is described by Nick as a true ‘boys club’, offering a laidback atmosphere and fun environment that sees many a customer spending time in the store without the pressure to buy. 1st Product specialises in clothing items that are described as streetwear. When asked to describe streetwear, Nick reflects that it used to be about surfers and skaters and catering to them as the specific target audience, but now more than ever streetwear draws from anything and everything and isn’t denoted by one specific theme. Nowadays, streetwear fashion isn’t just seen hitting the streets but also the runways with its fashionable yet comfortable and laidback appeal. Streetwear and high fashion are so closely intertwined now that it can be hard to distinguish where one begins and the other ends which, as Nick explains, is where 1st Product does so well in illustrating the ‘evolution of street style’.
‘I love to collaborate with local designers, artists and stores’ Nick says, and therefore 1st Product participates in collaborations on a regular basis. An example of this was with Alley Tunes, a local record store located at 8 660A Glenferrie Road. The two stores worked together on a clothing range that expressed the passion of music through bold fashion statements. Nick has also recently completed a collaboration with popular brand Candy, bringing to life the Pure Imagination Collection which is set to hit the store around the end of August. This collaboration is Willy Wonka inspired and offers a fun and nostalgic throwback to the Gene Wilder rendition. One hundred Wonka bars made of delicious Belgian chocolate have been designed to replicate the original packaging and will be given out with any purchase of a limited-edition item. Limited-edition items will include jumpers exhibiting quotes such as “we are the music makers, and we are the dreamer of dreams”, and t-shirts with dancing Oompa Loompas. Within these one hundred Wonka bars, there are five golden tickets and the lucky winners will be awarded a one-off exclusive garment. Both 1st Product and Candy adore the original Willy Wonka film, and Nick says he feels fortunate that they can bring this adoration to life through their collaboration.
A love of anything that is ‘retro and nostalgic’, also fuels many of Nick’s collaborations. As an example, 1st Product’s most recent joint venture is with Sergio Tacchini, a successful Italian fashion designer who is also a former professional tennis player. Together they are producing a tracksuit range called the Parallel Line Collection, which will debut three ‘90s-inspired tracksuits. When asked about the value of collaborations, Nick explains that they breathe life into brands, whether they are old or new. ‘You find someone you want to work with where there is a genuine love for each other’s brands and ideas... It’s a win-win for both parties’, says Nick. Nick also explains that these partnerships allow for the ‘creation of a limited piece, an exclusive addition – so they are more special’.
Like any store, the trends on offer at 1st Product change with the season and can be heavily influenced by changes in the weather. Nick says this spring we will see the return of cargo shorts, as well as many workwear-inspired looks. We will also see lots of t-shirts and light jackets to complement the warmer yet still chilled air that spring brings. More than anything, Nick says that at 1st Product, clothing items will be designed with vibrant and bold colours, delivering a fresher and lighter look as we enter the warmer months of the year.
For more information on all that 1st Product has to offer, visit their website at www.1stproduct.com.au or pop in and see Nick to find the next unique addition to your wardrobe.
Shop 1/673 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn