New ‘Hype and Vintage’ Business Opens in Downtown Missoula
Missoula's downtown has gained another unique business, and this one is offering clients not only exclusive, limited-edition clothes, but the opportunity for a deeper conversation about fashion.
Located at 111 W Alder Street where Alderwood Pawn used to be, Davis Brothers Auction has opened a store for a project they've been working on for five years.
Zootown Hype & Vintage is a collection of Hype Streetwear and sneakers as well as highly curated vintage clothing that had been sold on eBay but now has a physical location in Missoula. The business allows the Davis Brothers, who are local entrepreneurs, to have more of a community presence.
Cryss Anderson, the store's manager, has a degree in urban planning with a specialization in downtown revitalization in small towns. "I have a vested interest in keeping downtown strong and businesses open. It was a natural fit for me here," Anderson said.
What is Hype Streetwear, or Hype?
Anderson says, "Hype is just anything that's new and cool on-trend. We feature a lot of brands like Supreme, which is really well known for limited edition releases. They'll release limited edition items of a particular t-shirt design, and they sell out really quickly. If you're able to pick up those when they drop, the resale market just really blows up. So, we have a lot of those resale options."
That means they may only have one size in the clothes and accessories they feature. "Right now we have all sizes of the Nike Pandas. But all the rest of the sneakers that we have are limited," Anderson said.
Provoking a Conversation with Fashion
Part of what makes the collection so highly curated is not just the exclusivity, but the nature of what is available for sale. Anderson says there are offensive pieces of clothing--naked women, gay interest, and potentially racist clothing. But the idea is not to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. Rather, it opens the door for a conversation. "I'm not trying to upset people," Anderson said, "but I'm also not going to shy away from offending people. I think it's important to continue having those discussions, learning from past mistakes."
"If we don't have this stuff out here," Anderson says, "Then it eliminates the possibility of having a conversation and re-examining why that's problematic--why it's bad and why we don't do that anymore. It seems even more problematic to me if you just eliminate all the evidence of past wrongdoings."
An Aim Toward Inclusivity
The store is organized in a way to feature each curation, and many clothing items are arranged by color and type so that they can be unisex. "It just kind of gives people a chance to move through the store. There's sort of a museum aspect to it," Anderson said. "Whether it's, you know, the workwear from the 40s that are beautifully worn and oil stained, to more contemporary Hype Streetwear stuff that was just released in New York City last week, we're selling all of it just the same. It's pretty interesting and fun to see the mix of people that come in."
With that variety in merchandise, the price point varies widely. Anderson said that they may have shorts or slacks for as low as $15, but you could also find a Nirvana Heart Shaped Box T-shirt from the 90s for $5,000. This is another reason why there's a mix of people that come into the store.
"Kids on their way home from school come in and just fall in love and want to buy something. They'll go mow some lawns and come back and buy a cool shirt. There are some kids that came in and got some clothes to go to prom kinda last minute. They were just so excited. Even kids that can't afford anything. I'll give them a sticker, and they're just over the moon."
See photos from inside Zootown Hype & VIntage below.