NEW BRITAIN – The wait is over. Unknown Clothing’s door officially reopened and the company held a private unveiling ceremony for the newly remodeled space.
As the clock struck 7 last Thursday evening, everyone turned their heads at the sound of the metal door lifting. When the door opened and Maciah Clark, co-owner of Unknown Clothing, came out, the guests took out their phones and gathered.
“The fact that it looks identical to what Maciah drew on paper amazes me,” said Jeremy Sykes, co-owner of Unknown Clothing. “I love it.”
A live DJ filled the store with music while everyone could exclusively shop, grab drinks and chat.
“It was amazing,” Clark said. “You send out invitations and you expect people to come, so when I lifted the door and saw all these people there with their phones turned off, I was blown away.”
The team officially decided to close the store and do a little revamp around May 16th.
“We started to see a lot of duplication around the state and the Northeast, believe it or not. Many stores have started transforming their store into an event-style space with the green carpet,” Sykes said. “I personally started seeing this green carpet popping up everywhere after we opened and it became a thing. But we said ‘you know, we have to separate ourselves from the rest.’ Unknown has been open for three years now and we felt it was time to make a really big statement as if we were here to stay.
And what started out as just knocking down a wall or two, repainting and upgrading a few light fixtures has turned into a total renovation.
“Once we started the process, met with the contractor and I sat down and kind of looked at the space, I noticed that a lot of the stuff was getting old, and the floors were a bit run down due to of all the traffic and events that we’ve been doing,” Clark said. “So once we decided to open that door as far as renovations went, I thought why not do it all, we had the resources at the time.”
Originally, they planned the remodeling to be a three-week process.
“Unfortunately I have a very particular eye for what I want and what interests me and I had this super entrepreneur who can build me pretty much anything so I kept adding more and more stuff and here we are today, two months later,” Clark says.
The contractor for the project was Akil Baptiste, BB & Son LLC.
The black textile ceiling complements the black walls, new parquet and white shelves.
“We created a huge sneaker wall that could hold 100 different pairs of sneakers at any one time, created a balcony where the DJ booth is, and created a whole TV station area where the retro and newer gaming systems are. “Clark said.
When you enter the store, you encounter the feature wall where you can take a picture and tag yourself, the TV station area, and the newly added data bar.
“The data bar is where people can charge their phone, use the free WIFI; kids can come in after school and study, use their laptops like that,” Clark said.
This all came from Clark’s experience in the industry and a drawing he made on a piece of paper.
“I developed a lot of stores. I was hired at Urban Outfitter for a long time to organize their store in their men’s and women’s department and just make the stores look good,” he said. once i started planning this in terms of what i wanted to see as i went to these stores all over Connecticut i don’t mean they all looked the same but they all have the same kind of feeling. A lot of the big box stores had the same kind of feel and a lot of the smaller stores kind of went the same way.
Clark drew inspiration from places like California, Las Vegas, Miami, and Pinterest.
“I went for big, bright lights, using the whole space, making everything very simple, straight lines everywhere, and taking it all the way to the ceiling,” he said. “I wanted to have this big feeling almost like you’re in a nightclub where you have a lot of energy and everything jumps out at you.”
When asked what his first reaction was to seeing the finished product, Clark replied, “I will say that once it was all done and it all came together, I was blown away. water; even though I drew it and came up with the ideas and the color patterns and everything, I still didn’t think we could turn this into this in New Britain.
Everyone is encouraged to come and discover the new Unknown.
“We love the town of New Britain and hope you like the new store,” Sykes said. “And we hope to take the New Britain community on board with us and eventually get more support because we want to stay here.”
Ciara Hooks can be reached at [email protected]