666 5th Avenue NY | Hollister

666 Quinta 5ta Avenida Nueva York Hollister

Southern California clothing brand Hollister took over this flagship spot in 2011. The new store’s entrance consists of a series of video monitors all depicting the same California surf that is supposed to define this preppy-beach-boy brand. These screens are divided decisively in two by a huge black girder. Most distinctive of all, at the base, flanking the doorway, are two shallow pools receding from the street, about eight feet into the property lot. Behind the glass doors customers are greeted by two teenage model types, the young man attired only in bathing trunks and flip-flops, the young woman in a bikini and flip-flops.

In terms of Hollister’s apparel line, the “dude’s” selection is dominated by rumpled plaid shirts, Cali-centric tees, polos, and jeans, while attire for “Bettys” spans floral dresses, embellished tanks, short shorts, chunky knits, and miniskirts.

The store’s interior also resembles the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship in its blaring music, wooden shelves, cramped spaces and multi-level stairwell, paved with illuminated glass. And yet it is somewhat more successful in the detailing of the shelves and the products on the shelves, and is mercifully free of the bad murals that vitiate the effect of the Abercrombie & Fitch store. Best of all, it is rich in darkened little nooks and crannies, each with an element of surprise, that reveal themselves to you only gradually as you explore the store. But perhaps the greatest distraction of all is the sales staff, mostly 20-something women standing around in bikinis (not an unwelcome sight in the middle of an interminable winter) as well as a young man or two planted on the landings of the stairs, shirtless, smiling pleasantly, and not doing much of anything.

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