Inside PacSun’s Big Year

The douchebags over at Complex Style just went inside the elusive, mysterious, sometimes magical world of one of the world's most hyped-up retailers, PacSun. Okay, so PacSun is basically none of those things, but the point is that they're trying to be. If nothing else, they just want to rid themselves of their current stigma, which is basically "That place with the marshmallow Etines and the emo checkerboard boardshorts next to the Sbarro, right?" And that's exactly why recently they've collaborated with the likes of Been Trill, Kanye West and even the smokeshow Jenner sisters. Shit, the younger one is only 16? Only the one from the Givenchy show in that case.

The profile outlines PacSun's calculated approach to asserting its place as the destination for cool, yet mass-distributed streetwear. They even hired CEO Gary Schoenfeld, who is credited with the turnaround of sneaker giant Vans, getting them in bed with perpetual cool guys like Supreme. Also serving up quotables is Been Trill member Matthew Williams, who finally explained what the fuck they were thinking by going mainstream: "PacSun is an avenue to have the movement of Been Trill touch the most people—not everyone can afford a $100 T-shirt. Been Trill is about having fun with your friends, and no one should be excluded from that. You shouldn’t need to live in a major city to get Been Trill—some of the greatest things happening in the world involve kids in small towns."

While it's true that PacSun gave Been Trill a more democratic avenue to sell their product, it should be pointed out that the $100 price tag on Been Trill's more "upscale" offerings is just as arbitrary as the $30 one on the PacSun product. So, truth is, the collection was simply a concerted effort to introduce Been Trill to the world outside of New York City and, most importantly, to make some serious cash in the process. Which is fine, so who you tryna fool, my guy?

All that in mind, there's something to be said for trying to combine what's "cool" with what's "available" given the current hype cycle that controls the current sneaker and streetwear markets. However, if the product that hits the mainstream is always seen as second-rate compared to the original—as is the case with authentic Yeezus Tour Merch and $100 Been Trill—then will this goal ever be achieved?

  • Nic

    who knows in these tough economical times