Visited the World of Niche
World of Niche is the appointment only shoe store on Bleecker Street in SoHo. It sits in a nice location rite next to Kith. The store aims to differentiate itself from other footwear destinations by aiming deliver a new level of service and products.
The whole experience is very mysterious. The only way to make a appointment is through their website which doesn't offer much info. After signing up for a specific time you get a confirmation email and text.
On the day of the appointment you go up to the shop and ring the bell at your scheduled time. A guy named Bennett, dressed in a suit wearing one of the World of Niche footwear choices opens the door and welcomes you with a brief overview of the shop. Photography is not allowed in the store and your mobile phone is requested to be placed by the window. You are also requested to take off your shoes and given sandals to wear during the appointment. Fiji water is served as I was seated. The big brass ball that takes up the store opens up to show mens and women's shoes. There are three styles, a runner, a mid top sneaker, and a hiker type boot. Pricing starts at $300 for the runner and tops off in the $400 range for the boot. Each style comes in 3 colors which are all hand made in Portugal and limited to 50 pairs each. Technically if you go back there should be new styles / color choices with this merchandising structure. As you try out the shoe, Bennett brings them out to you on a silver platter. The shoes are nicely done with tasteful color choices. I chose to pick the runner style called the Bullet in a Olive color (the other choices were a veg tan and navy). They come minimally branded. The box is a plain white box and the shoes include a dust bag, extra laces and a cedar shoe horn.
Overall a interesting experience. Basically sneakerhead 2.0. Interesting to see how the concept will evolve and product assortment grow.