Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Transforming Trovata

Trovata the store hit Newport Beach, CA this weekend, marking the brand's first retail shop and president and creative director John Whitledge's you-can-do-it morale booster. After the departure of his 3 original partners, Jeff Halmos, Sam Shipley and Josia Lamberto-Egan, Whitledge is forward marching - the store, transformed from the company's 900 sq. ft. headquarters, a testament to that.

Described by WWD, "The interior is the physical embodiment of Trovata's West Coast dude meets East Coast snob aesthetic. Crown moldings that separate a dressing room — constructed from salvaged lumberyard fence post — from the floor's raw walnut plants represent structured society. Odes to a more relaxed existence include galvanized piping used as racks, an industrial ceiling and the tent at the rear of the store on which Sixties and Seventies-era films are projected. The East-West interplay is also suggested in the shopping bags with grosgrain ribbon handles and burlap bodies."

"One of the things I wanted to do was really make it a community spot and hangout first and have that as a place that sells clothing rather than a clothing store that is a community spot," Whitledge said. "A lot of it comes down to the whole experience,'' he added. "It is not just picking up a piece of clothing and saying, 'Oh, this looks great.' It is about really coming into a space and enjoying more of the lifestyle first and then realizing, 'Oh, this is great clothing as well.' At the beginning, it wasn't about being a fashion label. It was about being a lifestyle label that sold clothing and that was the reason for being here in Newport Beach....We lost that focus."