Document takes a tour of Ryan Wright’s new retail space, where sports garb collides with elevated menswear and creativity runs rampant
“I don’t play sports,” says Samuel Choi, Design Director of le PÈRE, as he walks me through the brand’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection, appropriately titled Masculin Féminin. It’s the morning of the opening of their flagship space on the corner of Orchard and Broome, and people are running in and out with last-minute deliveries. The lookbook features Anwar Hadid (jockstrap partially revealed) shot by Conor Cunningham, concisely definitive of le PÈRE’s visual language. It’s clear that—for a company younger than two years old—the team has their shit together.
The collision of sportswear and elevated menswear has continued to hold the attention of the industry. le PÈRE is not the first to play with boyishness and feminine flourishes in reinterpreting athletic garb—but Choi is set apart by his complete disinterest in the niche’s utilitarian aspect. His garments are cut like sportswear, but they edge into the realm of the absurd, as with a terry-cloth soccer uniform, colored and textured like field turf. These are not performance fabrics, and they hold no aspiration to be. It’s in these sorts of moments that le PÈRE jumps off the page.
For le PÈRE’s flagship store, CEO and Founder Ryan Wright sought something that felt more like a community space than a retail store, landing eventually on 90 Orchard, a 1,000-square-foot storefront designed by BoND Architecture’s Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger. Rendered in a genuinely minimalist style—with the occasional, abstract flourish of color—the end result feels like a studio, fitting for a brand that maintains a roster of artist collaborators it dubs its quartier.
If le PÈRE opening night event was any indication, Wright’s attempt at community was a success—bringing together everyone you could want at a fashion event, with the Basement boys and the Lower East Side intelligentsia alike spilling out into the intersection. Nothing animates a New Yorker like the word opening. Sometimes, this can make events like a store cocktail feel forced and rehearsed: a rush to get inside, comment on how nice something looks, shake a few hands, and quickly exit. le PÈRE made the opposite play this week—swapping out the checklist for a guestlist that felt more personal than composed. And double tequila sodas don’t hurt.