Speakeasy-style boutique Bodega is going public. Don’t worry: The Snapple machine entrance remains, but the designers who have made the shop a sneaker and streetwear mecca for more than a decade are now also on display around the corner at new retail concept Series by Bodega, a 340-square-foot storefront for limited-edition pop-ups and arts and culture experiences. Bodega co-founder Oliver Mak says the new space holds a magnifying glass up to Bodega’s favorite brands. “It’s really about being able to explore the ideas behind the collection.”
Last month, a pop-up of Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang had shoppers lined up around the block waiting to buy sneakers, sweats and prayer candles. Scheduled for May 26, the next drop highlights Bodega lead designer and MassArt grad Pat Peltier’s line Bandulu, which features vintage Champion tees and college sweatshirts repurposed via cutting, sewing, dyeing and embroidering. A New Era vintage project is set for July, and the Drake-approved Stone Island line (with an exclusive outerwear piece) is set to take over the space in September. A pop-up with Paris label Maison Kitsuné is also in the works—Mak is planning a party with a French DJ to celebrate the occasion. He hopes to use the shop’s off days for more cultural events, such as book signings or a record collection showcase for Record Store Day. A pirate radio station that would feature local and touring DJs (a la Manhattan’s East Village Radio or Brooklyn’s Lot Radio) is also a possibility, Mak says.
“It’s not necessarily retail. It’s not necessarily an art gallery. It’s flexible enough for us to utilize it for anything that comes up,” he explains. “I think that’s why we’ve been able to navigate for 10 years in this market, starting off with the subculture of sneakerheads and then branching out further into fashion in general. You have to come from the subcultures and the counterculture that influences it or else you’re just profiteering. You have to contribute.”
Series by Bodega, 184 Mass. Ave., Boston. seriesbybodega.com