With frustration and the lack of innovation in the retail space, founder Michael Preysman set out to challenge conventions with the creation of Everlane in 2010. The online clothing and accessories brand positions itself around what they call “radical transparency.” In a time of skepticism and where most generations, especially Millennials, are scratching for the honest truth, Everlane is a breath of fresh air in today’s world of commerce. Disclosing money spent on materials, factories, workers, and transport of the product, they’re removing the middleman to offer high-quality designer products at an affordable price.
Over the years the online-only brand has toyed with brick-and-mortar, launching pop-up locations here and there in New York, and even in some of the hottest hotels in Brooklyn, San Francisco, and LA. Located in the mission district neighborhood of San Francisco though, this marks the brand’s first permanent retail tenancy. Dubbed “The Everlane Lab” it serves as an environment for innovation and testing. Located on the bottom floor of their office headquarters you can guarantee they’re keeping a close eye on things.
Stepping foot into the space, the no-frills aesthetic feels familiar to the brand’s minimalist design approach. Functional at the core, they’ve stripped down the shopping experience to the bare bones. With a neutral palate of grays and whites, and birch plywood, the clothes are the feature here. Customers can work with a personal stylist, or just simply peruse the latest collections.
CEO and founder Michael Preysman once stated that the brand would never have brick-and-mortar stores, and even in a shift where reports question the relevance of physical retail, Everlane is realizing the essential element it may bring to the consumer dynamic. Most recently they announced plans for their first brick and mortar location in San Francisco in the same neighborhood as the Mission District Lab.
It’s about learning from customers and evolving the commerce experience. They’ve even created a private Instagram account @everlanestudio in an effort to create a controlled consumer experience between online and brick-and-mortar. Consumers have to request to follow, but once approved they get exclusive access to new products. It serves as a platform to closely monitor customer feedback and remove some of the social “noise,” while intimately learning about their customer.
The company has gained a cult following with online shoppers, so an extension into brick-and-mortar only gives this consumer-centered brand a place to further connect. While they may have disrupted the online market with their presence it seems as though they’re more cautiously attuned to flying under the radar in the physical realm. “We focus on experience and loyalty, and everything else follows from that,” says Preysman. “We’re not growing for the sake of growing.”