If there’s anywhere that street style thrives, it’s in the center of a city.
That’s why Xhibition — a local retailer that currently has stores in Ohio City, Shaker Heights and Detroit — is making its big return to the heart of Cleveland this month. The company, which previously had a location in Tower City under a different name and concept, will be opening there this month, with a goal of furthering its national footprint and proving that high-end fashion can thrive in this rust belt city.
“I fight the battle all the time with vendors that Cleveland is, quote, ‘the small market’ and we have to really work hard to explain to our vendors that, no, you need to do things in Cleveland, you need to activate in Cleveland,” says Robert Rosenthal, president and co-founder of Xhibition.
As the city continues to evolve, so does its fashion sense. So it’s fitting that the retail company reflects styles and aesthetics that can be associated with casual-but-cool silhouettes and bustling city life. Plus, whether it’s through curated stock or by serendipitous coincidence, the company’s brand has always been bonded closely with sportswear.
“Xhibition actually opened up the day that LeBron came back to Cleveland. I don’t think we quite planned it that way,” says Rosenthal. “But it certainly made sense because there was a ton of energy in and around Cleveland.”
Elevated streetwear is what you’ll mostly find at Xhibition stores — which all have a distinctive glowing white X against a black square above the front door — with shoes and jackets for men and women laid out in futuristic-looking showrooms. The 5,800-square-foot store and venue will open in Tower City’s Oak Room just in time for the NBA All-Star Weekend, using it as a catalyst to create more immersive, fashion-focused experiences, speaking engagements, live events and more.
“It’s part of the reason why we decided to look at Tower City,” says Rosenthal.
Rosenthal and his team of buyers put a lot of thought into their stock, as well as how to build excitement over brands on the rise. This new downtown location will serve as an activation space for that.
“Cleveland definitely has its own style. What we found is that Cleveland is very accepting of testing and new brands,” says Rosenthal.
Three Brands To Know: Looking ahead to the spring, Xhibition is introducing designers that prioritize sophistication and comfort.
1. Marni: With a colorful sophistication, knitted fabrics and classic patterns, this playful brand carries vibrant basics and statement pieces that add the right amount of pizzazz.
2. Rick Owens: Known for sleek design and elevated minimalism, this designer showcases futuristic-inspired streetwear pieces that offer both comfort and coolness.
3. Greg Lauren: The classic outdoorsman aesthetic gets an elevated update with abstract silhouettes, earthy tones and relaxed and free-flowing fabrics for everyday wear.