For Westchester hypebeasts — those who obsessively follow fashion trends, excitedly waiting for online-merch drops from big brands, and who even like to wear, sell, collect, and trade exclusive street fashion — pop-up shop BEEST (189 Katonah Ave, Katonah) is the hotspot, currently scheduled to be open until the end of June.
Chappaqua’s Nancy Lepler (above) says it was not only her career in fashion and merchandising that led her to open the shop this past December. After noticing her 13-year-old son’s fervor to score popular streetwear, she knew there was plenty of local demand for a place to deal exclusive goods in person (hence the name BEEST, which is derived from “buy, sell, trade,” and a play on the word “hypebeast”). The shop’s popular items include fashion pieces and brands like Supreme, Nike, and Gucci.
“It’s about very low inventory levels, creating demand, creating hype about wanting to have it,” Lepler says referring to the difficult to obtain items. She accounts for the sticker-shock prices (like T-shirts that sell in three digits) by explaining it is the scarcity of the goods that drives the high-end merchandise.
Kids can come in with merchandise (new or used) and she either buys it from them, or the customer can try to sell it through the store. “When the kids come here and want to sell, I’m looking at size, color, demand — prices go down and up, and it is really about staying on top of it,” Lepler says. Separately, Lepler can design custom products, like sweatshirts to give out at Sweet 16s or a bar mitzvah, for example. Beyond that, Lepler hopes to make the shop a hangout for locals — with a workspace (for homework or gathering with friends) and she plans to host various events to attract customers: a professional trainer who will do an exercise session, and local middle-school bands will play at the store from time to time.