27 Dez Store-Guide Social Status Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh was once a dirty, not exactly livable city plagued by heavy pollution of the air and rivers. As a city in the “Rust Belt”, it was part of America’s steel factory, the playground of heavy industry. If you wore a white shirt in the morning, it would probably have turned black by afternoon. But times have changed since the heyday of heavy industry. And even if Obama’s message of hope and change is doubted in many parts of the country, it is palpable in Pittsburgh. Today, Pittsburgh attracts young, talented and open-minded people, who seek to be creative. As a result, areas such as East Liberty have experienced a complete makeover during the last years.
Just recently big Google has settled in East Liberty, adding to the vibrant feel of the neighborhood, where you can also find the stylish Ace Hotel in an old YMCA, good restaurants and coffee shops and one of two Social Status stores in the city. Located on Penn Avenue (incidentally just across the street from Ace Hotel) Social Status opened their East Liberty branch back in 2012. It has since become a new impulse not only for East Liberty but for Pittsburgh’s entire fashion and sneaker community as the guys from Social Status aim to secure high quality brands and rare sneaker releases for the area.
Upon entering their store, you will immediately relate to its sophisticated approach. Consisting of two spacious rooms, the hand stained woodwork highlighting rare fashion styles and pieces from brands like A Bathing Ape and MCM immediately draws attention. But since this is a place for sneaker enthusiasts, you can also grab some cleaning equipment from Jason Markk. It’s a nice mix, especially if you look further to the walls with their acrylic glass boxes. If you’re lucky you may discover some older, otherwise sold out releases. In our case we found last sizes of last year’s Colette x Asics Gel Lyte III anniversary collab or rare Flyknit Racers. Those moments always come as nice surprises even if the last pair doesn’t match your size. In a world where everything seems to be available online 24/7, it reminds us of the „good old times“ (sorry for some nostalgia) of sneaker hunting. The boutique receives many high quality and limited releases, even though sometimes with a little delay as the extremely friendly and helpful staff related. By the way: The staff’s own footwear choices are impeccable as you can see.
The second room is mostly dedicated to apparel and fashion themes. Next to many styles from A Bathing Ape the store also carries pieces from Rick Owens, Comme des Garcons Play, Stampd and Human Made. The fashion forward approach is evident and executed with a keen eye for details. As for the sneaker space the wooden architecture and clean overall style represents the connecting element of the two rooms. We couldn’t resist buying some Bape items here.
We left the store with a really good vibe, only to head downtown for Social Status’ second Pittsburgh location. The sneaker/fashion boutique now operates five stores altogether, three of which are located in North Carolina. In 2005 they opened the first location in Charlotte, a city that has been going through some difficult times lately. Nevertheless the folks of Social Status call it their „birthplace“. It’s also a very charming and strong commitment to their roots, which expanded to the communities of Raleigh and Greensboro. The downtown Pittsburgh store on Liberty Avenue was actually the first in the city, already opened in 2011. Compared to the East Liberty location the shop is smaller – no surprise considering the higher rents in this area – and cleaner. Instead of the massive wood decoration there are more white elements and as a connecting element the acrylic showcases highlighting some of the more recent releases. The shelf space seems equally divided between sneakers and apparel, the last-mentioned with a big appeal to so called „sneakerheads“ (take HBA and Bape for example).
Like staff told us, the store’s sneaker releases tend to differ somewhat from the East Liberty shop. Only here we found the first lifestyle shoes by Under Armour and Steph Curry. We passed by again on a Saturday, when a line of about 10-15 people formed outside waiting for the latest Jordan drop. Social Status will also stock most collabs in the running space. They already worked together with Italian brand Diadora for the „Rio Olympic Medals“ take on the popular N9000 silhouette. We predict that this was only their first step into the collab game.
So if you’re coming to Pittsburgh and you’re looking for a high quality shopping experience in the sneaker and fashion space, your first stop should be one of the Social Status stores. Here you can experience, try and of course buy hot releases as well as selected fashion styles in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. And it’s always nice to be surrounded with people who share the same passion and who have a deep knowledge of sneaker culture. Hope to be back soon!