Mind Your Own Business | Consortiums NY Q&A
After telling friends that retail pro Andre Munoz had opened his store, Consortiums New York, on Delancey at Bowery, I believe the quip was, "is it a Jimmy Jazz franchise?" Lol guys, lol. Completely devoid of Nike boots, the vibe at Consortiums does hit an urban note, but think more Danceteria and less Club Cheetah. Not that it's dark inside - the store has a breezy, dare I say balearic, touch, with a white-washed interior and plenty of beach friendly media for proper style-slash-book nerds. As for the fashions of the day, the store hits all the right notes, offering up goods like a little downtown shop should - heavy focus on cop-on-site wears (new and vintage), with a wink towards the best bits of new street smart casual. We ran it down the line with Munoz to get the story on his new counter.
A Silent Flute: Were Consortiums a movie marathon, what would the line up be?
Andre Munoz: Basketball Diaries, Kids, Fresh, Mo' Better Blues, After Hours, Downtown 81, Manhattan, and Panic in Needle Park.
[Here's a YouTube compilation of some of the choicest cuts from these flicks - ed.]
If you could borrow some artwork for the store, what pieces would you bring in?
Claes Oldenburg's Giant Soft Fan from the MoMa, Four Colors Four Words by Joseph Kosuth which is at the Hirshorn in DC, Andy Warhol and Basquiat's Felix The Cat which was at Van De Weghe last year I think, and then James Rosenquist I Love You With My Ford from the Guggenheim.
What's your criteria for store stock?
I look for brands or products that have their own identity - being able to identify a button down shirt, a graphic tee, or piece of art just by looking at it. I think that's a problem with today's market, too many duplicates without their own identity. They get lost in the endless amount of brands. When a customer says "oh, that looks like so and so," that's when you've lost them.
You're across from The Bowery Ballroom - favorite bands?
Liquid liquid, ESG, James White and The Blacks, A Certain Ratio, Delta 5 - just some of the bands that I would want to see at The Ballroom.
The retail landscape in the city is changing fairly quickly these days. You know the lay of the land well, what do you make of it?
Well, I'm not happy to see anyone go. It's very difficult to start a business and keep it going strong. The way the economy is shaping up, it's getting rid of the waste and excess. It can't be all about milking whatever trend is hot for now. I think it's really going to rely on how smart a business plan is, and that will really show once we're out of this recession.
What's good to eat in the neighborhood these days?
El Castillo De Jagua - amazing and really affordable Spanish food that's been in the neighborhood for years . Vanessa's Dumpling is cheap and pretty decent, and then Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop, for the Big Mack Daddy, one of the best burgers I've ever tasted.