Fashion Greek, a customized clothing and official licensed product vendor, opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 13 with a highly publicized kickoff event that included free dinner, raffle prizes and swag bags filled with t-shirts and mugs. Located across from the West 27th Place Apartments, the shop is a first for the brand, hopefully setting a standard for many more to follow.
“It was a really nice event,” said Fredel Romano, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “I was impressed with their wide selection of clothing options to print on, and I’ll definitely be back.”
Seeking to “rep a higher standard,” Steven Hoel, Mark Yeung, Lauren Turk and the rest of the Fashion Greek team provide high-end, accessible and customizable clothing. The brand’s free-standing location, in a clean yet cool industrial space just one street above the Row, presents plenty of creative possibilities available to the customer.
Hoel’s brainchild, Fashion Greek was a concept without a market; for twenty years, he envisioned a space in which a customers could walk into a store, view the full assortment of clothing alongside a digital catalogue and make their selection. Customers would then wait in an uber-chic lounge while their product was made in-store.
The ultimate manifestation of Hoel’s vision, Fashion Greek, is a quaint, trendy shop with a sleek, modern interior of brick walls, glossed floors and a sandblasted ceiling — a far cry from a space that had previously been utilized as a boxing gym. Drawing inspiration from Urban Outfitters, Hoel says the versatile interior was designed to be flexible, with plenty of racks and drawers that can be adjusted and moved around to accommodate customers.
The clothing, too, is versatile. Besides basic digital printing, Fashion Greek also offers rhinestone application and a diverse selection of hand-stitched Greek letters — their store specialty. The store also features a posh food lounge featuring a community board, free Wi-Fi, kosher sandwiches from nearby Fashion Bistro and other high-quality snacks. Customers can nosh in the lounge while their apparel is being customized.
“We want the store to serve as a hangout zone and [a] respite for students,” Yeung said.
As for choosing USC as the location for Fashion Greek’s first store, Hoel explains that he initially targeted the top-revenue generating schools in California. After discovering that the rent near USC was reasonable (compared to the exorbitant rent prices near UCLA, for example) he settled on the Trojans and Figueroa Corridor.
Proximity to The Row and Greek life are bonus factors, although Yeung insists that those who are not a part of the Greek system should not be deterred.
“Greek is in our name, but we’re open to anyone who wants to make [custom] orders,” he said.
In the coming months, Fashion Greek will strive to become even more actively involved in the USC community, bringing in more clothes in cardinal and gold and sponsoring the Philanthropy Cup. The Cup will award $1,000 each to the philanthropy of the fraternity and sorority that spends the most money at Fashion Greek this year.
“We truly hope to ingrain ourselves in the community, not only through our merchandise but through our charity outreach as well,” Yeung said. “We want to be accessible to every student.”