2nd Street Melrose is FINALLY open, and a welcome addition to the shopping district’s family of stores. The fashion-forward second-hand clothing retailer opened its first location in North America on Melrose, and has already established itself as a go-to for both bargain lovers and trendsetters.
With almost 600 locations in Japan, 2nd Street is one of that country’s leading reuse businesses. The stores there refurbish and resell everything from baby goods to electronics, and is a popular family shopping option. 2nd Street is everywhere in Japan.
Both Ms. Nakamura and Mr. Seiya Magori worked on the retail side of the company in Japan before moving to Los Angeles to open the Melrose store. It was a massive financial and geographical leap for the overseas company to consider launching in the U.S. Why Los Angeles, and why Melrose? San Francisco, New York, and Chicago were considered, but L.A. had the preferred fashion sense. “Trendy is very important,” suggested Ms. Nakamura. “People really enjoy fashion here, many styles.” Added Mr. Magori, “Melrose is very popular in Japan. I visited here 15 years ago, and I liked Melrose culture.”
Prior to the physical opening, 2nd Street opened a vibrant, ever-expanding (1000s of items) online showroom to introduce its products to the new market. While the digital shop grows weekly, the Melrose location is an unmatchable shopping experience.
With approximately 10,000 pieces of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, 2nd Street’s resale expertise comes in the curation of international designer labels including Supreme, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Comme des Garcons, and Porter.
Additionally, the store is selling Kurofine, a line by Kyoto Montsuki. Recycled clothes are re-envisioned by a special deep black dyeing process. The result is unique, one-of-a-kind fashion statements that can pass for street wear as well as high-end.
The rest of the inventory comes from other pieces of meticulously cleaned and prepped used clothes and accessories. The buying, refurbishing, and selling process was a ground-breaking development in Japan, contributing to environmental conservation by finding a use for any item that comes into the store. The condition and quality of merchandise is exceptional.
Mr. Magori describes the vibe of the store as completely “depending on the customers.” What is considered fashionable isn’t being imposed by the company but by the clothing that comes in from customers. They make the process of selling used pieces very easy: be over 18 years old, bring an ID, fill out a quick form, get your estimate, take the cash. Then, of course, buy more clothes!
The broad range of what’s accepted for sale means inventory that reflects the area and the shoppers. “We offer as many options as possible,” he continues. Ms. Nakamura suggests the 2nd Street experience is like “treasure hunting. And you’ll always find something good or new.”