Bricks and mortar retail is facing tough times, but Rob Smith saw a gap in the market. Former fashion executive at Macy’s, Levi’s, and Victoria’s Secret) and perturbed by the Trump administration, he launched The Phluid Project, the very first “safe space” (in the retail realm) free of gender binaries. With no separate men’s and women’s sections and non-binary mannequins: “part community, part retail. We aspire to challenge ideas of the past, so that we can clear the path for a bright, beautiful future - together. ”
Located in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, the 3,000-square-foot space is a gender-fluid wonderland that carries products from Soulland, Kinfolk, Champion, MEAT, Skingraft, Gypsy Sport, Fluid’s own brand and more. In line with the growing trend in experimental retail success the space allows for workshops, with open calls for budding designers, and community events.
Recent events included urban sustainability expert Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli discussing “respecting Mother Earth while living in NYC” and trans activists and artists ALOK and Travis Alabanza conducted a poetry reading. There’s also a coffee and juice bar as well as rotating artist residencies.