“Pretty Vacant” is a kick-ass Sex Pistols single; spelled with a ‘3’ (that would be Pr3tty Vacant) it’s an equally bad-ass traveling fashion boutique, whose transience only serves to intensify its coolness.
With a motto “Sustainable R3tail in an Unsustainable 3conomy”, Pr3tty Vacant works like so: they scoop up cool, limited edition pieces from cutting-edge designers with extra inventory, move into a random city, set up camp in a vacant storefront, sell said cool pieces at discounted prices for 2 months only (so you need to be super in-the-loop to catch them!), then shut down completely and move elsewhere.
This Wednesday marked the grand opening of their brand spankin’ new Philly location at 704 South Street, where it will remain open until July 31.
The space (formerly “Blaque Linen”, according to their Twitter) is still, well, pretty vacant, with only a few tables and clothing racks stacked with tees, hoodies and accessories, like their unique Married to the Mob hoodies (“I confess I bought the blue one myself yesterday,” says Kate, the girl working the register), and Royal Filth’s “Fuck me, I’m famous” tees.
There’s plenty to love, from their super cool Members Only jackets (after modeling one, I decided I need to have it…and thus will probably be returning tomorrow!) and ironic baseball caps covered with dollar bills.
“Basically, we’re constantly getting new stuff in,” says Kate. “Which means the inventory is constantly changing.” She smiles as I model the Members Only jacket, warning me, “If you want something, you pretty much have to scoop it up now, because once we’re sold out of something, that’s it! What you see is what we have.”
Once the South Street shop closes, the plan is move somewhere else in the city – “probably in Northern Liberties,” says Kate – stay open for another 2 months and then leave the City O.B.L. for good.
In the meantime, I know I’ll be checking back frequently (nothing captivates my attention quite like the promise of cool, cheap kicks) and spreading the word to all my friends, because when you really think about it…shopping for a sustainable future? It really doesn’t get any better than this.
Pr3tty Vacant, 704 South Street. Open Mondays-Fridays: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.