This past Saturday, I went to the new RUEHL store at the Twelve Oaks mall in Novi. Just when you thought everything great came from California or New York City, Abercrombie & Fitch decides to open their new line of themed clothing stores in cities like Paramus NJ, Schaumburg IL, Tampa FL, and Novi MI. I randomly bumped into two friends who work at the store.. so that was pretty random & cool too.
The store was surprisingly cool. It looks like a nondescript, trendy New york City house randomly dropped into the middle of a midwest shopping mall. There's no name on the store, which was pretty funky. The pic above is from the a RUEHL MSN Group I found. I should've taken a few myself, but soon enough I'm sure they'll be at malls all across the country.
The clothes were pretty slick too. I bought a white polo. The material seems rugged enough. They also have some pretty awesome jeans I now regret not buying. They're going for a New York City-infused theme -- a refreshing change from all the California skater/surfer beach wear stores. It's a bit pricey, though not as bad as Lacoste or Diesel. I hope it catches on.
I thought it was pretty interesting how the A&F stores (Abercrombie, Hollister, and RUEHL) were pretty packed, while the Gap stores (Gap and Banana Republic) were empty. I think Gap's missing the boat on the whole themed-store trend. Gap's trying to go upscale a bit, and only taking away market from Banana, which seams like a stupid move to me.
Doh -- 11:30 -- gotta run to class!
Update: This page seems to be getting quite a few hits. So, I've posted a few new pics below from my 2nd trip to the RUEHL store (yesterday) [4/28 - 4:10pm]