It was just over a decade ago when we first came across C.H.C.M, short for Clinton Hill Classic Menswear. At that time it was an online store that immediately caught our attention with brands that were new to us and items that we hadn't seen anywhere else before.
To be online only was unusual at that time and when Sweetu, an ex-furniture designer from England, who was working out of his home in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn started getting customers from Japan and South Korea knocking on the door, looking for a store and wanting to buy things, he thought he might need to open a proper shop.
Relocating his retail to bricks and mortar in SoHo, while keeping the online store going and maintaining his home in Clinton Hill, C.H.C.M opened their doors to new premises in the basement at 2 Bond Street, in the second week of November 2010.
Compared to the retail that overflows in this part of New York now, this year withstanding, when C.H.C.M opened, stores and retail were still sparse in this part of town. Even then, located down steps into a basement and with no external sign, you could still walk up and down Bond Street and past the door a few times before you figured out where it was.
It's still the same today, in the same spot. Over the last 10 years all the cool kids and even the buyers and Fashion Directors of New York's famed Department Stores, existing and departed, have sought it out as C*H*C*M have carved out their niche as the the first store in the US to pioneer, with a discerning eye, new, emerging brands and older ones making a fresh comeback.
C*H*C*M were one of the first US stores to carry revitalised companies like Sunspel, Drakes, Crombie, Valstar and Kirk Originals and now carry new brands like Anglozine, Nanamica, 6876, Arpenteur, Nicholas Daley, Orslow and Ten-C along with a selection of the best pieces from Margaret Howell.
Very much a man of his own mind and an expert curator, Sweetu as a buyer, shuns the trade shows, instead seeking out the people he wants to work with, or sometimes working with people who sought out the store and continues to set the pace for new brands in the USA.