The only thing more experimental than Everywhere Space's clothes is its business model.
The new East Burnside shop, which also doubles as a four-member fashion collective, is perfect for anyone dressing for the club, the runway front row or the high-concept art party like say, TBA—it's almost more of an art gallery for clothes than a traditional boutique. Even bolder, though, is co-owner Alexa Stark's approach to business, which allows for more open collaborations and greater profit-sharing for its consignment pieces than the industry standard.
"Instead of competing," says Stark, "we're working together and taking back what artists used to have."
Everywhere Space was originally the name of Stark's East Burnside art studio and gallery. But as she took her two clothing lines to New York, Europe and Japan, she felt it was a waste to keep the space to herself. She honed her entrepreneurial senses at New York's Parsons School of Art and Design, in a challenging program Stark said made her rethink what she knew about the retail business.
"We had to do things like reinvent the air conditioner using only our program focuses," says Stark, whose studies included design and communications.
Everywhere Space's designers each interpret the concept of "reinvention" differently. Ryan Mitchell Boyle's line, Collect Call, uses unconventional materials such as salvaged plastic, and is informed both by sculpture and rave culture. Alec Marchant's Alex Merchant line features intuitively crafted garments that can be worn anywhere on the gender spectrum, while Rose Mackey's eye for styling, tailoring and prop design has landed gigs with everyone from Nike to Katy Perry. Stark's two lines are designed, respectively, for kids coming into their own style and for older, more daring fashionistas with a little more disposable income to spend. The former features airbrushed hats, tops and socks, while the latter is made up of tailored, genderless garments.
"I love dressing people in their 50s and 60s," Stark says. "It's more about feeling good in what you're wearing, it's not about sexiness. The aging body is interesting to me."
Each member of Everywhere Space designs while focusing on their business strengths. Stark keeps the books. Boyle helped convert the studio into a retail shop. Marchant runs social media and photography, and Mackey, like the other members, uses her impressive network of contacts for the collective's gain.
Quietly opened back in April, Everywhere Space has already lined up a spread with nationally focused Portland fashion zine Cult Classic, styled the rapper JPEGMafia for his music videos and recent Coachella set and rented pieces for Shrill's upcoming second season. Stark recruited Everywhere Space's members from social media, and says that they sometimes get along a little too well.
"We have a group chat, and sometimes I'll look away and then there are 89 messages," Stark laughs.
Along with racks of clothes, the shop's décor includes patches of black industrial sandpaper resembling fried eggs Boyle designed and installed and a closed-circuit TV streaming Everywhere Space's street view across from the Jupiter Hotel. Stark says that rather than featuring 2D artwork, Everywhere Space's collaborations will merge installations and performances with their garments. Expect a conceptual costume shop in October, an avant-leaning toy shop in December and other collaborations that buck the norms the collective's members learned in the fashion world.
"There isn't a place for me, and that's why I do what I do," Stark says. "I hope we're not the only ones doing this."
SHOP: Everywhere Space, 811 E Burnside St., No. 114, instagram.com/everywhere_space/. Noon-7 pm Friday-Sunday