Need founder and CultureMap Stylemaker finalist Matt Alexander has partnered with fellow menswear entrepreneur Bryan DeLuca of Foot Cardigan to launch a unique pop-up shop dubbed Unbranded. The purpose: to provide free retail and events space to fellow entrepreneurs, designers, developers, photographers, artists and the like for a couple of months to help support the burgeoning local startup scene.
The space is located at 2614 Elm St. in Deep Ellum. CultureMap is the media sponsor.
Alexander and DeLuca — with the help of retail veteran April Allen — are currently accepting applications from those interested in becoming a tenant or hosting an event; they can apply at Weareunbranded.com. If accepted, brands can use the space freely selling products, displaying artwork or any other such activity.
The team has already received more than 100 applications, and the deadline to submit is Monday, October 13. Unbranded will take no cut of sales. Instead, it will provide press, foot traffic and well-deserved support. Among the applicants so far are clothing and jewelry designers, furniture makers, photographers, and artists.
Need and Foot Cardigan — both online retailers — will have an ongoing presence at Unbranded, allowing their customers to shop those goods in person for the first time. For those who wish to work or relax in the space, there will be coffee and alcohol available, and Deep Ellum neighbor Common Desk is providing the desks.
Alexander, who just returned from Tech Cocktail in Las Vegas, says he’s not sure what to expect from Unbranded but believes he and DeLuca were just the guys to do it.
“Bryan and I have been wanting to do something together for a while now,” he says. “There’s so much happening in this city, and we want Need and Foot Cardigan to be a loudspeaker for what’s happening here.”
Alexander says he hopes these brands can make a little money before the holiday, get some new customers and raise their profiles — locally and nationally. If it’s successful, they may do it more frequently. Already Alexander has received requests to do something like Unbranded in other cities.
Unbranded is expected to open November 1 with its first tenants, which will likely rotate every one to two weeks.