A new NYC store is looking to shake things up by changing the way we consume sneakers. Although you won't find it on any "Best Sneaker Store" lists — yet, that is — World of Niché is quite simply in a class of its own.
In order to bring 'heads up to speed, GQ did some investigating to find out exactly how the tight-lipped, appointment-only sneaker store operates. The first thing you should know is that World of Niché only sells its own footwear. Currently, there are three styles to choose from: a runner ($300), a high top ($400), and a hiking boot ($450), each of which are offered in three different colors.
Before we get into the shoes, we should also give you the rundown on some of World of Niché's unusual yet refreshing policies. For starters, only one shopper at a time is allowed in the store. Shoes must be removed at the door, and there is a strict no photography rule. Once the customer is ready to shop, the store's window view is obscured and a huge brass ball (pictured above) opens up, showcasing World of Niché's lineup.
What happens next is also unlike anything you've seen in a sneaker store before. After the customer chooses a shoe, a sharp-dressed sales associate brings the sneakers out on a platter. Yes, you read that correctly, a platter. GQ tried out the $300 veg-tanned leather runners and, although the writer was impressed, he wasn't fully convinced.
"While they were cool, I couldn't quite part with $300 just minutes after being in a new store — and being acquainted with the shoes for even less time," GQ said.
Ultimately, GQ found World of Niché to be a "pretty chill alternative" to the droves of over-hyped and overcrowded sneakers and stores that are so prevalent in 2016, but made a point to note that it's not without its flaws. You can check out the entire feature here and book an appointment at worldofniche.com now.