In the world of fashion, you’ve got to think on your feet and not get wrong-footed if you want to stay one step ahead of the curve. As a fashion influencer Santino LoConte knows all too well, a good pair of sneakers and a razor-sharp edge goes a long way in making a mark.
Founder and creative director of Reign, Santino is the mastermind behind the New York boutique, which is blazing a trail when it comes to global streetwear and sneaker labels. Although LoConte’s two stores in the Big Apple may look and feel like regular shops, they’re pushing the envelope of what a retail experience should be.
When you walk through the doors of Reign, you’re entering an environment where conformity is out, and creativity is in. As for bog-standard retail traditions, well, they’ve been dumped in a bucket labeled ‘surplus to requirements.’ Reign isn’t just a store; it’s an artistic statement and a way of life.
Reign’s minimal design aesthetic allows the products to speak for itself. The visuals and aesthetics are carefully considered and added in-shop tech, such as their e-commerce platform allows the customers to engage with the brand.
Reign prides itself on being the hub where streetwear and luxury products meet to offer the customer brand new experience and choice. It goes beyond consumerism and approaches something more akin to religion.
This isn’t surprising because footwear and fashion are in LoConte’s blood. As a child growing up in New York, he worked in his grandfather’s shoe store in the West Village. Footwear design and fashion became his passion, and he set about carving a unique niche for himself.
It didn’t happen overnight. It’s all well and good having a dream, but it’ll soon crumble to dust if you’re not willing to put the hours in and make your vision a concrete reality.
As the Director of Global Collaborations at PONY, LoConte worked alongside KITH, DKNY, Barney’s New York, Atmos, and Opening Ceremony on special sneaker projects. At the same time, he was aware of a gap in the market and decided to make his move.
Realizing that a lot of department stores were losing touch with the streets, and consumers like himself who were looking for streetwear-inspired clothing from the hip and globally recognized labels, he founded Reign.
Reign’s appeal is apparent in its cool and laid-back vibe. It manages to give the impression of being effortless and in constant evolution all at the same time. It is both a brick and mortar and e-com model and carries off that tightrope walk to perfection. In short, it is the future of retail.
Since its creation in 2017 Reign has courted widespread attention from the international fashion industry. At the grand opening of the flagship Reign store, Virgil Abloh & Heron Preston performed a collaborative DJ set. Ever since the big guns are sitting up and paying attention to the new kid on the block.
The sky is the limit for Reign, but you can guarantee that Santino LoConte will keep his feet firmly on the ground, no doubt ensconced in a pair of eye-catching and groundbreaking sneakers.