When ICON Boutique first opened it’s doors in in March of 2009 it quickly gained a cult following with a clientele that had been in search of quality and unique gear that could not be found in the malls or at chain stores. As a leader in the Street Wear Game, this Downtown Jacksonville boutique, keeps it’s proverbial ear to the streets as they cater to a market of consumers who are “in the know” and are only willing to rock the flyest and freshest gear. At ICON Boutique, it’s all about quality, exclusivity and individuality, which is exactly what you’ll find at 108 E. Adams. The owners of ICON are not surprisingly, long time supporters of Jacksonville’s independent artist community and the store has served as a home away from home for many of Duval County’s most talented individuals as it hosts The Lyricist Hour webcast along with www.thenerdysouth.com every Monday at 7 PM, EST. ICON Boutique’s Grand Opening will be a week long event, beginning on Thursday, May 26, 2011 and ending June 1st at one of Downtown Jacksonville’s most successful monthly events, Art Walk. And on Memorial Day (5/30/11), ICON will host a block party with food, live performances and of course, fresh gear! Since the The LaVilla Project tries to stay up on all things dope in Duval County, we of course had to check out the store and interview the owner who will tell you exactly why you should come through and shop with ICON Boutique. Check it out!
Nakia: How long have you been in the business?
ICON: I’ve been in the business for over twenty-five years however, Icon Boutique is approximately 2 ½ years old, opened in ’09.
Nakia: And what other locations were you at for people who may be familiar?
ICON: Well we were previously open in The Avenues Mall and after that, about a year and half to almost two year stint, we moved to Atlantic & San Pablo Shopping Center.
Nakia: Ok, who’s your target audience?
ICON: Primarily all of our apparel is skater inspired fashion and street-wear that is limited edition so you would have to say from ages 17-35.
Nakia: And what brands do you carry?
ICON: All the brands that are fly and relevant in the street-wear game.
Nakia: Aiight! Tell me about this street-wear game.
ICON: The street-wear game came along because brands wanted to differentiate themselves away from your typical urban brand lines. They’re mostly by people who have designed underground lines that were put out there for the people that really understood. So in the Hip-Hop world, in the skate world, these people are individuals that have different talents, different likes, different aspirations and they wanted to do clothing that was tailored for them.
Nakia: Ok, now you’ve recently moved to 108 E. Adams St in Downtown Jacksonville, what prompted the move downtown?
ICON: Well, it’s the perfect fit. Since we are an individualist company and what I mean by that is, the brands that we carry are for people that do themselves, not follow the norm or follow what everybody does. Downtown, it’s a lot more eclectic. You have your arts and your fashion and your music and your clubs, it’s in the middle of our crowd. It’s the hub, every major city that has hot boutiques, they’re all downtown and this is where it needs to be.
Nakia: Now you’ve been an avid supporter of the Hip-Hop community and the independent artists in Jacksonville. Tell me about some of the events or collaborations that you’ve done with the artists.
ICON: I’ve been in this business for a minute, so it’s integral as a part of our business to incorporate the music and the emcee’s into what we do. So we’ve had, in the past, when the Super Bowl was here, had celebrity all-star basketball games, I have sponsored numerous emcee cypher situations in our store. Most recently, we’re doing The Lyricist Hour with www.thenerdysouth.com and Willie Evans Jr. And mainly, we’ve been rocking with The Nerdy South lately because we’re on the same page and it helps us reach the crowd that we really want to reach.
Nakia: What would you like our readers to know about Icon Boutique?
ICON: One of our sayings is that we are a “Cult of Individuals” and what that means is, the styles and fashions that we do here are leading style and fashion all over the country. They may not be in Duval County, but we’re making them a leader in Duval County, that’s what we wanted to bring to the table. It’s not for everybody, but I’m sure everybody can find something. We pride ourselves on having quality clothing lines. We don’t do anything that’s expensive, expensive, but we don’t do anything that is cheap or inexpensive. You can take that for it’s worth, but you know that you’re going to get a good quality product when you come to shop at Icon.
Nakia: Any final words?
ICON: We had a soft open at (May’s) Art Walk, but our Grand Opening events will start on the Thursday before Memorial Day on 5/26 and it’ll be a whole week of events ending with the Art Walk on June 1st. So we’d like everybody to come out if they can, I don’t know if I can feed everybody, but I can try, but on Memorial Day Monday there will be a big cookout; a block party. It’s going to be hot, we’re going to have live performances, we’re partnering with The Burro Bar (next door) and they’re going to sponsor the performances. There’s a lot of hot local acts here in Jacksonville, people really need to come out and support. We’re going to kick it off around noon, performances are going to start around 4 pm and then we’re going to end the evening with The Lyricist Hour at 7 pm on Monday night. It’s going to be a really big event, but Thursday through Wednesday we will have different events, even through the Jazz Festival which starts Friday (5/27). So it’s going to be a busy downtown, everybody needs to come down and check it out.
Nakia: Word up!