Catering to the millennial crowd is no easy feat—it requires a careful balance of novelty and accessibility, plus a light-footed ease that can keep up with the generation’s fickle demands.
When it comes to menswear, Frank and Oak seems to have the formula down pat.
“When we started, we realized that there wasn’t a brand out there for what we consider the ‘creative millennial man,’” Frank and Oak co-founder and CEO Ethan Song tells the Straight. “There were either really formal or more streetwear brands.”
Song started Frank and Oak with his buddy Hicham Ratnani as an online-only retailer for men four years ago. The Montreal-based brand’s in-house designs quickly gained traction across the web, but it’s more than the limited-run collections of crisp button-ups, trendy Ts, and tailored denim—each of which are available for only two months at a time—that millennial men appear to be drawn to.
“A lot of guys want to look good but they need a little bit of help,” Song adds. “We started providing that help and, in some ways, that helped us build our brand a lot; not just as a clothing brand but as a lifestyle advisor.”
True to form, step into Frank and Oak’s new Vancouver flagship on West Cordova Street—the first brick-and-mortar stop on the West Coast for the rapidly expanding brand—and you’ll notice a beverage bar managed by local juice joint Krokodile Pear and, nestled toward the back of the breezy 2,400-square-foot space, a barber shop that’s stocked with the brand’s recently launched line of men’s grooming products.
The multi-purpose space is a result of Frank and Oak’s community partnerships but it also reflects a commitment to making shopping more convenient for busy consumers. In that vein, shoppers can access their order histories and online style profiles in-store, as well as arrange complimentary personal styling appointments as needed.
It's this seamless on- and offline integration, which allows for more personalized shopping experiences, that has resonated so well with millennials.
“We’ve always had this vision of making life and shopping easier for men,” says Song. "Right from the beginning, the product and experience were equally important."
The flagship will carry Frank and Oak’s monthly collections of menswear, shoes, and accessories, which begin at $36; grooming products; and a curated selection of apothecary, books, and home items.
Frank and Oak opens on Saturday (December 5) at 316 West Cordova Street.
Click through the gallery above for a sneak peek at the store.