Is L.E.S. Clothing Co. returning to the streets of the Lower East Side?
We thought that might be the case yesterday when the exiled apparel store, which was forced to give up its Clinton Street storefront last month, posted a cryptic message on its Facebook page: “Welcome Back!” it said. “LES CLOTHING Co. is on full grind mode.”
But don’t get too excited: turns out, they just hired a new Facebook intern. Robert Lopez, owner of L.E.S., told B+B that he’s still looking for a new storefront location in downtown Manhattan. “We vacated the flagship store on May 31 after being there two and a half years, and we’re currently operating out of the showroom,” Lopez said.
He explained that after a successful run at 43 Clinton Street, the landlord wanted to increase rent from $4,100 a month to over $6,000. “We thought that was a little excessive and unreasonable,” Lopez said. “I know property rents raise, I’m aware of that, particularly in Manhattan on the LES, but I just thought that it was too much.”
If you’re eager to get your hands on their signature hats or jackets, you can still make an appointment and head over to their office and showroom location at 425 Grand Street.
Lopez says he still hasn’t found an ideal and affordable new location, but he’s actively looking. “As to whether it can happen in the next month, or in the next three months, or even six months, I’m not even absolutely certain of that at this time,” he said.
In the meantime, he’s still maintaining his street cred by suing the pants off anybody who uses the L.E.S. brand. Back in 2011 he sued J. Crew, Aeropostale, Urban Outfitters, and Macy’s for using the words “Lower East Side” on their apparel. According to DNA Info, Lopez said he “prevailed,” but couldn’t say more about the settlements.
His latest target, it seems, was New York musician Bernandino, who on June 24 wrote on his LES Life Clothing site, “MY PAGE IS GOING DOWN DUE TO A MILLION DOLLARS LAW SUIT BY LES CLOTHING.. THATS CRAZY!” In response, Lopez, who said the matter had been resolved, bragged, “i am a beast in the legal world…since 2008 i have funeral statused over 10 billion dollar clothing companies from using my les™ related brands” — an accomplishment he went on to describe as “#corporate #thuggin at its best.”