I grew up in Flushing before the current landscape that it is now today. When I lived there as a baby to when I was 12 years old, I remember Old Navy was the only name brand shop there. As a result of that, most of my clothes were either from Old Navy or from Korean shops. It wasn’t until I moved to Bayside, where I discovered there were a plentiful amount of food stores rather than clothing stores. To get my clothes, I now have to venture off to Long Island where there are more variety of clothing to chose from.
Whenever I head back to Flushing today, I’ve the options to either go to Queens Crossing or the huge store in Sky view Mall. Both of these malls both offer food and places to shop for clothes and accessories. Sky view Mall is the biggest mall in Flushing, as it features Target, Adidas, Forever 21, and much more. While Queens Crossing is more focused on a laid back approach, featuring dessert and dinner places. The only clothing store that Queens Crossings offers is Mango, which is similar to Zara as they’re both high street Spain retailers.
For this engagement project, I chose Mango as for being a high street clothing empire; a majority of their stores are in Spain. In America, Mango only has five stores in America. The stand alone stores that they have is one in Flushing, and one in Soho. Upon researching the brand Mango, I was shocked to hear that. It’s almost an anomaly for high street brands to have only two stores in America. I even remember going to Mango, the day it first opened in 2008 in Flushing. That’s why it was the perfect selection for the engagement project for the Italian 45 class. It’s a clothing brand that’s not too ubiquitous, and it’s something that I can have fun exploring as well.
As soon as I enter Queens Crossing, I see a bundle of people at Paris Baguette (Korean Bakery) eating desserts or drinking coffee. There are people of all ages, races, and genders either chatting up with their friends or ordering food. Then, as I make my way through the cafe’s, I head straight to the first floor where Mango is located. I immediately notice that there are a lot of people that work there are college aged students and in their early 20’s. The vibe of the store is more chill than the busy food cafes outside the store. The people entering the store are mostly young high school and college students. There are even some middle aged woman trying on some garments in the changing room.
The clothing in the store is contemporary and modern. All of the clothes are sleek and stylish, as they’re similar in presenting an European sensibility to their clothes. Clothing that’s not garish in their colors, but has some trendy pieces mixed with classic pieces. I immediately took some pictures inside the store of the items of clothing and accessories I found desirable. I’m not even going to lie if I said, that going into the store I wanted to buy everything there.
The first piece I took a picture of was a mid length floral dress that had a festive fall feel to it. I saw the dress and immediately thought of pairing it with knee length boots and a wool coat.
The second picture in the box next to the floral dress, is a wool and polyester open cardigan with faux leather pockets. After I took the picture, a woman who looked like she was in her late 20’s tried on the cardigan. I noticed that she and her friend were both fashionable, one the girls put her Louis Vuitton cross body on the clothing rack.
The third picture is a short star printed shirt that grabbed my attention. I’ve been trying hard to find a whimsical print that’s fun but not too kooky, and this shirt was just perfect. As I took the picture of the shirt, three older woman in their late 40’s walked by and examined the clothes in the store. They were cheery and energetic to try on the clothes.
The last picture is a pair of blue shoes with creeper soles. The souls on the shoes stood out to me because Rihanna had a collaboration with Puma with the exact soles, and those shoes sold out in record fashion. It was amusing to see how the high street fashion was being influenced by the big chain’s such as Puma for their shoe inspiration.
In conclusion, Flushing has changed to include more fashions stores, as well as food too. I noticed in the eight years since I moved from there, there’s been young and old people passing through the mall. However, it does make me a bit sad to see the stores that aren’t affiliated with brand name recognition. The stores that sell clothes that aren’t logo based are having a hard time selling their clothes. When I pass through those places, all I see is a vacant store. It makes me feel sad for the people who work in those stores that just want to earn an living. Hopefully, one day Flushing will emerge as a place where it once used to be. Smaller stores used to do great, until the gentrification that’s been happening for several years now. I hope that this busy city that is Flushing, conjures up business for stores that are small, and not just for big ones. After all, it’s a great feeling when you’re wearing something that’s unique than wearing something that everyone else has.