Less is More
Calgary clothing store keeping it real and aims to branch out
Bigoa Machar, Arts Editor
One may not expect a whole lot when they see Less17 from the outside. A plain white building with a sign doesn’t make it look like the rest of what’s on the Uptown 17th Ave strip, but those who know what’s going on inside know what’s up.
Heralded as one of Calgary’s premier locations for high-end men’s and urban wear, Less17 has catered to the hype beasts and those who appreciate fashion in general since they opened up shop back in 2014. Now, the minds behind Less17 are looking to expand their influence beyond the fashion world. Zev Klymochko, the owner of Less17, says he hopes to market the store in a way to push past those barriers.
“I think it’s the aspiration of anyone involved in retail or more generally in marketing. You want to be more than what you’re selling,” says Klymochko. “You want to have cool stuff in the store, but you also want to give people a really good feeling when they come into the store. Whether it’s through good customer service or the cool events we’ve done, it really all ties together and makes it a good combination.”
One of the large components of doing this is working with local events and businesses in promoting one another, all while making everybody happy.
“It’s been good. We’ve done some stuff with Sled Island. We’ve hosted bands here and the art show that coincided with it was held in our art space. We also have partnered with Big Rock to produce our own beer,” says Klymochko. “We’ve had something with Café Rosso where they’ve come into the store and served coffee to our customers.”
In addition, Less17 decided to take to the Internet to promote themselves. After the launch of their online store, Klymochko says the store has reached new audiences, both here and abroad.
“Our customers in the States are using their dollar here and it’s really surprising how little they know about their currency versus ours,” says Klymochko. “We get hit up from people from the States all the time and the first thing they ask us is if we have any discounts or promo codes, and we’ll let them know that everything is basically 30% off for them because of the dollar.”
The Internet has been kind to Less17 so far, with social media aiding the growth of their online store and bringing new customers into the store. Most recently, the store had a draw for the highly-coveted Yeezy Boost 350’s, designed by resident bad ass Kanye West.
“The raffle with the Yeezy’s was pretty huge for us. We did a couple of those that helped bring people in,” says Klymochko. “It is getting harder and harder to make noise online because there’s so much content and people are being bombarded with stuff every day. We’re just trying to keep a really consistent method to our marketing and the store as a whole.”
Despite the amount of success in the short year and a half of business, Klymochko says he wants Less17 to stay unique and fun for Calgarians to enjoy.
“We want to vibe with businesses that are on the same wavelength as us. We don’t want to come off as fake of trying too hard. We just want to keep everything genuine.”
Be sure to check out Less17 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@Less17) to keep up with what the store has to offer.