Way back in ’94 the universe was aligning to bring all sorts of stellar happenings to our attention; Oasis’ debut album, ‘Definitely Maybe’, and Blur’s, ‘Parklife’, were both gearing up to kick off the ‘Battle of Britpop’, across the pond the newly acquainted cast of Friends were preparing to film the show’s pilot episode, while Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption were all enjoying the fruits of their labour on the big screen.
And amidst the superlative cinematic moments and wide cultural shifts that ‘94 delivered, the local menswear scene here in Sunderland was also evolving. With the intention of bringing the finest menswear goods to the superb people of the North East, we launched Aphrodite Clothing from its first brick and mortar location at 8 Vine Place, Sunderland. Now, with a solid 25 years under our belt, we’re taking a minute to roll back the clocks on the storied history of Aphrodite…
September 8th, 1994 – Having secured the keys to a city centre base and identified a gap in the market for quality menswear, we opened the doors to Aphrodite and our unbeknown future in the fashion industry. Blanc Bleu, Amanda Basi, John Tate, Ted Baker and John Smedley were the five starting brands under our ‘94 umbrella and from here we would establish and cement an enduring relationship with menswear aficionados of past, present and future generations.
Circa 2000 – In the six years following our debut we had successfully laid the groundwork for a bigger and better Aphrodite; business was thriving thanks to the support of our loyal customer base, and demand had surpassed all our expectations. The installation of a brand-new shop front, interior refurbishment and expansion into the previously vacant first floor was not only a certain way for us to move with the times but, also reward our growing clientele. This touchpoint would see the store double from 800 sq. ft to in excess of 1600 sq. ft.
September 2003 – Now nearing a decade since our inception, 2003 brought yet another renovation for us. Leading retail designers Rawfish were drafted in to transform the aesthetic of the store. Bolstered by brushed stainless steel, frames of industrial brickwork, American walnut flooring and a glass staircase, the new look and feel of Aphrodite, and our reworked logo, truly set us aside from our competitors, offering customers a chance to escape the ‘hustle and bustle’ of retail, and instead, visit an intimate space that was more akin to a trendy Manhattan loft than a conventional shop.
Mid-2007 – Aphrodite Clothing enters the world at large. 2007 would welcome the launch of www.aphrodite1994.com, and our vast national and international following. While enjoying the home comforts of trading at our original Vine Place site, our online presence quickly grew and has since evolved throughout the years with, of course, millennial taste in mind.
With a tried and tested online operation in place, our web department would uncover new residency in a separate city centre building to cope with the global demand here at Aphrodite Clothing, while working alongside a brand-new photography studio – dedicated to delivering supreme menswear content.
September 8th, 2014 – Aphrodite reaches the grand old age of 20, that’s a whole 7,300 days trading! After expanding the ground floor space into the vacant adjacent building; creating in turn, a place to land the game’s hottest trainers across our brand-new sneaker wall, the store was near enough unrecognisable compared to its humble ‘94 beginnings.
In honour of our 20th birthday, casual clothing maestro, Stone Island, curated an exclusive window display that would work as the backdrop at our celebratory in-store event and subsequently be featured in magazine heavyweight, GQ’s, AW14 issue.
“Kanye believe it?” – Bringing a touch of Calabasas cool to the streets of Wearside, Kanye West’s ‘Yeezy’ collection brought with it the biggest customer frenzy we’ve seen to date. The highly anticipated launch of the rapper’s ‘Yeezy 350 Boost’ seen our phones ringing off the hook, inboxes flooded and a queue that stretched the length of Vine Place and far beyond!
September 7th, 2018 – Aphrodite joins forces with SAFC. Since it’s no secret that football and fashion go hand in hand what better way to unite the two industries than with an official partnership? We ourselves are lifelong supporters of the club and have been in the business of outfitting Sunderland’s footy fans since the dawn of time. You can now find us proudly sponsoring SAFC across the club’s official team news.
September 8th, 2019 – WE’RE 25! With our biggest team and brand portfolio to date, the business is only looking forward as we approach our official 25th birthday. Having built a strong rapport with Mackems, we’ve successfully kept local people, on the hunt for luxury gear and quality customer service, homebound and investing in Sunderland. Thanks to the unwavering support of the North-East, and people worldwide, we’ve been able to exclusively collaborate with brands such as Nudie Jeans, Oliver Spencer, New Balance, Paul Smith and Grenson, while undergoing continued expansion and improvement and delivering a friendly, personal service. HERE’S TO THE NEXT 25 YEARS…