While NuLu has been bumping for a while now, Richard Huntington, owner of the new store Peach Soul, thought the strip was missing something — the kind of streetwear and urban culture that has fascinated him since he was a kid. The retail shop opens tonight, Nov. 3, with a grand opening party.
Huntington, a Manual High School and UofL grad, lived all over before his family settled in Louisville. He first became interested in streetwear and urban culture through music.
“It was just listening to hip-hop at a really young age — it was cassettes at the time — and I remember having a single of Da Brat,” he tells Insider. “I would listen to it over and over.”
Then Huntington started gravitating toward streetwear. He mentioned New York Fashions in the now-closed Bashford Manor Mall as being a childhood favorite. His fashion sense included a love of brands like FUBU and Pelle Pelle.
As an adult, Huntington worked mostly in the service industry and realized he didn’t have a lot of options when it came to shop for the kind of clothes he liked.
“If I wanted something cool to buy, I had to go crazy places to find it,” he says.
Hunting around for the apparel he liked became a hobby as well as a way to stay covered. He found great deals of all sizes, and his wardrobe expanded. Huntington jokes that he finally had so many clothes, opening up a store just made sense.
“A lot of the inventory I was buying for myself.” And then he saw items in smaller sizes for better deals, he says.
He realized that a store with a physical location could combine his love of urban clothing with his passion for visual arts, allowing him to display his work and others, as well as share his fashion sense with like-minded Louisvillians.
“I’m just building my dream closet,” says Huntington.
In addition to cool clothes, he knew a cool vibe was important, which would depend on the art on the walls just as much as the clothes on the racks. But Huntington didn’t curate that art alone. While he was setting up Peach Soul, his work caught the eye of Jabril Power and Justice Naim, a pair of local artists looking to work on creative projects.
“We wanted to sort of work together to build almost a creative agency,” says Naim. “When we went out and were looking around, we ran into the owner of Peach Soul. We started talking about ideas, what we could do to help build his brand.”
Power says when the duo met Huntington, there was an immediate connection.
“He’s good people, we had instant vibe, an instant connection on what fashion means to us and what streetwear means to us,” he adds.
Naim and Power decided to work with Huntington on opening Peach Soul, which Power says could mean a lot of different things.
“We have that drive — any position that needs to get played we play it,” Power explains. “Anything that needs to be done — something needs to be moved, something needs to be posted, something needs to be created, an event needs to be curated, anything — we do it.”
The two are particularly excited about working with Peach Soul because of how early Huntington brought them on board.
“The cool thing about this particular business deal is that we were able to work with him from the very beginning,” says Naim. “The store isn’t even open, and we’re helping shape the image.”
When not working with Power, Naim is a freelance comic book artist who trained at the Joe Kubert School. He’s creating some original pieces for the store, and his work was recently part of a comic art exhibition and KyCAD.
Peach Soul’s look and feel is unique in NuLu, blending streetwear and urban culture with the individual creative tastes of Huntington, Power and Naim. That melding of styles is important to Huntington.
“What it means to be American, to me, is a combination of all the cultures around you,” says Huntington. “And it’s that eclectic style that really resonates and makes us Americans. That’s the most amazing thing to me.”
Peach Soul is located at 805 E. Market St. The store’s grand opening will be held tonight, Nov. 3, from 8-11 p.m. Its regular hours will be 1-8 p.m., but Huntington says that may change once he gets a feel for what the public wants. Give them a call at 468-3256, or check them out on Facebook.