If you've managed to swallow your nerves and venture out on the retail front, you will have noticed that we are in the thick of one of the greatest sale seasons of all time. After many retailers struggled through a disappointing holiday season (thanks economy, thanks Snowpocalypse), the deals are on fire even more than is usual post-Christmas. So you know that a sale event like the PDX Collective Sale, already notorious as an annual discount shopping frenzy including the goods of over 10 boutiques, is going to contain deals that might even qualify as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
The usual suspects are participating again this year, offloading everything to make room for spring: Le Train Bleu, Parts and Labour, Shoefly, Nolita, Physical Element, Bubble Boutique, Sameunderneath, Pin Me Apparel, Moxie, Mimi and Lena, and Zella's Shoes. It's all under one roof, for one day only, and cash is strongly preferred, so hit the ATM and show up early. Another reason to be grateful: In other cities they might charge admission to access prices slashed this low, but not here. (The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark, Sun Jan 25, 11 am-6 pm, FREE)
Speaking of Sameunderneath, company founder Ryan Christensen has announced that he is leaving the company to become "brand evangelist" of RYZ Wear. Sameunderneath (which recently announced the closure of its second location on NW 23rd) has always striven to be more than a clothing line, and Christensen was one of the early adopters of a "green" approach to running a clothing company. Additionally, the name "Sameunderneath" also underscored the message he tried to spread using the line, a somewhat hazy (isn't marketing always?) message of goodwill across social and economic boundaries. The company will continue under the ownership of local apparel company LFI, which acquired the company in September.
RYZ Wear is a locally based sneaker company that uses "crowdsourcing" to determine its designs. Essentially, they create a template of a sneaker, which is then embellished by artists and designers, and the rendition that is voted most popular by members of the RYZ community goes into production. (We reported earlier on the RYZ's debut contest ["A Caveman Who Loves Shoes?" Sold Out, July 10, 2008], in which well-respected graffiti writer Jason Ehlers [AKA Caveman] won the inaugural honor.) In a statement, Christensen promised to "bring my own grassroots and guerilla-style marketing to help build a brand that is more than just fashion and footwear, and moves into something experiential for both the brand and its customers." Hit mod.portlandmercury.com for a Q & A with Christensen and updates on the future of both brands.