Who said skate shops can’t be fancy? On Aug. 18, Daniel Blackwell and William Zimmer IV plan to open the upscale VILN Collective skate shop and clothing boutique at 507 ½ King Street.
The boutique originally began as a screen-printing and T-shirt brand in 1999. The duo eventually saw a gap in the Charleston retail market where certain brands weren’t available to locals for purchase. With the help of shop merchandiser Amanda Krein, Blackwell and Zimmer were finally able to make their dream a reality.
“It’s kind of New York inspired… It’s super clean and minimalistic,” Blackwell says. “Charleston deserves a store like this.”
And that’s where VILN steps in. The shop serves both men and women, although there are more options for men. For women, VILN offers products from Motel, Cheap Monday, Obey, Dimepiece Designs, and Bass Shoes.
“It’s cool women's shit that you can’t find anywhere. Motel and Dimepiece are bangers and girls can’t find that anywhere,” says Blackwell, who noted that the nearest shop that carries those brands is in Nashville.
For men, brands like Obey, Loser Machine, Dark Seas, Insight, Krew, LRG, Durkl, Bean Dip, Diamond Supply Co, Supra, Clae, and Vox are on sale. The boutique also sells products from Rayban, Oakley, Herschel bags, and Flud watches.
“We’re trying to grow the smaller boutique brands through our storefront,” says Blackwell.
And since VILN Collective is a skate shop at heart, the boutique also offers decks, wheels, trucks, and other skating equipment for sale.
From 7 to 11 p.m. on Aug. 18, the shop will host a party that’s free and open to the public. With drinks and live music from DJ Rocky Horror and Jeff ET, the party will also feature an appearance by local Jamie Lin Snider. Snider, who also owns a boutique on Upper King, will have vintage pieces from her collection for sale.