Following the iconic fish-eye & feline shoot presenting Collection 009 apparel, we had the chance to sit down with Isabella from Ctrl Alt Delete, a curated streetwear shopping experience. Ctrl Alt Delete carries TAIKAN and other brands such as Pleasures, C2H4, Felt, and more. Located in Manhattan at 153 Essex St., online at ctrlaltdelete.shop, and on Instagram @ctrlaltdelete.shop check out their selection.
Read the full length interview below to learn more about the store's origin and values, as well as shop-talk about the future of streetwear.
Manhattan | Monday-Sunday Noon-7pm
Thank you for choosing TAIKAN to be part of your amazing repertoire! How did the shoot come to be? (and who are the kitties?)
I want to thank you guys for reaching out! We love TAIKAN over at Ctrl Alt Delete.. The shoot was put together by our creative content director at the time, Maheen. She wanted to bring in another element to highlight TAIKAN’s super solid collection of basics and give the cat’s some clout lol. Tuni, @tunifromtheblock, belongs to Belly the store manager, and the other cat is named Belle - she’s our good friend Sofia’s.
How did Ctrl Alt Delete get its start? Who was involved in this project?
We know we wanted to do something that brought people together. Community is everything. Before Ctrl Alt Delete existed, we had done multiple pop-up events out of a Brooklyn showroom space and just knew we needed to put together a space where we could bridge the gap between our community and streetwear. At the time, it was just Zack- the owner, Maheen- the creative content director, and Isabella the manager. We jumped right into the buildout and had a sick opening day August 15, 2020. It felt good to finally have everyone together again, especially since the pandemic made us miss out on that kind of interconnection for so long.
We share similar values in wanting to support our local communities through collaboration - how has being based in NYC and Brooklyn influenced that?We house a variety of small brands - our homies’ brands, neighbors brands, people that catch our eye on the gram and we really want to provide them a physical space especially in one of the most prevalent streetwear neighborhoods, LES where we’re located.
What qualities do you look for in the brands you stock?
We strive for CTRL to be a spot where you can get items not available anywhere else in NY. We house a lot of brands from overseas that don’t have a presence in the US or small brands that have a strong following online, but don’t exist in a physical space. Feeling the textiles and trying on the fit for yourself does wonders. It’s so hard to tell how the fabric of an item or the fit feels, so we want to bring in brands we know are quality for people to experience for themselves.
With fashion/trends moving so fast, where do you see streetwear moving next?
I think streetwear is pushing people to be more out the box. Streetwear often follows trends and right now the trend is to take risks- to be colorful and bold and to incorporate textures and patterns that you maybe wouldn’t usually. There’s so many niche pockets of ‘streetwear’ it’s hard to identify the common trend amongst each subcategory, but overall I think people are stepping out their comfort zones and are more open to experimenting with styles.
How did your store handle the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic?
So we had just opened up January 2020. We had a sick opening party at our original location in Brooklyn. Things were in full swing. And then the pandemic hit and the whole world stood still. We were doing online sales still and encouraging followers to engage with us online by sharing their WFH fits - we never wanted to lose that sense of community so it was super important to us to maintain those connections we made pre-pandemic. Luckily when New York started to open up again, with the connections we kept, we were able to open up a new spot inside Privilege New York which is located in Manhattan. Shout out Dee Knows for the assist with that one. So August 2020 we closed our BK location and moved into 153 Essex St. and it’s been up ever since.
What goals do you wish to achieve through the store?
We really want CTRL to be a staple in New York for the amazing community out here of people in fashion, music, and art. Our goal is to bring together these people through events and collaborations to create genuine connections. You never know how much just bumping into someone in store can do. And when we bring in multifaceted people with so many unique talents and interests, these people get a chance to meet like-minded people they maybe would not have otherwise.
Where can we find you? (plug any new projects as well!)
We’re always posting new projects and content on our instagram @ctrlaltdelete.shop and online at ctrlaltdelete.shop. With summer coming up, we’ve got lots of things planned- an accessories collab with one of our favorite designers coming up real soon. We also did a cookout last summer on Memorial day with our good friend @cmartysjerk and really looking forward to running that back this summer!
Check out the custom curated Spotify playlist from the shop here: