2010: Echo Park and Tokyo Opens
Mikhail: They happened a month apart from each other. We opened Echo Park and as soon as that was done, we had to take a trip out to Japan.
Greg: Echo Park started from our relationship with Mad Decent and Diplo. I became friends with Diplo’s manager, Kevin Kusatsu, and I kept on seeing him at all these different events. It was at Dark Disco. I remember talking to him and I asked if he wanted to help open a store in L.A. He said, “Okay.” I went out there to check out Echo Park, and I thought it was cool because it sort of fell in line with our brand and our aesthetic. It was a mistake to choose Echo Park, though. 350 worked out because we are a Brooklyn brand and we are from the neighborhood.
Mikhail: We didn’t know much about L.A. Echo Park is a great neighborhood, but it just wasn’t the best place for us. We followed it up a month later with the store in Japan. Our popularity was growing more and more in Japan, and our distributor said we should open up a store there. That was really the next step for us. We went out there with Joel [L’Amour Supreme] and Prolly.
Greg: It was at Agenda in Huntington Beach, and the Japanese distributors wanted us to open a store in Japan, and I didn’t think they were serious. The distributor had never opened a store for a brand before, so it was a big deal and a cool move for us.
Mikhail: Yeah, regardless of Echo Park being the right move, it was good for the brand. It was like, “Oh wow, Mishka’s got a store in L.A. and a month later, they have a store in Tokyo!” The party that we threw for the Echo Park store was crazy. It was the event of the night, and having something in L.A. that’s the event of the night is no easy task. That’s where our relationship with Wavves started.
Greg: It was full circle for us. It was cool to have started off in Japan with no money and no idea what we were doing, and now we had a store there. In 2006, we went to Japan and in 2010, we had a store. It was really cool to have friends get to see us grow.