Street meets chic as traditional luxury brands partner with streetwear designers, creating cross-promotions and co-locations to cater to young customers.

“It’s the same customer that shops luxury,” says Gabriel Paisner of Odyssey Retail Advisors. “The younger customer likes the exclusivity. They will walk into [Japanese streetwear brand] Bape and buy something — and then walk into Gucci and do the same.”

While still with Crown Retail Services, Paisner represented A Bathing Ape — known as Bape — in its deal to open at 650 Madison Ave. on East 59th Street between Celine and Balmain.

It will also be opposite the new Dior store that leased the former Cartier space, as well as Apple’s reopened flagship cube on Fifth Avenue.

Bape, Paisner says, is “a destination, and they still want to remain connected as they see a synergy between the customers.”

Last year, Bape teamed up with the German watch and pen maker Montblanc to put its camouflage pattern onto a limited-edition line of leather goods.

Japanese streetwear brand Bape attracts lines at its 91 Greene St. store and is expanding toMidtown.
Japanese streetwear brand Bape attracts lines at its 91 Greene St. store and is expanding to Midtown.Kevin C Downs for the New York Post

Montblanc is also planning a move from 600 Madison Ave. to a larger store at 635 Madison Ave. at East 59th Street, opposite Moncler and near Balenciaga.

Balenciaga, Paisner notes, has also taken a shift towards streetwear, becoming global luxury group Kering’s fastest-growing brand.

Its clunky $995 Triple S sneakers have become ubiquitous among the fashion set. “People also want to look stylish but be comfortable — and not always wear a three-piece suit,” says Paisner. “If you want to appeal to some of these brands, you have to speak the language of the younger demographic, and it’s become a drive towards the more casual side of how people dress.”

Off-White and Nike teamed up to make these $200 sneakers that sold out within hours.
Off-White and Nike teamed up to make these $200 sneakers that sold out within hours.Nike

In another successful partnership, Off-White, whose Soho flagship is located at 51 Mercer St., partnered with Nike to release Nike Air Prestos. These co-branded sneakers sold out within hours for around $200 a pair and are now reselling for four times that amount.

Such marketing moves drive publicity and elevate the product among celebrities and club kids, says Paisner. And Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, also creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, has his finger on the pulse of what the downtown kids want.

Abloh, who became friends with Kanye West during their internship at Fendi, has collaborated with brands from Jimmy Choo and Burton to Kith and Sunglass Hut. Off-White has more than 9.4 million followers on Instagram.

“It’s what people in the music industry are wearing,” adds Paisner, “and younger shoppers are really plugged into what is going on in social media.”

Off-White is now part of the New Guards Group. Last year, New Guards Group was sold to luxury shopping platform Farfetch for $675 million.

The sale, led by Marcelo Burdon and partners, will leverage distribution, technology and data for the companies under its umbrella.

There is a …correlation between luxury shoppers and streetwear … the big houses … are trying to become
relevant to a new generation.”

 – Amish Tolia, Co-CEO of Leap

Farfetch now includes Marcelo Burlon County of Milan plus other luxury streetwear brands Palm Angels, Heron Preston, Unravel Project, Alanui and Kirin Peggy Gou.

While these labels are sold primarily in boutiques and department stores, don’t be surprised to see stand-alone stores in their futures.

Luxury fashion house Montcler’s website explains the sidling up to streetwear as it notes, “The global personal luxury goods market is expected to head towards younger generations.” A remarkable 85 percent of growth will be fueled by the next generations with quality and uniqueness as the most important factors in driving millennial customers to luxury products.

Moncler, known for its pricey puffy outerwear, now has collections that showcase streetwear staples like track suits and backpacks. Its Genius collection, for example, includes $365 T-shirts.

As baby boomers buy less luxury, these younger customers are the ones brands want to hook.

But you have to be in front of them where they roam. Millennials alone are estimated to buy more than 50 percent of their luxury items while traveling and in airports.

It’s one reason Montblanc has a store at JFK, where various terminals host Coach, Burberry and Michael Kors shops.

The luxury streetwear boom is fueled by social media and “influencers,” adds Paisner.

“A lot of the customers aren’t kids who grew up privileged and they will save for a long time to buy one statement piece,” says Paisner. “They know what they want ahead of time and save up to buy it.”

“There is a high correlation between luxury shoppers and streetwear. Several of the big houses out there are trying to become relevant to a new generation, but have to do it through more relevant designs and marketing campaigns,” says Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-CEO of Leap, a retail-as-a-service provider that helps digital brands grow. “This is why you are seeing the streetwear [store moves] happening.”

Some Leap-sponsored stores are clustered along the stretch of Bleecker Street in the West Village that Ralph Lauren pounced on — first with RL — before other luxury brands followed. As area retail rents fell, Leap long-term leased several shops and rotates brands in and out of them after a year or two.

Cashmere company Naadam is one of many boutiques on Bleecker Street.
Cashmere company Naadam is one of many boutiques on Bleecker Street.Naadam

Current stores include: Goodlife’s casual wear at 400 Bleecker; Thakoon’s sleek wardrobe staples at 397 Bleecker; Naadam’s cashmere at 392 Bleecker; Ledbury’s menswear at 355 Bleecker and Public Rec’s athleisure at 330 Bleecker.

Leap provides both a single branded store and the staffing for online companies that show by sales and social media engagement they are ready to make the “leap” to brick and mortar.

Andrew Codispoti — the co-founder of Goodlife, which sells in Nordstrom and has co-branded with brands including helicopter company Blade and the Surf Lodge in Montauk — says Leap made it quick and easy to open a store.

But Leap also negotiates a cut of all sales, Tolia says, including those completed online.