In 1994 the universe was aligning to bring all sorts of stellar things to our attention; Oasis’ debut album, ‘Definitely Maybe’, and Blur’s, ‘Parklife’, were both gearing up to launch the ‘Battle of Britpop’, across the pond the newly acquainted cast of Friends were filming the show’s pilot episode, while Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption were all enjoying their moment on the big screen.
And amidst the superlative cinematic moments and wide cultural shifts that ‘94 presented, the local menswear scene over in the North-East was also evolving. With the aims of bringing the finest menswear goods to the superb people of Sunderland, Andrew and Duncan McKenzie launched Aphrodite Clothing from its first brick and mortar location at 8 Vine Place. With a solid 25 years under their belt, and plenty more to come, we’re taking a look back at the business’ storied history…
September 8 th , 1994 – Having identified a gap in the market for quality menswear, the lads opened the doors to Aphrodite and their unbeknown future in the fashion industry. From here on out the brotherly duo would cement an enduring relationship with menswear aficionados of past, present and future generations, housingBlanc Bleu, Amanda Basi, John Tate, Ted Baker and John Smedley under their debut umbrella.
Circa 2000 – Six years on from their debut, the boys were more than ready to deliver a bigger and better Aphrodite store. Thanks to booming business and their loyal customer base, the McKenzie’s were able to install a brand-new shop front, full interior refurbishment and expansion into the vacant first floor. This touchpoint would see the store double from 800 sq. ft to in excess of 1600 sq. ft.
Mid-2007 – Aphrodite Clothing enters the world at large with the introduction of www.aphrodite1994.com. Though still trading at their original Vine Place site, Aphrodite would welcome a vast national and international following from the good old world wide web from this moment onwards.
September 8th , 2014 – Aphrodite Clothing reaches its 25 th birthday. After spending a whole 7,300 days trading, the McKenzie brothers build more space for their growing clientele. The store expands into the vacant adjacent building, creating in turn, a place to land the game’s hottest trainers across their all-new sneaker wall. And in honour of their 20 th birthday, casual clothing maestro, Stone Island, curates an exclusive window display to celebrate the milestone.
“Kanye believe this?” – Bringing a touch of Calabasas cool to the streets of Wearside, Kanye West’s ‘Yeezy’ collection brought with it the biggest customer frenzy Aphrodite has seen to date, with customers camping out to get their hands on a pair of the rapper’s Yeezy 350 Boosts.
September 7 th , 2018 – Since it’s no secret that football and fashion go hand in hand what better way to unite the two industries than with an official partnership with SAFC? As lifelong supporters of Sunderland Football Club, both Andrew and Duncan were delighted to strike up a sponsorship deal with the club.
September 8 th , 2019 – Aphrodite reach the grand old age of 25! With the store’s biggest team and brand portfolio to date, the business is only looking forward as they grow yet another year older. Bolstered by their strong rapport with Mackems, Aphrodite Clothing continue to deliver quality menswear goods to the fine people of the North-East. Over the years they’ve collaborated with brands such as Nudie Jeans, Oliver Spencer, New Balance, Paul Smith and Grenson, while undergoing continued expansion and delivering a friendly, personal service. Here’s to the next 25 years Aphrodite!