Stepping into The Collab Shop you’ll find a bright, open space lined with a selection of carefully curated clothing and sneakers. The products are organized meticulously by colour, with some items even wrapped in plastic to protect them from signs of aging. A high level of care, an eye for quality, and a genuine love of clothing are evident as soon as you enter the store.
Robert Berboso, Rodney Francisco, and Niko Te are the trio behind The Collab Shop, a streetwear boutique in Winnipeg. Inspired by a passion for clothing and sneakers, the team came up with the idea to open a brick-and-mortar store where people can find hard-to-get brands, search for unique pieces, and talk about streetwear and its culture.
What started as an online business during the pandemic quickly grew into a storefront, and The Collab Shop first opened its doors in the Exchange in April of 2021. The grand opening was a huge success, with people lining up for two hours to get in. The demand for a streetwear store like this was apparent, and the trio began to dream of a bigger space. By January 2023, they opened their doors in their current McDermot Ave location. It was important for them to remain in the Exchange, a neighbourhood rich with arts and culture, where they feel at home among local businesses, specialty shops, and boutiques.
The Collab Shop is a destination location and one-stop shop for streetwear lovers. Hype brands that are usually only available online, consignment pieces from established collectors, vintage sports merch, and a huge assortment of sought-after sneakers are all part of the mix. The team puts a lot of effort into the curation of the store, keeping on top of the latest drops in clothing and sneakers, bringing in items from their personal collections, and picking pieces at estate sales and thrift stores. Have a specific piece you’ve always wanted but have never been able to find? The Collab Shop offers grail sourcing, where they will search for specific items- and with a 100% success rate so far, you can trust them to find it!
The Collab Shop moves beyond the realms of a typical retail store by creating community and building experiences. It’s in the name and who they are at their very core- collaborators. The owners wanted to create a space for other passionate people to gather and celebrate the culture. They work with local talent and focus on producing experiences you won’t find elsewhere. They have hosted pop-ups and fashion shows, showcasing their designs and ties to streetwear culture. They’ve had barbers come in to offer folks the chance to get a fresh shave and fresh gear. And recently, they had local artist Bistyek create murals in the store, creating an immersive experience for customers.
They also work on collaborations in their curation. They partner with local designers like Friday Knights, Orbit Collective, Astige, and Reclothify to sell their pieces. An exciting collab with the Winnipeg Sea Bears basketball team is also on the horizon, who they are partnering with to sell merch.
The team behind Collab Shop has put in the work to make their dream a reality, and it’s evident in the shop’s success. An enthusiasm for and dedication to streetwear culture has made The Collab Shop a hub where enthusiasts can come together, discuss their passion, and find rare pieces.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just getting started, The Collab Shop is a must-visit destination for streetwear and sneaker enthusiasts. Find them at 264 McDermot Ave in the Exchange.
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