No need to be apprehensive about the fever pitch of excitement surrounding the new Homage store that opened at Easton on Tuesday; a second home field has the popular T-shirt line focused on its fans more than ever.
“I think people are worried that this is going to be something corporate or turn into a big-box store,” said Homage owner Ryan Vesler. “The Short North is cool, but it is definitely a destination location. We’re excited to bring something fun and unique to Easton and expose Easton shoppers to Homage and continue to tell the brand’s story.”
At 2,600 square feet, the Easton spot is twice the size of the original Homage spot — which, keep your Umbros on, is still open.
Sports and pop culture nostalgia reign supreme. Bleachers from Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium sit outside, a salvaged scoreboard hangs above the cash register and hardwood from an Ohio basketball court makes up part of the store’s walls.
A mural painted by local artist Andrew Kern and the back end of a 1973 Volkswagen bus highlight Surf Ohio products, and a dinosaur of an Apple II is what customers use to sign up for the Homage computer club (aka email updates).
New to shoppers with the Easton launch are Homage-branded products, like Homage logo tube socks ($12) and T-shirts that say phrases such as “Leave No Regrets on the Field.”
“Those are our values,” Vesler said. “That’s what we believe in — being authentic, telling a story and connecting with our customer.”
All T-shirts are still $28. And the new store has room to introduce new women’s and kids’ designs and more fall styles. Hello, vintage-style crew sweatshirts.
As the store works to score in a landscape loaded with heavy-hitting brands, the budding Homage team references a fortune cookie that director of operations Annette Grant got a few months ago. It reads, “Life is never more fun than when you’re the underdog competing against giants.”
“I think that’s perfect for us,” Vesler said.
And yes, packs of classic playing cards still come with Homage purchases.
Photos by Tim Johnson