First Class: Inside Paper Planes' Debut Flagship Store

By Mary Peeples | December 8, 2023



This feature is in our Dec. "Creative Arts" Issue. Click here to subscribe.

Streetwear brand Paper Planes is calling Soho home for its inaugural flagship store location.


Ronnie DeMichael (president), Emory Jones (co-founder and CMO) and Just C (creative director). PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER
Ronnie DeMichael (president), Emory Jones (co-founder and CMO) and Just C (creative director). PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER

From the minds of co-founder/CMO Emory Jones, president Ronnie DeMichael and creative director Just C, Paper Planes (@planes)—the brand founded by JAY-Z—has always been about fostering imagination through its products. And what better place to make the brand tangible than the streets of Soho in New York City, a thriving shopping destination that draws people near and far. “Building, expanding and strengthening community wherever we go is important to us at Paper Planes,” says Jones, who is also Roc Nation’s head of lifestyle. “We believe strongly in grassroots initiatives and word of mouth. The Paper Planes flagship store provides a permanent, public location that allows this type of in-person connectivity to grow and flourish.”

“BUILDING, EXPANDING AND STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY WHEREVER WE GO IS IMPORTANT TO US AT PAPER PLANES.” -EMORY JONES


A quote from Paper Planes founder Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER
A quote from Paper Planes founder Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER

DeMichael echoes similar sentiments: “We chose Soho for our first store location because it is a great shopping neighborhood with strong foot traffic and a daily flow of both local customers and visiting tourists. We have already had customers from Singapore, the United Kingdom, Argentina and beyond visit the store to shop along with our fellow New Yorkers—all of whom are excited to experience the full collection and our collaborations in person.”


A quote from Paper Planes founder Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER
A quote from Paper Planes founder Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER

Those following the brand since its inception in 2014 are privy to the artistry and community engagement Paper Planes strongly believes in. Its first brick-and-mortar store offers customers the opportunity to step into future seasons and shop collections before they have dropped online, making this an exclusive and appealing place to stop into while in the area. The community highly covets Paper Planes headwear and T-shirts, and at the helm, the team always wants to conceptualize the meaning of each collection.


Clothing and accessories inside the store. PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER
Clothing and accessories inside the store. PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER

Why Soho? “Soho has always been welcoming to me, ever since I first came to NYC, beginning in 1989. Soho has helped me, and so many others, to feel secure in exploring and mastering our sense of personal style,” says Jones. From their collections to collaboration, this neighborhood is a wealth of information, and by being in the mix of things, the brand will be able to brainstorm new looks and collaborations with other artists. They seek to align their identity as a brand with the ever-evolving world of fashion.


Co-founder and CMO Emory Jones. PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER
Co-founder and CMO Emory Jones. PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER

“Travel is an ongoing theme at Paper Planes, so for the store, we wanted to lean into that concept,” says Just C. “We mixed modern elements with retro, vintage travel touches such as the leather airport-style seating coupled with state-of-the-art screens displaying our campaigns and news of our latest collections and collaborations.” Shoppers will get a first look at collections already debuted such as the Fine Artists Collaboration series (launched in August with painter Jammie Holmes) and the Paper Planes x NFL collaboration (whose second season launched in September).


Interior of the Paper Planes store. PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER
Interior of the Paper Planes store. PHOTO BY ALEXA HOYER

Paper Planes is not merely a shopping destination but rather an experiential endeavor to pinpoint and inspire personal style.

Tags: Mary Peeples,

Photography by: ALEXA HOYER