VII Grand Premium Streetwear and Sneakers opened up today, and as I walked in, I was surprised to find former University of Arizona star and current Minnesota Timberwolves player Derrick Williams holding court behind the counter, signing autographs, posing for pictures and chatting up everyone who asked.
When I was able to get a second with him and mentioned my surprise that he was able to be in town this weekend, he said "it was kind of a last minute thing, but I felt it was important to be here for the opening."
"When I was (at Arizona), I used to have to go back home (to California) if I wanted stuff like this, so I'm glad to have something here," he said. "We have a lot of great brands in here, like The Hundreds and Undefeated...and I want our brand to be one of the big brands in the country. I think we can do it," he said.
The shop doesn't yet have all of its inventory shipped in yet ("A lot of suppliers have just started sending out their spring line," Escalante said. "We had to have a lot of things overnighted for the opening,") but they expect to have gear trickling in over the next week, including gear from Puma, Asics and The Hundreds footwear—they're working to get brands like Nike, Reebok and Adidas on board as well, all in "retro" styles, so look out for that in the future.