DYSP by Crossover
First Female Sneaker Boutique
Let’s face it, streetwear retail outlets tend to appeal to male shoppers even if the merchandise in store is unisex. That is now being remedied – premier local streetwear boutique Crossover has a new sister in their family of concept stores, and her name is DYSP (the abbreviation for ‘Die Young, Stay Pretty’) as she was christened after a reggae track by Blondie as well as an homage to a critically-acclaimed documentary.
Helmed by a woman for women, DYSP is located mere steps away from Crossover’s flagship in City Square Mall, Johor Bahru. The store is sleek with traces of pink neon laced throughout the décor of the quaint sneaker boutique. Thankfully, it’s not overly feminine in a distasteful manner, but just like its co-founder, the store is proud of its femininity – pink but still badass.
DYSP serves to provide women a space where they can shop for sneakers, apparel, and accessories that are designed specifically for them. Ladies can find Vans, New Balances, Nikes, Pumas, and more in their sizes, and shop for the women’s line from brands such as Carhartt instead of settling for ill-fitting items from the men’s range.
DYSP is located at MS75, Level 4, Innercity City Square, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru. Opening hours are 10am to 10pm daily.
T: 07 221 2204
Eillen Yeoh has been with Crossover for some seven years now. With the recently opened DYSP (launched just last August), she was finally given the opportunity to not just manage another Crossover sister store, but also get fully involved in its brand image, ethos, décor, product selections, and heck, even the store’s music choice as well. JUICE spoke to Crossover’s loyal team player on founding a store of her own, female empowerment, and embracing femininity as opposed to fighting against it.
Why did you decide to name the shop after a Blondie song?
Blondie being the pioneer of the new wave and punk scene is an inspiration; that we should always be able to express ourselves freely in fashion and in life. It is also a tribute to a documentary [called] Died Young, Stayed Pretty by Eileen Yaghoobian that showcases underground indie art, where bands like Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, and Arcade Fire all forged on with their own identity without adhering to any known genre.
We visited the store once; it was brightly lit, had clean decor, and exuded femininity. But we’d like to know what your vision was when DYSP was conceived in your mind?
Being loud in pink and being confident with our personality. After all, just as the styles of clothes we wear are an expression of our personalities, so are the colours they come in. You’d never clock someone wearing hot pink and think they weren’t comfortable with themselves, now would you?
How did you get into working with Crossover?
I’ve always been into fashion for as long as I could remember. I spent my most of my school breaks working at different fashion boutiques, learning the ropes of the retail line, till Crossover came into the market. I love their spirit and their courage to showcase fashion and lifestyle as a statement, so I jumped at the first opportunity to be a part of team Crossover.
Working with Crossover for about seven years now, what motivated you to start DYSP?
It’s all about female empowerment. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for female range of sneakers in particular. Girls now run the world, [we’re] providing them with comfort to walk all walks of life. The current era of women does not see sneakers as a mere footwear needed for their daily workout; they are viewed as a significant part of the wardrobe and a fashion statement, so creating DYSP made sense – it’s a big change to a formerly male-dominated industry.
How has the response to the store been since its opening in August last year?
We started operation just in time for Fall ‘15, thus the immediate reaction was pretty overwhelming. Feedback from the ladies indicates that they are excited that they finally have a sneaker store that they can call their own.
Were there any hurdles or problems when setting up DYSP?
Being the first in something will always be challenging. You have to ensure whatever you are trying to project or bring forward can be delivered clearly and accurately to your audiences —the same goes with DYSP. During our initial unveiling, we had most customers walking in thinking that it was a regular sneaker store catering to the guys. However, after the news spread out, the female crowds started to flow in. So, in a way we don’t see it as a hurdle or a problem, but more of a learning step, no one said being a pioneer would be a walk in a park.
Along with DYSP, you head the operations of Crossover Concept Store as well. What are the major differences in terms of how you would manage the needs of each store?
DYSP is the sister store of Crossover. In terms of managing the two, with DYSP, I am fully involved with everything; from [anything] as major as product selections and store image to the tiniest details [such as] music selection. I see DYSP as a female figure, a symbol of female empowerment, so I am highly particular in every aspect of it.
Would you consider expanding the store to include women’s apparel and accessories as well?
Currently, the store does include apparel and accessories, [as] we are constantly on the lookout for new trends to add on. However, the focus will always be to offer something that is not found in most female fashion outlets, which tends to be extremely feminine.
What’s the best part of co-founding the first female sneaker boutique in the country?
First and foremost, I have the privilege to work with a great team. Starting with Crossover, it has given me the opportunity to develop my passion in fashion and I became driven to embody Crossover’s spirit of always being a step ahead and taking chances when no one else dares to. With the birth of DYSP, I feel that I am being a part of the revolution happening around the world… Standing up for the ladies! The best part is now I am able to share my passion with others, and in turn, I hope to empower them to do the same.
Does DYSP have, in its own way, Crossover outlets’ anarchist punk spirit?
It does. But instead of fighting what defines us as females, DYSP is about embracing it – loud and proud.
Just like Crossover has the first female sneaker boutique, HYPEBEAST also just launched its female editorially-driven website HYPEBAE. Why do you think there is a sudden rise or special interest in promoting women’s streetwear fashion?
Female power has always been on the rise, while in terms of gender equality, it is only a matter of time that women’s sneakers and lifestyle would be treated in the same light.