This summer streetwear clothing store Envy Fits and Fashion expanded into a bigger location at the Fox River Mall in Appleton.
“We sell urban clothes,” co-owner Philip Bennett said. “We go to shows to see what’s trending for that season and if it’s popping, we bring it to Appleton,” Philip said.
Envy Fits and Fashion carries brands such as BAPE, Born Fly, Hustle Gang, Jordan Craig, Lacoste, Le Tigre and Staple, among others. All of these brands incorporate elements of Hip Hop, sportswear, punk, Japanese street fashion, Californian surf and New York City skateboarding culture, and haute couture translated into a style of casual clothing.
“We just started women’s clothing a couple of months ago,” co-owner Bennet said.
The new clothing store is located on the first floor of Fox River Mall near Journeys. In addition to clothes, Envy Fits and Fashion also sells shoes and accessories.
“We just want to get an urban selection out there for people to choose from. A lot of people think we’re country here but that’s not the case. People here wear everything,” co-owner Steve Bennett said.
Envy Fits and Fashion, which opened October 2017, is a family-run operation between twin brothers Philip and Steve Bennett and their cousin, Avery Brown. The store also became a popular shopping destination for Green Bay Packers players. Envy Fits and Fashion also has an offshoot location in downtown Racine, which opened last fall.
Envy Fits and Fashion’s collection includes styles for pre-teens to those in their early 30’s. This is not the brothers’ first streetwear venture. Steve said he and his brother have been dabbling in streetwear for almost 20 years. When the brothers were younger, they owned a clothing store in Racine called Hip Hop Connections, from 2002 to 2004.
“I was young, still in the street and that wasn’t my main priority back then,” Philip said.
Unfortunately, the building housing their last store was torn down and the brothers never found a new location. Then, Philip found himself in trouble with the law.
At age 14, he was arrested and charged for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. This kicked off his journey through the criminal justice system. After serving several sentences between the ages of 14 and 28, Philip decided to go to school for machinery.
“I knew that line of work was good pay and with me being a felon it was easier to get a job,” he said.
For 10 years, Philip worked at Neenah Foundry, a provider for many of the world’s leading manufacturing companies. Later, he decided to become a full-time entrepreneur. Philip also manages The Cozzy Corner, the award-winning downtown soul food restaurant in Appleton, and the Fox River Mall barber shop Legends Cuts and Styles, where he also cuts hair.
“I’m always working,” he said.
Steve hopes to show others that there are other ways to make money outside of selling drugs or doing crime. He would like Envy Fits and Fashion to encourage more people to become their own boss. Steve also would like to see the franchise expand.
“I just want for us to be relevant and have different locations in different cities,” he said.