Commentary: Central Hype not a welcoming environment

Ana Turner, Business Manager

Overwhelmed by the strong smell of Axe and the blaring of rap music in my ears, my experience at Central Hype, the new Downtown Naperville clothing store, was far from great.

Central Hype is a consignment store that resells popular luxury brands such as Supreme, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and many more. The store features two racks of clothing and one wall of shoes where hunters looking for specific items from a variety of brands go to seek out the clothes they want.

The store also features a vending machine where customers can play to win expensive, luxury shoes. While I am no expert on the recent hype surrounding these luxury brands, I can strongly state the store is one that I will not be entering again anytime soon.

Immediately upon arrival, I noticed that my friend and I were the only girls in the store. Since their merchandise typically caters to the male population, I was not surprised by this, but I was surprised at the lack of respect I encountered when trying to speak to someone about the store itself.

The front counter was covered in at least 10 pre-adolescent boys staring with awe through the glass at what I presumed to be shoes. In an attempt to speak with whoever was behind the counter, I waited until the boys had been helped, but soon realized they were not there to actually buy anything.

It wasn’t until I waited about three minutes before the two boys behind the counter signaled for the boys to move out of the way. In my attempt to speak with them, I was interrupted by one of the pre-adolescent boys who said, and I quote:

“Damn, you here for an interview to work here?”

Casually shrugging it off, I proceeded to try and see if I could ask the workers a few questions, but my questions were not to be answered.

The two workers, who I found to be the owners, would not make eye contact with me and when I asked if I could speak with them, they proceeded to turn to each other and speak in a different language before giving me an answer, which ultimately was “no.”

While they did suggest I come in later, I had already booked an appointment with them in advance and taken the time to come speak with them when they told me they would be available. I wish I could have spoken with them later, but I
presumed I could speak with them at the scheduled time, so I was already booked for the night.

After another glance around the store, I did not hesitate to leave quickly. The store culture was very uncomfortable, and I’m not sure if I caught them on a bad day, but the owners seemed uninterested in answering my questions about what theywere trying to achieve through their new business.

While the idea behind it was unique, Central Hype certainly did not live up to the hype I expected, and I left feeling confused and uncomfortable, something I don’t usually experience in a clothing store.