When West Philly Local profiled Rebels Closet in May, it seemed as if the excitement around the project was contagious. The street wear—meets—counterculture clothing store that took over True Planet Vintage Boutique’s former home at 4501 Baltimore Ave was going to breathe fresh air into the neighborhood—and tap into the West Philly underground not only through major brands like Mighty Healthy and G.E.E.K (Good Energy = Quals Kreation) Clothing Inc., but through in-store events like spoken word nights and a rolling art gallery.
Over the few months since its soft opening, though, Rebels Closet’s doors were rarely open during its stated operating hours, and—at least twice from what we observed—the store was completely emptied of any product or display, only to return a few days later. There was some hope that maybe it was just growing pains, as all businesses have their ebbs and flows, but that hope was soon dashed. As of about two weeks ago, Rebels Closet has been added to 4501 Baltimore Avenue’s “Previous Tenants” list. Around that time, a large group of people began gutting the corner store, carrying mounds and mounds of trash bags out of its doors. Drapes and brown paper material now cover its windows—a “Coming Soon” sign alerting that Zed’s Last Minute Gift Shop will make 45th Street and Baltimore Avenue its new home.
West Philly Local reached out to Takiya Lipscomb, manager of Rebels Closet, to find out what had happened to the clothing store, but she has yet to return our request for comment. As for Zed’s, we’ll update you with more information once we get in touch with the owners.