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Watch this: Aether builds a sleek San Francisco boutique from three shipping containers

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aether sf store
aether sf store

Aether is a predominantly web-based retailer, but the California-based outerwear company has recently begun expanding its brick-and-mortar business, with the launch of a new and innovative shop in San Francisco. Constructed from three, vertically stacked shipping containers, the shop has a distinctly industrial design that, as co-founders Palmer West and Jonah Smith explained to Cool Hunting, dovetails perfectly with Aether's urban-rugged aesthetic.

One of the biggest challenges they faced when designing the space was coming up with a way to efficiently and elegantly display Aether's inventory. The solution: a vertical conveyor belt system that runs from the first floor to the third floor. Customers can browse through the rack by activating the conveyor belt, or call up a specific item with a dial pad. The interior, meanwhile, is rather understated, with clean hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows.

According to Smith and West, the idea isn't to shift its sales away from the web, but to provide its online consumer base with a way to interact with and try on their garments, while showcasing Aether's sleek, modern design. As West says, "If you think this is cool, then you're gonna think the things that we make are cool."