Urban fashion store facilitates community


Oneness Fashion shop in Lexington, KY. Photo by Ryan Buckler

by Joy Priest

Ascend the steps that give Oneness287 its alias, “The Stoop,” and you’re entering more than an exclusive high-end urban fashion vendor… you have now walked into a lifestyle.

The visuals inside the shop tell it all.

“Basically, what’s going on in Chicago, New York, L.A., D.C. and Miami… we made it happen here,” said co-owner Joe Staley, “Everything we sell in here, you can’t find anywhere else in the state.”

The originators of the CATS hat and the All Cats Everything gear began with a struggle.

“We were in a dungeon selling sneakers,” Steve Coffman, the other half of the Oneness team. “We couldn’t get any brands unless we grew. That’s what led to us becoming what we are now. We googled ‘team,’ used a thesaurus and got Oneness.”

The store’s name came from it’s adress–287 South Limestone.

“We needed something that meant teamwork,” Staley said. “It was a lot of work for us to pull together.”

What started as a partnership has now grown into the “stoop family” with the adoption of a talented and eccentric set of individuals who regularly inhabit the shop called the “Stoopies.”

“[A stoopie] is someone who took a vow, so to speak, on knowing and believing that there should be change.,” Warren Edwards, also known around Lexington as DjWarrenPEACE, said. “We all live by an unwritten code. It has never been spoke of or confirmed, it just exists.”

Edwards, a Lexington native, will disc jockey the 2010 UK Homecoming Step Show on Friday, October 22. He regularly DJs at Devassa Bar on Wednesday nights and has released several independent projects, the most recent being his From the Midwest mixtape which dropped Tuesday, October 6th.

“We’re just the ones that have been on the grind,” Integrated Strategic Communication sophomore Zephir Griffin said. “We sort of volunteer at the stoop. I volunteered here my whole first year in college. This is my family.”

Each and every one of the Stoopies play a role in the culture that thrives at 287 South Limestone.

“This is the mecca, period,” said Edwards.

“This is a culture for us, it’s the way we think and the way we move,” said Nemo Achida, a Lexington native and local hip hop artist. “I’m the rebel,” he added. “Well, maybe I’m not the rebel. I’m the soundtrack.”

Achida, also a Lexington native, releases his first full-length album, “Digital Dan” on Halloween of this year. He has performed in most every venue in Lexington and released several projects including “Vibrations” (January 2010) and “The NorthStar EP” (September 2010).

Oneness287 is two blocks away from campus. This proximity to the university has allowed the store to participate in many UK events and have an impact on the surrounding community. Oneness has featured clothes in the Vanity fashion show and donated gift cards at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated’s annual Stomp-a-palooza, among other contributions.

The store’s position on Limestone included it in the count of shops affected by the construction that riddled the downtown street for a year.

Coffman said Oneness 287 was affected more than many other stores because it is a newer busniess.“Convenience is everything, no one wanted to be inconvenienced by construction,” Coffman said.

Yet, the estimated 3,000 people that stood strong outside of the shop on June 19, 2010 showed their support as Oneness287 hosted an outdoor concert at the city’s block party to mark the end of construction.

The shop celebrates its two-year anniversary on Wednesday. Although it has grown significantly since its dungeon days, Staley envisions more expansion in the future.

“Maybe a larger build out, still we have to represent where we’re from,” Staley said. “In building our brand we’re always going to include the Big Blue theme.”

As far as the Stoopies go, they hope to send a message as well.

“It’s okay to be different,” Griffin said. “When I first came here my actions didn’t say this as loud as they do now, but it’s okay to be a weirdo.”

While the Stoopies have adopted Oneness as their “home away from home,” the store has something for everyone. Store owners guarantee you will walk out with the most fashion-forward, urban street wear and probably a few UK-themed items. After experiencing the Oneness287 culture you may also leave with a new-found family.