It’s ironic that HUB is located in Phoenix, this being Hub Clothing’s fifth incarnation, and the city being aptly named after the mythical bird when a pioneer suggested it was a city born out of the ruins of a former civilization. Phoenix is a city of rebirths and above all else second chances.
This was Hohokam land, abandoned by the time the settlers came, state number 48 on Valentines Day 1912; they were fearful of it being on the unlucky 13th day. There was a metropolitan incarnation after World War II, with industry, construction, art, all in a booming downtown.
The Westward Ho hosted dignitaries and presidents, Kennedy and Nixon; Hotel San Carlos housed Clark Gable, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and was in the opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The juxtaposition of a thriving metropolis amidst an exotic desert attracted flocks of tourist and in the spirit of the west itself, people looking to start again. Frank Lloyd Wright imagined Phoenix a city of the future, drawing up plans for a state capitol and other buildings that would never be built.
It all went to shit after the mob decided to destroy the Phoenix Street Railway; we wouldn’t have anything like it again for another sixty years. After an Arizona Republic writer was murdered in a car bomb explosion outside of the Clarendon Hotel the mass exodus to the suburbs left downtown Phoenix to the prostitutes and crack addicts, the aliens flying over our heads in 1997.
“Her lamp flippers in her bedroom, she must feel it’s awkward, oh I said it’s Arizona”
– 'Arizona' Kings of Leon
HUB opened in 1991 on Mill Avenue, a strip of bars and other businesses catering to the college crowd of Arizona State. By 1992 it was in Scottsdale’s premiere Fashion Square Mall, introducing brands like DIESEL, Rag and Bone, Acne, A.P.C., Naked and Famous and Nudie to the untapped market of Phoenix. The store was creating a following, a circle of those who knew better.
All the while downtown was undergoing a renaissance, artists rented cheap and galleries sprouted, restaurants opened and concert venues began to book; Now there’s dining that grabs national attention, our artists are showing at Coachella, bands playing at Crescent Ballroom and street festivals where you used to roll up your windows driving through.
Phoenix is readying for its next incarnation, HUB won’t be left behind. After 20 years, owner Jennifer Mumford has brought HUB back to life with a new Phoenix location, online store and a slew of new brands to introduce. HUB will be on the scene, observing it, furnishing it, pushing it forward;
When there’s nothing left you have to be bold.