Tree Apparel revamps student store and infuses campus with new fashion

Tucked snugly between Starbucks and Coffee House at Tressider Union is Stanford’s own student merchandise store, Tree Apparel. On Friday, the student store held its big reopening event, luring students in with free boba drinks, a raffle and — of course — an avalanche of new and unreleased Stanford apparel.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the student store was forced to close for a year. After this period of stagnation, Tree Apparel seeks to support student life and re-establish its presence on campus as a go-to establishment.

Stanford Student Enterprises business operations manager, Jas Espinosa ’19, saw the redesign as an opportunity to breathe more life into the store to attract student attention.

“The pandemic has really hampered our sales; we had to close for an entire year. This means that we have lost an entire year of profits to the association, which helps fund student organizations and campus events. So we’re really looking to build our presence on campus,” Espinosa said. “What we really want to convey is that this store is a labor of love for the University and the student body. Everything here is run entirely with the intention of supporting student life on campus.

Upon reopening, students marveled at the freshly painted robin’s egg walls, pristine white cabinetry, and a redesigned logo on the wall. Others gathered in hopes of grabbing a free boba drink, but ended up staying for the welcoming environment of Tree Apparel and the chance to hang out with their friends while enjoying the new clothing designs.

“I’m here for the boba. My friends and I just got out of a class together. I think it’s good because we’ve never hung out in groups before, since we’re all very busy, and it’s good to be with them here. Hopefully we win something,” said Julia Hok ’23.

Tree Apparel staff always welcome student opinions and suggestions for product design.

“If people want a place to showcase their creations, we want to be that place for them. We look forward to expanding our online presence as well as our point of sale here,” said Espinosa.

While the reopening event allowed some students to enjoy the day with their friends, others came to collaborate with Tree Apparel. Vardaan Shah ’25 and Isabella Pistaferri ’25, two student designers and members of FashionX – Stanford’s on-campus pre-professional fashion club – want to push the boundaries of what students wear.

“It’s been closed for a while, so I wanted to check out the new merchandising. I knew they were doing a redesign effort, and it was cool to see that they had collaborated with different brands. We were also researching the merchandising because we know the student store is working to recruit collaborative student designers,” Pistaferri said. Shah and Pistaferri hope to work with the store in the future, as Tree Apparel provides a supportive space to incubate designers.

Tree Apparel distinguishes itself as a store run by students, for students. With the student budget in mind and student designers showcasing their unique designs, Tree Apparel hopes to meet all Stanford student merchandise needs.

“Honestly, I came for the free boba but stayed for the student store. It’s a really interesting store, and it certainly sells different things than the bookstore,” Shah said. “A lot of it is looking to see what hasn’t been done before, what would be interesting, and what students would like to wear on campus that hasn’t been sold out at the bookstore.”

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