The New York Xchange
Is this self-proclaimed Goth shop worth the hype?
The New York Xchange, owned by Metro Clothing Company, is a relic of the Seattleite goth scene. This business was founded 25 years ago in Capitol Hill and has remained in the same spot ever since. Though it carries with it years of history as part of the Goth subculture, it has evolved its merchandise to better fit with today’s growing alternative fashion communities. From their website, they claim to carry “Modern, Alternative, and ‘Edgy’ day to night Fashions to create an eclectic collection of apparel, accessories & footwear.” From Lolita dresses, harnesses, platform boots and rave outfits, NYX has branched out from its roots.
I had previously heard of this business while scrolling through TikTok. One video popped up that had over 200k likes, with one of the staff members creating a super cute winter-friendly goth outfit: a fluffy coat, fluffy boots and fluffy earmuffs. So stinkin’ cute! I loved it enough that I wanted to check out their page and give them a follow. Lo and behold, I found their location to be right over in Capitol Hill. I was quite excited and knew I had to visit as quickly as possible. I genuinely thought I struck gold once again. But as a college student on a budget, I had to prioritize my biggest concern whenever I found a new shop: is it expensive? And if it is expensive, is it really worth the money?
Entering the store, the sheer volume of items displayed across the entire floor was impressive. The shop itself is smaller than I thought, so the fact that it had so many different items made it a bit overwhelming. But it’s clear to see how much effort must have been put into creating such a collection of merchandise. My first impressions were pretty standard; I jumped up and down in excitement, zoomed from rack to rack and yanked my friend along the entire store. I had positive expectations from their TikTok page and the pictures they posted online but seeing it with my own eyes was something else. I was also super impressed by the number of legitimate alternative-based brands they sell: Demonia boots, Killstar apparel, T.U.K and Tripp N.Y.C. pants.
Before anything though, I found myself doing what I usually do whenever I see things I really like in a store. I checked the price. Specifically, I checked the price of a black, lace corset dress I fell in love with. I was pleasantly surprised to see the price tag say $40. Corsets are usually expensive, ranging anything from $50 to $200. So, seeing a full dress with a fitted corset for only $40 was amazing. The rest of the store shared similar prices. Clothing and apparel usually ranged from $25-$50 and shoes seemed to go from $39.99-$150. The shoes had similar prices to those from the brands’ own online stores, with the exception of a few that were on sale. So, definitely not the cheapest but also not insanely expensive. While there were a few items whose prices were questionable ($29.99 Killstar leggings, yikes), others were definitely fair and worth the singular splurge. Their dresses were probably my favorite, as well as their purses and huge accessory collection; just a giant wall of leather collars, cuffs, chains, and other heavy metal accessories. I kept thinking about how nice it would be to have enough money to be able to afford that entire wall.
In the end, I had to resist the urge to buy anything and convinced myself to come back the next week to treat myself for Valentine’s Day. At home, I decided to take a quick look at their online shops and found out that they sell their merchandise from the Metro Alternative website, meaning they don’t actually sell their in-store merchandise online. With a second look, I found that they had a Depop for specific items inside the shop. The same black dress I liked was on sale there at the same price.
Overall, I found this to be such a cool store. It’s super fun to visit with friends and try on outfits together. They also do have as much variety as they claim: goth, punk, emo, lolita and rave outfits. Though I wouldn’t necessarily consider this shop a goth shop, it’s still a neat place to buy a few items every once in a while. The price tag is still a bit too elevated for me, so, I think I’ll continue to thrift and occasionally pop by this store; thrifting is king. I encourage others to stop by as well, but be mentally prepared to spend at least $50.