Highsnobiety

Erewhon is to Gen Z as the Four Seasons was to '80s political elite, and the Royalton was to late '90s magazine execs: you go there to be seen among the elite, to hobknob with movers, with shakers. And maybe to buy a $14 pre-bottled green drink.

As Supreme is to fashion, Erewhon is to supermarkets: exclusive, expensive, attainable to few. It's just that while Supreme's exclusivity comes from limited edition hoodies, Erewhon makes its bones on the air of exclusivity. If only that feeling could be bottled. Well..

Erewhon's forthcoming collaboration with buzzy clothing label Cactus Plant Flea Market feels, at face value, like an odd juxtaposition of taste — literally, in the case of the CPFM Smoothie, a $22 beverage clad in a collaborative cup.

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Erewhon x Cactus Planet Flea Market is bizarre, in that framing the reclusive streetwear brand in the seemingly uncool context of grocery stores feels strange. But, then, the phenomenon of Erewhon is itself kinda bizarre.

Founded in 1966 as one of America's first health food stores, Erewhon puttered along until 2011, when hotshot entrepreneur Tony Antoci purchased and refocused the company as a bougie supermarket to the stars.

There are now 10 Erewhon stores in the Los Angeles area, including one in the ultra-posh Calabasas area.

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Erewhon counts among its many, many, many A-list admirers Kourtney Kardashian, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Bieber, all of whom have collaborated on the crown jewel of the Erewhon empire: its smoothies.

Erewhon smoothies lure wannabe influencers in the same way that Supreme's Box Logo hoodies engender queues.

Even though the drinks aren't inherently limited, they're wildly covetable, especially the ones bearing a celebrity's name. Since the $18 drink was relaunched in 2022, for instance, Erewhon has since sold nearly a quarter-million Hailey Bieber smoothies.

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But even when Supreme hoodies lose their buzz, rich folks' shopping habits scarcely change. Scrolling through a few years of celebrity sightings at Erewhon displays a stream of famous folks more consistent than the Met Gala red carpet. Who else could afford 16oz of raw coconut milk for $13 or shopping bags priced at $135?

One day, you'll see Kendall Jenner; Ryan Gosling the next. It's not uncommon to witness Kaia Gerber or Bella Hadid in the Erewhon café. Jaden Smith, Dua Lipa, Gisele Bündchen, Andrew Garfield, The Kid LAROI, and Rihanna's mom are regulars.

Erewhon offers us proles a rare chance to walk among the titans of culture. A coworker told me that she once visited an Erewhon location while vacationing in LA and waited for her smoothie next to Shawn Mendes.

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The Erewhon mystique that drew her in has proven similarly irresistible for TikTokers, who've racked up nearly a half-billion views on the app's Erewhon tag. There, the Erewhon name inspires mockery, awe, hauls, and even "Get Ready With Me" videos wherein 20-somethings breathlessly style themselves to come correct on a grocery run.

Given Erewhon's emphasis on locality and aesthetics, perhaps the supermarket is less like Supreme and more like Aimé Leon Dore, which tempts visitors with its own signature drink.

Like ALD, Erewhon's uneffortful façade has granted it a sense of IYKYK cool.

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Unlike ALD, Erewhon is keen to explore and play with its own hype.

For instance, an errant Kanye "Ye" West tweet engendered bootleg Erewhon merch that was worn by regular customers like Pete Wentz and Cara Santana. Erewhon, seeing this, created its own in-house collection of tastefully understated, Erewhon-branded merch.

Collaborations with partners that share an appreciation for wellness and wealth, like Casablanca and Sky High Farm, followed.

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Erewhon x Cactus Planet Flea Market encompasses the two core pillars of each partner: smoothies and graphic streetwear. Combined, they're so desirable that the Erewhon apparel website crashed following the collaboration's August 22 announcement.

It makes sense from an aesthetic perspective — cultish hippy clothing brand meets cultish hippy supermarket — but Erewhon's CPFM collaboration also dovetails with the intertwining of streetwear and wellness markets.

Activewear brands have transcended trend, leggings are pants, athleisure is forever, and even that one brand that sells "Wellness"-printed sweaters jjust opened its a flagship store.

This CPFM collaboration could be Erewhon's first step toward expanding its core clientele beyond its regional obsessives and properly courting streetwear shoppers, who are easily enticed by buzzy drinks and a place to sip them.

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Indeed, Erewhon's health-meets-wealth ethos is a worthy fit for plenty of local labels. Fear of God already partnered with AARMY, why not Erewhon?

CPFM is the first of only a few clout-y nods Erewhon would need to cross over to a larger audience and, eventually, achieve the inverse of something like Ralph's Coffee, where you come for the clothes but stay for the culture.

Erewhon's already got the culture, all it needs is the clothes.

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