By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — You don’t need to save your best fit for the weekends. You can dress to impress any day of the week.
That’s the idea behind downtown’s newest retail shop, Weekdays Social Club, which opens at noon Saturday at 333 E. State St. The store and social club, owned by Marquez Beeks and NBA star Fred VanVleet, offers a mix of high-end sneakers, streetwear, vintage clothing and VanVleet’s merch. The store’s tagline is “not only on weekends, but also on weekdays.”
“Everybody so often gets dressed up and gets ready for the weekend, how about the weekdays, too,” said Beeks, who runs the shop and is VanVleet’s manager and business partner. “We fly Monday through Sunday.”
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The store is a passion project for Beeks, who also runs a nonprofit called Touching Soles, which provides shoes to young athletes from disadvantaged families.
He and his business partner VanVleet, who owns the building that includes several other local businesses, saw an opportunity to add to downtown’s retail scene for sneakerheads and streetwear enthusiasts.
“One thing that I want to do is bring attention back to our downtown,” Beeks said. “Just to get people coming back and start shopping downtown, not only for this store but for other local stores to get the attention and get patrons as well.
“That’s the main thing, bringing it downtown where other local stores can capitalize off the attention that this store is getting as well.”
“I’ve got a couple employees on my team that are really, really into sneakers, so they lead the way on that,” Beeks said. “We try to get everybody’s input as well, too. So we might put on social media: What shoes does everybody want? What color? What size? So we try to make it a collective thing at the end of the day.”
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You’ll also find some of VanVleet’s game-worn shoes from his signature line with the Chinese brand Li-Ning. A section of VanVleet merch, as well as game jerseys from his days at Auburn High School and in the G League, are in a space that includes a Blackjack table at the center as a play of his Bet on Yourself motto.
“At the end of the day, I had to have his merch in here. Not because he’s my best friend, but because he’s our hometown hero. He’s our premier NBA player,” Beeks said.
The entryway to the store has a lounge-style area with a couch, an old-school arcade machine and other furnishings that create a hangout vibe. That’s part of the vision for the social club aspect of the store.
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Weekdays is also open as a rental space for meetings or special events, and eventually it could include a club membership program that would provide access to attend events inside such as viewing a major boxing match or UFC fight.
“As time goes on, we want people to feel welcome more than anything,” he said.
Beeks envisions a future where the Weekdays brand could expand to other cities like Atlanta or Charlotte, but the logical first step was starting from Rockford.
“Obviously, starting at home,” he said. “We’re 815 through and through.”
About | Weekdays Social Club
Where: 333 E. State St., Rockford
Grand opening: Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday