Owner Rialto “Rio” Estolas at Throwbacks Northwest (Image: Andy Yamashita for CHS)
By Andy Yamashital, UW News Lab/Special to CHS
Walk east on Pike, just past 12th Ave and you might miss it.
Tucked away in a small storefront, you can tell you’ve found Throwbacks Northwest from the black door covered in stickers and all the Seattle Supersonics memorabilia that hangs in the window. The sign hanging off the beige building is hard to see if you aren’t sure what to look for.
But for people involved in the streetwear, deadstock, and vintage collection communities, the shop is the stuff of legends.
“A lot of people come here and they ask if we’re hiring,” Shane Cloud, an employee at the store said. “But, it’s kind of like — you get asked to work here, you don’t ask to work here.”
Throwbacks Northwest, owned by Rialto “Rio” Estolas, is currently in its tenth year of business and has been the center for a niche group of people looking for unique ways to express their own style and represent Seattle. They are drawn to the shop because, as Estolas and Cloud say, they offer more than just shoes, snapbacks, and sweatshirts.
“We don’t necessarily sell clothes,” Cloud said. “We sell nostalgia. A lot of this is memories — special memories you know. People remember that game they went to with their dad, and maybe their dad has passed away now. Or they grew up playing Little League and they remember watching Ken Griffey Jr. play.” Continue reading