Silent Pocket’s products are currently being featured in a Chelsea District pop-up retail shop in Manhattan called Story. Story is a unique retail concept in that it changes its theme every three to eight weeks in order to shed light on a new issue, theme, or trend. Along with this change in theme, it also changes its appearance and merchandise as well. Story occupies a 2000 square foot retail outlet located in Manhattan’s 10th Avenue shopping district. The store makes its money from retail sales and sponsorship by brands that have paid as much as $400,000 just to be featured in it and get the exposure that comes along with it. Story asked to feature our products, free of charge, because they really liked our brand and our products fit into this newest incantation. Its current installation or theme, the 30th of the store so far, is called Disrupt Story, and it is patterned after the wildly popular and new hacker-inspired, psychological drama on USA Network called ‘Mr. Robot’.
The Craziest Show on Television
The show, created by Sam Esmail, follows the character Elliot Alderson, a hacker by night and cybersecurity engineer employed with Allsafe by day who suffers from social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and clinical depression. Practically his only means of connecting to people is to hack them, and often transforms himself into a cyber-vigilante in the process. He is simultaneously recruited by E-(Evil) Corp, the largest corporation on the planet, and also by a mysterious character he names Mr. Robot, who leads a team of anarchist hacktivists known as ‘fsociety.’
‘Mr. Robot’ is a provocative, cyber-age thriller that is as nihilistic as it is twisted. Already winning eleven major television awards with another fourteen nominations to go along with it, the show has been a massive success with viewers of all demographics.
Mr. Esmail has listed several major influences of the show, including ‘Fight Club’, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Taxi Driver’, and ‘American Psycho’; and once you’ve seen even just one episode, these influences will be readily apparent - and you'll be hooked!
Story is the brainchild of Rachel Shechtman, a 4th generation entrepreneur who launched Cube Ventures, a marketing and retail agency whose clients included Lincoln car company, a shoe company named TOMS, Kraft Foods, GAP, AOL, and GILT - a clothing and accessory site. Shectman explains the reasoning behind Disrupt Story by saying, “Both the challenge and the exciting opportunity for us was that it has to be an experience that resonates with and appeals to diehard Robot fans. But if you’ve never seen the show, it has to make sense.” Keeping this in mind, the store has been broken up into four factions that reflect the show: the Founders, the Innovators, the Expressionists, and the Union of 1s. “We extracted these broad-stroke editorial themes from the show and used them as a way to curate merchandise and content in the store and also as a navigation tool to introduce guests to the experience”, Shectman goes on to say. The Founders features American manufacturing and disruptive business models.
The Innovators faction features technology designed to further progress.
The Expressionists faction is aimed at creativity and features works from artists, including Carly Chaikin, who plays hacktivist Darlene on Mr. Robot, and she designed a version of the fsociety mask just for Disrupt Story.
The Union of the 1s is solely about Mr. Robot and the hacker culture in general. It contains products that range from tactical gear to security and privacy products like Silent Pocket. This, of course, is where we are featured - and we’re proud of it!
In a quick tour around the store, you’ll see everything from merchandise for sale to actual props from the TV show, including the Thunder Ball Skee-ball machine and Frogger arcade game from fsociety’s Coney Island lair. But one of the most interesting features in Disrupt Story is the hackable, E-Corp ATM machine. Clues around the store reveal codes that observant shoppers can use to “hack” it and receive $10, $20, or $50 bills.
Alexander Shapiro, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Digital, is excited about the fsociety-inspired experience shoppers will encounter. “I think you can create great intimacy through social and digital, but it can’t be at the expense of being able to touch and feel an experience", says Shapiro, who is actively trying to put “real, tangible activations” into her marketing efforts these days.
We here at Silent Pocket are very proud to be a part of Disrupt Story, to be associated with Mr. Robot, and to represent the part of our culture that still respects privacy and security in a world quickly losing both.