Established in 2003, El Kartel has become a staple of fashion and art scene in the heart of Vancouver in Chinatown at 104 E. Pender . The spaces are dedicated to bringing in exclusive brands from all over the world including Zanerobe, Cheap Monday, Penfield, Neuw, Karen Walker, I Love Ugly, Religion, Stussy, Super, Daniel Welligton and more. At the same time El Kartel showcases art work from international and up and coming local artists while featuring in-house dJs.
104 E. Pender st. / P: 604.683.2171
"the staff is awesome, clothes are cool (great for girls ready to graduate from american apparel), fun tunes, perfect place for a sneaker pimp...oh and a sick rotating art collection. That's what drew us in today. The owner showed us a bunch of pieces from an artist named Soak. Very cool.
Browsed the store too. Some sweet tees and caps done by local graff artists. Picked out a pair of Insight boardshorts for my buddy with crazy space monkey graphics. After months of looking for the right pair for him this was it. Gotta love leaving with a smile and some sweet merch in hand." Susanne J
"El Kartel is by far my favourite clothing store.
Originally located on Granville st. But recently that shop closed after they relocated to Chinatown in an amazing space.
They carry the raddest of clothing. local designers and unique stuff from Europe as well as some of your favourite (dare I say "hipster" brands). Nine, Cheap Monday, Rains, Zanerobe, Stussy, and more...
In the store you will often find local art / artists. As well as great music always playing at a good volume.
The staff makes this place amazing. Pablo, MJ, Natalie and more.. They are all fun, energetic and pleasant people. I have gotten to know them and sometimes stop in just to chat. I love this about El Kartel, it is literally a culture / family.
EVENTS. Yep.. They often hold events at their space. And, im talking GOOD events. Live music, artists, and more.. Always a good time.
Definitely check this place out if you are into fashionable, radical, fresh clothing and/or businesses doing it right. El Kartel deserves a gold medal.
Shoutout to El Kartel, much love." Harrison H.
"El Kartel embodies an entire genre of upper class scene-sterdom (not to be confused with hipsterdom) in it's little 500 sq foot store. By this I mean, it's really locked down a generation of urban, graphic street wear that's hip to the times. In addition, El Kartel also hosts happening openings showcases local artists who also embody said genre. Dj's and graffiti artists are always close by to tag your t-shirt, hat or shoes should you want it. It is clear that each item is carefully selected and definitely not found anywhere else. The glass display case holds some of the best stuff in my opinion. Handmade jewelry, lego-brass knuckle rings, sunglasses and headphones are awesome to look at even if they are totally out of my price range. Shirts and hoodies (if not luchador themed) often don urbanized Vancouver imagery, which is cool if you're looking for something touristy, but not THAT touristy." Pennylane S
"El Kartel is a trendy destination. As a personal fan of bright clothing, this place always draws me in when I pass. The room looks great, I tend to b-line to the sneakers lining the room. A lot of different styles here, including a great deal of New Balance sneakers, which evidently are now cool. The music is always loud and great, just how I like to shop. Better still, on some days you can catch a dj playing by the hat wall in an elevated booth. The staff is great, informed on a lot of styles and subjects. More than once I've lingered at the register to finish a conversation about music. On the way out make sure you take a look at the flyer table which promotes parties around the city. If you're new in town this is a great place to find out about local parties and shows." Darien
"Its kind of like every time you walk in this place you are being greeted by a family member you haven't seen in ages. They have never failed to say hello (and have it be SINCERE) The clothes and accessories for men and ladies are impeccable and refreshingly different. The perfect spot for a person to shop who doesn't dress and act like a sheep. A must see if you've never been!" Jen C