Wil Eddins is constantly brainstorming new ideas. Formerly the head buyer at online retailer Karmaloop, Eddins launched his “verge culture lab” and Downtown retail space Institution 18b in November 2015. Since then, he’s strived to be a pioneer of Downtown style and culture.
Institution is where those ideas converge. His current list of upcoming projects includes hosting movie nights for the community (cult classics like Kids, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and SLC Punk), pairing with coffee shop Makers & Finders for an Institution 18b-designed work shoe and his new monthly hip-hop and R&B party, Extra Sauce, debuting at Hop Nuts Brewing November 30. The launch will see DJs Five, Jami, Pdot and Lotion dropping jams all night. Eddins previously opened his retail space for the monthly yoga event and wellness event, the Sunday Reset.
On the fashion side of Institution, the streetwear trailblazer focuses on creating an official collection of store-branded products, “ranging from tops and bottoms to accessories,” along with collaborative threads with other brands. His personal style is a mashup of b-boy and skate influences—classic silhouettes that have been staples since he was in high school. And the store is the perfect mix of those key threads, complete with trend-setting looks and a futuristic flare.
“I’m not a fashion guy,” he insists, though the inside of his shop suggests otherwise. Most days, Eddins keeps it casual, wearing tees like the one he designed with HNRS owner Todd Shimabuku, complete with a Trump/Clinton graphic on the front and the anarchist circle-A—along with the lyrics to the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.”—emblazoned on the back.
“We really like to disrupt things, because that’s how you get people’s attention,” Eddins says. “We like to touch on current events … We want to be the Downtown institution for culture.” Institution 18b, 918 S. Main St., 702-476-5704.