When the René Magritte exhibit, ‘The Mystery of the Ordinary,’ opened at the MoMA last fall, our design team spent a day there and came back inspired enough by Surrealism to want to create this collection. One of the things that struck our designers the most was the use of ordinary objects as a subject by the artist, and how they became re-interpreted through the Surrealist lens, be it a spoon covered in fur, or presenting an object with another word above it. By taking away the purpose and connection that people easily assume objects or places have, a whole new world of possibility opens up.
Armed with the idea of seeing and perceiving the world in a different way, we reached out to one of our favorite photographers, Chris Schoonover. We were drawn to Chris’ mastery of de-contextualizing everyday objects, spaces and architecture into abstract, geometric forms, as well as his ability to choreograph subjects into similarly odd poses. For the location of our photoshoot, we chose Bushwick, an area not seen as conventionally beautiful, but in our eyes, is overflowing with moments of often overlooked visual treasures and possibilities.
In our mid-fall collection, you’ll find these same ideas – objects such as combs and picks on a custom printed shirt, oversized fuzzy eyes on a sweater, and optical patterns on sweaters, skirts and dresses create a surreal tone. As always, this season’s new arrivals also come with tons of extra BKI details, such as pop color locker loops, thumb hole sleeves, fun interior-printed linings and unique tailoring. These combinations of fashion and function are prominent in this season’s outerwear, which we’re particularly excited about this season.
and stay hydrated and environmentally-conscious in style with our custom graphic and matte black exterior water bottles. We’re loving our new stainless steel, rust-resistant water bottles, with a BPA free interior - now you can stay creative on the go.
This weekend, Marcello, the Assistant Manager of our 7th Avenue Park Slope store is taking over Brooklyn Industries’ Instagram, showing you his favorite neighborhood - where he grew up, works, and lives. Follow along here on our Instagram.
"I’m always telling people that Park Slope is the nicest neighborhood in America. Breathtaking architecture, tree-lined blocks, and plenty of great restaurants make it a truly ideal place to live - not to mention its proximity to Prospect Park, which really sets it above the rest. And despite how much real estate prices have skyrocketed here over the last decade, the neighborhood has retained a very real, down to earth feel that is sometimes hard to find in similar neighborhoods. Despite the Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, and Starbucks, there are still locally owned businesses thriving. The diner next to our Seventh Avenue location (7th Avenue Donuts, which also has the best donuts in Brooklyn) has been in business since the 70’s, and they are just one of many. A lot has changed in this neighborhood over the years, but more has stayed the same."
"This neighborhood holds a lot of great memories for me, personally. I lived on Montgomery Place in my early childhood, and went to elementary and middle school in the Slope. When I was younger, my dad owned a restaurant on 9th Street and Prospect Park West called Raintrees. My entire childhood was spent meandering around the beautiful blocks of Park Slope. It still hasn’t gotten old. I’m so happy to work at Brooklyn Industries 7th Avenue, and after I get out of work I’ll sometimes take an hour or two to walk (or bike) around these blocks and take some pictures. I have some personal favorite blocks - Fiske Place, Montgomery Place, and 3rd street between 8th and Park West are all amazing, but sometimes I’ll just wander. No matter the block, no matter the season, even after 24 years of life in Brooklyn, I am still fascinated and often taken aback by the beauty and charm of this neighborhood."
Brooklyn Industries’ women’s designer, Janeane Marie gives us an inside tour of her Brooklyn apartment
We paid a visit to Janeane’s apartment in Bushwick on a rare, rainy Saturday to poke around and see what in her own home inspires her to be creative. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Janeane has a home studio that she shares with her boyfriend and two cats, who enjoy circling the studio’s dress forms, record players, guitars and sketches. Within the studio and throughout her apartment, Janeane’s walls are filled with diverse pieces of art. “It’s not high art or anything. They are all from friends of ours!”
Other unique, creative gems that can be found in the heavily windowed space include Janeane’s budding collection of new and vintage ceramics. “I’m obsessed… I could spend all of my money on ceramics,” Janeane happily admits. Musical instruments, potted plants, sentimental tchotchkes, and a few hundred records (one of which played in the background during our visit) finishes off her living room. “Have you heard this one? It’s a band called Lillith Velkor. They sound like Nirvana, but without ripping them off. They’re in Brooklyn.”
After narrating her apartment, Janeane shared with us why working in her pad works for her. “When I’m designing clothing, I really try not to get stuck inside a category or genre - to be only minimalist, to be only eclectic or retro. I try to stay away from having a consistent ‘look’: in my personal style, my design aesthetic, or in the objects I surround myself with. The things I collect always have a unique beauty about them. That’s why my home is my creative nest, and it’s where I prefer to sketch. I can listen to music while I’m working, which is a huge part of my creative process because I’m connected to music. Visually, there’s a lot of interesting, distinctive art in my house. Every detail in my house has a story. My boyfriend Adam is also a really great musician, painter and illustrator, so that inspires me to expand my creativity beyond just fashion sketching.”
See Janeane’s list of fall style picks here.
When we discovered Kenya- and UK-based jewelry maker Made, and heard about its design process and practices, we found a little slice of Brooklyn in Nairobi. We love Made’s handcrafted designs, its emphasis on using sustainable materials like brass and glass, and its employing and training of local, skilled craftsmen in Nairobi to empower the local community. Designed in both Kenya and the UK, the Kenyan workshop employs over 60 local artisans who are paid a fair wage; the artisans use techniques handed down through generations. Stylistically, Made’s modern, bold, and eclectic designs resonated with our design team. Brooklyn Industries is proud to carry a brand that makes a positive impact in the local community through the products they produce and the business practices they employ.
This super soft all-over custom printed dolman tee features elements from street and pop art, inspired by our fall collection theme, "The Art of Rebellion."
Today only, take 20% off this tee with code: TEETUESDAY
Can art be found in rebellion? Is there a graphic iconography that can be put on a t-shirt, a jacket, a dress? At what point can rebellion be fashion or does it just trivialize real politics? These were the questions the Brooklyn Industries design team grappled with when its Creative Director, artist Vahap Avsar, presented them with the theme Art of Rebellion for the Fall 2014 collection.
A year ago, when the designers took their pens to paper, or Wacom tablets to their Apples, there was a real sense of urgency around political unrest. Avsar had just returned from the Gezi Park uprising in Istanbul. There, Avsar found friends, artists and writers taking to the streets to protest an increasingly oppressive and conservative government. The catalyst for the rebellion was to save a small park in downtown Istanbul from being bulldozed for an aggrandizing public building. But as documentaries about penguins played on mainstream television, the police brutality of the regime showed its face. The protestors came under assault from tear gas, water tanks and pepper spray. Facebook and Twitter became the only source of news and commentary, both personally for Avsar and for the movement’s organizers.
Here in Brooklyn, the closest event the team could relate to Avsar’s stories with was Occupy Wall Street. The government reactions had been so divergent, but with similar and negligible outcomes? How then to compare the two countries if at all, and further to build a fashion collection off of these themes?
Brooklyn Industries’ graphic icons of grenadaisies, grenade perfumes and arrows are light and almost playful in comparison. The team was wary of political manifestos on shirt sleeves. But the pops of red (if ever there was a rebellious color) and grey and ochre, mixed with fractured glass prints take the collection into a territory of grit and thoughtful determination. The almost cacaphonic mixing of media and print themes seen throughout the pieces jolt the clothing from their bland high street brethren to marching activism.
Designed a year in advance, the team grappled again with how to bring the themes to present day Fall 2014. Gezi Park briefly energized Avsar and his artist friends, but still the conservative politics of Turkey continue unabated. The book Capital hit Brooklyn bookshelves (the few that are left) to charts of growing income disparity. Did Occupy Wall Street change anything?
Without definitive answers, the BKI team took rebellion finally to a place of empowerment, not the teenage kind or the real sacrifices of people living under political dictatorship. BKI looked to the impact that new media forms have on enabling creators to change their lives from the mundane to the creative. The images and communcation from our fans on Instagram inspired us to reach out to the photo processing app, VSCO and we’ve since become one of the first companies on their Grid. The team continues to seek makers and creators who are changing their lives here in New York. It’s a long road from Istanbul, but it’s a chance to bridge the East with the West, to talk politics and to make the world a little less conservative, one garment at a time.
View the lookbook here.
Intern rock stars Tori and Roby – we’re going to miss you guys. We wish our two summer interns the best of luck in their promising careers. Working with them has made us all remember that first job or internship, or for those that moved here – the first summer we spent in Brooklyn. Before they left for the summer, they were able to share their experiences here with us…
Tori , age 21
Marketing, PR and E-Commerce Intern attending College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. Hometown: Middlefield, CT.
“I started this summer a small town girl from Connecticut attempting to ‘take on Brooklyn,’ and though I am still that small town girl, I like to think that after spending my summer here, there is a little bit of Brooklyn girl in me too.
Now, I’m not saying I’m ready to jump into Catey Shaw’s next music video, but I definitely take some pride in saying “I lived in Brooklyn for the summer.” At first, Brooklyn intimidated me, the only things I knew for sure were that I would be interning at Brooklyn Industries in some place called DUMBO, living in Brooklyn Heights, and, if I was really feeling homesick, the commute from Brooklyn to New Haven was about three hours.
Luckily, interning at Brooklyn Industries not only helped me get acclimated to living in Brooklyn, but it also taught me a lot about the borough. As I spent time working with the marketing team at BKI and on the BKI blog, I learned more and more about Brooklyn and wanted to go exploring. I made it my goal to not make my summer in Brooklyn feel like an extended trip, but rather, feel like an important life experience. Thankfully, that is what I got.
Putting my intimidation aside and recognizing the rich foodie culture around me, I found searching for places to eat a great outlet into exploring and getting to know Brooklyn. Smorgasburg became my little slice of heaven every weekend, which not only took me into Williamsburg, but also introduced me to the flea market. I loved walking around Williamsburg and feeling all the creative energy — we don’t really have that back where I am from and it is truly inspiring. Everything about Brooklyn sparked my creativity be it a conversation I had with a stranger on the subway, the amazing view from the Promenade, the indescribable Mermaid Parade at Coney Island, or the amazing Danish pancakes I had at Tom’s. I had never been more inspired to write, take photographs, or draw this summer than I had in my life before. And it felt amazing. Brooklyn truly is the most creative place I have ever been and I loved being able to observe and participate in the creativity beating through the entire borough.
After working for Brooklyn Industries and living here for two months, Brooklyn does not intimidate me anymore; in fact, it feels somewhat like home. I now know for sure what trains will get me where, that DUMBO is not named after the Disney elephant, and if I am ever feeling Brooklyn-sick, the commute from New Haven is still only about three hours.”
A Q@A With Roby
Job at Brooklyn Industries: Merchandising Intern
Where are you from? Monaco
Where do you go to school? Parsons The New School for Design, New York
What did you like most about working at Brooklyn Industries?
I liked working in a relaxed and laid-back environment. When I started, my team was very welcoming, which immediately put me in a comfortable environment. I also liked the fact that Brooklyn Industries is a relatively small company, which enables you to work closely with all the different departments.
Best BKI memory that you will take back with you:
I really enjoyed going to a meeting with a market vendor. It’s interesting to see how vendors can sometimes be pushy and insistent in their attempts to close a deal with you. On the other hand, it showed me that merchandisers have to be really good negotiators and know how to immediately say no when they aren’t interested in something.
Favorite Pre-Fall Piece: The Juliet Pinafore Skirt (worn by Roby in the photo above)
How do you live by Brooklyn Industries’ motto: Live, Work, Create?
Since I started Parsons, I’ve been able to discover and explore my creative side, a part of myself that I wasn’t fully aware of before starting this school. I’ve never really considered myself a creative person until I was exposed to so much creativity and art in New York City, and especially at Parsons. Using more of my creativity has been very positive for me both in a personal and professional aspect. With this internship at Brooklyn Industries, I saw how important it is to work in a creative and positive environment.
Outside of the office, what did you do for fun in New York?
Summers in New York are really special; I feel there’s a special vibe going on around here in the summer. I really love walking around the city and discovering new neighborhoods and restaurants.
One touristy thing you did this summer:
Biking throughout the city and especially on the bridges.
Favorite food truck:
Calexico, a Mexican food truck that I discovered through my team at Brooklyn Industries.
Lexy Funk, co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn Industries shares the company’s origin story and the inspiration for starting and growing the Brooklyn-based company.
We loved seeing our clothes in the wild on The Marcy Stop’s takeover of our Instagram this past weekend. Everyone needs a city break now and then.
"The best welcome back to Brooklyn. Thanks for following along as I shared my camping adventure with you guys! Til next time xx. -The Marcy Stop via Instagram.
'Brooklyn Boys', a hilarious parody of Brooklyn Girls.
We were first intrigued by Lauren Gould’s blog The Marcy Stop because, well, it was called The Marcy Stop - the first stop in Brooklyn on the JMZ line in Williamsburg down the street from where Brooklyn Industries began. Rather than shooting on the overrun cobblestone streets of Soho like so many other fashion bloggers, we wanted to see what the blog was creating and what they were wearing, against the grittier landscape of overground trains and graffiti. We met up with Lauren by her apartment overlooking the Marcy train stop for some questions about the blog:
What inspired you to start a blog centered around a subway stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn?
The idea behind The Marcy Stop was originally conceived with the help of my former blogging partner in crime Micol, who approached me a little over two years ago and asked if I’d be open to starting a blog with her. She was looking for more inspiration and an outlet for her photography, and since we hung out all the time (and swapped clothes) anyway, a blog about our lives and fashion sensibilities in and around our neighborhood just seemed to make sense. At the time we were just having fun: shooting photos, discovering new local haunts, collaborating with friends. It all developed really naturally. And since we were spending most of our time off Marcy Ave (where we both were living), after a night out together and a few too many martinis we decided to name it after that little hub.
Who are some of your favorite artists, photographers, or bloggers working in Brooklyn?
Wow…where to start? One of the best things about blogging has been the opportunity to meet and mingle with a community of young creatives that I really feel like I would not have had access to otherwise. I’ve met some amazing up-and-coming photographers (Scott Brasher, Melodie Jeng, Dylana Suarez, Atisha Paulson & Emma Jane Kepley to name a few), a ton of inspiring and unique bloggers (from such blogs as Natalie Off Duty, The Fashion Philosophy, Fruit Punch, Jaglever, Who Is Apneet… the list could go on and on), and a bunch of really amazing new brands and boutiques that are popping up all over this borough. I feel really lucky and grateful to be a part of it all and also just to sit back sometimes and watch it all go by and happen so organically.
What styles and trends are you excited by around the neighborhood?
In Brooklyn, it feels like fashion is less about the trends and more about how you reinterpret them yourself, and for that reason I love biking around and getting inspiration from the streets. It’s also always nice after a long, hard winter to see people break out their summer best, and being a California girl at heart (I was born in LA) I definitely have a soft spot for all the current hot weather trends: crop tops, cutoff shorts, breezy summer dresses, co-ords. Like any New Yorker though, I can’t wait to start layering again come Fall and Winter. It’s pretty much a vicious cycle that never ends.
See the style picks by The Marcy Stop for Brooklyn Industries here.
The inspiration for this season’s line channels the Art of Rebellion, juxtaposing militant iconography with creative interpretations of artists, designers, and rebels. You’ll notice military-inspired detailing and ironic custom prints throughout the line (grenades and daisies, shattered glass, foxes and daggers).
We took this concept one step closer to our brand and you by channeling the rebellion taking place in peoples’ lives today, a rebellion that is completely overhauling how we’ve interacted with the world in the past, and changing the way we think about how we maneuver through it in the future. From designers working from home and setting their own hours and workplace rules, to developers dropping out of school to create the next social change app, to demonstrators with a molotov in one hand and phone with 140 characters typed out in the other, we’re proud to be a part of this great community of rule breakers and revolutionaries.
One of the things we’re most excited about within this shift is the potential for new technology to disrupt conventional behavior patterns, and to also inspire and facilitate creativity. We’ve enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of our fans and friends, empowered to share it beautifully through Instagram, and photo processing apps like VSCO. The Pixel Trade, the photographer of the Change of View campaign (read more about him here), originally introduced us to VSCO two years ago, and we’ve not only been thrilled with the quality of imagery it helps produce, but the community of photographers and artists it has created. This photo campaign was entirely processed by the Pixel Trade using different VSCO filters (you’ll see the name of the filter used in the bottom right hand corner of each photo), and we’re proud to announce that we’ve joined the VSCO community on their Grid. Find Brooklyn Industries at http://brooklynindustries.vsco.co/
We’re stoked over here at BKI to be carrying some of our favorite vinyls from Brooklyn and NYC bands, including Sharon Van Etten, Beach Fossils, Vampire Weekend, Blood Orange, A Place To Bury Strangers, a few national acts,and more! Available online, and at our Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Union Square stores. Happy listening!
We found Bed-Stuy artist Maggie Bard at a group show earlier this year, and invited her to illustrate a shirt for us in her unique style and voice. We loved her custom illustration so much, that we asked if she would be interested in drawing it all over the walls of our store on Bedford Avenue… to which she replied, “Of course!” The more we learned about her, the more we were able to relate with her journey as a working artist trying to pursue her life and dreams in Brooklyn, so we decided to follow her around her neighborhood with a camera one day.
Meet Maggie Bard at her Art Party at Brooklyn Industries Williamsburg on July 16th from 6:30pm-9:00pm. RSVP here.
Today only, you can pick up Maggie’s Artist Series tee for 20% off.