'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.
Who doesn’t like beer gardens? Join the BKI gang at Brooklyn Historical Society for the launch of two new collaborative tees with photographer Lucille Gold. RSVP to the event here.
Brooklyn Industries is happy to announce its participation in Stonewall 45: Windows into LGBT History, an exhibition that will be displayed in the shop windows of Christopher Street from June 16-29.
We all know the word Stonewall, but you may be unfamiliar with the larger story: the context of anti-homosexual discrimination in which the Stonewall Riots took place; the actual events of June, 1969, where a routine bar raid went awry; and most importantly, the political reaction that followed and which earned Stonewall its place in history.
It’s an inspiring story, and not just for the population that was liberated by it. The ability to take a moment of fury and turn it into real political organization, with clear objectives and fierce commitment, is an important lesson for all of us. It hasn’t been without setbacks, and it doesn’t proceed without challenges, but the LGBT civil rights movement has accomplished unimaginable feats in 45 years.
The poster above will be in the window of Brooklyn Industries West Village until June 29th
To share this important history with a broad public, Brooklyn Industries has joined forces with twenty-five other merchants along Christopher Street. For two weeks, our shop window will be part of this pop-up open-air gallery. We hope you’ll have the chance to visit us and our neighbors along the stretch of Greenwich Avenue to Greenwich Street. Exhibition guides will be available in all the participating shops. Check out the website here.
Have you ever dreamed of swimming in the East River? The design firm Playlab and Family NY have, which is why they are currently working on building + POOL, a giant plus sign-shaped pool that filters the water from the river into clean water for everyone to swim in, uniting the boroughs. The project started four years ago when Dong Ping Wong of the architecture company Family approached Jeffrey Franklin and Archie Lee Coates IV and their design studio, Playlab with the idea of actually getting into the water, rather than looking at it as a boundary between Brooklyn and Manhattan or Manhattan and New Jersey. The aim is to change people’s relationship with the water by actually getting them into the water.
Coates, who came from a graphic design background, and Franklin, an architect, chose the plus shape because of its iconic and inclusive nature. Practically, the pool will be comprised of four separate pools stuck together that can be sectioned off for either lounging, kids, a lap pool, sports, etc.… or they can be combined to form an Olympic-length pool.
In order to raise money for construction of the pool, Playlab and Family NY approached Kickstarter back in 2011. At that point, Kickstarter had not taken on a civic project, and so a $25,000 campaign was launched to fund the first round of filtration testing. In just six days, they had raised $41,000, and the first filtration test was a success. Two years later in 2013, a second Kickstarter was needed to build a floating lab, but that time around, the campaign was built around giving people a part of the pool they could own – tiles on the walls and floors of the pool that anyone could purchase engraved with a donor’s name on it, along with a gift tile, because as Franklin declared, “+ POOL is just as much the people’s project as it is ours. It’s their city, so it should be their pool.” In just 30 days, Playlab and Family NY had surpassed their Kickstarter goal, and managed to raise $271,000. Today, the fundraising continues in order to complete the filtration tests and to secure a site for the pool.
During the Kickstarter campaign, the project began attracting significant international interests. Franklin added, “We want this to be an open, transparent project. We want people to build off of this idea. This problem is worldwide. In the U.S., 22 of the 25 biggest cities with waterfronts can’t use them. 90% of the world’s most populated waterfront cities can’t use them. We’ve gotten calls from Brazil and Japan. They’re working on this in London. When we had the Kickstarter, we got a lot of support and calls from people worldwide telling us this was a big inspiration to them.”
Jeffrey Franklin of Playlab atop their Floating Lab at Pier 40 in Manhattan in the BKI x Plus POOL graphic tee
With the Floating Lab up and running, Brooklyn Industries is proud to support this innovative project. We’ve collaborated with + POOL to release the initiative’s official t-shirt, with 10% of proceeds from sales of the tee supporting the project. Additionally, we’ll be hosting a meet and greet at Brooklyn Industries Smith Street on Saturday, June 28th from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., where you can meet the architects and learn more about the project, as well as purchase a tile and have your name etched in a piece of Brooklyn forever.
Today only, take 20% off this tee with code: TEETUESDAY
This Tee Tuesday, we’re doing a throwback to a design we brought back by popular demand - the Greenpoint Cleaner Air graphic tee. We originally designed this tee in 1999 to support the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP) Coalition and the fight against Con Edison to build a 500 megawatt powerplant in the heart of Greenpoint/Williamsburg. This fight was won, as well as a later one when TransGas Energy proposed an 1100 megawatt power plant in the same area. GWAPP and the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community continue to demand access to their Brooklyn waterfront and to end and resolve the toxic nightmares that have occurred in this area. To learn more, visit GWAPP.org.
Take 25% off this tee with our VIP discount code: BKSUMMER25 through Thursday.
ENTER TO WIN LUCILLE’S TEE, A HOLGA CAMERA & MORE HERE>
Brooklyn native Lucille Fornasieri Gold started taking photographs with a 35 mm camera in 1969, capturing the striking juxtapositions of urban life in a city defined by ethnic, cultural and economic diversity. Her large and impressive body of work laid mostly hidden for decades, until they were recently archived by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Lucille’s photos will be featured in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Historical Society June 26, 2014 - February 4, 2015. Over the next year, Brooklyn Industries will be releasing five limited edition T-shirts, each featuring a different photographic print from Gold’s collection.
We recently visited Lucille before her big exhibition opening in her apartment in Kensington, Brooklyn which she shares with her longtime husband, Jack. On a dining room table the now 84 year old Lucille laid out stacks and stacks of prints, along with an impressive spread of biscotti, cakes, and coffee. Growing up, she had been surrounded by, and surrounded herself with the arts - her father was a professional sculpture and Lucille used to hang out around the Art Students League. “I picked up photography because, well, I just liked it,” she recalled. “In the 80s, these well known photographers like Ken Heyman used to take pupils on and I’d attend their classes. I also collected books by some of my favorites like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans… I just liked it. I shot all the time. I made a darkroom in my kitchen and processed my own pictures.” As we rifled through her old photographs of an endlessly diverse cast of characters from Brooklyn in the 70s and 80s, from Civil Rights protesters to dolled up old ladies to strip club dancers, there’s a real sense that what peered through the camera eye was objective - without bias and pure. “I never thought about commercial applications. I can’t even believe you’re putting them on shirts now. Do you think they’ll sell?”
“That one,” she pointed to a picture noticing that I was staring at it intently. “That was on Flatbush. Girls used to push their carriages around with just dolls in them. I used to walk the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn, and go to different areas of the city. I like what the camera does. It has an unbiased eye. But you do need the instinct to sense the natural rhythm, and you empathize with it. I can’t say that I can judge because you don’t know what’s coming in a sense, nor can I judge other people who are using the idiom in a different way - I expect something new - and that’s where the creative individual appears and synthesizes the new idiom.”
A photo of Lucille Gold in her younger years.
As the years passed, Lucille walked the streets less and less, and the photos started turning into stacks. Binders and binders of slides began to pile up in her house, until her family members brought them to the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Museum. From that point on with the help of her encouraging husband who would often get up at four in the morning and scan until twelve at night, it was a race to get as much of her work out there as possible. Jack is literally unable to stop singing the praises of Lucille. “She won’t tell you how great this work is,” Jack informs us. “Stop it!” Lucille interjects. “I don’t want to talk about it. Do you want a martini?” she asks. “I’m frugal. I like martinis.”
Lucille Gold today
We found Aaron Weiss’ great photographic work the way most people find photos these days - by scrolling up with your finger on our Instagram. Aaron met up with us in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and we tagged along to snap some Instagram photos, and ask him a few questions:
You talk about Instagram and mobile technology playing a big part in reigniting your passion for photography. Tell us more about how it effects why and how you shoot?
For me, Instagram is a three way street of inspiration, self-expression, and community. The app has a lot of different niches, but mine is the photography niche for sure. There’s a constant flow of creativity from the people I follow, from all over the world. I love seeing the everyday life of people in Hong Kong, San Francisco, France, the list goes on and on. It’s not just a window to the world, but also a different perspective to my own city. Seeing New York through all these different eyes everyday, the same streets and buildings in an unending variety… my drive to create something new everyday and share my experience has been given an outlet with this simple app, and it’s given me a new reason to climb fences, chase good light and meet new people. A weekend doesn’t pass without an InstaMeet happening in the city (InstaMeets are Meetup groups for Instagrammers). We explore new spaces, exchange ideas and techniques, and it’s a great way to meet the photographers that inspire you.
The processing on your photos are quite nice. Can you share with our readers tips and tricks, and what photo processing apps you use?
Sure… first I would recommend shooting in HDR mode with the native camera app in your phone. In HDR mode the camera takes three photographs, all varying in the amount of light recorded, and meshes them together to form a more accurately exposed image. From there my favorite filter app is VSCO, which has a ton of great options (allowing you to forget all about those silly Instagram filters) and the app is really simple to use. For more fine-tuning I use Snapseed. Brightness, contrast, saturation, and more can be processed here. For a more advanced editing app I use Filterstorm, the Photoshop of apps (curves, levels, exposure…) it’s a little complicated at first so watch the in-app tutorials and you’ll be good. Image Blender works great for blending two images together, my brother @ari.weiss uses it to add dramatic skies to images that need it. And finally TouchRetouch is a great app for covering up unwanted things in your image, like distracting pedestrians or trash on the street.
You also shoot for Good Eggs in Brooklyn, a company that delivers farm to market food to your door. What is shooting and styling food like?
Shooting food is a healthy challenge for me, and always a lot of fun. I get to be in the studio and listen to podcasts and music and explore different ways of styling the food. Most of the work is styling really; once I get a good scene going the shot happens pretty fast and I can move on. Turning a pastry or napkin in a different direction can really change the flow of an image, so attention to detail is key. We use all natural light, and sometimes I get to eat the food after it’s been shot and I can honestly say that I am always blown away. Good Eggs is a lot like Brooklyn Industries, supporting local business and artists, supporting community.
From Saturday, May 4th - Monday May 26th, Aaron will be taking over our Instagram to share his work. Follow along here.
It’s a flying shark party in our windows this month – and the flamingos are definitely invited. Design by @koh_tomioka #windows #art #installation #shark #pink #flamingo. Photo via Brooklyn Industries Instagram
A six color screenprint of our new tee ‘Happy Industries’ by one of our local printers. Read more about the printer here.
Today only, take 20% of this tee with code: TEETUESDAY.
We’re super excited to be releasing a second design by the illustrator of our wildly popular All Cats tee, Jenny Mörtsell. The Brooklyn via Sweden artist designed BK Food Pyramid for us, a stomach-growling hierarchy of her Brooklyn food needs. The artist explains:
It is funny to think back at, but when I first moved to Brooklyn from Sweden, in 2008, a friend of mine had to explain kale to me. I had also never truly eaten oysters. Tacos were something that came in a stale, hard shell that Swedish middle-class families ate for “fredagsmys” (a cozy, family-at-home time on Fridays). Coconut water was something I figured you’d you put in a Thai curry. The first bottle of kombucha I bought I shook vigourously before opening. Ordering an alcoholic beverage with the first meal you had that day meant you were a raging alcoholic. Oh how much I have learned!
With my acquired knowledge of how Brooklynites eat, I thought a new food pyramid was in order. A chart catering to the I-make-my-own-hours-creative-class on wheels (bikes or skateboards) that everyone loves to pigeonhole – including me. We who are holding up the craft beer sales and food truck operations and grass fed cow farms on our plaid shoulders.
In the bottom are the basic carb-y fuels for all those bike rides over the bridges, carrying moving boxes on the reg, and dancing the night away at some epic loft party in Bushwick. Cheap enough that the crumbly 20s made at last night’s dive bar DJ gig or for selling our last pair of Rachel Comey boots at Beacon’s can cover them. That’s slices, tacos, deli sandwiches, burgers, mac & cheese, bahn mi’s, sweet potato and/or truffle fries.
To the right above sits the second most important food group: beverages. These, more often than not, end up substituting all kinds of solid food. They are: happy hour locally-brewed craft beers, beer-and-a-shot specials (which is always too good of a deal to pass on until you remember why you should’ve), single-region drip-coffee to get us back on our feet the next morning for that poorly paid gig that might lead to something bigger, and of course, mimosas and margaritas (because that one and a half hour wait for a table brunch was just cruel).
Jenny Mörtsell visiting Brooklyn Industries HQ, about to take flight over the East River.
To the left above come the vegetables and leafy greens, leaning heavily on the bitter brassica family: kale and brussel sprouts. They keep trying, but really, there is nothing bad to say about kale. It’s like the Mother Theresa of foods, so just keep eating it. Pickles were never a hard sell either in a borough that constantly suffers from self-induced morning sickness.
Third up to the left is the trying-to-erase-all-of-our-sins section. Here you have: kombucha because fermented, pre-industrial revolution foods make us feel so immortal, coconut water to get our out of whack electrolytes in order, and finally, juice cleanses to rid our systems from all the toxic thoughts of maybe moving to another state.
To the right there we have the food group that only nail salons can compete with on rapid, storefront expansion. I’m talking boutique sweet treats. Artisanal sugar calories are a better source of vitamins and minerals than store bought, right? And, it really is important to eat a lot of doughnuts, cookies, and ice cream in honor of that old sugar factory and it’s destiny.
On top the crown jewel of the self-made freelancer’s diet is poised – the-one-dollar-oyster. Eat that, you nine to fiver for not being able to be first in line when Maison Premiere opens at 4pm! Who needs health insurance and a working phone when you can have half a dozen Cape May Salt for the cost of a dusty Luna bar and a Smart Water and a Vitamin Water (plus tip)?
We couldn’t agree with you more Jenny Mörtsell. Today only, take 20% off this tee with code: TEETUESDAY
From our bag factory in Brooklyn to cotton mills in Peru to old school screenprinters in Jersey, meet the designers, craftspeople and factories that help bring Brooklyn Industries’ ideas to life >
Brooklyn Industries began making vinyl messenger bags in 1998 out of our factory on North 11th St. and Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg. However, we faced the tough decision to close it in 2000 as we started opening up stores. We didn’t really have a choice as prices out of Asia at the time were considerably less, and our customers didn’t want simple bags for the price of a sophisticated bag they could buy for the same price. Thirteen years later, this has changed. First, foreign factory prices have skyrocketed, and secondly, awareness and desire for artisanal, local product has grown.
Now, Brooklyn Industries is once again planting manufacturing roots in Brooklyn. We began a resurgence of making products locally in 2011, with the reopening of our bag factory at our headquarters in Dumbo (later moving the factory to our warehouse near the Brooklyn Navy Yard). This process of moving as much of our manufacturing back to the New York area as possible continues.
But how do we make clothes and bags here when the costs are still significantly higher? We have been grappling with this issue for several years, doing tests with local factories and searching all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to find manufacturers to work with us. Along with bag production in Brooklyn, garment production in NYC, and t-shirt printing in Queens, I am proud to say that as of mid-2014, we are making 50% of our T-shirts within 150 miles of Brooklyn. We are knitting yarn in Clifton, NJ, dying the yarn in Shoemakersville, PA (no, there are no shoe factories there) and then sewing in small shops in Allentown, PA and Brooklyn. In addition to the local approach, we are using organic, recycled and bamboo yarns almost exclusively. It is a micro, small lot approach to making t-shirts, but we think it will work! - Lexy Funk, CEO