On Thursday evening, a group of 10 or 15 people descended into a mysterious basement on Bed-Stuy’s Myrtle Avenue. If not for the beats of FKA Twigs that floated up the dark staircase, you might have missed it completely. The space, which lies below an apartment and has been renovated into an art space called TT Gallery, carries a musty scent and feels otherworldly. Some of the floor is still dirt, the intricate roof panels and stone walls look like something out of a Final Fantasy realm. Only, the characters of this world weren’t there to adventure amongst monsters, but to strut their stuff. This was the setting for Iranian-born, Montreal-based designer and artist Pedram Karimi‘s SS17 show.
Fashion + Shopping
Kinfolk has been occupying a significant slice of Williamsburg’s bustling Wythe Avenue for some time now, with their event and studio space at 90 Wythe and their adjacent Kinfolk 94, a multidisciplinary space with a menswear boutique at its front. The company’s clothing has a multifaceted basis in streetwear, sportswear, and heritage styles, offering a variety of pieces such as bold and colorful bomber jackets, pastel-hued blazers, Kinfolk-branded Adidas jerseys, and poppy graphic tees.
In case you missed the history lesson in Captured, the documentary about the Lower East Side documentarian, the Clayton cap was created in 1986, when Patterson discovered a couple of mom-and-pop shops on Avenue A that did iron-ons and embroidery. “A lot of the street gangs would go in there and cut out their letters and iron them on their jackets,” Clayton remembered. When Clayton realized the shop could also make custom baseball hats, the first Clayton cap was born.
There’s no shortage of indie markets in New York to satisfy any handicraft/artisanal/homemade needs you might have. We’ve got #MadeinBrooklyn affairs like the Maker’s Market and plenty of hungry-foodie fleas such as the Gansevoort Market and the newly restored Essex Street Market. Of course there are the good old seasonal-standbys– Brooklyn Flea and the Renegade Craft Fair– which often feature hundreds of vendors and can make you forget you’re at a mini-bizz event and feel more like a giant mall (with cooler stuff, granted).
But what if you’re looking for something a bit more personal, and just chill?
For all the Williamsburgers out there who are worried about being cut off from Manhattan in 2019, here’s some good news: you now have one less reason to trudge into the city, because after much anticipation/consternation, Apple has finally built its first storefront in Brooklyn.
Days ahead of its opening this Saturday at the corner of Bedford Avenue and N 3rd Street, press were given a chance to tour the new store earlier this morning.
Lower East Side music shop Ludlow Guitars had its last day earlier this week, ending its 17-year run on the street that gave it its name. As the shop’s owner, Kaan Howell, busily packed the place up in preparation for its decamp to Brooklyn, he took some time to get a couple final polaroids in the old shop—presumably the last before it inevitably turns into a fusion restaurant/hotel/dog therapist.
I met a man today whose religion was speakers. Whitney Walker, the general manager of retail for the soon-to-be-unveiled Sonos store in Soho, talked to me for an hour about sound diffusion and stereo design and, while I’m not sure, there’s a chance our discussion may have ended with me agreeing to check out their literature. Who knows?
After more than 16 years in Williamsburg, bookseller Spoonbill & Sugartown is opening a second store in not-so-distant East Williamsburg. The new location, in the front half of the Montrose Avenue storefront currently used as the bookstore’s warehouse and office space, will be open Friday through Sunday, starting today.
The newfound stability has allowed the couple to finally pursue a new project: HILOVENEWYORK, a cheeky play on those ubiquitous “I Love NY” t-shirts that litter the stalls on Canal Street. Mullins and Jimenez describe the “sub-brand” of La Petite Mort as an art concept that tries to reinvent the humdrum, depersonalized souvenir t-shirt by adding a personalized twist.
“I’m pretty sure you’ve gone on vacation, and you’ll go take a photo of Eiffel tour, go to a few restaurants, buy a souvenir, and then go home,” said Jimenez, a born-and-bred New Yorker. “But just imagine you went to Paris, met a local, you fell in love, and he took you all over the place and showed you around. And then, when you left, you’d take one of his t-shirts with you. Just imagine how much more valuable that shirt would be to you than any tacky souvenir you’d find in an airport gift shop.”
This concept of an “alternative souvenir” fueled Jimenez’ idea for a more personalized approach to mementos. “I would go to thrift stores in different parts of the city and I’d find this collection of shirts no one would pay attention to, but to me they were unique because they were shirts you’d only get if you lived or worked or went to school in the city.” He began collecting t-shirts from union meetings, concerts, local sports clubs, and more, all of which would then go on to form part of HILOVENEWYORK’s vintage collection. “These items of clothing are honest and true to the people here,” he said.The collection is available at the shop and online. Jimenez also plans to feature limited-edition shirts created by different artists every two weeks. “They’re going to make their own interpretation of what a New York tourist t-shirt should be,” he said. In addition to creating a collection of unique vintage souvenir shirts, Jimenez and Mullins are planning a variety of pop-up events at their store around the concept of “personalized New York.”
“We’ll be collaborating with people on films and art, and we’ll have music outside the store on certain nights,” Mullins explained. On June 21, in collaboration with Make Music NY, La Petite Mort will be hosting the bands Tiger Tooth and Sunshine Gun Club for a 3pm concert. “We’re collaborating with ‘Magikal Charm,’ a yearly independent film festival, and working with them on future film screening,” she added. Another current project is a solo show in the shop for the artist Pablo Power. In order to stay informed on upcoming events, Mullins recommended following them on Instagram (@HILOVENEWYORK and @LAPETITEMORTNYC).The couple hopes that their store and their events will help change the perception many outsiders and newcomers may have of the city. “I want to rebrand the concept of what people think New York as a whole is,” Jimenez said. “Everyone talks about how New York is dead, but if we support each other, and if we’re each others life support, then how can it die?”
What’s in a pin? Con Artist Collective, the scrappy community of creative hustlers always busy dreaming up crazy stuff on Ludlow Street, believes it’s just another way for artists to express themselves and the rest of us to have fun sticking funky doodads all over our jackets.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes checking out one of those boutiquey hair salons can feel like a walking into a staid Chelsea art gallery– the kind of place where you could hear a pin drop, and so would the girl with ungodly, shiny/straight hair who’s glaring at you from the back.
The House of Yes has something of a problem with their shimmering, funky, newish venue in Bushwick– they have a surplus of space, which is sort of a unique issue when it comes to digs in post-industrial-squatting Brooklyn. But as the performance collective settles into what’s by far their most functional and fanciest home yet, they’re filling up their calendar with even more events. Soon enough they’ll have every inch of the space and their time occupied by cool happenings. Take for example, the first-ever Question the Market (Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29), billed as a new pop-up “queer design and arts market.”
“It will be shopping as nightlife, nightlife as shopping,” organizer Eric Schmalenberger told us. “I feel like shopping can be more than shopping. When given the right space, it can be more interesting and engaging, and the great thing about flea markets is that you, often, can engage with the maker.”