Archive for the ‘Product Perspective’ Category

Carry On…

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Like superheroes, all companies have their origin story. For Brooklyn Industries, it began with two young artists – Vahap Avsar and Lexy Funk in a Chelsea apartment in 1996. Staring out the window, Avsar often found his gaze landing on an old Marlboro billboard that had been weathered from months and months in the New York weather.

Sifer-Chyper, 1991, Vahap Avsar

Drawing inspiration from his large body of work that mostly concentrated on the semiotics of visual language, 3rd world bricolage, and upcycling art from common objects, Avsar began sewing the bags in their apartment, and when demand outgrew their tiny quarters, the partners moved to a warehouse in the then gritty Williamsburg where they worked and lived without heat or air conditioning. When the amount of knocks on their warehouse door became untenable, Funk and Avsar opened a retail space that was to become the genesis for Brooklyn Industries.

Last year, the company began re-establishing production in Brooklyn with one craftsman and one sewing machine making one bag at a time. One year later, we’ve set up a small production facility at our current headquarters in Brooklyn called Factory, and are celebrating it with the re-release of the Crypto Billboard Bag. Prior to the re-release of the original line, we’ve released a number of new designs made in house this past year, including the Sunnyside Bag, the Java Tote, and the Corlear Bag. As an added bonus, each bag comes with a limited edition, numbered screen printed poster commemorating the re-release.

Each custom-made, waterproof messenger bag is completely unique with its own different cuts and decontextualized designs. With digital advertisements dominating the visual landscape, Avsar sought to bring back a sense of nostalgia towards tactile messaging. The Crypto bag line is the latest in Brooklyn Industries’ new releases that is helping the company establish a greater local manufacturing presence.

The Fjord Long Down Coat – Functional & Flirty

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

During my first New York winter, my roommate at the time told me that I should just throw fashion out the window and dress for comfort. Eventually, I learned that things didn’t have to be so black and white. They could also be Teal, Gray Sparkle, and Anthracite.

Shop the Fjord Long Down Coat 

Snapshot – Introducing The Click Bag

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Kentucky Flood by Margaret Bourke-White

The initial interest in the design of Brooklyn Industries’ new Click Bag line stemmed from our CEO and photographer Lexy Funk’s interest in the historical position of women in photography. Since photography was considered more picture making than an artform in the early days, women were better represented in the field compared to other artforms. Working commercially as documentarians, images from photographers like Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent are now considered artistic treasures.

Our bag designer was also inspired by the boxy camera bags these women carried that seemed timeless in style. The brown color was a nod to more classic, vintage camera bags, while the patent red and blue bags were more of a nod to mod.

The Click Bag - Made in NYC


The Staff Makes Its Fall Picks

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Jenna, Graphic Designer:

Alma Sheer Utility Pocket Blouse

This blouse is the perfect mix of tough and sweet. I love that the fabric is sheer yet not completely revealing.

Brigade Utility Skinny Cargo Pant

These are a great pair of cargo pants that are also flattering to the female figure.

Out Fox Graphic Tee

One of my favorite graphic tees! I really like the looser cut of this shirt and the subtlety of the screenprint.


Helena, E-Commerce:

Twin Button Skirt

It’s fun but not cutesy and has pockets! It fits just below the waist and the A-line shape makes it extra easy to wear with tees and tops.

Charm Neck Tie Pullover Sweater

This sweater is unbelievably soft and playful! I love to tie a little bow on mine and the Acai color goes great with my fall skirts.

Travis, Buyer:

Lawrence Samson Plaid LS

Shirts like this seem to work themselves in as staples in my wardrobe due to their versatility. Wear it untucked with the sleeve rolled up to show off its rugged aspects or tuck it in with a pair of fitted black jeans for a clean look

Gowanus Swim Club

Nothing beats a black shirt with a white print for a bit of a hardcore vibe.  Reminds me of late Gowanus Canal crossings after a night at the Bell House.


Adventurist Hooded Jacket

I picked this piece for its great transitional weight and the way the Dachshund color fits seamlessly into my wardrobe. Extra plus for all of the pockets and the leather detailing.

Behind The Design – The Abyss Peacoat

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The Abyss Peacoat

Fall has to be my favorite time of the year – the weather has cooled down and I can finally layer again! One of my favorite fall to winter staples is my wool pea coat – it is warm, can be worn with versatility and is always stylish. For fall I designed a fun new take on this classic style, but with a little tougher/cooler, sexy edge. I changed up the silhouette, cropping the body and added some motorcycle jacket inspired details. But by far my favorite feature on the jacket is the contrast shiny patent leather under collar. If you are feeling so bold, flip it up for a playful reveal or if you are inclined to be subtle just let it peek for a flirtier look. Other fine details include matte painted metal traditional anchor buttons and warm quilted interior lining with contrast pop stitching. -Aaron, Women’s Designer

Color Blocked: The Mod Pocket Hobo Bag

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Shop the Mod Pocket Hobo Bag

The best kind of bags are those that serve both form and function, and we always do our best to incorporate those elements into the design.  The peek-a-boo pocket allows for a pop of color while serving as  the perfect place for keeping your phone or your ipod, while the larger compartment allows for easy access to larger items, which makes for a bag that not only stands out, but one that is easy to carry all day every day. -Nancy, Bags Designer

The New Pop Leather iPad Case/Carryall

Friday, August 17th, 2012

We’ve been on a sugar high all week because of our new Made in Brooklyn iPad clutches in 5 different colors.

And yes, we ate all the candy after the shoot.

An Optical Allusion

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

For this print, I was inspired by Morse code, and started out with the dots and dashes of the word Brooklyn:

 -… .-. — — -.- .-.. -.– -.  

Once I began layering, splicing and reshuffling them, the  shape intersections and overlapping made it even more visually interesting. The simplicity of the graphic elements lent themselves to our classic hoodie body in a simple, sophisticated colorway. Made from 100% cotton, The Optical Printed Hoodie will only get more comfy as you wear it. -Meagan, Graphic Designer

Do You Dream of the Beach?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

We do! The Riptide Tote is our designer’s recreation of the blue gradients from water crashing on the shore, and if you look closely at the bag, you’d have a difficult time telling the difference between the two. The different hues are also inspired by the vivid blues of the ocean from the view of an airplane. Each bag has a unique tidal effect depending on how we dip it in the dye bucket. The Riptide comes with either an aqua strap, or a pink strap to create the image of a beach at sunset.

 photo by Helena Fang at Jacob Riis Landing/Fort Tilden

A Brooklyn Weekend Getaway

Last weekend my friends and I planned the most ultimate staycation with two days of beaching and one day of camping in the woods. The day started with a 9 a.m. ferry ride on the American Princess to Jacob Riis Landing where we enjoyed a much less crowded part of Rockaway Beach. The water was surprisingly clear and once I got over my initial paranoia about there being some minute East River residue, I jumped in and embraced my inner pisces. This being my first beach visit of the season I made sure to get my year’s dose of vitamin D before we biked over the bridge to Floyd Bennett Field to set up camp. We played some wiffle ball, grilled and rested up for another day of summer bliss. Unfortunately none of us got much sleep because some bird began screaming from a tree above us at 6 a.m. sharp. I am not a morning person so my romanticization of a Walden retreat ended there and soon enough we were back on the beach until we had to catch the last ferry out. Did I mention you can get bloody marys on the American Princess Cruise? Best staycation ever.  -Helena, e-Commerce Merchandiser

Clearer waters in South Brooklyn

Livin’ the lumberjack dream

Pride in Marriage

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

In March earlier this year, Darleen, the store manager for our Park Slope store on 7th Avenue tied the knot with her partner Jasmine in an elaborate speakeasy/cabaret themed wedding in the same East Village theater where they met 12 years ago. With the opening monologue of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy playing over the loud speakers – “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…” the newlyweds re-enacted their earlier ceremony at City Hall for their friends and families whom they were able to bring together. Though the couple didn’t feel the need to get married in order to feel closer to each other, there was an overwhelming urge to be “adopted” into each other’s community.  Both agreed that a big part of why they got married was not for themselves, but for their families.

Last year at this time – the week before Pride NYC, the landscape of the LGBT community in New York was considerably different. In the eyes of the state government, Darleen and Jasmine were considered second-class citizens. With the legislature working late into the night on a Friday, news of the bill’s passage got out by the end of the evening and spontaneous celebrations erupted all over the city, most notably in the West Village at the birthplace of the gay rights movement, The Stonewall Inn. Darleen and Jasmine had just moved back to the city at the time, and for them, the announcement was bittersweet –the news was good for New Yorkers, but marriages still weren’t recognized federally, couples across the country weren’t granted the same protections that hetero couples enjoyed like health insurance, and hospital visitation rights. For equal treatment all across America, there was still a long road to travel. Still, the two felt lucky to have seen the issue progress so far. While Darleen and Jasmine hadn’t participated in Pride celebrations for years, they were really excited for the older couples marching in the parade who had struggled and helped propel the movement from its infancy.

When asked what married life has been like, Darleen responded “It’s been pretty much the same.” “We’re pretty excited about our car insurance discount,” Jasmine added with a laugh. Reflecting back on the wedding though, both talked about feeling much more emotional about it than expected. A particular highlight for Darleen was a speech given by her brother that evening. Talking about the sinking of the Titanic, which had occurred 100 years before, her brother talked about those people being a part of history. Darleen and Jasmine, on the other hand, were not just passengers along for the ride – they were making history.

Shop the Pride Shirt online here.