Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

Tee Tuesday: + Pool x Brooklyn Industries

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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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.

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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.”

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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

Tee Tuesday- Brooklyn In Pictures, by Lucille Fornasieri Gold

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

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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?”

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“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.”

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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.”

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Lucille Gold today

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Today only, take 20% off Muscle Beach and Cat Lady with code: TEETUESDAY. 10% of proceeds from the tees will be donated to the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Live, Work Create, Instagram

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

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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.

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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.

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From Saturday, May 4th – Monday May 26th, Aaron will be taking over our Instagram to share his work. Follow along here.

Visit Aaron’s website here, and follow his Instagram here.

Urban Camo

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

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This March, we’re blending into the city with The March Coat, available in camo and black. This versatile, lightweight, military-inspired jacket also features a funnel neck, full zip with covered snap placket, patch pockets at the chest and hips, and a slimming drawcord at the waist, and will take you from March through the start of next year’s winter.

Getting outside again also means strolling around BKI headquarter’s neighborhood, Dumbo, Brooklyn – and getting some shots of the amazing mural project, Dumbo Walls, installed last summer under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Walk beneath and along the BQE to find large murals from some giants of the design and art world, including Stefan Sagmeister, MOMO, Shepard Fairey, CAM, Yuko Shimizu and many, many more. So get out and visit Dumbo and see one of the most amazing and free open air galleries New York City has to offer.

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‘Juicy’… In Type

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

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Artist and typographer Jay Roeder who made the above shirt for us awhile back finished his58 week project of setting Biggie’s ‘Juicy’ to beautiful typography. And if you don’t know, now you know.

Check out his latest design for Brooklyn Industries: BK Hot Dog.

 

Treasure in Trash

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

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After renovating several Brooklyn Industries stores last year, we were left with two truckloads of materials that under other circumstances would have been trash. But instead we re-routed it all to our design studio. Working with Koh, our window designer, we upcycled every piece of discarded material – including old paint and paintbrushes — and designed several vivid installations for our store windows.

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Suspended clusters of purple and yellow balls look like floating organisms (or grapes!). Flying paintbrushes are diving for their paint cans, and purple and yellow baton-like rods defy gravity. Make sure to see these installations for yourself, on display at any BKI store location until late March.

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Spotted!

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

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Jonny Lee Miller wrapped in our Salty Sea Fair Isle Wool Sweater and Lucy Liu.

Brooklyn Industries Valentine’s Day Cards

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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Download the free printable set here.

Brooklyn Industries Valentine’s Day Cards

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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Download the free printable set here.

Brooklyn Industries Valentine’s Day Cards

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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Download the free printable set here.