Archive for the ‘Collaborations’ Category

Brooklyn Brewery x Brooklyn Industries: 2 Brooklyn Institutions Come Together for a Night of Dancing

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Mark your calendars – on Tuesday, October 23rd, Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Industries are teaming up to throw a good ol’ fashion Williamsburg DANCE Party at the Brewery’s beautiful brick warehouse. We’ve always been partial to their beer (our recycling bin can personally attest to that), so we were especially excited when they gave us a call and asked us to design a new shirt for them – we one upped them and made two!

The first design, Neighborhood Pint is inspired by the many flavors of the different Brooklyn neighborhoods, that when put together create this great borough of ours. The design also includes the now iconic Milton Glaser Brooklyn Brewery logo.

For the second shirt Beer Tower, our Graphic Designer channeled her father’s old beer stein collection. They say our parents shape who we are, and for Meagan, it’s definitely true, as she brought back six of them from her trip to Belgium last month. “When I first saw a watertower, I thought, ‘how good would it be if it were filled with beer?’ ” Perhaps one day, our two companies can make Meagan’s dream come true.

On Tap – Brooklyn Brewery x Brooklyn Industries

Tuesday, October 23rd from 7:30pm to 10:30pm

Brooklyn Brewery

79 N.11th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

RSVP at:

The Seed Dress – Made in Brooklyn, Made to Bury

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. – Henry David Thoreau

While we love designing garments and bags and making them available for people to purchase, sometimes it’s fun to do things just for the sake of doing it. A few months ago, a bunch of us were sitting around the studio when Aaron, our Women’s Designer told us about this great company called Greenaid in California that his friends run that makes Seedbombs, and how we should write about them on our blog. Our CEO, Lexy suggested that instead of just promoting them, we should use them to make something. It was then that the idea for the Seed Dress was sown.

Three dresses were then designed and handmade by Aaron and our design team to be put on display in our Union Square, Smith Street, and Park Slope store to celebrate Earth Day, after which a ceremonial burial will take place at a nearby park. All the components of the dresses are earth friendly, from the locally sourced organic cotton voile, to the seeds embedded in fabric cut into flower shapes. The beads themselves act as the enclosures eliminating any zippers or plastic buttons. Aaron’s inspirations for the design drew from spring, femininity, and environmentalism, and the look is slightly vintage, girlish, and light, with a modern fit and styling – a design that would look great both on a woman and underground.

For Seedsbombs you can purchase, check out our Seedbomb bracelets and vending machines available in stores at Union Square, Smith Street, and Park Slope.

Fashion Meets Guerilla Gardening with our new Seedbomb Bracelets

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The Seedbomb Bracelet

Have you ever walked down the street, seen an unsightly empty or discarded lot, and felt helpless to do anything about it? Enter Seedbombs, gumball sized nuggets from Greenaid, that when incorporated into a bracelet, make portable weapons of mass beauty.

All month long, we’re celebrating Earth Day at BKI, and the Seedbomb Bracelet is our opening salvo. We reached out to our friends at Greenaid, who hand rolled the seedbombs in Culver City, CA, using local materials and sustainable packaging. Greenaid also works with Chrysalis, a local non-profit that provides employment opportunities for formerly homeless or economically disadvantaged men and women.

The Seedbomb bracelets were crafted in our DUMBO, Brooklyn design studio with 100% cotton cording. Currently, you can pick one up at our Union Square, Park Slope, and Smith Street stores, and vending machines are also set up there for individual Seedbombs for 50 cents a piece. The seedbombs are composed of a mixure of clay compost and seeds, and can be thrown anywhere in the city, yard, or neighborhood, transforming  barren spaces into beautiful miniature gardens with a little sun and water.

Seedbombers in action

BKI Teams up with Brooklyn Children’s Museum to Create an Educational T-Shirt Line for Kids

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Brooklyn Industries stands on a foundation deeply rooted in the idea of Live, Work, Create. This is not only a tagline, it is a mission statement and choosing community partners with a similar mission is something integral to the company’s existence. This season Brooklyn Industries has partnered with The Brooklyn Children’s Museum because of their ability to create an inspiring environment that actively engages children in educational and entertaining experiences through innovation in exhibitions and programs.

Three signature designs were created for children’s tees and infant onesies on both organic cotton and 100% cotton tees to represent the museums various exhibits and campaigns. BCM Patterns tee was inspired by the upcoming Pattern Wizardry exhibit. The colorful tee features hand-drawn patterns found at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and highlights the museum’s mascot, Fantasia, as she coils around the Brooklyn “o’s.”

As the first LEED certified museum in NYC, it was important the Brooklyn Industries design team captured the museums commitment to the environment. The Green Threads tee spells out ways to help make Brooklyn green and illustrates the five new exhibits that explain the museum’s new green features.

In celebration of the partnership, Brooklyn Industries will host a Children’s Day at the Park Slope retail location that will include interactive exhibits from the museum, arts and crafts and snacks. Guests can RSVP for the event at

Children’s Day at Park Slope BKI: April 21, 2012, 10am-1pm. 206 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

Brooklyn Roasting Company and Brooklyn Industries Brew Up the Java Tote

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This week, we’re proud to launch the newest item in our Made In Brooklyn series, the Java Tote.  The idea sprung from a coffee bag that our Creative Director, Vahap Avsar found while on a recent visit to Turkey. During a midday coffee break across the street at our favorite coffee spot, Brooklyn Roasting Company, we noticed a bunch of coffee bags spread all over the floor with amazing graphics on them, and before we knew it, one of the owners was kindly offering us a few to take with us to experiment with. It was a great moment of supply and demand harmoniously synchronizing.

Brooklyn Roasting Company

We took the bags back to our studio and began cutting and sampling, immediately noticing that each graphic looked different based on how we cut the bag. The graphics themselves were a mystery to us – where did they come from, who designed them, or what thought went into the designs? For a company that normally labors over graphics for long periods of time, we were happy to embrace the mystery of the designs’ origins, and were loving the different designs each cut produced.

The limited edition bag comes with either a pink, American manufactured handle that provides an appealing contrast between organic and industrial, or an Italian, black leather handle. A 100% cotton lining and a recycled Jute outer shell finish each upcycled, unisex bag.

Each bag’s distinct design was created from a variety of coffee sacks coming from Bali, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea or Peru. With the launch of this bag, Brooklyn Industries partnered with an organization that supports farmers within those very areas. The brand joined forces with the Kiva organization due to their mission to bring about change within the farming industry by directing the economic cycle back to farmers. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Java Tote will go to Kiva.

Learn more about the each bag’s country of origin here, or shop the Java Tote here.

Guest Bloggers Frontier Psychiatrist Guide Us Through the SXSW Mayhem

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Taco truck in Austin

My first full day of music at South by Southwest began in a bike shop and ended in a church. From noon until three in the morning, three friends and I saw nearly 20 bands: indie rock and punk, blues and folk, glam and R&B, and a bit of hip-hop courtesy of A$AP Rocky. As I learned during my first time at the festival, SXSW is organized chaos, with thousands of people thronged in the streets all day and all night, lined up outside and packed inside bars and clubs to see some 2,000 bands play countless “official” and “unofficial” shows, categories that are somewhat fluid since most bands play both kinds of shows. It’s hard to imagine a place with more music per square inch or square mile, all within walking distance or a short bike ride. For any music maniac – especially one who loves tacos — SXSW is paradise.

The day began at  Mellow Johnny’s, a.k.a. Lance Armstrong’s massive warehouse of a bike shop, where we caught the last four songs of a set by Howler, part of a live broadcast by stellar Seattle station KEXP. Beneath a tricked out Bianchi Pista that hung over the stage, the skinny boys from Minneapolis plays good rowdy retro power-pop in the vein of The Strokes, Tokyo Police Club, and Surfer Blood.

Next we migrated to Waterloo Records, Austin’s iconic indie record shop slash tourist destination, where we caught a couple of bands and had free energy drinks which according to the can were a mixture of iced tea, lemonade, and bad ass. We were underwhelmed by the generic rock of London four-piece Tribes, then energized by the satirical glam rock and raucous energy of Foxy Shazam , who sound and act like a hybrid of Queen, The Darkness, and Spinal Tap, insofar as those three are different. Stage antics included keyboard surfing and smoking five cigarettes at once.

Energized by the neo-Freddy Mercury, we crossed town to the Red River District, one of the main drags of SXSW, where thousands of people were roaming the streets and enjoying free shows. The spacy R&B of Polica (pronounced POH-LISA) was the first and perhaps best show of the afternoon, led by the hypnotic voice and stage presence of Channy Moon Cassell, formely of Roma di Luna and now the lead female singer in Gayngs. Backed by bass, and two drummers who inexplicably often played the same beat simultaneously. Afterward, as walked around Red River we heard what we thought was a band covering Titus Andronicus. It turned out to be Titus Andronicus, though we caught only their last song (“No Future Part 3”).

At a Paste Magazine showcase, we  caught a pair of female-fronted bands who performed beneath a gigantic mural of the country music pantheon: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Reba McInytre, Kenny Rogers, etc. Led by vocalist Amber Papin, Brooklyn indie pop trio Hospitality brought some pleasant jangly songs from their debut album Friends of Friends, which came out in January. We were more impressed with husband and wife duo Tennis, whose first album Cape Dory was inspired by their seven month adventure on a sailboat, and last month released their second record, Young and Old, inspired by a W.B. Yeats poem. The live show–especially Alaina Moore’s vocals–makes their records seem tame by comparison.


After a brief break to bathe and refuel, we returned and made our first mistake of the night. We thought we were going to see Javelin. Instead, we went into the club next door by mistake, where we caught Fidlar who sounded like Warped Tour refugees, as confirmed later by their song “Wake Bake Skate.” We then entertained the delusion that we could get into the Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten and Andrew Bird showcase at Stubbs, Austin’s legendary BBQ joint. Then we saw the line. (Fortunately we have already seen Sharon Van Etten in Chicago and twice in New York).

For the rest of the night, we split into two groups. Assistant Editor Pete Lillis caught Zola Jesus, a.k.a Nika Rosa Danilova, the slow burn of Psychic Ills, and The Men about whom he will have much more to say later this week on Frontier Psychiatrist. The rest of us took a more mellow turn and headed to St. David’s Episcopal Church for three more mellow acts, each with a somewhat spiritual, if not exactly religious dimension. The star was Anais Mitchell, whose haunting baby voice of a drawl bounced through the pews as she sang songs from her new album Young Man in America and her 2010 breakout record Hadestown, a folk rock opera about the myth of Orpheus and Euridice. While Hadestown guest vocalist Justin Vernon did not make the show, Mitchell has more than enough talent on her own and her backing band – electric piano, bass, and a drummer who doubled on banjo—was perhaps the best musicianship of the day. Finally, we caught the bluesy set of alt-country singer songwriter Todd Snider. Perhaps only in Austin does a guy whose last album was called Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables play a gig in a church.

Amen. Bring on Day 2.

Frontier Psychiatrist is a Brooklyn-based blog about music, books, film, and food. For more coverage, check out their blog. Photos courtesy of Peter Lillis.

America the Beautiful

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

For the first time ever, the LGBT community in New York will be allowed to celebrate their love on Valentine’s Day as legally married couples. While tremendous progress has been made and the landscape is shifting to a more optimistic outcome, our designer illustrated this graphic for our Valentine’s day t-shirt to show just how much more work needs to be done. Here at BKI, the issue of gay marriage equality is very close to our hearts, and we stand firmly on the side of civil rights, equality, and love. For each shirt sold, we’ll be donating 10% of proceeds off the sale to our friends at the Ali Forney Center, who do a commendable job of providing homeless LGBT youth in the NYC area with housing and help.

We want to hear your voice. Visit our Facebook page to let us know how you are going to make America Beautiful in 2012, and enter for a chance to win an America the Beautiful t-shirt.

Below is a picture in front of our West Village store of the 2011 Gay Pride celebration, 2 days after gay marriage became legal in New York.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard – A City Resurrects Itself

Friday, October 7th, 2011

In the middle of the Brooklyn Navy Yard sits a massive building shrouded in rusted steel and broken windows. Cordoned off by chained-linked fences, the empty, cavernous space inside feels like a mausoleum for an era of factories and industry, when blue collar workers built massive warships in the heart of America’s most populous borough. Fortunately for the economy of Brooklyn, this empty relic seemed out of place amidst the buzz of semi-trucks and forklifts roaring by, as a new type of industry has taken hold of the once desolate Navy Yard – green industry.

As we walked through the expansive property, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the aged-textures and furiously snapped photos of our models against not just rust and concrete, but also against LEED certified glass windows, and energy efficient siding. The first building you come across at the entrance is the Paymasters building, where back in the day, all 40,000 workers collected their paychecks (long before the days of direct deposit). Directly across from it is the brand new Perry Building, complete with wind turbines, and solar panels. Other businesses thriving in the sprawling space include Steiner Studios – the largest movie studio on the east coast and B&H Photography. Sets from Saturday Night Live are built there. The Kevlar vests that protect our soldiers are made there. Those little, pink Sweet and Low packets in your morning coffee.. made in the same buildings that perhaps cannons were once fabricated in.

The Paymasters Building

Dry docks

While the Navy Yard may not conjure up certain characteristics when one envisions Brooklyn – think brownstones, or artisinal delis, The Navy Yard and its workforce are quintessential borough denizens. Studio artists re-appropriate scrap materials from larger businesses for adaptive reuse, designers and architects employ innovative green designs because they are passionate about a better workplace, and workers from vastly different work cultures intermingle in a maze of wabi sabi buildings. The photoshoot turned out great, because as a Brooklyn company with similar ethics, the shots we took were essentially capturing who we are.

Rhapsody Cord Dress

Brooklyn Line Applique Hoodie

Behind the Scenes-City Resurrection Photo-shoot at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Serena in her bunned glory

Serena in her bunned glory

8:00 am The team worked really well on this photo shoot.  The designers got involved from the concept and helped Eugene style.  Dale, one of our designers, came in early to do this cool bun hair-do on Serena the model which featured a round plastic object.  The lipstick was this perfect fluorescent orange that I am obsessed with and will not stop till I own one.

10:00am We left for the Navy Yard, and as we were only going about half a mile we got there quickly.  The guy at the security gate kept refusing to let us in, and sending us over to Steiner Studios, despite having a permit.  So it took us about a half hour of calling, and backing up and calling our contact before we reaching our first shoot location.

Outside the Greenhouse Hanger at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Outside the Greenhouse Hanger at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

11:00 am One of the piers has a giant orange greenhouse structure behind which is a loading site for cement.  A constant train of semi-trucks slowly ambled by us to drop off their loads.  I wrote the two models name on my hand as I have a horrible tendency to forget names, which ends up becoming moments of tyrannical gestures- “you over there move to the left”

11:30am Josh, yes it’s on my palm, was slightly boyish, perhaps even too so, but looked good in the dressed up meets industrial look we were going for.  We had him run, sit on the pier, walk around an awesome bunker like structure.

11:45am Serena had perfect bangs, red hair and strange eyes that looked both ordinary and beautiful.  She didn’t have too many model-ly poses which was a relief.  She walked down the yellow line in front of the trucks, she sat on the rope and we made fun of the rope to make her laugh.

Outside one of the buildings near the old Navy Hospital

Outside one of the buildings near the old Navy Hospital

12:30 We left the cement area to drive to the Navy hospital which was a dream as a photo shoot location- run down houses in and amongst trees and over-run fields.  However, our last photo shoot was in the woods so we wanted to get away from all the vegetation.  Still I couldn’t help taking a picture of Josh in the grass with the old monuments; it was so Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (which you should read as it is really good).

1:00 Photographed them both in front of the large bureaucratic building (nice, OK)

Serena outside of a Victorian Era Home

Serena outside of a Victorian Era Home

1:30  Shot Serena in the school outfit on the doorstep of the ivy covered building.  I wanted to move there, clean up, cook and have babies.  It just reeked of domestic haven from the Victorian era, of course, with all the repressive suicidal tendencies’ as well.

1:45 Thai lunch on Mrytle right where our warehouse is, and then back to the Navy Yard to the afternoon of texture.

2:00 Grab a couple of pictures of the cranes while the models are changing by the car next to the water.  Do you know the architect/theorist Anthony Vidler?  He wrote a really good book, the Architectural Uncanny which I seem to remember talked about cranes as walking architect or puppets.  I was obsessed with the book when I was 24, and interested in doing a group exhibit in mid-air.  Anyway, back to work.

3:00 A beautiful warehouse with nothing in it except two large pallets being moved around by two workers and a man standing with a new Suburu.  He was strangely very nicely dressed with a woven check shirt.  We played with the models, in front of the grey wall, in front of the brick wall.

3:30 Serena next to an abandoned stand-up washing machine, the photo was very white.  We passed the printing house for Duggal, hi said the guy on a cigarette break.  The architect was so varied, a Weimer German stone house next to a metal shell next to a fish house.  The tug boat guys waved their hands to take a picture and laughed.  I laughed and looked at my palm to keep directing.

Serena & Josh in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Tees

Serena & Josh in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Tees

4:00 Found the museum they are making of the Yard but the anchor was wrapped as were the bicycle round things (what are they called?).  They looked like white snakes in the material.  T-shirt shots in a strange courtyard with newly planted trees, brownstone steps with no pavement, small plants amongst pebbles and a bordered up sidewalk.

4:30 The team is getting punchy, t-shirts are flying quickly.  Serena and Josh are working hard.  Josh lies patiently in a gravel pit but it’s not sexy so we move on.  Serena hangs on a pole, kind of sexy.

5:00 We are done.  Wow that was fast.  The Navy Yard was more like an abandoned film lot than an industrial park, with remnants of architectural layers and industries morphing onto each other.  Quite inspiring.  We could shoot there every month and not bore of the location.

-Lexy Funk


Monday, August 15th, 2011

This month, Brooklyn Industries is excited to announce a long-term partnership with the soon-to-open Hotel Williamsburg. Brooklyn Industries plans to outfit all workers of the new full-service luxury boutique hotel in Brookyn Industries limited edition apparel. The hotel, located at 160 North 12th St. in Brooklyn, plans to open its doors in a couple of weeks.

The hotel’s debut uniform collection is entirely curated with Brooklyn Industries’ limited edition apparel. The first uniform capsule features a blue and grey color palette, lush with signature Brooklyn Industries women’s dresses, men’s transitional weather blazers and an array of dress pants and casual shorts. The hotel’s uniform collections will be updated two to three times a year. 

The uniforms will outfit all workers of the hotel, including the front desk staff, bellmen, wait staff, bartenders and room attendants. 

Brooklyn Industries decided to partner with Hotel Williamsburg due to the hotel’s commitment to the local Brooklyn community. The hotel plans to source the majority of its resources and talent locally. It also plans to support local art and music events.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the outfits. Check back at soon for the hotel’s (and its rooftop pool bar’s) official open date.

Photos taken by Mark Lim.