Archive for the ‘Made In Brooklyn’ 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 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.

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

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

Spring Meets DIY with The Sunspot Tee

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

For spring, I channeled my teenage years in Colorado, where I often customized old band t-shirts purchased at thrift stores. Utilizing home dying techniques and a pair of scissors, I would take crusty old rock and country tees and give them new life.

Using our Brooklyn Industries garment dye T-Shirts, I was inspired to create something for the warmer months. I employed the same tie-dying techniques I learned as a teenager – but with a more textured, tougher, and lived in look. Made right here on the deck of our Brooklyn studio, The Sunspot T-Shirts are limited edition creations that celebrate the DIY aesthetic of the borough I now call home.  –Dale, Senior Designer

Prepare for the Crash Bag

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Following on the heels of the well-received Sunnyside Bag, we’re excited to announce the release of our newest item in our Made In Brooklyn line, the Crash Bag. The design of the signature handbag drew inspiration from J.G. Ballard’s 1973 novel, Crash, which was designed to directly reflect the themes present in Ballard’s novel, and at its most basic level, resembles the twisted metal remnants of a highway accident. The collision of humanity and technology, and the effects of modernity are represented by the combination of high-end materials and heavy duty industrial fabric used to create the bag. The artistic craftsmanship of the Vachetta Italian leather handles and trims are layered on top of the hand painted industrial canvas that has been hand cut and sewn one piece at a time to create a limited edition bag rooted in a Pop concept.

Shop the Crash Bag instores or online here.

Hand-Crafted in Brooklyn Flourishes. Introducing the Penumbra Tote and More…

Friday, November 18th, 2011

We’ve fallen so in love with everything about the Sunny Side Bag, from handpicking the materials to assembling it by hand, that we’ve become slightly addicted to making new things right here in our Brooklyn studio. This week, we’re rolling out the Spirit Clutch, which also moonlights as an iPad case, the Luster Pouch and the Penumbra Tote. The newer products maintain many of the Sunny Side’s appealing features, including the lush leather, contrast pop stitching and neon straps. The Penumbra Tote is a more subdued variation, consisting of darker, heavier leather and black straps for those who like a little more subtlety in their style. Each piece is limited edition and handcrafted here in our Brooklyn studio. If you’re looking to gift something unique, or to add a shot of color to your winter attire, grab these handcrafted products in stores or online here.

Brooklyn Industries Tip Toes Back Into Manufacturing

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

How many design meetings can you sit in dreaming about ideas and projects that you just want to make tomorrow but have to wait.  The stream of proto and waiting time is often too long.  Our creative director stood up in one of these meetings and said, why don’t we make them ourselves?  Like when we started.  One sewer, one machine, one bag at a time.  Next thing we know, there is a sewing machine amongst our designer’s computers.  One of our sewers who repair bags for us, is working with our designer cutting out patterns, and sewing bags one at a time.  Just as we dreamed.

SUNNY SIDE UP is a very very limited series of hand-made leather bags.  The colored leather is hand chosen by our designer.  The straps are picked for their neon offset.  The leather is very smooth, beautiful.  The affect is stunningly simple- A leather tote with neon stitching and details handmade in Brooklyn.

They are now available only at the Dumbo and Union Square Store.