Archive for the ‘Bags’ Category

Where We Create, Where We Make

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

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From our bag factory in Brooklyn to cotton mills in Peru to old school screenprinters in Jersey, meet the designers, craftspeople and factories that help bring Brooklyn Industries’ ideas to life >

Brooklyn Industries began making vinyl messenger bags in 1998 out of our factory on North 11th St. and Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg. However, we faced the tough decision to close it in 2000 as we started opening up stores. We didn’t really have a choice as prices out of Asia at the time were considerably less, and our customers didn’t want simple bags for the price of a sophisticated bag they could buy for the same price. Thirteen years later, this has changed. First, foreign factory prices have skyrocketed, and secondly, awareness and desire for artisanal, local product has grown.

Now, Brooklyn Industries is once again planting manufacturing roots in Brooklyn. We began a resurgence of making products locally in 2011, with the reopening of our bag factory at our headquarters in Dumbo (later moving the factory to our warehouse near the Brooklyn Navy Yard). This process of moving as much of our manufacturing back to the New York area as possible continues.

But how do we make clothes and bags here when the costs are still significantly higher? We have been grappling with this issue for several years, doing tests with local factories and searching all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to find manufacturers to work with us. Along with bag production in Brooklyn, garment production in NYC, and t-shirt printing in Queens, I am proud to say that as of mid-2014, we are making 50% of our T-shirts within 150 miles of Brooklyn. We are knitting yarn in Clifton, NJ, dying the yarn in Shoemakersville, PA (no, there are no shoe factories there) and then sewing in small shops in Allentown, PA and Brooklyn. In addition to the local approach, we are using organic, recycled and bamboo yarns almost exclusively. It is a micro, small lot approach to making t-shirts, but we think it will work! -Lexy Funk, CEO

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Take the tour >

The Chromapost – 2nd Edition Just Released

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

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When we released the first edition of the Chromapost bag collaboration between Brooklyn Industries and Artbridge, it quickly sold out, prompting a second (and final) release of these bags. Available online or in select stores, give the Chromapost bags as a gift… or keep it for yourself ; )

The Chromapost bags are messenger bags made out of billboard material from an art installation in Dumbo, Brooklyn by artist Aleksandar Maćašev and the non-profit arts organization Artbridge. We carefully cut up Maćašev’s visual color diary into 80 limited edition messenger bags, with each bag coming with a digital print of the unique colors of the bag signed by the artist.

Brooklyn Industries x Jean Paul Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

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Jean Paul Gaultier – meet Brooklyn. We’ve been anticipating this exhibition around here for awhile now, and had a chance to get a sneak peek last Thurday at the museum for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. Coming off the heels of The Met’s Alexander McQueen exhibit, Brooklyn now gets its chance to return volley with a retrospective on the ‘Enfent Terrible’ of French fashion.

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For the exhibition, Brooklyn Industries co-designed a special limited edition graphic tee andcross body tote to celebrate the show. The tote features the iconic blue stripes commonly associated with Gaultier, and comes with a unique cross body strap. The stripes are also present on the graphic tee, along with Brooklyn Industries ‘Live, Work, Create’ motto with a Gaultier stamp over it.

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Additionally, we’ll be unveiling the collaborative designs in person at Brooklyn Museum’sFirst Saturday Event on Saturday, November 2nd featuring talks, films, interactive spaces, and lots of live music, including Au Revoir Simone.

See The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Brooklyn Museum from October 25, 2013 – February 23, 2014.

BKI Presents Tudo/Fumo and the Chromapost Messenger Bag Release During the Dumbo Arts Festival

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

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Join us at Brooklyn Industries Dumbo for an art event during the Dumbo Arts Festival featuring Artist Braulio Amado and the release of Artist Aleksandar Macasev’s and Artbridge’s new Chromapost Messenger Bag. Saturday, September 28th, 2-5pm. Click here to RSVP.

Chromapost Messenger Bag – An Art Installation Becomes a Bag

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

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Make messenger bags using an art installation – that’s what the non-profit arts organization Artbridge implored us to do. So naturally, we said yes. Having made messenger bags out of billboards before – it was the first product Brooklyn Industries produced, we were really excited to use material from a colorful art installation by artist Aleksandar Maćašev that we had walked by many times down the street from our HQ in Dumbo. We carefully cut up Maćašev’s visual color diary into 40 limited edition messenger bags, with each bag coming with a digital print of the unique colors of that bag signed by the artist. During the Dumbo Arts Festival, the bags will be on display and for sale in our Dumbo store and online, and an opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 28th from 2pm-5pm at Brooklyn Industries Dumbo.

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Chromapost installation in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Photo by Collin Erickson

We asked Aleksandar a few questions about Chromapost and how the art installation evolved into a bag:

How did the idea of blogging your daily mood in colors start? 

I am very keen for diary-like art forms. Chromapost started as a basic blog where each entry was just a single color picked from your standard RGB color picker, and it represented my daily emotional experience in a compressed form. I was tired of all the influence on our color perception (color theory, harmonies, fashion trends, commerce, branding, culture, arts, visual communication…) and I wanted to establish a very personal and direct link between my own emotions and color.

I was also interested in the atomization and compression of information, to go beyond Twitter’s 140 characters micro-blogging. One way to achieve that was to abandon language and use purely visual information. So I like to call Chromapost a nano-blogging project.
After awhile, this colored emotional footprint got a proper web form and I started making art outgrowths out of the ever growing color archive.

How did Chromapost then become a giant, colorful installation in Dumbo, Brooklyn?

Chromapost outgrowths range from self-published posters, retrospective calendars to paintings and a social network where visitors can post their own colors and generate art based on them. The biggest physical outgrowth happened two years ago at Water Street in Dumbo. The Dumbo Arts Festival asked ArtBridge for an artist who could produce a 350 foot long art piece for the Empire Stores scaffolding. I had already submitted some outdoor art proposals to ArtBridge and they stumbled upon one of the Chromapost outgrowths in my book. It was a year long sequence of Chromapost colors and that type of format seemed to fit the bill perfectly. For the Dumbo installation, we used a two year sequence (730 colors, from April, 1 2009 to March 31, 2011). The final result had this pretty cinematic quality (a changing of colors without repeating as you walk by it) and it left a mark on the entire neighborhood during its year long life. There was a constant stream of Instagram photos and blog posts from visitors and passers-by.

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What do you think about your visual diary being re-purposed into messenger bags?

I love the idea of someone else carrying ten days of my life on their shoulder. The vinyl of the dismantled installation simply cried to be recycled into something else. The design of the bag utilized that idea of playing with private/public. On the outside, the bags have a small strip with a three to four color sequence, but the inside of the bag is covered completely in colored strips from the installation. A discrete chunk of my emotional life is offered to the outside world, while the owner of the bag can have the full view. Each bag is completely unique because repeating colors or color sequences in Chromapost is practically impossible. To compliment the uniqueness I created a separate digital print for each bag based on each bag’s color combination and the visual language used in Chromapost Social Network for generating art.

RSVP to the opening reception here at Brooklyn Industries Dumbo. Saturday, September 28th, 2pm-5pm.

Handmade in Brooklyn Event at SoHo

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

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We’re launching our new Made in Brooklyn Montague Leather Bags with a party in SoHo with some of our Brooklyn friends. Come enjoy drinks from The Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Gin, and bring home select Brooklyn products from Tatly, Anarchy in a Jar, Pinky Punk, The Good Batch, and Brooklyn Hard Candy with a purchase of a Made in Brooklyn bag. Friday, March 29th 6:30pm-9pm. RSVP here.

Special Delivery

Friday, March 15th, 2013

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Introducing the new Made in Brooklyn Dumbo Mailbags.

#theperfectbag #treatyourself #babygotbag

Friday, March 8th, 2013

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We’ve been pretty thrilled around the office about these bags finally hitting stores. We sourced the best leather here in the U.S. and the most skilled local craftsmen for these premium leather bags available as a backpack, tote, satchel, or cross body. Available in classic black and pop turquoise or orange, the collection derives its inspiration and namesake from Montague Street in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, which opens up onto the resplendent Promenade and a view of the city. Shop the entire collection here.

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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 Corlear Bag: a Little Grit, a Lot of Style

Friday, October 12th, 2012

In our opinion, New York City isn’t the same without a little bit of grit to it. That’s why for our new line of made in-house bags, we turned to Corlear’s Hook, an area in the Lower East Side that was originally a Lenape tribe territory, and was settled by the Dutch family Corlaer in the 1600′s. The land was situated on the East River directly across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and our headquarters in nearby DUMBO, and served as a vital navigation landmark for over 300 years. In the early 1800′s, it became the stomping grounds for many a streetwalker and was the etymological inspiration for the term “hooker”.

There’s a little bit of that Dutch design sensibility incorporated into the design, mixed with a little maritime influence. The collection is 100% cotton canvas with no environmentally damaging fluoropolymers or formaldehyde, with a wax finish and saddle leather trim. All three utilitarian styles: back pack, messenger and tote are perfect for daily use, whether you’re trekking to work or out and about around town.