Archive for October, 2011

Wear to Work for Halloween

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The last day of October is the only chance we get to escape our normal wardrobe and parade the streets dressed as a witch, a super hero or a sexy mouse. We’re big fans of this holiday, but full zombie make up (or a spandex body suit) may not be the best thing to wear to work. For those of us who want to show our holiday spirit, but don’t want to walk around the office dressed as a giant, purple, sparkle slug, there is the Creepy Owl Tee. This women’s tee is in short supply, so be sure to pick one up before Monday!

Seven Movies That Scare Us – And Look Good While Doing It

Friday, October 28th, 2011

There’s nothing better than a good, scary movie for Halloween weekend – with the exception of scary movies that look good and become inspirations for our designs. Here are the design team’s seven favorite frighteningly beautiful movies.

Suspiria- Dario Argento, 1977

This movie isn’t really that scary by today’s standards but it does look a lot cooler! I love the color, atmosphere, the sexy glamour, and the sets and costumes are awe-inspiring! Who knew a ballet school run by witches could be so much fun. I also we want this woman’s hairdo. -Dale

Rosemary’s Baby – Roman Polanski, 1967

This film pulls off creepy with consummate style – think Breakfast at Tiffany’s meets The Exorcist. A must watch for fashionable ladies thinking about having a (demon) child. We also love Mia Farrow’s Vidal Sassoon pixie cut – what is it about horror movies and great hairstyles? -Teddy

Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton, Henry Selick, 1993

A Classic. I watch this every Halloween. Burton twists the idea of Suburban Christmas into a haunting and quirky scene.  I am pretty sure this movie (first seen during my formative years) impacted me enough to want to put a morbidly humorous and slightly subversive spin on everything I create. Plus, there’s something about those singing and dancing puppets that still makes me feel like a candy-fueled trick-or-treater. -Meagan

The Hunger – Tony Scott, 1983

This is one of my favorite vampire-themed movies. Set in the 80’s, it has a quintessential 80′s ending, complete with blowing chiffon. Also, Bauhaus performs in the opening scene! -Aaron

Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist, 2004

If you only need to watch one other vampire movie besides The Hunger – this should be the one. I love how the whites, grays, and blacks make this movie feel so cold and terrifying, and the little droplets of blood on the pure, white snow are particularly poignant and beautiful. -Teddy

Don’t Look Now – Nicolas Roeg, 1973

Rather than straight up gore, the director cleverly uses strong colors and unusual textures in combination with the ominously lit canals of Venice to create the feeling of dread and confusion that the characters in the movie are experiencing. The result is visually stunning and disturbing at the same time. – Nancy

The Virgin Suicides – Sofia Coppola, 1999

Sophia Coppola’s adaptation isn’t technically a horror movie, but it’s equally eerie and horrifying. The mysterious bunch of sisters and the dream-like quality of the film creates some pretty haunting imagery. -Nikki


Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Worked on Saturday morning in our Dumbo office on spreadsheets in the morning.  The office was very still and calm, and work flowed quickly.  The boys came and we checked out Creator’s Project.  Definitely some interesting pieces, and a huge influx of people checking out the technological art wonders.  A cathedral ceiling with light that sunbathed the viewer, a snowboarding video with pounding music, an app to record the distance you throw your iphone, and renaissance painting folding into video crumbled paper.  Today’s the last day, so get there early.

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.

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

The Brooklyn Dérive – A Texan Falls Back in Love With the Wander

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Our graphic designer, Teddy shares some thoughts about living in Brooklyn…

As a new Brooklynite, one of the things I find most charming about living here is getting lost in Brooklyn – not the metaphorical gesture – like getting “lost in love”, but literally getting lost. Having no idea where you are. On the second night of my arrival here a year and a half ago, after a few drinks with friends, I ended up getting separated from them in the middle of Brooklyn. On top of that, my contact lenses had dried up and fallen out and my phone had died, so there I was – second night in an unfamiliar city, completely lost and halfway blind on top of that. For some reason though, I felt a great sense of ease.

In the 1940s, The Situationist International, a loose group of Parisian revolutionaries, artists, and poets coined the term dérive to describe an unplanned wander through the streets of Paris. Their goal was not to end up at any particular destination, but to create experiences. They used the feelings of neighborhoods and streets to design their own psychogeography. They even drew up maps of their (sometimes vin-soaked) wanderings. This is what one of their maps looked like:

In Manhattan, it’s exceedingly easy to not get lost. Gridded streets and extreme vertical cues easily guide you directly to your intended destination. In Brooklyn though, it’s far easier to curve down the streets into a quiet alley full of interesting shops, or through multiple ethnic enclaves. I love passing by out of the way artist studios and talking to strangers that I would never normally pass going from A to B. In Manhattan, every inch is staked. In Brooklyn, there is space to get lost. In that sense, Brooklyn is not that different from Texas.

Looking lost in the Ellis Peacoat

What’s Inspiring the BKI Design Team for the Fall 2012 Collection

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

For our design process, we start by all collecting images from a variety of sources that appeal to us for any number of reasons, such as the mood, the color palette, or the composition. We then meet and look at our collective image library, enabling us to identify common themes or trends that have emerged.

Trend forecasting can be a difficult, but with most things, when you gather a number of minds together, it becomes much clearer. Here is a collage of some images from our current Fall ’12 mood board. It has a mod/city vibe that reflects the energy of Brooklyn and New York. We tried to keep the colors bright and upbeat across women’s, men’s, and accessories. It’s going to be a great season!

Wooden Butt Moons Mahogany Bust

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Wondering what the t-shirts that say “Raw” and “Cooked” mean that have appeared in the Brooklyn Industries t-shirt walls of late?  We were a little puzzled too when the Brooklyn Museum approached us for a t-shirt collaboration.  But as the project progressed it made more sense.  The words refer to the title of 5 on-going exhibitions of under-known, or “below the radar” Brooklyn artists invited to develop pieces that interact with objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection.

Kristof Wickman is the first artist whose artworks include a wooden butt with sprinkles mooning a mahogany bust from 1925 (Emile Zettler), a pueblo native American chair that rests on cast jelly donuts, an Egyptian vase upturned next to a porcelain white hand with two gold fingers.  The dialogue between material and historical objects includes works that have nothing to do with the Museum as well.  There is an exercise ball with arms around it (above) and a pumpkin with a head slammed against the floor.

Interesting work, interesting context.  The exhibit runs through 11/27/2011 at the Brooklyn Museum.

Picture: Courtesy of Kristof Wickman (American, b. 1981).

Mixed Media Outerwear or How to Storm Wall Street

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

We were inspired this Fall with a little mix up, fabrics that normally need to be separated formed a mini uprising to join forces in our Brooklyn Industries Outerwear.  For men the Excel 4 pocket jacket combines heavy duty wool with nylon on the shoulders for “I’m going to storm Wall Street and cause a revolution” coat.  For women, the Portland Parka is no less subdued.  Chunky marled wool trim meets canvas twill to say “and I will write your manifesto.”  They are flirtatious and serious.  Maybe the bankers will listen.

Fluorescent Orange Say Hello to Henna

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Of late our stylist Human Resources coordinator Madoka has been wearing this truly awesome fluorescent orange nail polish from Face Stockholm.  We also put orange on our model Serena’s lips ( check her out above against a delapidated Brooklyn Navy Yard Wall).  Above Serena is wearing a pink version on her lips and the Camelia Jacket.  We highly recommend pairing the jacket, or the color, or the nail polish this with our Kingston Corduroy Pants in Henna, or the Charisma Dress in Rust.