Archive for June, 2012

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

From the Archives

Monday, June 25th, 2012


We dug up a few print ads from the archives the other day from 2005 that still looked really great. The above pic was of BKI cofounder Lexy Funk shot by Ports Bishop in the style of a portrait from the medieval times. Shot in a studio on Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, this series was produced for the launch of our outerwear collection at the time.

The ad from this campaign taken the same year was inspired by the postwar German Fluxus artist, Joseph Beuys. On top of the sculptural elements, the graphic overlay also paid homage to the artist.

And this last one speaks for itself. Live, Work, Create – our motto we still live by. Compare that with Banana Republic’s old ads.

What a Free Trip to Ecuador Looks Like

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Would you like to be here?

Or here?

Have you ever seen a toucan from 10 feet away?

Enter to win… and have this be your rooftop view.

Pride in Marriage

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

In March earlier this year, Darleen, the store manager for our Park Slope store on 7th Avenue tied the knot with her partner Jasmine in an elaborate speakeasy/cabaret themed wedding in the same East Village theater where they met 12 years ago. With the opening monologue of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy playing over the loud speakers – “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…” the newlyweds re-enacted their earlier ceremony at City Hall for their friends and families whom they were able to bring together. Though the couple didn’t feel the need to get married in order to feel closer to each other, there was an overwhelming urge to be “adopted” into each other’s community.  Both agreed that a big part of why they got married was not for themselves, but for their families.

Last year at this time – the week before Pride NYC, the landscape of the LGBT community in New York was considerably different. In the eyes of the state government, Darleen and Jasmine were considered second-class citizens. With the legislature working late into the night on a Friday, news of the bill’s passage got out by the end of the evening and spontaneous celebrations erupted all over the city, most notably in the West Village at the birthplace of the gay rights movement, The Stonewall Inn. Darleen and Jasmine had just moved back to the city at the time, and for them, the announcement was bittersweet –the news was good for New Yorkers, but marriages still weren’t recognized federally, couples across the country weren’t granted the same protections that hetero couples enjoyed like health insurance, and hospital visitation rights. For equal treatment all across America, there was still a long road to travel. Still, the two felt lucky to have seen the issue progress so far. While Darleen and Jasmine hadn’t participated in Pride celebrations for years, they were really excited for the older couples marching in the parade who had struggled and helped propel the movement from its infancy.

When asked what married life has been like, Darleen responded “It’s been pretty much the same.” “We’re pretty excited about our car insurance discount,” Jasmine added with a laugh. Reflecting back on the wedding though, both talked about feeling much more emotional about it than expected. A particular highlight for Darleen was a speech given by her brother that evening. Talking about the sinking of the Titanic, which had occurred 100 years before, her brother talked about those people being a part of history. Darleen and Jasmine, on the other hand, were not just passengers along for the ride – they were making history.

Shop the Pride Shirt online here.

New BKI Sunglasses on La Jetée

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012


What’s our favorite accessory for the summer? Shades. While summertime in Brooklyn is legendary, the bright sun can be brutal – especially after the endless rooftop BBQs, Rockaway trips, and late night dance parties. When we’re feeling lethargic with our attire, sunglasses are always the easiest fixer upper for outfits. And with the protective case, they’re the perfect portable disguise – for whatever neighborhood you wake up in!

For our recent shoot in Greenpoint, we headed to the ferry landing with our cameras and shot a short movie inspired by the classic surrealist/post apocalyptic 60′s French film, La Jetée. On the vast expanse of the ferry landing, our models got to show off their thespian side, embracing and running down the pier in wedges and sunglasses, and dodging commuters with our photographer/CEO, Lexy Funk chasing after them with both hands on the camera – the perfect combination of hilarious, and dangerous.



The Helicopter Stripe Dress From Start to Finish

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

It’s summertime and this is the season I need a fun “go to dress”, something that looks cute  and requires no effort. That was my goal for designing the Helicopter Striped Dress. I love knit fabric in the summer because it’s form fitting and comfortable. The high-low hem line gives visual interest while providing a nice  breeze to your nether regions!

The Dress was inspired by the propellers of the helicopter which in my mind are imitated by the ties at the shoulder. The bias stripes are an idea borrowed from  the fabulous color blocking done right on the sails of many a boat. I really know nothing about boats but stripes and sails signal summertime to me! – Dale, Senior Designer

Our Staff Picks Their Summerwear

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Concentration is always a challenge during summertime in New York as our minds tend to wander out the window towards the beautiful weather, BBQs, beaches, music festivals, and parties. Yesterday, we took some of our staff on a trip to our Dumbo store to see what they’d pick out for their summer celebrations.

Helena, E-commerce Merchandiser

This romper is the perfect playsuit for all my outdoor BBQing and dancing! The applique is super cute and warm for those chilly summer nights at the beach.


Shayla RomperBKI Cropped Applique


Nikki, Assistant Mens Designer

This T-shirt is as close as I’ll get to experiencing summer in the 1920s, and the dress is effortless and perfect for a barefoot summer picnic.

East Egg Loungers Tee, Tippi Printed Dress


Tommy, E-commerce Partnerships Coordinator

I like the muted colors of the shirt and the clean styling of the shorts. I don’t usually wear shorts unless it’s incredibly hot and these are a great pair.  I would recommend rolling up the cuffs just a bit.

Atmosphere Colonel Plaid Shirt, Solstice Short


Betsy, Merchandising Assistant

The Dixie Short is a perfect pop of color for my summer wardrobe and the Notice Stripe Top adds dimension and style to any ensemble. I love the chevron detail.

Dixie Cuffed Denim Short, Notice Stripe Top



Rooftop Farms – Gardening From Above in Brooklyn

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

In New York City, where almost every inch of real estate is staked out, a huge swath of landscape remains unutilized and undeveloped – the iconic rooftops in Brooklyn. Enter Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, located on the far northwest corner of Greenpoint. Three stories on the top of Broadway Stages is a 6,000 square feet community garden overlooking the Greenpoint industrial and maritime trade below, and framed by an amazing 180 view of the Manhattan skyline.

Since 2009, Rooftop Farms has sold everything from cucumbers, tomatoes, swiss chard, and arugula, to a variety of herbs, and much more to a number of local restaurants including Marlow & Sons, Eastern District, Anella, Spritzenhaus, and Champion Coffee. Not a restaurant? Your’re in luck – on Sundays, the farm opens its doors to the public from 1-4pm. Lately, the farm has been growing hot peppers to start its own Brooklyn salsa line, and a couple of hives churn out local honey – the best kind of honey you can get!  Adorable rabbits and roosters round out the ecosystem, producing fertilizer for the lush garden.


Besides producing delicious, organic veggies for the community, the rooftop garden also helps catch rainwater, reducing storm runoff that directly affects our drinking water. The garden also helps cool the building in the summertime, and warm it up during cold New York winters. Rooftop Farm also offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, workshops for kids and adults, and provides composting opportunities for the neighborhood.

For more information, check out Eagle Street’s website and factsheet.