Thanks to Bed-Stuy Blog for finding this article in the NY Times about cool small chain store Brooklyn Industries moving their manufacturing to Wallabout across from the Navy Yard. I recently tracked them down and paid them a visit. BKI's new headquarters are at 43 Hall Street. I've definitely been inside before, for last year's SONYA stroll.
The still largely raw space inside hosts almost all of the company's functions - all clothing design, shipping, marketing. The employees I spoke with love being in the area, surrounded by so many local artists and cool happenings.
BKI's owners, contemporary artists who met upstate, started the company by making heavy-duty messenger bags using recycled materials. They've expanded to produce a full line of men's and women's clothing, and have begun hosting art installments and parties in their South Williamsburg storefront.
BKI's latest mission is contribution to the community, helping support Brooklyn artists and using sustainable materials in new stores. They're also employing Pratt students to help construct stores and build out the new Wallabout office space. They'll also be distributing a new free quarterly publication, Brooklyn Industries Journal, focused on Brooklynites. The first issue features photo shoots done in Wallabout and Coney Island, as well as profiles of real Brooklyn families. The magazines will be distributed in stores, at special events and at neighborhood salons.
I caught a glimpse of the fall 07 collection, which is being touted as "more mature." I loved it.
As for the rumored Myrtle Ave. store, the answer is "not yet." The owners don't feel there's quite enough foot traffic on Myrtle yet to support a shop. But they hope to in a year or so, and are considering a "lifestyle store" for our neighborhood.