Next month, Brooklyn Industries–Williamsburg’s finest purveyors of hip messenger bags and expensive T-shirts–will open their first Chelsea shop at 8th Avenue and 18th St.
“In a way it’s a big move,” co-founder Vahap Avsar explained. “We allowed ourselves a little bit of a bigger budget, more time, and we planned it pretty well in terms of concept.”
The concept, of course, is sustainable design. “As a company, we have [been] very much–how would you say–environmentally friendly,” the Turkish-born artist said. “Very conscious of how we make the products, and our resources.” So the new store’s furniture will be designed by Scrapile, a group that makes leftover wood into tables, light-fixtures and shelves.
Better yet: Chelsea will get its first watertower-shaped chandelier and “trouser trestle” (a pants rack).
But mightn’t such Manhattanized niceties jeopardize Brooklyn Industries’ outer-borough coolness? “We have to have at least eight, ten stores to make sense economically,” Mr. Avsar explained. Yet the Chelsea place will only be their seventh. “We are looking around the East Village and Union Square, we are looking at Broadway below Canal.”
Earlier this year, the BKI Williamsburg flagship was vandalized with anti-consumerist graffiti.
But the group hasn’t suffered. For example: “We are getting quite a lot of online orders from the Upper West Side. So we’ll look at that. It’s similar to Park Slope.”
– Max Abelson