04/26/17 11:49am
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Brooklyn’s hip and all but like, when you’ve been in Manhattan for over a century moving sucks especially hard. Photo via Industry City

Despite having seriously curbed our crime, scrubbed our subways, gentrified Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and the Brownstone Belt beyond recognition, created such Instagrammable Kodak moments as Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Coney Island boardwalk, perfected our boho-chic laid-back hair and expensive but broke aesthetic, still the fashion industry doesn’t want to move to Brooklyn! But then, does Brooklyn want the fashion industry to move here?

“Brooklyn may be New York’s hippest borough to live or start a business. It just doesn’t hold that much cachet for the city’s fashion industry,” begins a Bloomberg Politics article on Mayor de Blasio’s agenda to “lure” apparel makers out of Midtown, across the river and into cheaper manufacturing centers in Sunset Park, where there is already a small but growing fashion-making community. The most contentious aspect of de Blasio’s plan is that it would end a 1987 law restricting use of Garment District real estate so manufacturers can afford to remain in the area. (more…)

03/08/17 10:59am

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To celebrate International Women’s Day I met up with some female entrepreneurs who are changing the face of business in Greenpoint. Vintage fashion dominates Manhattan Ave., creating a community of fashion loving business women who truly support each other. Female owned ventures are gaining ground in Brooklyn with a 39 percent increase in the last five years, according to a study from the Center for an Urban Future. If you are interested in starting up a business, read below to see what these inspiring woman have to say and check out the links at the bottom to organizations that help women and minorities start their own businesses in New York. Good Luck! The future is female. (more…)

03/01/17 4:55pm
Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

The weather in Brooklyn this week has been a little bit of a drama queen. Blowing hot and then cold, like every bad Tinder relationship we’ve been in. The oscillating temperatures have made the streets of Brooklyn home to many different looks and styles. One theme I saw emerging though was color. It’s not a rainbow out there yet, but little pops of color were springing up all over the place.

Above, these three were grabbing a smoke outside of a coffee shop and looked like something from the East Village circa 1960. They are all rocking the vintage vibe perfectly. “I have to”, the girl in the center told me, “I’m a barista – I make $10 an hour”.

Check out these other stylish kids spotted around Bed-Stuy and Bushwick. Fashion escapism, this way

02/21/17 4:40pm
Street Style

Keeping cozy in an oversized cardigan and bright blue turban. I love how this fashionista sat in front of a restaurant that perfectly complemented her outfit! As they say in Jurassic Park “clever girl.”

With New York Fashion Week finally over in Manhattan, we can focus our attention back on the best fashion runway there is — the streets of Brooklyn! If Manhattan’s fashion week is all about high end, expensive designers, then the Brooklyn streets are the antidote, with their vintage looks mismatched stylings. One thing that all New Yorkers can agree on is their love of black. Black is chic, always on trend and doesn’t show the dirt in this grimy city.

On this week’s street style post, we see plenty of Brooklynites in black with some pops of color starting to emerge. Check out the uber-cool looks below. (more…)

Beloved Smith Street bodega at center of mafia investigation now has its own T-shirt line

Vin and his Smunion tee. Photo via AINT WET

Long before authorities started wiretapping Carroll Gardens’ beloved Smith Union Market in 2015 for suspected gambling and loansharking, as a featured story in the New York Times recapped yesterday, locals were well aware the spot had not just old-school Italian character but a great diversity of 40s (they carried glass St. Ides months after other spots started only selling the plastic bottles), a high-quality curbside domino scene and a host of random cleaning products and aging Beanie Babies.

In a fitting homage to the bodega, fifth-generation Carroll Gardens native Abraham El Makawy and fellow members of his budding art collective AINT WET (yes, they’re the ones behind those subway posters that make you do a double take at because they look like the MTA’s official WET PAINT signs) designed and printed T-shirts repping the market, endearingly known as Smunion. The tees, featuring the 72-year-old corner store’s logo on the front and a picture of the cross streets on the back, are selling for $19.45 on AINT WET’s website as of January 10. (more…)

11/07/16 3:48pm
This actually happened by accident.

This actually happened by accident. Edited by Sam Corbin

Voting at the polls tomorrow isn’t the only way to show you’re #withHer. You can also dress the part by donning Hillary’s signature outfit, a two-piece pantsuit. And if you do, trust us, you won’t be the only one: A (not so) secret pro-Hillary Facebook group called Pantsuit Nation popped up last week with just a one-line description that reads, “Wear a pantsuit on November 8. You know why.”

The group has 110 admins and is quickly approaching the 2 million member mark, with new members being added every second. They’ve also created a website, built a Twitter following… they even managed to get professional photographers to offer free photo sessions sporting a pantsuit tomorrow.

All this evidence points to one simple truth: You need to get yourself in a pantsuit. But where? (more…)

09/09/16 4:53pm
Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

What’s an appropriate way to commemorate the constant unavoidable hand of death that keeps claiming all your favorite Brooklyn locations, the steady drumbeat of mortality that’s bound to swallow up all your favorite Brooklyn venues, bars, restaurants, people, places and things and spit them out as a bland, condo-fied mush? Put them on a fashionable T-shirt.

I spotted this guy at the preview night of the Brooklyn Bazaar on Wednesday. He and some friends made the shirts to commemorate the closings that swallowed their favorite Williamsburg spots. And no, you can’t buy one UPDATE: You actually can buy one here! They made a limited run. In case you’re keeping tabs, Savalas closed in 2011; Good Co. turned into Belle Shoals in January; our beloved Trash Bar went to the curb in 2015 and White Castle steamed its last ham in 2014. The closest we ever got was making a video about our dearly departed venues. This shirt beats constantly whining that New York is OVER.

08/30/16 10:22am
Target: Where the rent is too damn high, but so are these savings. Via Target.com.

Target: The rent is too damn high, but so are these savings. Via Target.com.

Target is known for being a big retailer that has the stuff you need, and also as a place you should also never ever EVER go to on a Saturday or Sunday unless you want to vacation in a Mad Max style hellscape of empty shelves and war boys riding down the aisles in blasted out shopping carts, trying to salvage the last two-pack of contact solution. They’re generally considered less evil than Walmart, and earned some progressive bonafides this year with their trans-inclusive bathroom stance. Over the past year, Target has been trying to tap into a local pride market by making clothing specifically targeted to areas like New York, Chicago and San Francisco. They’re by designer Todd Snyder, an Iowa native who lives in New York. Like any move by a retailer whose feet are too giant to see what it’s stepping on, it hasn’t gone over great with actual locals some places. Brokelyn’s Rachel Eve Stein spotted the above shirt this weekend at the Atlantic Center Target in Brooklyn over the weekend. It seems like making jokes about the dire affordable housing situation in the city is going after the wrong kind of local pride here. It’s not the only time the line has gotten some heat from locals across the country. (more…)

07/11/16 1:00pm
Say yes to the dress: How I found the perfect vintage summer dress in Brooklyn for under $20

For my first stop, I dug through the racks of juicy summer dresses at Fox & Fawn. All photos by Jess Keefe/Brokelyn.

You can do two kinds of thrift shopping in Brooklyn: the first is the heavily curated, heftily priced experience of the high-end vintage boutiques. Think a perfectly broken-in, 1994-era Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, or a handmade 50s pin-up dress, each with triple digit price tags. The second is the more appealing kind for the budget-conscious crowd. It’s the kind that involves rolling up your sleeves and digging through the heaps of WWE t-shirts and tattered peasant skirts in order to find that perfect $10 gem.

I enjoy doing the second kind of thrift shopping all year round, but especially in summer, because this time of year, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect summer dress. The kind of dress you can imagine yourself wearing while holding a rocket pop, or a sparkler; while strolling on a boardwalk, or standing on a rooftop. To me, it’s something just a little specialer, weirder, and cooler than my usual style. And of course, it’s gotta fit right.

Since this season’s trends are not appealing to me (Off-the-shoulders? Laces? Pseudo-bohemian nonsense? No, no, no), I decided to take my quest exclusively to the thrift stores. Bushwick is teeming with affordable shops lately, and friends tipped me off to great stops in Greenpoint and Park Slope/Gowanus. My perfect summer dress was in reach, I could just feel it. Here’s how I found it. 
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05/09/16 2:15pm
July 4th, 2015: a young Hope and her Mom shorts.

July 4th, 2015: a young Hope and her Mom shorts.

Winter has come and gone, and good fucking riddance. It’s time to banish away the fleece leggings and skinny jeans and take on a Royal Teens’ “Who Wears Short Shorts?” outlook for the blistering hot days to come! Whether your legs be hairy or shaven, toned or flabby, stretch marked or nah, this is the time for us Brooklyn girls to observe our patriotic right to Bare Legs. And what better way to do it than with a classic pair of mom jeans, cut off to the length of your choice? That’s right. I’m here to spread the good word of Mom Shorts.

Even as I say this, I sense a strange shift in the air. As I preach for my beloved lady jorts, I feel the collective energy of boners going down. Men everywhere are shaking their fists toward the heavens, cursing Mom Shorts with a resounding, “Those aren’t hot!”

All it takes is one quick Google search to get a glimpse of the hell that was raised when the shorts became popular in 2012. To this day, men and “I have guy friends!” women alike continue to voice their outrage about the “granny panties of pants,” whatever that means. (Also; what’s a “cigarette smoker’s butt?” I’m not a smoker, but I’m intrigued.)

But as a serious advocate for Mom Shorts, I find these stances irrelevant and lacking in reasonability. And I declare the wearing of Mom Shorts the best way to smash the patriarchy, one high-waisted denim pair at a time. (more…)