Brooklyn Rive Gauche – Part 1

brooklyn-rive-gauche

Parisian department store Le Bon Marché is celebrating all things Brooklyn until October 17th and we’re delighted to have been chosen as a partner for the event! It happened very naturally… As a born and bred Parisian, I spent many an afternoon on the store’s last floor (which used to host the men’s and sportswear lines) and later on in their basement where all of the menswear collections are displayed. Also, of course, Olivia is a born and raised New-Yorker and we lived in Brooklyn together where we experienced first-hand the borough’s exceptional creativity.

There is Williamsburg, of course, that most Parisians are very familiar with, but let’s not forget Bushwick, Greenpoint, Sunset Park, Red Hook, and above all Park Slope (where we lived), Prospect Heights, Gowanus, Boreum Hill and Carroll Gardens where we spent the most time. We loved living there as the neighborhood life really is centered around independent entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses: coffee shops, breweries, local restaurants, boutiques and craftsmen.

Le Bon Marché put together a very impressing display of makers and made in Brooklyn brands (also available online), including designers that we’ve been following for a while now. Today we decided to introduce 3 of our favorite brands selected by the store: Knickerbocker MFG Co.The Brooklyn Circus and The Hill-Side.

Knickerbocker MFG. Co.

Our favorite label present at Brooklyn Rive Gauche is far and away Knickerbocker MFG. Co. We had the opportunity to meet the founder of the brand, Andrew Livingston, and to discuss Brooklyn, menswear, New York’s tattoo culture, and more importantly, his business and what inspires him.

A couple of years ago, he decided with two friends to take over a manufacturing company on its way out of business (about to close its doors after 60 years of service) and start producing, in Brooklyn, quality workwear-inspired goods for other New York-based companies. Along the way, Andrew and his team of craftsmen decided to make and sell their own collection under the name Knickerbocker, which to us evokes everything great about old-school New York (quality and craft)…

Head over to their website to learn more about the brand or to take part in one of their workshops (if you’re ever in Brooklyn). You can also discover Le Bon Marché’s selection here though the brand’s best pieces are only showcased in the store… So you might have to swing by Paris before October 17 to check them out!

The Brooklyn Circus

I discovered The Brooklyn Circus the first time I lived in New York, in 2009. My friend Alex Khoury (who since founded Atelier Office Creation, the French representative for the brand) was interning with them and invited me to discover their concept store at 150 Nevins Street, which I absolutely loved. The second time I lived in New York, we lived a couple of blocks away from the store and very easily were able to follow the Circus‘ adventures from one collection to the next.

Driven by the incredible personality of its founder, Ouigi Théodore (who talks about his relationship with Paris and France in the video above), the Brooklyn Circus’ world is at the corner of Ivy style and American uniforms from 1920 to the 1950s.

BKc has become one of the most iconic menswear brands of the borough and I can strongly recommend you go check out their UNIFORM collection at Le Bon Marché (if you’re in Paris) as it’s their first commercial appearance in France. To discover the brand’s full collection, head this way.

The Hill-Side

Amongst the department store’s selection of independent brands, I think The Hill-Side is the only one that’s already widely available. We all know their chambray and Japanese cotton accessories and you might have seen some in our menswear picks.

Launched in 2009 by the Corsillo brothers, already known (and respected) for their Williamsburg store, Hickoree’s, The Hill-Side’s very raw and masculine ties, pocket squares and scarves rapidly gained notice in the menswear scene in Brooklyn and beyond. Le Bon Marché chose several pieces that represent the brand’s aesthetics (and there are many more available in store).

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions on these brands. If you happen to be in Paris and have seen the exhibitions already, let me know how you liked it on social media (@leclubdesdouze). Finally, don’t forget to come back on the blog on Thursday as we’re preparing something special for you!