By  on April 16, 2014

A lot has changed in Brooklyn in the 15 years since Bird first opened at 430 Seventh Avenue, in Park Slope, and more than a few of those changes have come under the direct influence of Bird itself. Or, rather, the store’s owner Jennifer Mankins, whose fashion and retail point of view has shaped a highly specific aesthetic now synonymous with Brooklyn, though the borough’s stylistic proclivities have long since transcended its geographic borders.

“There’s a certain accessibility; I hate to use the word practicality, because people say that’s so not sexy or glamorous or fashionable,” said Mankins on a recent Wednesday at Bird’s Williamsburg location, attempting to conjure a description of the look that one need only lay eyes on her to understand. Dressed in a boxy lace Isabel Marant top, a 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt in a wood-grain print and a garland of beaded Lizzie Fortunato necklaces, Mankins presents as a devout ambassador of eclectically intellectual Brooklyn style — to which a level of comfort is key — from head (oversize blue-framed glasses by Cutler and Gross) to toe (No. 6 clog sandals). “I mean, I sell a lot of clogs, that’s what represents the Brooklyn lifestyle,” she said, laughing at the cliché she helped create.

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