The retailer has leased a 2,400-square-foot, two-level store at 151 Court Street, a thoroughfare that passes through three Brooklyn neighborhoods, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. It will be J. Crew’s first store in the borough. The company expects the store to open in early 2014.
Brooklyn has been booming in recent years as more and more retailers discover the borough, an epicenter for the cool and hip in terms of restaurants, bars and independent shops, and with pedigreed neighborhoods that attract the stroller set. If the area were an independent city, it would be the fourth-largest in the U.S., with a population of 2.8 million. The fact that Brooklyn is considered understored is another strong inducement for retailers. RELATED STORY: Brooklyn Retail Sees Boom >>
“What took us so long in Brooklyn?” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group Inc. “Actually we’ve been looking for a while, but we wouldn’t compromise the location. When this became available, we decided we really love the spot. It was right and that’s why [we leased it]. We’d rather take the time with the location instead of just finding any location.”
Asked whether J. Crew was waiting for the demographics to improve in Brooklyn, Drexler said, “We were not necessarily waiting for the demographics [to change]. It’s been quite clear over last few years that a lot of our customers live there. In fact, a fair amount of our headquarters team members live there, and we knew it pretty well.” Drexler said the luxury housing that’s being built also pointed to a sophisticated shopper.
While Court Street — so named because it originates at the Brooklyn courts — has pockets of retail, especially near J. Crew’s spot at Pacific Avenue, it’s not populated with stores throughout its length. J. Crew is one block away from Atlantic Avenue, where a Barneys New York Co-Op is located. Apart from American Apparel and a few other national chains, most of the stores in the area are local boutiques, such as Diane T and the Pink Pepper Boutique.
J. Crew may open more stores in Brooklyn, Drexler said. “We’re looking for whatever might be right,” he said. “We don’t have anything in mind in particular.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast