By  on September 15, 2008

NEW YORK — The two half-brothers behind Kesner believe their unique mix of little-known labels will set their store apart from those selling the other trendy brands already being offered in the West Village.

Matthew Simon and Philip Silverman quit their jobs last year and set off on a tour of Europe, visiting fashion shows, showrooms and men’s stores in Florence, Milan, Paris, London and Barcelona in search of vendors and inspiration. With very little fashion experience—24-year-old Silverman worked for over a year as a buyer in Bloomingdale’s children’s department and his brother worked in the New York Knicks front office—the duo managed to secure exclusives with designers such as Antonio Azzuolo, Marchand Drapier and Melinda Gloss, who don’t sell to other U.S. shops.

“We made a dream list of designers whose lines we wanted to carry, and then we got in touch with the PR contacts and made appointments to visit their showrooms in Paris and Milan,” explained Simon, 34. “Everyone we met with was very impressed by our strong vision.”

That vision includes finding interesting, cutting-edge designers, like Kris Van Assche, Spurr and Tim Hamilton, and offering a discerning customer classic pieces like cashmere sweaters, blazers and trench coats that are fresh and modern. When Kesner opens its doors in late October at Hudson and West 10th streets, Simon and Silverman want their store to become a part of the bohemian West Village scene and a destination store for the modern New York man.

The 900-square-foot store will carry outerwear, tailored clothing, knitwear, denim and accessories, like jewelry, sunglasses and bags.

The shop’s impressive list of scarcely distributed designers is already creating buzz.
And after working on the project for almost a year, Simon and Silverman are eager to finally open Kesner, which they named after their grandfather.

“I don’t think there is any other store that is doing what we are doing,” Silverman said.

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