Probably the most famous borough other than Manhattan itself – Brooklyn has grown to make a name for itself, not only in fashion but in culture itself. Its become a growing market for fashion, music and entertainment. It’s home of the Barclays Center where superstars such as Jay Z and Beyoncé have played and where the Brooklyn Nets have graced the court. It draws fashion designers such as Alexander Wang who hosted his fall/winter 2014 show in the beckoning borough and Jean Paul Gaultier, whose exhibit was showcased at the Brooklyn Museum. What about this outer borough is making designers, musicians and artisans go crazy? Is it the hipster culture that can’t be found in the luxury of Manhattan, or is it the undiscovered vintage charm of the brown stones that drive people to deem it the next growing area?
Brooklyn is the most populous borough other than Manhattan. It is home to distinct ethnic groups and communities harboring entire neighborhoods. It has drawn millions of immigrants from Europe, Central and South American and the Caribbean. The atmosphere beams with culture in the authentic restaurants and celebrations, giving it its unique flair.
Many argue that you can experience New York via Brooklyn as opposed to Manhattan, as it is much more affordable to live in. I mean what’s not to like about being away from the promiseland by only a bridge? However, the influx of outsiders has overrun the original hipsters and caused real estate to absolutely sky-rocket in the area. Those who gave Brooklyn life have moved out but instead, the wealthy who see its potential have moved in.
In an article from Daily News, Tom DiNapoli stated that “business in Brooklyn is booming” due to people wanting to move in because of its “economic opportunities, diversity, schools, museums and nightlife.” DiNapoli is certainly right about that. But what about it makes it a growing place for fashion? The answer is that people are close to the trends that come from the catwalks in New York and can replicate them in applicable street style makes it one stylish place to be.
It has become a destination for fashion and the fashionable. Women’s contemporary clothing store, dressbarn, opened a location in Brooklyn, hoping to target the stylish in the community while catering to its growing demographic of people flocking to it from all around. Additionally, designer Alexander Wang shocked the fashion world when he decided to have his fall/winter 2014 fashion show in Brooklyn last winter, rather than Manhattan like he usually does. It is clear from that daring stunt that we might see more high fashion coming to the Brooklyn area in seasons to come. Not only that, but the Brooklyn Museum featured a fashion exhibit earlier this year on French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier. The exhibit, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk, documented his creative process, including the inspiration he gathered for his looks. Brooklyn was the only East Coast location to receive this exhibit. In addition, Artsy, an artist information site, included a page on Gaultier that is worth checking out if you are interested in the artistic quality of his work.Gaultier’s quirky and challenging style to his clothing reflect in the location in that while he was something fresh in the eyes of the fashion world, Brooklyn is something fresh in the eyes of the world. Hell, it even has its own fashion week.
Brooklyn is no doubt turning into this global brand that everyone wants to be a part of. It has suddenly become the place and person everyone wants to be. To be “Brooklynized” is to be immersed into everything urban, hip, young and fresh. A perfect example is how this fall, fashion and music will coincide in Fashion Rocks, an event put on at Barclays Center with performers from all genres of music, forever blending the two and putting Brooklyn on the map as a hot spot to watch for the next few years.
I think the real appeal Brooklyn has is it seems more authentic than Manhattan; less gleam and more wholesome. It has a little bit of everything – food, music, fashion, art. It draws everyone, not just the select elite who are privileged enough to call Manhattan their home. Its ethnic roots give it an eclectic mix of people, coming from different backgrounds but sharing in the hipness that is Brooklyn. Rather than being the crown jewel, Brooklyn is the diamond in the rough; a little rough around the edges, but inside is something really special that the world is only beginning to see.