A Trip To New York: Brooklyn, Buying, and Bites
by Ari Takata-Vasquez
I love New York. They love design, stores are on-point, and everyone wears black. It can be an exhausting city, but whenever I come back from a NY trip I return feeling energized by the creatives I meet there. We made the trip across the country to do a few things: find new designers at the fashion tradeshows, do some retail scouting for possible stockists to carry our jewelry, and eat.
You probably remember my intern, Karis, from the last time she came along for a buying trip. She was so helpful in keeping us organized, on schedule, and did an amazing job finding stores to visit. She also loves food almost as much as I do so was a great partner in crime when I wanted to stop for a snack.
note: we're surprising light on photos this trip since most of our documenting happened on snapchat (to be honest, I don't fully understand snapchat) which I didn't realizes means the photos disappear! Follow us on snapchat and don't miss any behind the scenes stuff!
Day 1: Scouting new Shops
We stayed in Brooklyn for the trip to stay close to friends. There were also a ton of amazing indie boutiques that we wanted to visit. I know both Oaklanders and Brooklynites alike are tired of the Oakland/Brooklyn comparison but you can't deny there are some similarities. Brooklyn is the artsy younger sister to Manhattan in the same way Oakland is the punk step-sister to San Francisco.
Being the #FattieNotFoodie I am, we had to get into the Mast factory to get some tasty free samples. They have just the most gorgeous wrapping anyone could ask for.
I'm a sucker for packaging, so I probably would have liked this stuff even if the chocolate was terrible. That wasn't the case and all their chocolates were bomb, we even got to try a goat milk chocolate, which was described to us as "tasting like a barn"(Insert Brookyn hipster joke here), which I was surprisingly into.
photo courtesy of karis (@karisodd)
Day 2: A Day in Nolita
Nolita has some amazing shopping. There are so many well-curated shops with very design forward approaches. After much walking, we decided we need to get a taste of home and stopped in at a Mexican restaurant called Tacombi Fonda Nolita. With an open and beachy theme complete with a 1970s VW van doubling as a taco station it felt like a slice of California in New York City.
Following our trek around the neighborhood, we headed to the Sock Hop's party with Zachary Cale performing live. With nothing more than his guitar and melodic voice, he filled the space with the beautiful sounds of nostalgia. It was such a treat to see him in person.
As is typical New York fashion, you never know what you're going to find and it just so happened we came across sheep. They had what was equivalent to a gofundme and were housed in a strange little garden off of Prince street.
Day 3 TradeShows: Designers & Agents // Man Woman Show
We're always on the search for well designed and crafted USA-made pieces so we have to see A LOT of stuff. Being that we've gone to so many shows, we were able to knock out both Designers & Agents and Man Woman show in one day. We saw one of our current designers, Dan Snyder of Corridor NYC.
Man Woman shows are super well curated. They're price point is definitely a bit higher, but worth it. You can see the care and craft that goes into everything there. We found a couple exciting new designers, but you'll have to wait until Spring to see their work.
Day 4 Tradeshows: Coterie & Capsule
Capsule is probably my favorite show out of the bunch. They're usually very, tiny, new brands that are stepping out of the box and doing something different. Because there are indie designers, we are the most successful in finding USA made goods because they like to source close to home. A benefit of having a production nearby, is quality control. Most new designers want to have samples made, check in on detailing (like trim work), and see their garments go through the full process. Using a factory near by lets them do just that. The result is a better garment that looks and feels the way the designer imagined.
After Capsule we headed over to the big-boy of fashion shows. Coterie is huge. Absolutely giant. If you've ever been in the Javitz center, you know how massive this building is and just imagine it filled to the brim with next season's fashion. This show can be super exhausting because of the sheer volume. It's definitely an experience I would encourage any buyer to have, though.
Following a full day of work, we needed to reward ourselves with some fun. So, we headed over to the Capsule after party at Le Bain in the Standard Hotel. The view there was incredible. The Standard is right next to the Highline so next time you're in NY make it one of your stops, or better yet, stay there.
photo courtesy of Karis (@karisodd)
So there you have it! We had a great time in New York and we're excited to share our new finds for Spring/Summer with you.
Tell us about your New York experience in the comments bellow.