HOMETOWN HEROES: MEET MEGAN MUSSARI OF APPRVL

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We’re endlessly curious about how our favorite local creatives, designers and makers do their thing, which is why we’ll be celebrating them at store parties across the country. Wanting to get an even closer look, we toured a few nearby studios and talked to the Hometown Heroes behind them. Say hello to Apprvl founder Megan, an expert at Japanese shibori indigo dyeing who makes all of her one-of-a-kind designs in Brooklyn. Continue reading

LADIES WE LOVE: PASTRY CHEF AYAKO KUROKAWA

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One of our favorite NYC secrets is Burrow, a tiny, charming patisserie tucked away in a nondescript building off the cobblestone streets of Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood. And one of our favorite NYC ladies is Ayako Kurokawa, the pastry chef (or pastry artist really, but she prefers a more modest title) behind every mouth-watering, eye-catching treat made there. We visited her on a weekday afternoon just after closing up shop to talk about, among other things, David Bowie, favorite desserts and a very special grandmother.
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Hometown Heroes: #MadewellBK Edition

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The most exciting part of opening a new store is, invariably, meeting the people in our new neighborhood. We always seek out local creatives, from chefs to artists to makers (aka the people who are really influencing the culture) to get fully acquainted with our new digs. Case in point: our new store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where seven inspiring women—from an urban farmer to a perfumer—made our opening night extra special.

Meet our hometown heroes.

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#MADEWELLBK: Where to hang after you visit our new Brooklyn shop

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This Wednesday, we’re officially opening the doors to our first Brooklyn location. Needless to say, we’re very excited to move in. The scents, the tastes, the views—there are so many things to do in the area, from canoe rides to selfie spots. We’ve created a little guide to the neighborhood with the help of a few local friends featuring more than 50 recommendations on how to waste five minutes or five hours in the neighborhood. It’s called The Time Waster’s Guide to Williamsburg & North Brooklyn and it’s available at our new shop at 127 North 6th Street between Bedford and Berry. Want a sneak peek? Here are just five of the spots you’ll find in its pages. (Fun fact: All the illustrations in the guide are by our very own head designer Somsack.)

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Fill In The Blanks With Brooklyn Florist Lisa Przystup

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The most enviably stylish women are inevitably those who have the most going on—whose sartorial style is only a fraction of what makes them so cool—which is precisely why we’re taken with Brooklynite Lisa Przystup, a florist/writer/sometimes waitress. We stopped by her home to chat about the merits of a personal uniform and the benefits of feeling underdressed.

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Labels We Love: Ace&Jig

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Designers Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson have never met a stripe or plaid they haven’t liked. You might say they’re obsessed. In fact, woven textiles with variations of the patterns are what Ace&Jig, their four-year-old boho apparel collection, is all about. Another obsession? Slip-on, slip-off pieces that get you out the door quickly—the two entrepreneurs are also moms. (FYI: Their children inspired the line’s name: Cary’s five-year-old daughter Alice’s initials spell ACE, and Jenna’s six-year-old son James’s spell JIG.) We caught up with the designers as they planned their next shopping trip to the markets of Marrakech and chatted about their collage-like approach to fabric design and the unexpected textures they love.

You’re friends who work together. Sounds pretty great. How’d that happen?
We met as interns at Language—a label that’s no longer around—and then both joined LaRok as creative directors. After a few years there, we decided it was time for a break. We each got married, had children and then founded Ace&Jig.

So has the fact that you’re both mothers influenced the collection’s aesthetic?
We are usually dashing about, so our collection is a realistic portrayal of what we want to be wearing in our everyday lives—something easy to throw on, special enough to be a signature, timeless and comfortable.

No two Ace&Jig patterns look the same. How do you manage to pull that off?
We  have vast antique textile collections and pull from these, as well as from heritage cloth around the world. We’re always inspired by the woven stripe. And all cultures have a history of woven cloth—we’re just making new stories with ours. A big focus for us is collaborating directly with weavers in India to create custom patterns; we work with a man who’s been running the looms and developing fabrics in India for over 25 years. We pick the yarns and he dyes them with his bare hands, always considering how the fabric feels to the touch. Our textures are always evolving.

Let’s talk about other textures you love. In food?
When we’re in India in May, we go through cartons of Alphonso mangoes. Buttery soft, and they have a very short season.

Under your feet?
Filiki Tulu rugs from Anatolia, Boucherouite rugs from Morocco, Boro rugs from Japan and all types of rag rugs.

To hang on your walls?
3D texture dominates for sure. We’ve hung quilts, weavings, rag rugs, oil paintings with rich layers, plus a revolving display of our kids’ art. We’ve even used hula-hoops as frames and woven our scrap fabrics across them.

And when it comes to music?
Jazz, definitely.

To see how the two spend their days in Brooklyn during the warmer months, click here, and peruse their patterned pieces here.

Read All About It: A Noteworthy Newsstand

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We love things that are a little unexpected—speakeasies, hidden beaches, skorts—so here’s an of-the-moment cultural happening that caught our eye…in the depths of the subway, of all places. New Yorkers (and visitors to our fine city), next time you’re passing through the turnstiles at the Metropolitan Avenue stop for the L or G train in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, check out The Newsstand. It looks like your typical transit station newsstand that would sell newspapers, candy and soda, but it’s actually filled with a curated selection of indie magazines, photography and amazingly cool curiosities produced by artists, publishers and bookstores.

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The brainchild of Lele Saveri, organizer of the 8-Ball Zine Fair, and Kevin Kearney and Jamie Falkowski of ALLDAYEVERYDAY creative agency, the pop-up space is ever-changing—one day you might find a book signing, the next a poetry reading or live artist drawings in progress. There’s also a converted vending machine that dispenses zines for a buck, and a listening station for vinyl, cassette tapes and CDs. Guest “clerks”—everyone from photographer Jason Nocito to designer-illustrator Jack Greer—man the newsstand on select days, and in case you were actually looking for a snack, there’s a small stash of McClure potato chips, gum and small bites too. Totally worth your $2.50 swipe.

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The Newsstand is open through August, Monday–Friday from 10am to 9pm and Saturday–Sunday from 12pm to 7pm; http://www.alldayeveryday.com/thenewsstand

An Artist We Love: Mimi Jung of Brook&Lyn

The owner of LA boutique Brook&Lyn (before you ask, the shop is a Brooklyn transplant), Mimi Jung has an easy, whimsical-meets-modern aesthetic we can’t help but admire. A graphic designer with her own jewelry collection, she has also recently started making the most incredible one-of-a-kind woven wall hangings. We lust after each one (and dream about them livening up our apartments), so naturally we needed to know more. Here, we get the story from this multitalented artist.

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How did you get into wall hangings?

About two years ago, I took a short weaving workshop in Brooklyn before moving out to LA. I forgot about it until my husband built me a loom to play around with at home. Something about weaving and the LA lifestyle just fit so beautifully together.

They’re so intricate—how do you decide where to start?

I’m inspired by color first and then I work on the composition. Color inspiration can come from pretty much everywhere: a film, a stranger’s outfit, even a row of houses.

How long does it take to make each one?

It depends on the size, but even the smallest ones take about forty hours per piece.

Do you have any at home?

I have one that I love that lives in our living room, a pair that live in the studio and another one that’s guarding our hallway. There are no rules about hanging weavings—they’re like pieces of art, you can hang them wherever you see fit.

Who is your textile artist hero?

Sheila Hicks—she revolutionized weaving!