In Brooklyn, the penchant for all things artisanal meets the restless search for the cutting edge. Park Slope may best embody this quintessentially Brooklyn spirit, with its bounty of farm-to-table restaurants like Franny’s and the sleek, au courant sensibility of artist-owned and -operated 440 Gallery on Sixth Avenue. Most famously, the enclave’s street style mixes timeless luxury with trend-setting statement pieces. Those looking to wade into this scene need look no further than these stalwarts of the Park Slope fashion scene:
Bird | 316 Fifth Avenue
Vogue not only named this shop one of the “Best Brooklyn Boutiques,” but called it a “trailblazer.” And rightfully so. Since the late 90s, Bird has offered high-end clothing and accessories to Park Slope, even before the area was a must-live destination. In 2004, Jen Mankins, a former buyer for Steven Alan and Barneys New York, purchased the store and began selling a mix of clothing, shoes, and accessories from brands like Rachel Comey, Isabel Marant, and Acne Studios. Since then, Mankins has turned the boutique into a small NYC chain that remains synonymous with “Brooklyn cool.”
Steven Alan | 373 (men’s) and 347 (women’s) Atlantic Avenue
Designer Steven Alan opened his first eponymously named shop in 1994, and today his outposts in Park Slope (there are two—one for women’s wear and one for menswear) still showcase his mastery of simple ready-to-wear, high-quality pieces. His shops have always included items from other American designers, like denim purveyors Simon Miller and classic American accessories-maker Shinola, though they remain stocked with Steven Alan-branded knit ties, chambray dresses, and button-down shirts with his signature “Reverse Seam.”
Meg | 358 Atlantic Avenue
Shop owner and designer Meghan Kinney wants women to know that they can dress for their real lives with “just a hint of sophistication so the everyday isn’t boring”—whether they’re spending a day picnicking in Prospect Park or going to an opening night gala at BAM. Both her mother and her grandmother owned boutiques, and Kinney honed her retail skills watching her elders develop long-standing relationships with their clientele. Today, Kinney continues to design the versatile wardrobe staples that built her loyal and ever-expanding customer base, like dress-up-dress-down jumpsuits and jodhpur dresses, all with that never-boring, everyday chic.
Consignment Brooklyn | 371 Atlantic Avenue
At this expertly curated consignment shop, it is hard to tell whether the stock comes from last season’s runway fashions or last decade’s, thanks to the owner’s keen and unusual eye. Founded by Eva Dayton, who honed her fashion sensibility working for Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani, the minimalist, white-walled space offers personal styling and consignment opportunities for fashionistas experimenting with the Marie Kondo method. Any given visit may yield a vintage Céline dress, Issey Miyake tote, or a Max Mara fur-trimmed duster.
Photo credit: shopikon.com