Like many New York residents, Brooklyn Industries Creative Director Vahap Avsar moved to the United States and was quickly taken aback by the racism and prejudice that was saturating the “melting pot.” While he experienced many refreshing moments of racial accord, he also saw neighborhoods still fundamentally segregated, deep-rooted anger and aggression among many of Brooklyn’s inhabitants, and racial inequality and prejudice that were still occurring in a place that prided itself on fostering diversity and acceptance. The topic of racism in the United States remained a thorn in his side throughout the years and for Brooklyn Industries Summer 2012 season, he was both inspired and driven to utilize the brand’s collection as a platform to spark a dialogue about the state of race relations in the United States and more specifically, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Industries does not claim to be an authority on race relations or social issues in general. The objective is not to tell the community how and what to think regarding race but as a brand that is deeply invested in the local community, they felt it imperative to continue the conversation on what many deem as a historical issue, one that no longer exists because of the progress that has been made since the days of slavery, internment camps and civil rights. While they do not discount the many accomplishments of those who have worked tirelessly to create equal opportunity, the brand does want to remind the community that diligence is needed and a desire to strive for progress is essential in creating a productive and truly blossoming community.
Though it was Spike Lee’s movie Jungle Fever that provoked an initial response, it is the ending in the movie School Daze and the opening credits of Do the Right Thing that serves as the strongest and most cohesive statement as to what Brooklyn Industries aims to accomplish. “Wake Up!” This is the rallying cry, a personal call to action that implores the community to open its eyes to the issues within the borough. Wake up and breathe in the beauty that is Brooklyn, but don’t let that be the end. Pay attention, be a diligent participant in your community and educate yourself about the social injustices that are still occurring in 2012.
The Brooklyn Industries summer 2012 collection is more than just powerful prints and the perfect pant for the season, it is about sparking an internal revolution. A revolution in oneself that forces you to examine the state of the community that inspires you and delve deeper than what is visible at the surface. Despite the strides made within the community, it is the goal of Brooklyn Industries to continuously examine, discover and seek out positive change in the jungle called Brooklyn.
# # #
ABOUT BROOKLYN INDUSTRIES
Brooklyn Industries is a cutting edge design company that sells its innovative clothes exclusively through its 15 retail stores and online website. Founded by visionary artists Lexy Funk and Vahap Avsar in 1998, Brooklyn Industries’ stores engage the local community in art, clothing, design and style.
Brooklyn Industries was honored as a “Green Power Pioneer” by ConEdison Solutions and Community Energy, Inc. in recognition of its commitment to using Wind Power in its stores and office headquarters. In 2006, Brooklyn Industries was recognized as a top entrepreneur with Crain’s New York Business’ coated “Small Business Award.” The company also ranked in Inc. Magazine’s 500 list, which highlights the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
Brooklyn Industries continues to grow every year as an innovative and creative vertical retailer, staying true to its Brooklyn roots.