Crossing the bridge

by Harry Sheff
Store design was inspired by the neighborhood’s aesthetic and made from locally sourced materials like reclaimed and recycled wood, steel and plastic.

As the New York metro area anxiously awaits the opening of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this fall, one menswear retailer already has its seats picked out. Last October, Atrium opened its third outpost down the street from the future home of the Nets basketball team. Unlike its predecessors in Manhattan and Miami, the 1,600 sq. ft. shop focuses on menswear. Kith, the 580 sq. ft. adjoining shoe shop opened with Atrium in October and future plans include a barbershop in the back.

“It’s the same merchandising strategy in Brooklyn, but a much tighter selection,” says men’s buyer Alan Fernandez. “When Sam opened Atrium he wanted to recreate the department store format on a specialty store level. We made Atrium a destination by buying a brand and buying it wide. Nudie and Prps are two brands we’ve been successful with.”

This strategy has allowed Atrium to form strong vendor relationships and collaborate on exclusive product. They recently teamed up with Nudie on the Green Apple Jean, a unisex style made of organic denim for $199 retail. “We used green stitching—it was the first time Nudie ever switched the color of thread on its denim.” In addition to Nudie and Prps, Atrium Brooklyn stocks other core brands like Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Penfield, Canada Goose, Scotch & Soda and JC Rags.

New to both the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations is Kith, a collaboration between Atrium’s owner Sam Ben-Avraham and footwear aficionado Ronnie Fieg. Fernandez explains it as, “two concepts under one roof. Kith fits in well with Atrium’s aesthetic. Ronnie does a new collaboration [with a different brand] about every month and kids literally form a line out the door to buy the new shoe.” (Editor’s note: It’s true—I’ve witnessed young guys setting up tents and sleeping bags outside of the store on the corner of Broadway and Bleecker Streets.) Currently selling at Kith are Fieg’s collaborations with Quoddy, Asics, Caminado, New Balance and Sebago, as well as brands like Red Wing, Ralph Lauren, Puma by Alexander McQueen, Clae, Timberland, Abington, Dr. Martens and Adidas.

Opening soon is an old school barbershop where guys can come in for haircuts and shaves. “It’s all about creating an experience—he can come in, get a cut, a look, a pair of shoes and he’s ready to go out for the night. We’re excited to be here and to dress Brooklyn,” says Fernandez.

Atrium Brooklyn, 233 Flatbush Avenue

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