In today's Thursday Styles Critical Shopper, Jon Caramanica has taken the odd position of appearing to care less about the store he is reviewing than what it is doing to the neighborhood that surrounds it. The neighborhood is Willamsburg, and the offending gentrifier is H.W. Carter & Sons, a shiny new store named for a recently revived heritage brand offering a new line of neo-vintage workwear (insert eye-roll here).
It’s huge. Bigger than huge. There may not be enough clothes designed for members of its target demographic produced in all the world to fill this space, in which you could host a decent indoor soccer match. The store belongs on a block in Montclair, N.J., or in the Woodbury Common complex. It could be an old-time small-town Piggly Wiggly.
Like any other big store, they use modern technology like inventory control tags and Of course, they carry more than their own label, and our shopper lists a roll-call of editor-approved labels beloved by the almighty Menswear Clique like Mark McNairy, Junya Watanabe, and Engineered Garments —although we must comment that that last label could only be described as being carried in a" few local stores" if you consider Saks, Barneys and Bloomingdale's local stores. Add Odin, Nepenthes NY and Steven Alan, and you have a pretty easy-to-find brand, which doesn't make it any less appealing. In fact the issue here is that H.W. Carter & Sons, sore thumb that it may be, seems to be filled with stuff our shopper loves. Sometimes we have give in a little. After all, the store is really just the inevitable result of years of gentrification, not the cause of it.
Critical Shopper: Last Stop Before the Outlet Center By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
H.W. Carter & Sons 127 North Sixth Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn