Display windows at Marine Park’s Kings Plaza were given a facelift last month when a cohort of young artists and designers glamorized storefronts as a symbol of rebirth for the shopping center.
“We had the opportunity to dress up our storefronts with creative artists and installations in the community,” said Dawn Simon, Kings Plaza’s senior marketing manager.
The decorative displays were a part of a project called “The Trail of Art,” produced by Kings Plaza in collaboration with the Brooklyn Style Foundation — the organization behind Brooklyn’s annual Fashion Week. The project aimed to bring beauty to storefronts left empty during the coronavirus pandemic, while also showcasing the work of New York City’s young creators.
“I took the opportunity to call Brooklyn Style Foundation … who we have a longstanding relationship with, and I said ‘Hey, I need a creative solution to beautify our storefronts,'” said Simon, “and here we are.”
The displays were spread across all three floors of the mall at the corner of Avenue U and Flatbush Avenue — and included a wide variety of designs, from streetwear to high fashion, and sustainable clothing to non-liquid wearable scents.
To unveil the designs, Kings Plaza hosted a scavenger hunt on June 26 encouraging shoppers to search for the 19 display windows throughout the mall, and once they did, they were able to enter a raffle with the grand prize including something from each of the designers.
Voodo Fe from Brooklyn-based Art Gang, a creative brand focused on being “different, defiant, and free,” designed a display featuring a mannequin tatted with a collage of images, standing on a bed of colorful flowers in front of spray-painted images of Nipsey Hussle and James Harden.
Fe said his designs just flow from him without any prior planning beforehand, and finds confidence knowing creating art is his calling in life.
“On every level from music, art, fashion, design — I don’t have a sketchbook,” Fe told Brooklyn Paper. ”I’ve done this over 8,000 times, like I know what my lane is. I am supposed to do this art.”
Claire Fleury, an independent fashion designer with an eponymous label, showcased a fantastical spread laced in funky retro notes. She said she participated in the event as a supporter of Brooklyn Style Foundation’s founder Rick Davy’s mission to uplift young designers and reintroduce independent, sustainable fashion into the industry.
“He does a lot for fashion, as in taking it away from the industry for sustainable fashion, for community,” Feury told Brooklyn Paper. “He supports a lot of young, mostly BIPOC people to get ahead in fashion and to slowly change the fashion industry and I am all for all of that.”
Sayoko, of recyclable fashion brand Sayoko Creations, used her display to showcase what she says she does best — creating beautiful sustainable clothing and accessories from reused materials. This time around, her material of choice was molded paper, most commonly used to make egg cartons.
“I had an idea of molding fabric but because of the pandemic I wasn’t able to mold fabric, so I decided to mold paper,” Sayoko told Brooklyn Paper.
And one of the only displays that weren’t clothing designs was from SpartiScents. The brainchild of two best friends, Abby Wallach and Caroline Fabrigas, SpartiScents offers three different scents in a roll-on form that the entrepreneurs say lasts all day.
“We are innovators and we created this brand to create a new, cool way to wear fragrance,” Wallach said. “The product stays on your skin, so you’re not spraying and it’s not dissipating … so it’s a really beautiful burst you get throughout the day.”
Simon said she was impressed with the variety and creativity of the displays seen throughout the mall, which all together bring a sense of community to Kings Plaza.
“It is definitely unique, it’s definitely energetic, it’s definitely creative and the artists did an amazing job of unifying our storefronts,” Simon said. “I just love the ingenuity, I love the community, I love the fact that they can express themselves in a way that blends in with the mall.”