Fashion and ideas collide at a new Chinatown boutique. By Meredith Fisher
You could say that partners Brian Janusiak and Elizabeth Beer are project-oriented. The multi-tasking Brooklynites have collaborated on a variety of artistic endeavors, culminating in their latest, the aptly named boutique, Project No. 8.
Located on a less than bustling block in Chinatown, the shop marks the duos eighth project together. "We were eating dinner at Good World around the corner," recalls Brian. "And we passed by this space and thought it was great. So we met and started to talk about the idea of distribution." A year later, Project No. 8 was born, and Elizabeth and Brian had created a new breed of concept boutique. "We noticed that a lot of people were doing one thing, and then secretly producing something else on the side," Brian says. "These digressions are often brilliant, and we wanted to create a space where all these projects could collide."
Their initial offering includes a wide range of international and local designers, including Boudicca (London), Tucker (New York), and Anuschka Hoevener (Berlin). While Gaby Besora's flowing printed dresses for Tucker might be a marked contrast from Anushcka Hoevner's navy cotton weighted bib top, both designers possess a certain aesthetic quality the owners look for. "Every designer we carry typifies a level of quality and thought process," says Brian. "And both of them are exploring form and material differently."
Other labels such as Claudia Hill, ROB-ERT, and A Détacher are rounded out in the wide-open space by found objects like the "perfect weight pen," from Kaweco, a German pen manufacturer or furry pink finger gloves (or gloveless fingers) from Bless. The small men's selection includes shirts and knits from yet another of their collaborations, Project No. 13. "We'll also being doing a 4-piece men's suit for spring," says Elizabeth, "as well as really super handmade and detail-oriented women's knits. When we design we like to imagine ourselves wearing it." Brian adds, "...and affording it. It's a drag when things are too expensive. We want anyone to be able to shop here."
Naturally, their thought process extends to the design of the store, which, among other things, takes advantage of its South-facing position to reap the most of the natural light and heat. "We thought about ways we could make the space smarter," says Elizabeth. Being the efficient entrepreneurs that they are, the owners have made a point of numbering each and every endeavor they embark upon. "The numbering helps us remember the order," explains Elizabeth. "But sometimes the digression from the main project becomes the main project, and so on." Fortunately for shoppers and designers alike, their latest "so on," is right on, too.
Fashion and ideas collide at a new Chinatown boutique.