David Alperin of Goose Barnacle: Interview
A FEW SALIENT POINTS FROM DAVID ALPERIN. FOUNDER OF BROOKLYN MEN’S WEAR DESTINATION, GOOSE BARNACLE.
Mass retail is missing personal perspective. As a retailer everyone wants to sell popular things and everyone wants to make money. But what makes a store great is the vision of the person behind it.
What I do comes from my gut, I don’t read blogs or fashion magazines. That's why I commissioned these bookends. I wanted something like them for my house for so long and finally I was just like, “Let's make them for the store.” This process goes on and on.
I'm a Brooklyn boy born and raised right on the block where my store is, a big part of my vibe is the local lifestyle of growing up in Brooklyn. It makes me laugh when people think I'm this sort of hipster Brooklyn kid that opened a store here to be cool.
Williamsburg is a spectacle that you have to see. It’s a global destination, hotels, high rises, and restaurants have popped up all over. This influx of money has meant both good and bad things for Brooklyn. Brooklyn has changed dramatically and not all locals are happy with this change; but the money/tourism that Williamsburg brings into Brooklyn has helped the neighbourhood and business dramatically. When I was a kid, you didn’t walk around Brooklyn at night, now you feel safe almost everywhere and there are lots of new opportunities for entrepreneurs and artists.
Gentrification and tourism reduces accountability for retailers and the service industry. When a store is a neighbourhood staple you rely on repeat clients to support you. In a marketplace that’s fuelled by tourism there is less need to focus on that long term relationship.
The internet has pushed brick and mortar shops to step their game up. Brick and mortar has become a showroom for internet shoppers, I’m always looking for ways to add value for our clients and give them something more. At Goose Barnacle we curate a tight collection that works together, we style clients wardrobes and help them choose items that work best for them, and we field test everything we carry. I have personal experience both wearing and washing every brand we carry.
Wear woven shorts by Jed and Marne all summer. I ride my bike in them, garden in them,
sleep in them, I’ve even swam in them, they dry really quick! They’re handmade, each pair is unique.
I just ate at Pearl’s in Williamsburg, it’s some of the best Caribbean food in NYC. When your server brings you 4 different sauces for your shark sandwich put them all on!
Hang out at the field in Brooklyn Bridge Park when I’m not working, kicking a ball around. I wish we would have had the facilities at Brooklyn Bridge Park when I was a kid.