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The Brooklyn Circus

Blending Brooklyn with the Bay

What does Brooklyn style look like to you? People sometimes forget that Brooklyn is a big place, with styles shifting from neighborhood to neighborhood. When I think of Brooklyn, a few images different come to mind: a Williamsburg hipster, a Hasidic Jew in Borough Park, and even a Russian woman in a babushka in Brighton Beach’s “Little Odessa”.

If you step into The Brooklyn Circus - SF, just opened this past summer in the heart of The Fillmore district on Fillmore Street between Geary Boulevard and O’Farrell Street, the elements of the Brooklyn style you will see are a mix of bright 80s neon, hip hop, and Hilfiger-like preppy. These too, are all slices of Brooklyn style.

The Brooklyn Circus - SF is the second in a trio of Brooklyn Circus stores in the U.S. that are the brainchild of Quincy “Ouigi” Theodore, also know as “The Bearded Man". The brand’s popularity has been boiling in the underground, with fans reaching as far as Japan. The original Brooklyn Circus in the city of its namesake is a men’s and women’s clothing boutique that grew out of Ramsey Racing, Ouigi’s former urban nightlife and events company.

Originally carrying other lines such as Nudie Jeans, 10 Deep and Nike, The Brooklyn Circus now focuses on their own private lines and selective specialty brands. The private lines include the Brooklyn Circus label, targeted to a younger demographic, and the BKc private Collection, aimed at a more sophisticated and mature clientele.

Ouigi’s business partner, Gabriel Garcia, brought the Brooklyn Circus name back here to his hometown of San Francisco. Previously housed in a corner of the clothing store next door, Harputs Market, The Brooklyn Circus SF moved over to a cozy space that’s designed to be reminiscent of a barber shop or tailor shop. Underneath a tin ceiling, racks of clothes are interspersed with vintage pieces like an antique wooden vanity, a shoe shine box, a beat up typewriter and a large steamer trunk. A comfy couch and a leather chair are placed squarely in the center of the store where customers can sit and chat with the proprietor, possibly picking up some fashion tips in the meantime. In this store location, the focus is on men’s fashion, though there is a limited amount of women’s clothing available.

When I walked in, they had just put out the 2008 winter line. The inventory is limited, but included a black and white cardigan ($120), BKC logo t-shirts in an array of neon and pastel colors ($35), knit sweaters ($85), a tailored button down wool shirt with hidden satin color pop accents ($150), denim blue jeans ($130) and a BKc/ Fila duffle bag ($250), all boldly displaying at least one Brooklyn Circus logo. In addition to those items was a line of slightly more understated handmade wool and leather caps available ($80).

Brooklyn Circus’s fashions can also be found online at www.thebkcircus.com. Though, as this piece was written, the site was being revamped and the shopping section was temporarily closed. It should be back online in 2009. While you’re online, you can check out the upcoming sales, events, or even pick up some fashion advice.

Also, The Brooklyn Circus SF also puts on a Thursday night party for customers and friends at Yoshi’s with various DJs every week playing hip-hop, funk, and soul. Check the website or stop by the store for details.