I spent some time this weekend wandering through great spaces in the city that I, and others in the general public, don't normally have access to, as part of the terrific Open House New York program. So when I saw the entrance to Buckler--a doorway, an outfit in a display case, and a staircase leading down, but the store itself not visible at all from the street--it fit right in with my "hidden spaces" mood, and I had to investigate.
Good hunch, it turns out; Buckler is hot stuff. Andrew Buckler began his design line for men in 2001; this flagship store opened in 2005. The designer's stated mission is to create "a rockin' brand for blokes"--and his work has caught on with rockin' blokes such as Iggy Pop, Tommy Lee, Liam Gallagher, and the members of Franz Ferdinand and Snow Patrol.
The carefully and creatively designed space featured cool artifacts--a vintage typewriter, a few classic motorcycles--among the racks. On those racks, I admired oxford shirts with detachable long sleeves ($190) in dark grey, pale blue, and red, embroidered with the designer's trademark insects; and t-shirts ($65) that appeared to be silk-screened with illustrations from old anatomy texbooks. The designer's getting-to-be-famous tight jeans (see underwear, next paragraph; prices vary) were well represented. Classic oxfords in red, royal blue, pale blue, and stripes ($160), polo shirts with pockets in plum, light blue, and dark grey ($95), and striped cotton cardigans ($195) put sexy twists on the traditional.
Speaking of sexy--I had one of my more blush-inducing conversationswith a shop assistant when I confronted Buckler's "Sexy Bastard" briefs($30)--designed, the package announced, with a "thruster." A what? I sawno choice but to ask the (male and very cute) clerk about this--andfound out it's a pocket at the front of the briefs in which men can "puttheir junk" (I was told) for better presentation. Oh. "Well," I said, "it's truth in advertising, I guess....But then, maybe it isn't, 'cause it's kind of putting it out there, more than it would normally....um...Well, you know, we women wear push-up bras, so....not that I'm wearing one now, but...yeah." Truly, I said all that; and possibly even more. And then I pretended to get very busy with my notes.
One final wander around the shop revealed a chest x-ray of AndrewWilliam Buckler, with the year of birth coyly marked out; and a ripped vintage chair printed with bugs. I could have done without some of theanimal heads on the walls, but generally I got a kick out of the decor, which suited the styles. All in all, a cool and cheeky store very ripe forchecking out. Who knows where a mystery door will lead?