A year or so since opening on Bleecker, FSC, they of “Made Local. Buy Local”, have made a temporary move a stone’s throw from their prior address.
While the building that houses the original shop undergoes some very necessary structural upgrades, I paid FSC a visit at their new address both while it was very much under construction and after, product in place, Black Keys playing on the Hi-Fi and the whole place smelling wonderfully of Feu de Bois. Below, a look at the space undergoing its transformation from derelict store front to a little something FSC refers to as “Mad Men meets The Odd Couple.”
Completed in a matter of weeks and on a deliberately scant budget, FSC’s new outpost on Bleecker is a temporary one. With that in mind, I asked Taavo about the design and build aspects of the project and the inherent challenges in picking up and moving shop. From concept to completion, the idea was to embrace the very idea of temporariness itself. Faux finished as far as the eye can see, FSC’s new digs represents a sharp departure with a wry wink. A touch dubious after my first visit, upon returning, I was taken back by just how slickly and completely but not self-seriously the shop came together. There’s a sense of humor to it(see FSC Calender and lookbook GIFs for further evidence) that perhaps comes from a reaction to the present state of men’s Americana retail.
As Taavo says, “The underlying concept is an authentic fake. Instead of faking a “real” American shop with the trappings of tailoring and products from overseas wrapped in old glory, we wanted to be authentic in what we are doing. We actually are an authentic American made brand, and this is our authentic temporary shop.
So, With that in mind, the new place is designed as a a real, fake set thats moveable in a snap. All the walls and floor floor are 1/8 Luan. It all stacks 4×8 and can be set up back at the old shop when it’s time to move.
The second idea was to have fun with and play with the materiality of the walls, floor, ceiling, objects. Instead of paying a ton for real and rare old wood and antiques, we faked it. All the surfaces are fois boised or “wood grained”. Check out cabinet, mirrors, suit cabinets, even the AC duct got the fake wood treatment.
We also wanted to see if we could make something temporary and cheap (we spent under 1000 bucks on the shell) look classy and fancy. How far could our scrappy ten gallons of paint and some shitty Luan plywood take us?
On that same issue, we have been priced out of the “cool” industrial antiques market by everyone else with deeper pockets. So we thought, let’s buy cheap, uncool, crappy newish copies of antiques. Stuff no one else wants.”
The new shop, though a work still in progress, is chock-a-block with FSC’s full range of FW11 offerings. Harris Tweed sports coats, boiled wool chore coats, the FSC shacket and my personal winter go-to, the indomitable Isle of Man waxed parka. An impossibly handsome service boot by Viberg exclusively for FSC. Their classic and covetable suiting(a tailor, as always, deftly plies his trade at the rear of the store). Hand-made leather ring belts from long-time compatriot ML Brown. Cuff-links by the talented Ms. Kate Jones of Ursa Major. Machinist BD’s. Winchester trousers in F/W weight fabrics. Ties imported from Brooklyn. Etc.
FSC just may have just raised the bar by deciding to say “f*ck it” and lowering it. Get over there and take in the grandeur.
Freemans Sporting Club
343 Bleecker st.
(b/w Christopher & W. 10th.)
West Village, NYC