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Inside Denim Wizard Johan Lindeberg's New Nolita Pop-Up

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Anna Fischer, 6/9/11

The vast, appealingly raw space at 237 Lafayette has sat empty since Inven.tory's mysterious departure last winter, but as of this week it's got a brand new tenant. Bearded Swedish designer Johan Lindeberg, whose resume includes William Rast, J. Lindeberg, and a stint in the '90s running Diesel, has transformed the shop into POP 1, a temporary home for his seasonless new label BLK DNM.

Lindeberg is obsessed with keeping his new line simple. The perfectly draped t-shirts, staple denim, and tough leather jackets are labeled by numbers, not flowery names; a standout pair of high-waisted jeans, for example, is just called "Jean 6." The store is stark but not pretentious, with plenty of big plants and a lounge area in the back where customers can hang out on couches around a green-tinged Persian rug. An industrial-chic bathroom filled with candles adds to the homeyness, as does the friendly nature of the pricing. Tanks are $40, tees are $50, cropped sweatshirt tops are $60, and jeans are $130. (Leather and suiting is more expensive, with prices going up to $2,295.)

Lindeberg, who resembles a fashionable biker, says he wants the store to be welcoming because he knows what it's like to be frozen out by snobbish shopkeepers. On more than one occasion, he's been followed around stores in Milan by security guards who don't like his looks. He relocated to New York City recently ("for the fourth time, and this time is for good!") and says he loves every minute of it, especially Soho and BLK DNM's Lafayette location. It helps that he has a lot of friends in various creative industries around town, many of whom he's recruited for Gazette 1, a broadsheet the store hands out with every purchase. Notable Gazette contributors include Waris Ahluwalia, Wes Anderson,, and Terence Koh.

The pop-up will only last six to eight weeks, although if we're lucky they'll be granted an extension. (The company is currently looking for a permanent downtown space.) Also in BLK DNM's future: An eyewear collaboration with Moscot and a peppery unisex perfume.
· This Time Around, Inven.tory Really Did Shutter [Racked NY]
· BLK DNM [Official Site]
· Gazette 1 [BLK DNM]


237 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 (212) 966-6258 Visit Website