Fashioning Brooklyn: An Exhibition of Emerging Brooklyn Designers

March 4, 2002 - April 27, 2002
Central Library
Exhibition Notes

In honor of the creative drive and artistic sensibility of local designers, Brooklyn Public Library and five myles present "Fashioning Brooklyn," an exhibition of clothing and accessories showcasing 14 Brooklyn-based fashion designers. "Fashioning Brooklyn" captures the individuality, diversity and innovative spirit of Brooklyn designers. 

The fashion forward designs of these promising talents are on display through April 27, 2002 at Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) Central Library at Grand Army Plaza. The colorful designs are suspended in beautiful, free-flowing forms from the ceiling above the Central Library’s Grand Lobby for all patrons to view.

The exhibition is highlighted by a runway fashion show on April 21, 2002 at BPL’s Central Library, featuring teen models from the Flatbush Boys & Girls Club. "Fashioning Brooklyn" was conceived and organized by five myles, Crown Height’s Obie Award-winning performance space and gallery.


  • Reyburn L. Brown began creating hats in 1989 and is known for his affinity toward using rich velvets, taffetas, fine cottons, soft wools, and other natural fibers for his designs.
  • Carla Selby of Carla’s Clothing grew up in Trinidad-Tobago where she operated her own clothing business. She migrated to the United States in 1989 and has continued her business in this country. Selby views her talent as a "gift from God" that she recognized as a small child.
  • Caron Crawford, a clothing designer, grew up in Jamaica and was inspired by her dressmaker mother to pursue a career in design. Crawford studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and after working for such names as Calvin Klein she decided to start her own design business.
  • Natasha Neils, the creative force behind Design Six, enjoys working with color, as she believes it makes one’s life more joyful. Neils grew up in Guyana, South America and has lived in New York City for eight years and in Brooklyn for two years. Dreaming of working in the fashion business since she was a young child, Neils is currently taking courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • Ananse Friason, or simply "Ananse," is an icon in the Brooklyn fashion world. Born in Chicago, he has lived in Brooklyn since 1977 and has been involved in all aspects of fashion.
  • Exodus Industrial, the innovative clothing line designed by Jon Berry, incorporates "vision, faith, movement, strength and tenacity" into its styling. Berry wanted to develop a line that utilizes old ideas, as well as new and incorporates unusual materials such as rubber, door screen, and duct tape. His clothing has been worn by numerous celebrities.
  • Bocar Thiam and Thiama Sakho, partners in Futa Fashion, were tailors in their native African country of Mauritiania. After arriving in the United States, four years ago, they opened their own tailoring and clothing business that often reflects Western and African influences.
  • Ray Hands, a native of Brooklyn, is renowned for his creative hat designs and flair for throwing parties.
  • Yvonne Chu’s clothing, showcased in her Fifth Avenue store Kimera, offers a wide range of styles, appealing to business executives and bridesmaids alike. She artfully combines elements of the East and West to create clothing that is both sophisticated and wearable.
  • Malchijah Hats, created by cousins Wayne Mak and Marcus Malchijah, was started after the death of Marcus’s son. Mak and Malchijah, originally from Guyana in South America, have found that their creations are a way to turn hurt into joy and beauty.
  • Moshood, a native of Nigeria, combines ideas from his homeland and adds a dash of New York chic to develop his signature styles. Moshood has been in business for over 25 years and is a self-taught designer.
  • Alexander Gause and Shehryl Taylor of Mysteek Wear Inc. both grew up in Brooklyn. Gause’s line of denims is influenced by hip-hop streetwear and Taylor who designs Mysteek’s Urban Wear, turned to fashion after beginning her career as a painter.
  • Sinje Ollen of Sinje Ollen Knitwear Design has loved knitting since the age of 10. She grew up in Germany, but moved to the United States 12 years ago. She designs and knits for clients in both Germany and the United States.
  • Tiiti Forteiny, the creative designer behind Tolonen, Inc., was born in Finland, but lived for many years in Austria before moving to the United States. Forteiny uses felt as her core material and incorporates elements of nature and humor into her one-of-a-kind pieces. Her work is available at many specialty stores and boutiques, including the American Folk Art Museum store in New York City.

This exhibition is organized for Brooklyn Public Library by Kentler International Drawing Space. Lobby Gallery exhibitions are supported by a grant from The Greenwall Foundation.