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Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep

by Garrett Fleming

Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge

For those who are gender nonconformists, it can be challenging to find clothes that both allow for self-expression and fit just right. Enter Daniel Friedman, the designer behind Bindle & Keep. He’s hell-bent on breaking down this divide between genders one suit at a time, and the world’s taking note. Not only was his company featured in the HBO documentary Suited, but the shop’s recent success in styling customers of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds has led him to move his headquarters from Manhattan to a stellar Clinton Hill, Brooklyn space. And we’ve got the first peek!

Situated amongst brick walls and industrial lighting, the shop is a masterclass in mixing textures. In one area, a delicate chandelier hangs above a hearty patterned rug. In another, an unfinished floor stands in stark contrast to rows and rows of lush suits waiting to be tailored to perfection. All in all, it’s a one-of-a-kind space, which is fitting given the one-of-a-kind clients that swing by every day. Scroll down to take a look at the shop, and head here if you’d like to schedule a fitting. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Bob Orr

Image above: “When we moved into our new space, it made sense [for us to] embellish it with objects that complemented our nonjudgemental attitude toward clothing and people while at the same time highlighting the timeless and predictable nature of what makes suiting so attractive and elegant,” shares shop owner Daniel Friendman.

Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge

Daniel  — seen here with clothier Rae Angelo Tutera — started Bindle & Keep with very little: a pickup for deliveries, a desire to suit all bodies and a keen eye for fit. “Looking back, it feels unimaginably daunting recalling those first few startup years… [but] I now realize those were some of the basic ingredients that helped us weather the myriad challenges which most bootstrapped startups find themselves contending,” Daniel explains.

Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
Nearly all of the walls in the shop are made of 20-inch-thick brick. Pair that with a lack of light, and you get a space begging to be both brightened and softened. To achieve this, Daniel installed a halogen lighting system. "The result was a warmer, more-welcoming place for our customers to enjoy," he says.
Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
The shop's mascot, lounging.
Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
"Like the space, there’s a certain rawness to suiting and tailoring: the floor covered in scraps of fabric, the never-ending chugging of sewing machines, the constant [sound] of steamers releasing from their presses. There’s an elegant juxtaposition between the manufacturing and wearing of suits and we wanted the space to reflect that, too," Daniel shares.
Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
Two custom suits wait for alterations near the shop's sewing station.
Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
The dressing room further embodies the space's interplay between hard/soft and delicate/industrial.
Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
Handmade chandeliers -- as seen here in the office -- hang all around the space.
Shop Tour: Bindle & Keep, Design*Sponge
The kitchen's IKEA cabinetry sits below custom shelving. Daniel could have easily installed a simple horizontal option, but he instead opted to have his carpenter create vertical dividers for the piece, thus giving himself space to create smaller vignettes.

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  • I am so pleased that this space exists. On the surface it may seem a small thing; but the heart of this concept, this store (and Daniel himself) runs much deeper. What we wear is so personal. How lovely to be treated like a person instead of an income stream. You’re wished much success from the praire.

  • As someone who can’t buy clothes off the rack except for stretchy pants – the fact a place like this exists makes me happy. Add to that, they tailor to a person’s identity- it just makes these folks all the more special. Congrats on the beautiful new space.

  • I recently watched the HBO documentary featuring this shop. I found it surprisingly moving on multiple levels, and I wish them the best of luck. You know a documentary is well-made when you really have zero interest in the subject matter, but you keep watching it anyway.