The Retrospective

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“Your Message Here” Reception at Fred Flare

April 14th, 2009 by

Friday night, Fred Flare opened its doors for a party at their flagship store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The occasion at hand was a reception for the closing of “Your Message Here,” an installation that has been livening up their storefront for the past 40 days.


Artists Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt, otherwise known as “Something’s Hiding in Here,” were commissioned by Fred Flare to create art for the windows of their new store. The two artists have been collaborating since their days in art school. They’ve lived all over the US but now call Philly their home. They showed up on Fred Flare’s radar thanks to an installation they’d done for an Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia. This particular UO store has a ton of window space and invites artists to create installations for their stores for two months of time. Facing the Institute of Contemporary Art, it comes as no surprise that there was a lot of buzz about their “roadside marquee” inspired installation.


Fred Flare caught wind of this and approached Shauna and Stephen (above) about doing a similar project for their store. Shauna says that she was thrilled because she loved Fred Flare. She and Stephen accepted the challenge and got to work with the aim of creating a special installation for the Brooklyn store (watch Stephen building the project here).

After the marquee was finished, the duo popped up on Fred Flare’s blog, inviting people to submit messages that could be selected and featured at the store. The response was overwhelming. Submissions varied from witty sayings to announcements and even a proposal! At the closing celebration, all of the messages were displayed. My personal favorites were “Stop! Hammertime!” and “You gave me the best mixtape I have.”

These two check out all of the messages from the past 40 days.

Fred Flare is a favorite among Brooklynites, thrifty hipsters, and fashionistas alike. The store sells a wide variety of items, yet somehow they are all incredibly cute, quirky, and crave-worthy. Founders Keith Carollo and Chris Bick named their brand in homage to the great Fred Astaire. Their website states, “We’ve always believed that great design should be as fun and entertaining as an old musical or a modern music video. We hope reflects this idea with a sparkling pop presentation of some of our favorite things.”

This, Fred Flare’s flagship store, opened last fall. Upon entering, you can’t help but be uplifted by the place’s bright and cheery vibes. The décor is undeniably hip and incredibly cute; it’s the kind of environment that makes me feel happy, excited, and like I want to hang out in their store on a daily basis. As for the products, there’s something for everyone: tech-related gadgets, reasonably priced accessories, an amazing assortment of coffee table books, and some of the cutest dresses I’ve seen outside of SoHo. The store sells some of it’s own items along with a seleciton of brands that they love. No matter what item you pick up, you can be sure that it’s unique and incredibly awesome.

They’ve also recently added a number of customizable options in their flagship store. You can purchase cut-out letters to create your own sign. They’ll also screen-print any text you want onto bags & other items. The reception had cupcakes and a keg being served by an adorably amusing FF Warehouse employee. Even though it was past normal hours of operation, the store was open for business. My friends and I walked out of there not only with full bellies and half a buzz, but these cool items: Gin & Titonic Ice Cube trays, key covers, mini-gardens for the window, and some some accessories and other goodies.

For those of you outside of New York City and not lucky enough to see the store in person, Fred Flare is also letting you in on the “Your Message Here” celebration. Right now you can get free shipping on orders over $25 on their website if you use the code “message” at checkout. So what are you waiting for? Check out this amazing brand right now.

You can see more photos from the event here.

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