March 1, 2007
What you can’t give away in Ohio you can sometimes sell in Brooklyn.
What you can’t give away in Ohio you can sometimes sell in Brooklyn. A fledgling retail outlet in Boerum Hill markets exclusively the lost designs of a defunct Cleveland clothing manufacturer. Ohio Knitting Mills—the store is named after the shuttered factory—is the brainchild of sculptor Steven Tatar, who works in a studio around the corner from the old building.
Factory owner Gary Rand wasn’t sure how to dispose of his brightly colored designs, primarily from the 1960s and ’70s, until Tatar saw a marketing opportunity in the unworn “virgin vintage” garments, which were woven on Rand’s now obsolete machines. Although the clothing was mass-produced for chains like Pendleton and Sears, Roebuck and Co., it is a limited-edition collection today. Even with an inventory of more than 15,000 sweaters—many of them sized for the smaller Americans of 50 years ago—Tatar says he “will run out of stuff, but not soon.”