Brooklyn Industries criticized for using Hurricane Sandy devastation as fashion backdrop

Oh yes, Swagger New York reports that Brooklyn Fashion Label Criticized For Using Hurricane Sandy Devastation As Campaign Backdrop, because the latest catalogue is shot at Rockaway beach in Queens. The very beach hurricane Sandy destroyed. Back when Sandy happened we listed the brand heroes and scoundrels of superstorm Sandy, putting Brooklyn Industries as hero because they were affected by the storm, and still managed to be classy.

The entire campaign is dedicated to Rockaway Beach because it was the inspiration for the collection, as explained on the campaign page.

While the majority of Brooklyn outside of Redhook and Coney Island was spared from the destruction from Hurricane Sandy, Rockaway Beach in Queens wasn't as lucky. A large number of homes were destroyed or consumed by fires, businesses were shuttered, and people were without electricity and transportation for an extended period of time. The same week as the hurricane, Brooklyn Industries organized a donation drive at its stores to directly benefit victims from the hurricane on Rockaway. The day after the drive, many Brooklyn gas stations had run out of gas, and our own delivery truck had been rendered immobile, but thanks to the community stepping up and offering their own gas-filled cars as transport for the donations, the communities in the Rockaways were able to receive the donations collected the day after. In the wake of such a traumatic experience, it was comforting for our company to see the kind of community we operated in – one that came together and rose up to the challenges from adversity.

CEO of Brooklyn Industries, Lexy Funk, is quoted in Swagger New York “We chose to shoot our summer campaign in the Far Rockaway not to exploit the local community or to seek profit from Sandy… We believe that we can bring attention to the neighborhoods that we shoot in and create something positive.”

While the devastation may be a painful reminder to those who live there, it might be a good reminder for those who don't. The hardest hit communities devastated by Sandy still need your support, be it by you taking a daytrip to visit and support local stores or shop from companies that operate in that area. Or so one would think. Attention can bring the support to rebuild.

The Gothamist calls it "milking post-sandy Rockaway for profits and aren't pleased with it, because the Rockaway Cotton Slub Pullover at $68 doesn't donate money to the Sandy-ravaged Rockaway or the hurricane's victims. Brooklyn Industries donation budget is already tapped.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (2)

  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    How absurd is this statement by the company rep? Where did he get his media training? They want you to feel sorry for them, praise him and the company for personally helping organize, how sad and desperate. We should show our solidarity by not purchasing their troubled designs, maybe then they will focus on revamping the clothing instead of trying to shock us with stupid campaigns. An attempt to be artistic and thought provoking, didn't work this time around.

    May 13, 2013
  • kidsleepy's picture

    Not sure I buy your critique. What exactly is offensive about it? Brooklyn Industries organized a fundraiser to help this part of the community that still needs help. They are part of the community, too. Are they not allowed to do that? You seem like you're more worried that they "revamp the clothing" instead of helping a community. I don't think this was shocking at all. They're trying to help. And really if you didn't know where it was photographed would you even be so outraged?

    May 13, 2013