The Grooming Journal

Fashion Must-Haves for Spring, or What's with the Octopus?

The new spring season and the dawning astrological new year aren't the only things arriving this month that we've been eagerly anticipating. Also happening right now is Brooklyn Grooming's first foray into fashion merchandising!

These locally printed his-and-her's tee shirts finally give our passionate, loyal customers a chance to show their affection for Brooklyn Grooming in ways that don't involve forcing friends and strangers to smell their beards.

Not that these handsome pullovers are exclusively for BG super-fans. There's something for everyone in these tee shirts. In creating his original design for the tee's logo, our graphic guru has once again reminded us that the best graphics designers are nothing short of true visual artists. 

What's not to love?

  • The eco-friendly fabrics are constructed of organic cotton by Bella Canvas and Alternative Apparel,,leaders in the sustainable textiles movement.
  • The classic silhouettes work on every body shape,
  • The unassertive elegance of the color pallette is at once understated and direct
  • Bucking the trend of making people who wear logo-tees into vulgar walking billboards  we reject shameless promotion in favor of a tasteful design with integrity. (Good taste is so hard to find these days) 
  • The signature weaving together of the whimsical and the stately into a sublimely witty neonostalgia has come to epitomize and define Brooklyn Grooming's aesthetic.
  • Oh, and did I mention the giant, pissed-off octopus brandishing straight razors in its tentacles dancing across the front of the tee shirt? 
In Case You're Wondering, "Why a Giant Octopus?"

You may remember the nautical imagery that debuted when we introduced Anchor Aftershave Tonic. The roll-out of Anchor came with an re-boot of the website which incorporated fantastical images recalling pirate's treasure maps.

One of those images was a mildly grotesque octopus, but with monstrous eyes like an owl's, who for nearly a year was the first thing you'd see upon visiting our site. She became like some sort of cyber-gargoyle for our homepage.. (She can still be seen on our twitter banner.) Perhaps it's because we came to regard that octopus as the unofficial face of the brand and we decided she deserved a redesign and resurrection via our tee shirts..

The debut of Anchor turned out to be a milestone moment for us. So maybe the octopus is a good luck charm, representing a time of marked growth and forward momentum.

Or maybe she's a fittingly absurdist mascot in homage to Brooklyn itself: the borough of identity crisis. Is it the borough of beards, hipsters, biergardens and artisinal cheeses? Or storied home to the Brooklyn Naval Yard, a once-major cruise-ship port and hub of industry?


From Prototype to Product

In the collage above, in addition to the provocative octopus tees you'll also see our early prototype for the tee shirt design. The original was to have centered around a floating straight razor cleverly masquerading as a greater-than sign. Even though that tee shirt was never printed and is not available, I added those images because I find it so interesting how drastically designs can change and morph going from an idea to a finished product.

But the fact that this particular design could start out as a sensible, straight-forward straight razor and end up an esoteric, blade-wielding sea monster is at once completely ludicrous and unquestionably apropos. That's SO Brooklyn.


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