Kickerbocker’s New York Menswear Shop Has a Hidden Secret Inside


New York’s Canal Street might be most famous for its fakes—the counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses and Gucci wallets laid out on every corner. Not all of Canal Street’s tricks are meant to be a scam, though. Case-in-point: the flagship shop of NYC label Knickerbocker, which isn’t entirely what it seems. 

That’s because, hidden at the back of the shop, near the nicest fitting rooms we’ve seen, is the Knickerbocker bookstore. There you’ll find cozy seating and a sharp-eyed selection of rare vintage art books. Name another space you could get a dialed-in corduroy chore coat and a World War II-era Japanese photographer’s beautiful monograph.

Before you get back to that bookstore, you’ll get to dig into what Knickerbocker does best: easy-wearing clothes. The brand began life in 2013, producing pieces for other labels out of a former hat factory in Queens before slowly transitioning into making—according to founders Eitan Braham and Andrew Livingston—pieces that “push the envelope on American style.” (We endorse, so much so that we chose a Knickerbocker shirt for our latest GQ Box; more on that below.) Step inside the brand’s elegant wood-paneled space, which opened its doors last year, and you’ll find plenty of handsome workwear-inspired clothes on the racks: stiff denim trousers, plush corduroy chore jackets, heavyweight cotton hoodies. 

Courtesy of Knickerbocker
Courtesy of Knickerbocker

For the latest episode of #ShopTalk on the @GQRecommends Instagram, we asked store manager Donta Waldron to give us an all-access tour of Knickerbocker’s Canal Street digs. Scroll down to see Waldron’s favorite pieces, then run over to GQ’s Instagram to look around. 

Knickerbocker bulldog cotton sweater

Waldron’s favorite piece in the store right now is this old-school bulldog sweater. “It’s got a little under-stitching which is an insane detail, and it’s made in Portugal so it’s really fine quality.” 

Knickerbocker watch cap type II

“A nice highlighter orange for the fall,” Waldron says of this classic cotton beanie. “You can wear green, you can wear black, and this is just going to pop.” 

Knickerbocker patch pocket denim trouser

Waldron especially loves these wide-legged, dark-wash jeans when he’s out on his skateboard. “I skate in most of my jeans, and to have some durable pants to really rip in is nice.” 

Knickerbocker corduroy chore shirt

Shomei Tomatsu: Chewing Gum and Chocolate

The backroom bookstore at Knickerbocker is brimming with rare gems, like this gorgeous collection of photographs by Japanese legend Shomei Tomatsu.

Knickerbocker long-sleeve T-shirt

Knickerbocker’s silky smooth tees are among the absolute best in the business—and right now, you can nab one for just $50 (along with a crateful of other killer items) as part of the latest GQ Best Stuff Box. 





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