A few days after I arrived in New York, I found this beautiful store in the East Village, called Blue & Cream. I had probably walked past it a few times before I finally noticed––which is a shame, because I love it––but I'm glad I went in when I finally discovered this little corner in the city. When I walked in, one of the first things I noticed was the very interesting array of items they sell: which range from Nike runners, to 3.1 Phillip Lim bags. I also found myself very attracted to all the books and cute little things they have all over the place––such as the Audrey quotation plate in one of the pictures above.
So I––Diego, actually––had a great idea! Why not contact the people at the store and ask them if we could visit to shoot some pictures? I was really nervous because I didn't want to hear no for an answer... but once they said yes, the nerves multiplied, as I felt I had to take some very good pictures.
But the nerves disappeared the moment I walked back into the store last week. I was greeted by the kindest staff––who took the time to talk to me and let me wander around the store taking pictures of pretty much everything, even if they were running their last minute preparations for Black Friday. I even had the chance to meet Jeffrey Goldstein, founder of the store. It took me less than five minutes to realise how big of a marketer he is, because as soon as I took out my notebook––with all my reading summaries for school––to ask my questions, and he quickly exclaimed "You can sell that!"
But rather than selling my carefully-written notes, we had a short conversation about the brand. Although I spent most of my visit to Blue & Cream taking pictures––and I had trouble trying to reduce the amount of photos I liked to upload on this post, so you can imagine how many I took––I also had the chance to learn a few interesting things about the store's history. Probably what I liked the most was where the name comes from.
I'm not a big music expert, but Jeff explained how, back in 1995, Raekwon launched an album called Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, whose eleventh song––called Glaciers of Ice––talks about customising some blue sneakers "with cream on top." As you might imagine, that's exactly where Blue & Cream came from. And from its very beginning, 11 years ago, it has intended to portray
a mixture of The Hamptons, streetwear, high and low, which is now where fashion is, but eleven years ago, it was something new, or at least not as popular.That first Blue & Cream store was opened in East Hampton––and is still alive today––before the New York site appeared seven years ago. From the very beginning, the store has carried products from Alexander Wand and Phillip Lim, and has strived to maintain a consistent image and engage in enduring relations with the designers that speak to its image. The store also has its own brand, which takes influence from the other designers sold in the store, but produces everything locally, in New York.
The mix between high and low was probably what appealed to me the most about the store, but it's a great place to do some shopping––and not as crowded as other New York stores––in one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods of the city. I will totally be back soon!
Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio