At Jide’s Dandy you’ll find bold colors and fashion forward designs. This unique shop on the corner of Jay and Willoughby Streets is a mainstay for unique, fashion forward clothing in Downtown Brooklyn – a neighborhood favorite that keeps people coming back. We had a chance to speak with owner, Jide, about how he brings his creativity and fashion expertise to every piece offered in the store.
DBP: How did Jide’s Dandy get started?
Jide: I was born and raised in England and wanted to get into the fashion industry so I moved to New York. I had a partner many years ago who was in the industry too, but he had a store on Flatbush Avenue on the other side of Brooklyn. I thought it would be a good idea to open another one Downtown, and that’s how we ended up here. The store opened in 1999, and many years after that he decided to do something else, and I just stayed here.
DBP: Where do you source your clothing? Do you design any yourself?
Jide: Years ago, I designed clothing. Now I travel all over the world and visit different fashion shows to source new pieces. I actually just got back this weekend from a major fashion show in Las Vegas where I was looking at new designs.
DBP: Rumor has it you did design work for several TV and film productions. Can you tell us more about that?
Jide: Ah yes, I have done wardrobe for a few productions. I worked on “One Life to Live” at ABC Studios, a Broadway show called “La Mama,” and the show “Empire.”
DBP: Do you have a favorite style of clothing that you sell?
Jide: No. It’s amazing how I see all this clothing and I might not even wear half of it – it’s such a big inventory. I enjoy making people look good. My customers always tell me that if they want something that doesn’t look exciting, they’ll go to a larger retailer But, if they want something unique, they come to me. The colors of the clothing I sell are bold, and even if certain pieces are more muted there’s still something unique to it. I always say, you have to have an eye for weird fashion.
I always choose the styles that are in right now. The fashion shows set the trend for the season, and I go to see what they’re presenting. The Las Vegas fashion week I was just at is one of the biggest. If you don’t attend that show, you can’t be in the industry because that’s where they set the trends for the next fashion forward styles.
I’ll be going to Paris in April and then back to Las Vegas again in August. Being involved in the fashion community is the only way to keep up. You can’t sit and order from catalogues because you can’t feel the textures and you can’t see the pieces in real life. Fashion is all about what you see. A lot of people like to shop on the internet, but they won’t have an eye for fashion because you have to touch and feel what you buy.
DBP: Do you have any best sellers?
Jide: One week there could be one shirt that everybody gravitates towards, or it could be a tie, a belt, or any piece really. My clothing also sells to both men and women. I have unisex items, and many women also buy men’s pieces and adjust them to their style.
You won’t find anything else like Jide’s Dandy in Downtown Brooklyn. Whether you’re shopping for a special occasion or looking to spice up your wardrobe, this clothing haven is a must! Be sure to post a photo of your visit and tag @DowntownBrooklyn or use #DowntownBrooklyn to be featured by us!