Best indie streetwear stores

When it comes to cool urban threads, these local purveyors represent.

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  • Alife varsity jacket, $185

    Alife varsity jacket, $185

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Alife "Life i$ Money" tee, $35

    Alife "Life i$ Money" tee, $35

  • Alife classic cardigan with front pockets, $118

    Alife classic cardigan with front pockets, $118

  • Alife two-tone long-sleeved button-up, $110

    Alife two-tone long-sleeved button-up, $110

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Nike limited-release 2003 Air Force 2s designed by New York graffiti legend...

    Nike limited-release 2003 Air Force 2s designed by New York graffiti legend Espo, $600, at Alife

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Boundless New York

    Boundless New York

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Boundless New York logo mesh snap-back hat, $30

    Boundless New York logo mesh snap-back hat, $30

  • Boundless New York long-sleeved cargo shirt, $88

    Boundless New York long-sleeved cargo shirt, $88

  • King Stampede 100-percent-watertight hooded nylon rain jacket, $150, at...

    King Stampede 100-percent-watertight hooded nylon rain jacket, $150, at Boundless New York

  • Boundless New York High Honors varsity jacket, $170

    Boundless New York High Honors varsity jacket, $170

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Flight Club

    Flight Club

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Nike tweed Dunk High Premiums with suede accents, $145, at Flight Club

    Nike tweed Dunk High Premiums with suede accents, $145, at Flight Club

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Converse plaid wool high-tops, $75, at Flight Club

    Converse plaid wool high-tops, $75, at Flight Club

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    New Era Muhammad Ali--themed hat, $35, at Flight Club

    New Era Muhammad Ali--themed hat, $35, at Flight Club

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Mitchell & Ness retro V-neck baseball shirt, $45, at Flight Club

    Mitchell & Ness retro V-neck baseball shirt, $45, at Flight Club

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Grast

    Grast

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    Grast unisex silk-screened tee, $20

    Grast unisex silk-screened tee, $20

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    G-Shock x Krink watch, $140, at Grast

    G-Shock x Krink watch, $140, at Grast

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Grast zip-up hoodie, $40

    Grast zip-up hoodie, $40

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Long Island City Kleaners

    Long Island City Kleaners

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    New Era checkered-print cap with the Upper Playground logo, $45, at Long Island...

    New Era checkered-print cap with the Upper Playground logo, $45, at Long Island City Kleaners

  • Rocksmith striped sweater, $56, at Long Island City Kleaners

    Rocksmith striped sweater, $56, at Long Island City Kleaners

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Memes

    Memes

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Waiting for the Sun wooden-frame sunglasses, $189 each, at Memes

    Waiting for the Sun wooden-frame sunglasses, $189 each, at Memes

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Sebago leather boat shoes, $50, at Memes

    Sebago leather boat shoes, $50, at Memes

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Adidas high-tops adorned with the Star Wars logo, $100, at Memes

    Adidas high-tops adorned with the Star Wars logo, $100, at Memes

  • Mitchell & Ness NY Knicks windbreaker, $90, at Memes

    Mitchell & Ness NY Knicks windbreaker, $90, at Memes

  • Y-3 polka-dot zip-up sweatshirt, $315, at Memes

    Y-3 polka-dot zip-up sweatshirt, $315, at Memes

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Mishka

    Mishka

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Mishka khaki work pants with gingham lining, $99

    Mishka khaki work pants with gingham lining, $99

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Mishka cotton graphic tee, $32

    Mishka cotton graphic tee, $32

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    New Era hat, $45, at Mishka

    New Era hat, $45, at Mishka

  • Mishka twill cotton coat with removable hood and stash pockets, $180

    Mishka twill cotton coat with removable hood and stash pockets, $180

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    The Reed Space

    The Reed Space

  • Norse Projects multicolored striped sweater, $220, at The Reed Space

    Norse Projects multicolored striped sweater, $220, at The Reed Space

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Staple camo-print cargo pants, $150, at The Reed Space

    Staple camo-print cargo pants, $150, at The Reed Space

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Cash Only silver-spoon pendant, $175, at The Reed Space

    Cash Only silver-spoon pendant, $175, at The Reed Space

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Rime

    Rime

  • Penfield weatherproof hooded jacket, $145, at Rime

    Penfield weatherproof hooded jacket, $145, at Rime

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    10 Deep x ProKeds camouflage-print canvas sneakers, $110, at Rime

    10 Deep x ProKeds camouflage-print canvas sneakers, $110, at Rime

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Jack Purcell glossy women's leather slip-on boat shoes, $80, at Rime

    Jack Purcell glossy women's leather slip-on boat shoes, $80, at Rime

Alife varsity jacket, $185

Alife varsity jacket, $185

Alife
It's easy to miss this small but well-appointed unmarked shop, which has been dishing out street-inspired menswear since 2001. Ring the buzzer for access to solid, long-sleeved button-ups ($110) with a small, embroidered red heart and yellow lightning bolt on the front collar, and classic cardigans ($118) with front pockets and the brand name running vertically down the left-front side. Vibrant screen-printed logo tees ($35) have solid or camo lettering, while others bear phrases ("Life i$ money") or simple images, like a rocks glass and the word "Whiskey". As for outerwear, offerings include collared, button-up camo jackets and two-tone varsity jackets with a script Alife logo on the chest ($185 each). The store doesn't stock other brands, with the exception of Krink markers and ink ($8--$11) for its street-graffiti-writing clientele. Immediately next door with a separate entrance is Alife's footwear shop, which is modeled after a retro gentlemen's club and carries Alife-brand kicks alongside other labels like Nike and Adidas. The main attraction is various Alife collabo shoes, including all-white leather Nike Air Force 1s from 2009 ($225) with tonal imprinted star shapes. Hard-to-find sneaks include extremely limited-release 2003 Air Force 2s designed by New York graffiti legend Espo, with see-through toes and have knots written on the back heel panel ($600). For a summer look, opt for two-tone canvas-and-leather boat shoes by Pointers ($80). 158 Rivington St at Clinton St (212-375-8116, alifenyc.com)

Boundless New York
This Williamsburg shop carries an impressive selection of brands both indie (King Stampede, Mishka, Rockers NYC) and big-box (Stssy, Nike SB, Converse). Boundless Brand, the house label, is also prolific: There are utility-weight cotton herringbone button-up shirts with Velcro flap pockets ($88), Boundless logo mesh snapback hats ($30) that sell out faster than they can be stocked, and cotton chinos with woven chambray details and hidden pockets in the zipper fly ($88). Declare your love for the city with a Rockers NYC logo tee that reads "Rockers En Why See Since Day One" ($36), or make a political statement with a graphic-print "Drop Acid, Not Bombs" T-shirt by Fuct ($34). Mishka lightweight poplin flannel shirts ($80) are great for sunny days; when it rains, throw on King Stampede's 100-percent-watertight hooded nylon rain jacket ($150), which has plenty of pockets and side zippers for breathability. Boundless also carries cheap decks ($50) from brands like Girl and Chocolate, and a healthy selection of kicks, including Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars for both men and women ($30). Mention TONY for 20 percent off all purchases through June 19. 143 Roebling St at Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-821-9690, boundlessny.com)

Flight Club
Sneaker fiends flock to this footwear utopia to buy and sell every type of kicks imaginable, all on consignment (with 80 percent of the profit going to the seller and 20 percent to the store). Around 10,000 pairs of never-worn, plastic-wrapped shoes are stacked in 15 rows that run the entire length of the mammoth store. Though the inventory changes daily, it is so abundant that even vintage styles usually come in multiple sizes (including some for women, though it's very hit or miss). All of the typical brands are represented: Converse, Vans, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Reebok and, of course, Nike, which dominates about two thirds of the wall. Surveying the selection is almost dizzying but well worth it if you're in the market for a pair of tweed Nike Dunk High Premiums with suede accents ($145), plaid wool Converse high-tops ($75) or classic Vans slip-ons with a beer-drinking, bandana-clad Homer Simpson hand-painted on the toe ($200). True ballers head to the back of the store, where several dozen extra-exclusive pairs are protected by glass panels—presumably to catch the drool. A pair of limited-edition, black-and-pink Air Yeezy sneakers—Nike x Kanye West's collaboration shoe—fetches a whopping $1,500. An equally stunning array of nonconsignment hats occupies the opposing wall. Most bear the familiar logos of pro basketball, baseball and hockey teams with a few exceptions, like a fitted New Era Muhammad Ali--themed hat with "I Am the Greatest" embroidered in block letters on the front ($35). A New Era checkered Yankee mesh fitted cap ($34) will serve you well all baseball season long. Finally, there's a collection of branded Flight Club logo tees and hoodies ($24--$48), along with Mitchell & Ness retro, V-neck baseball shirts ($45). 812 Broadway between 11th and 12th Sts (flightclubny.com)

Grast
It doesn't get any more underground than the New York City subways, so it's somehow fitting that this streetwise outfitter is located inside the Port Authority subway station. You'll find an array of unisex $20 silk-screened tees and $40 hoodies, made exclusively by the store's namesake label. Most designs are refreshingly minimalist; to wit, one simply says "42nd & Feeling Fine" in cursive, while another features a pair of boxing gloves and the phrase "Local Champion". Solid zip-up hoodies are adorned with yellow strings and original Grast pin buttons on the chest. There's also a heavy focus on toys and accessories, with a line of G-Shock watches designed in collaboration with Alife ($150) and Krink ($140); plastic character figurines by Kidrobot ($8); and GoodWood NYC intricate, hand-painted wooden pendants on beaded chains ($60). Before you hop on the train, ditch your tired Apple earbuds and cop a pair of tricked-out DJ-style headphones from Coloud ($40) or Urbanears ($60), available in every solid color of the pastel rainbow. Mention TONY for 10 percent off all purchases through May 29. 625 Eighth Ave at 42nd St, unit 17 (212-244-4468, grastny.com)

Long Island City Kleaners
Frustrated by the sparse streetwear options in his neighborhood, Queens resident Mark Garcia opened this cozy boutique, specializing in hats, sneakers and apparel from local indie labels. T-shirt styles run the gamut from DGK's i heart haters! shirts ($20) to more gangster offerings, like one from Indeed that reads "Stay Low and Keep Firing" ($25), a reference to lyrics from the Notorious B.I.G. track "Kick In the Door." If you're looking to ruffle a few feathers, don't even dream of hitting the Hamptons this summer without Rocksmith's striped sweater with the words "New Money" splashed across the front ($56). Go flashy with a pair of limited-edition 2009 Reebok Year of the Ox Pump sneakers ($100) featuring gold accents and vibrant Chinese totem drawings. For something more discreet, try solid low-top leather running shoes by Reebok x Alife ($80). Ladies, L.I.C.K. hasn't forgotten about you: You'll find Juicebox graphic V-neck tees with cartoonish, My Little Pony--style unicorn scenes ($22) or a reinterpretation of the old Ghostbusters logo ($24). Headwear offerings include vintage snap-back team logo hats from the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic circa 1995, plus more refined choices such as fitted, checkered-print New Era caps with the Upper Playground logo and an embroidered walrus on the underside of the brim ($45--$50). Mention TONY for 10 percent off all purchases through June 30. 45-03 Broadway between 45th and 46th Sts, Long Island City, Queens (718-606-0540, licknyc.com)

Memes
Opened in 1998 by Merwin Andrade and Tetsuo Hashimoto, this small but well-stocked men's clothing and accessories shop was originally conceived as a place where a DJ could stop by for new needles and also get a T-shirt to wear for his set. Though it's no longer just for mixmasters, the musical influence still pervades, with Andrade's own speakers and old sound equipment displayed on the shelves and tables. Silk-screened cotton tees boast various phrases like 10 Deep's "Internationally Feared, Locally Revered" number ($33), while other T-shirts are strictly graphic, including one from Deadline ($35) that depicts Fredo Corleone in an iconic scene from The Godfather. Penfield denim shorts with front pockets and button details ($85) will serve you well all summer long, as will unusual wooden-frame sunglasses by rising French label Waiting for the Sun ($189). On cooler nights, opt for a Y-3 polka-dot zip-up sweatshirt ($315) under a fleece-lined Mitchell & Ness NY Knicks windbreaker ($90). Complete the look with multicolored Sebago leather boat shoes ($50) or a pair of Adidas high-tops adorned with the Star Wars logo ($100). Offerings for women include Lazy Oaf zip-front skirts with striped neon patterns ($58) and Hellz street-chic jackets with asymmetrical zipper closures ($132). 3 Great Jones St between Broadway and Lafayette St (212-420-9955, memes-nyc.com)

Mishka
Founded in Brooklyn by Greg Rivera and Mikhail Bortnik in 2003, this streetwear label has grown into a full-on lifestyle brand that caters to hip-hop heads, rockers and skaters alike. The Williamsburg flagship, which opened in 2009, carries Mishka's complete collection. There are hundreds of styles of cotton graphic tees ($32): Some bear the brand's logo in Cyrillic script repeatedly stacked from top to bottom, while others feature different renditions of the irreverent Mishka Mop Bear, a drippy, graffiti-style character with an X across its face and a three-point crown on its head. Five-pocket shrink-to-fit selvage denim jeans ($157) emphasize form and function, and are suitable for daily wear—though if you're meeting your girlfriend's parents, you might want to opt for khaki work pants with gingham lining ($99). The outerwear collection is more modest but contains staple items like coats ($180) with twill cotton shells, custom-branded snap buttons, removable hoods and stash pockets. A line of fitted New Era hats ($45) boast images like an old-timey blue-and-white New York coffee cup with the Mishka logo and the words "Brewed to Destroy". Even though the selection of womenswear is limited to femme-sized versions of Mishka's most popular tees, both sexes can appreciate top-hat-wearing skeleton figurines from Japanese brand Secret Base ($18) and Mishka-branded tchotchkes such as lighters ($3) and key chains ($10). Mention TONY to receive 20 percent off all purchases through May 26. 350 Broadway at Keap St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-1725, mishkanyc.com)

The Reed Space
A go-to spot for fresh indie gear since it opened in 2003, the Reed Space mostly stocks its own in-house label, Staple (or STPL). But you'll also find designs by other well-known brands like Stssy, Mishka, Only NY, aNYthing and Acapulco Gold, whose tag line reads "A Sunny Place for Shady People". Go the old-school route with Staple camo-print cargo pants ($150) and graphic tees featuring a Reasonable Doubt--era Jay-Z in front of the World Trade Center ($36). The look can easily be dressed up with Head Porter Plus solid-color button-downs featuring front pockets ($230) or a multicolored striped sweater by Copenhagen brand Norse Projects ($220). The Reed Space also carries men's shoes, including spiffy Converse lace-up leather loafers ($65), and a small jewelry collection featuring ultra cool items like Mathmatiks gunmetal-and-silver grenade necklaces ($70) and silver-spoon pendants by Cash Only ($175). A lone rack of women's clothing is dominated by Staple graphic tees, including one bearing several dozen slang terms for money (cabbage, cheese, bones, cream, greenbacks, etc.; $36). Unfortunately, the bottles of Jameson above the counter aren't for sale—the staff just has good taste in booze and keeps its personal stash close at hand. Mention TONY for 15 percent off all purchases through May 31. 151 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-253-0588, thereedspace.com)

Rime
After spending 30 years as a retail buyer in New York (culminating in a stint as head buyer at Michael K.), Susan Boyle decided to branch out on her own, opening Rime in 2007. On the racks, you'll find gear by labels like Obey, 10 Deep, Stssy, Penfield, Huf and Undefeated, but Rime's real draw is its extensive collection of footwear gems. Look for suede Jack Purcell boat shoes ($85), classic Timberland suede hiking boots with waterproof Gore-Tex lining ($200) and Clae denim canvas slip-ons ($65). And then there are the sneakers: Vintage Nike All Court Lows with the signature swoosh ($30); Nike Classic Air Escapes ($100); camouflage-print canvas sneakers that are a collaboration between 10 Deep and ProKeds ($110); and Jeremy Scott x Adidas Originals kicks, which have a full-fledged teddy bear integrated into the tongue ($220), will have serious shoe collectors salivating. Limited-edition Obey tri-blend tees ($35) feature a color screen print of a city street with artist Shepard Fairey's famous Obey Giant visible in the background. Fred Perry bomber jackets adorned with the brand's iconic laurel on the chest are summer staples ($158), while Obey relaxed-rise skinny jeans stay crisp all year ($98). Though Rime is primarily geared toward men, there are a few solid items for the ladies, including Jack Purcell glossy leather slip-on boat shoes ($80) and lightweight slim-fit graphic tees from Obey ($28). Mention TONY for 20 percent off all purchases through June 19. 157 Smith St between Bergen and Wyckoff Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-797-0675, rimenyc.com)

Supreme
If you own a skateboard, then chances are you're a regular at this purveyor of skate-inspired streetwear, which barged onto the scene in 1994. The eponymous Supreme label accounts for about 85 percent of the inventory, though you'll also find a smattering of tees by other brands that rotate according to which ones are also selling skateboards in the store at any given time. On a recent visit, we discovered tees depicting an image of Michael Jackson and E.T. beneath the words "Alien vs. Predator" ($24), silk-screened preshrunk cotton shirts that pay tribute to singer Curtis Mayfield ($32) and solid pocket tees bearing a Black Dragon Kung Fu emblem ($38). Other above-the-waist offerings include striped button-downs ($128) with miniature Playboy Bunny logos and busy, floral-print long-sleeved collared shirts that are part of a collaboration between Supreme and Liberty Art Fabrics ($128). Long gone are the days when skaters wore JNCOs; here, you'll find those replaced with Supreme's own five-pocket twill denim skinny jeans ($110) and chino shorts with double-welt back pockets ($118). Layer up with branded Thrasher Magazine--logo hoodies ($124) or button-up cotton jackets ($210) with Airborne Division patches sewn on to one of four front pockets. Supreme also carries footwear by all the usual suspects (Converse, Vans, Nike, Adidas), including skate-friendly Vans Half Cabs ($65) and Nike Dunk Lows in the Knicks' colors ($83). Finally, there are the skateboard decks, which are displayed on the wall and change almost constantly. Most will run you $50, though a special line of Robert Longo for Supreme decks fetch $98. 274 Lafayette St between Houston and Prince Sts (212-966-7799, supremenewyork.com)

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