Mavi Jeans opened on Saturday in the 2,400 square foot space that was last home to a check cashing space and pizza parlor, on the prime, high-rent corner of Fifth Avenue and Union Street. We first reported here in July that it would be moving into the double-wide storefront, right across the street from its sister business, Brooklyn Industries.
The Turkish-based chain encountered a small amount of controversy by painting over a 12 year-old patriotic mural during construction and removing the benches next to Uncle Louie G's, but you can't argue that the overall final look is classy and impressive. The owners took strides to return the storefront to a reasonable fascimile of its original appearance, and there's a ton of window space and a pleasing blue exterior color scheme.
This store is unlike any other in the neighborhood, but very similar to what you'd find in Manhattan's posher neighborhoods, or an upscale suburban shopping mall (I got a very Short Hills Mall vibe): mannqeuins in the windows, subdued signage, pleasant track lighting, ample display space, etc. The merchandise here isn't cheap: jeans cost on average $98-150, tee-shirts average $30, and long sleeve shirts average about $70. Should you decide to buy, say, a pair of jeans, a long sleeve tee-shirt, and a fall jacket, you'll easy be out well over $300.
Just as this shop is a "testing ground" for the company, it's also a testing ground for the sort of high-end, upscale clothing store that's more commonly found in the West Village right now. Whereas the vast majority of clothing stores in Park Slope are currently of the independent boutique/ vintage consignment variety, the arrival of Mavi very well might usher in a new era of Park Slope retail. If Marc Jacobs shows up, then we'll know for sure.