Marylynn Piotrowski was raised in a military family, where her brother and father instilled in her a love of motorcycles early on. She eventually moved to New York, modeled for a bit and then dabbled in interior design before opening up the ruggedly handsome men's shop Smith + Butler in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens neighborhood four years ago with her boyfriend Jay Alaimo. "I found the space, and my imagination went wild," she says. "The back garage immediately made me think of the bikes I grew up around, so we set out to create a store that celebrates cycle culture, while making it more accessible.” Besides some sharp clothes, you can actually buy bikes that have been restored by a local mechanic. We caught up with Piotrowski to see what’s revving her motor this spring.
Heritage Research (shown left)—the military aspect reminds me of my youth—familiar and very classic. H.W. Carter & Sons, because it's great looking and tough as nails workwear that's proudly made in the USA. And we have a Levi's Made & Crafted (shown left) pop-up shop in the store right now, and the response has been great.
We wanted something good for riding, but that's also not afraid of color. Our collaborative Smith + Butler x Tellason jacket (shown right) is based on old school chore coats, and has a number of design tweaks that make it more bike-friendly. The Levi's Spoke and Drill chinos are perfect spring pants with a great fit. And Farm Tactics tees are top notch with a great color palette.
We worked with the Japanese brand Masterpiece on a collection of exclusive bags (shown right), and we're really proud of how they turned out. The construction is impeccable. The materials—paraffin-coated canvas and oiled leather—will stand up to any kind of weather. And, the bags are super lightweight, so they won't bog you down. A big plus whether you're on a bike or foot.
I've been dying to go to Nova Scotia with a newer model BMW. For the ride, I'd want a pair of Smith + Butler x Tellason pants, a Filson jacket, Carter's vest, Save Khaki flannel shirt, Red Wing Boots and one of our custom S+B Fulmer helmets (shown left). I'd also be sure to bring my iPad, camera and scrapbook, which would go in my Masterpiece backpack (shown above).