September 15, Staff Report
A Long Island City resident who designs apparel featuring neighborhood landmarks expects demand for his products to soar with the influx of new residents.
Stuart Lowitt, who has lived in Hunters Point for eight years, founded his online apparel company Wear LIC almost a year ago to the day. Since going into business, he has been designing and selling T-shirts that prominently display Gantry Plaza State Park, the 718 area code or simply the neighborhood’s name.
“Some people are proud to say they’re from NYC, but I’m meeting more and more neighbors who are specifically proud to say they’re from LIC, and my line of clothing does just that,” said Lowitt.
Last summer, Stuart began selling his unique brand of shirts at local flea markets and street fairs, but he said the cost for vendors to sell their wares at such markets became too high, so he took his business to the web.
“Most people shop for items online these days, so it made sense to have people order the shirts directly from our website as opposed to hoping they would visit our booth,” he explained.
In the one year since Wear LIC launched, Stuart began printing more of his original designs on T-shirts, including one that visualizes the Gantries as a classic arcade game, or another that shows it as a New York City hot dog.
He anticipates that demand for his shirts will increase as thousands of people move into Long Island City with the construction of a number of apartment buildings.
“I read that the neighborhood is expecting more than 20,000 new apartments to be built before my business turns 3, so I need to be ready to meet any demand that comes our way,” he said.
Taking notice that neighborhoods such as Hunters Point have already seen a steady wave of young families moving in, Lowitt began selling three different options for baby “onesies” in 2T-4T youth sizes earlier this week.
Other items available on his site include dog tees and tote bags.
He says that while Astoria is also on his radar, for now he looks forward to promoting Long Island City pride and honoring the neighborhood he calls home.