“If you’re from Brooklyn, then Brooklyn is your brand.”
That’s the motto behind Brooklyn boy Will DeMeo’s brand new clothing line.
The collection – dubbed “Brooklyn Brand” – is the brainchild of DeMeo, a Gravesend-born actor and director who, when he’s not behind or in front of the camera, is paying homage to his home borough by designing duds.
The end result, DeMeo said, is a hearty mix of old and new-school Brooklyn, all available for sale.
“There are a lot of cool designs with old-school slogans but at the same time there’s a lot of new-school stuff that teenagers like my son and his friends would rock,” he said. “It’s really cool attire. I truly think that this is something everybody can get down with.”
His inspiration, he said, is “Brooklyn pride.”
“People from Brooklyn take a lot of pride in being from Brooklyn, and that’s what this is all about,” said DeMeo, who brought Brooklyn Brand to life with the help of a “really great team” of friends and clothing designers. “Of course, it’s all based in Brooklyn. All of our shipping is out of Brooklyn. It’s no joke – this is all Brooklyn.”
The motto, he said, was a no-brainer.
“I feel like if you’re from Brooklyn, that’s your brand,” he said, “and that that’s a brand a lot of people would wear with pride.”
As was the branding itself.
“We really wanted a cool logo that would stand out,” the star said, “and we feel we’ve achieved that. We trademarked it right away.”
Though, like everything else he does, DeMeo said, this is just the beginning.
“I don’t do things just because I want to try them,” he said. “I go full force with it. I plan on growing this to be even bigger and even better than it already is. It’s really special to me to get to represent Brooklyn like this.”
The clothing line’s launch coincides with the release of a number of DeMeo’s major projects, including the forthcoming June 15 release of “Gotti,” in which the Brooklyn boy stars as Sammy “the Bull” Gravano alongside John Travolta’s John Gotti, as well as his latest venture, a television series based on Brooklyn in the ’80s – aptly called “The Neighborhood” – the trailer for which dropped earlier this month.
Also coming down the pipeline is the release of his first-ever documentary, “Cruisin’ 86th Street,” which homes in on Bensonhurst’s own 86th Street, and the makeshift social club that came with it, in the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s. That thoroughfare— dubbed by DeMeo “the hottest strip in America”— is one he, his friends and even strangers hold dear.
“For years, that was the place to be; it was an identity of Brooklyn,” explained DeMeo, the documentary’s host and co-producer.
To celebrate his growing resume, DeMeo’s hometown is rolling out the red carpet.
On Wednesday, May 23, Maria “The Ice Cream Girl” Campanella will play host to an event called “We [Heart] Willie DeMeo” – a “two-block-avenue party in celebration of his role as ‘Sammy the Bull’ in the upcoming ‘John Gotti’ blockbuster movie.”
The event, Campanella stressed, will also raise funds for breast cancer and serve as a “Queen Anne Italian pasta fest” which will also feature a spumoni eating contest.
“It’s so Brooklyn,” DeMeo said. “I’m so honored to be a part of it.”
Campanella’s event will take place both inside and outside at the corner of Avenue U and West 11th Street as well as inside Paradise Manor Hall and Café Di Giorno. A $10 donation per guest is required and “gangsta” attire is encouraged.
As for the releases themselves, DeMeo said, “A lot of big things are happening. It’s a great time to be from Brooklyn, that’s for sure.”
For more information on Brooklyn Brand or to purchase items, visit www.mybrooklynbrand.com.
To watch the trailer for “The Neighborhood,” visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFel3SqLEOs.