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Designer Ernest Alexander Opening Pop-up on Clinton

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It does sound a little like the plot from HBO’s “How to Make it in America,” Ernest Alexander Sabine admits. He started designing and manufacturing stylish mens’ messenger bags two and a half years ago, drawing rave reviews from places like Esquire and GQ. Since then, he’s gradually expanded his offerings: belts, neckwear, additional accessories, clothing and outerwear. Most of his goods are manufactured in his workshop in Manhattan’s garment district and the rest within a few miles, and are sold at Club Monaco stores and other boutiques in New York and a few other cities.

Next month, Sabine will expand his eponymous business on a different level: he’s launching his first retail shop at 9 Clinton St. on the Lower East Side.

“My dream has always been to have my own store,” Sabine told The Lo-Down in an interview today. “As soon as I saw the space, I fell in love. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, there’s a bar downstairs, great foot traffic.”

Sabine’s new store will take over the upstairs space formerly occupied by Perfect Picnic, a seasonal business. Downstairs is bar and gallery space CultureFix; across the street is the always-busy Clinton Street Baking Co.

The pop-up is scheduled to open Nov. 1 and run through the end of the year, though if it’s successful, Sabine says he’s open to a longer stay. It’s a big step for Sabine, who turned to manufacturing mens’ goods after a career in fashion advertising. The store will offer a cross-section of his products, which he defines as “handcrafted accessories in the old tradition, adding a touch of style and a bit of modern aesthetic. Clean lines. Rugged materials. Authentic finishes. Functionality. Hard-to-find fabrics.”

It’s been a big month for menswear on the Lower East Side, with the arrival of The Great Frog jewelry store and the expansion of By Robert James, both on Orchard Street.

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