The clothing design and manufacturing company 'e ko logic is known in the fashion world and sells its pieces in shops from France to Japan.
And it's located right here in the Capital Region -- in Troy -- and has been for the last decade. Though that wasn't necessarily easily to tell. Why? We'll let owner/designer Kathleen Tesnakis explain:
"Before I was in a very funky old building, on the second floor, that you weren't sure you wanted to walk up into." And beyond that funkiness, 'e ko logic didn't have a retail space.
That situation changes starting today when 'e ko logic formally opens its new retail and manufacturing space in the Frear Building. The clothing company's presence there is part of an ongoing transformation of the downtown Troy landmark back towards its roots.
There are a handful of photos of 'e ko logic's space -- along with some of the other spaces in the Frear Building -- above in large format. Click or scroll all the way up.
The Frear Building stands at one of downtown Troy's most prominent intersections, where River Street, Fulton, and Third all come together. And it has a long history as a retail hub for the area. Frear's Troy Cash Bazaar -- whose late 19th century "fame attracts customers from all the cities, villages and rural districts of Eastern and Northern New York, Vermont, and Western Massachusetts" -- started in the Cannon Building on Monument Square before re-locating to then palatial shopping space on Fulton.
But as retail departed downtowns, that history faded. And it was further covered up as the building was transformed into office space, which is how it had been used until just recently when the state Department of Health moved out.
Now the tide is moving back in the other direction. In addition to 'e ko logic, two other retailers -- Modern on the Hudson and Astri's Trojan Horse Antiques -- are slated to take up street level spaces.
"This location is so amazing, it's beyond my dreams," Tesnakis told us Thursday as we sat at a table in 'e ko logic's new high-ceilinged space. She described first seeing it while on a tour with building owner David Bryce, "I walked in and I said, oh my god, this is it. (laughing) I'm, like, yes, please. I'd love to be here."
'e ko logic produces clothing from materials left over from the New York City fashion industry, breaking down garments, rearranging them by hand to make something new. Tesnakis talks about deconstructing a sweater the way a butcher or chef might describe taking apart a pig or cow, identifying its prime parts and their uses. She originally started the company in Portland, Oregon 18 years ago before moving back east in 2003 with her husband, Charlie Tesnakis -- he's 'e ko logic's vice president -- to be closer to New York City. She was drawn to Troy because she saw potential for it to offer the walkable lifestyle they wanted, with interesting buildings and history.
"I had been a part of Portland's resurgence, and when I saw Troy, I said this place can do it."
They originally set up in the Marvin Neitzel Building (on River Street a few blocks north of Green Island Bridge). And though funky, deteriorating, and often changing hands, the building served them well as a manufacturing space. But the building is now slated for a residential conversion.
"I'm just happy that we were able to act as a space holder to keep life in it, to make sure it didn't get torn down, and that it is going to live again," Tesnakis said. "I'm very excited about it."
The former space also didn't fit with a goal Tesnakis had set in 2009 -- to open a retail space. She'd been watching the trends -- including the recession and the increasing focus on being "green," a value already at the core of her company -- and figured the time was right. "I really believe that the next wave of getting balance into our lives is knowing your maker, being able to buy things locally, understanding the impact of that."
That's the aim of 'e ko logic's new street level space in the Frear Building. People walking by will catch the window displays, and shoppers will be able to stop into the small retail section of the space, all while getting a look at the production going on.
"It's fabulous. It's a dream come true." Tesnakis said Thursday. "I wouldn't have had the courage to request such a beautiful place. I'm not sure my mind would have that it was possible."
'e ko logic will be open Friday night (October 25) from 5-9 pm for Troy Night Out. Starting next week, hours will be:
Tuesday-Wednesday: 11 am-4 pm
Thursday-Friday: 11 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 11 am to 3 pm
1 Fulton Street
Troy, NY 12180
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.