Boutique Visit: Enjoying the New York Sunshine in Miami
John Margaritis's childhood sounds pretty sweet. He grew up surfing and fishing in Long Island, and as the son of a Knicks fan, took frequent, life-changing trips to Madison Square Garden with his pops.
On other trips, his aunt, “a pretty hip” baker from Long Island, took him to the Supreme boutique in SoHo. He loved Nom de Guerre, the hole-in-the-wall that outsiders would walk straight past.
"They didn't even have a storefront," he says. "But they had such cool stuff that people would find out about it through word-of-mouth. You’d go down into this dark hole that wasn’t even a subway into a beautifully curated store."
It was the same kind of buzz that led us to visit Margaritis's streetwear brand, New York Sunshine, which set up a temporary base in Miami last week. Instead of hiding his storefront, he had the Los-Angeles-based artist Shark Toof spray a giant shark on it. And he installed a basketball hoop.
“I think it’s kind of eye-catching," says Margaritis. "Like, ‘What does a shark have to do with basketball?’ But being from Long Island and growing up fishing and surfing and also loving basketball, it all kind of ties together in a world I live in.”
There were basketball shorts, black-and-white jerseys, as well as black-dipped, all white AF1s. But then there are surf motifs, like the all-white basketballs with hibiscus-flower panels (one guy, from Canada, bought 12). On the wall is a series of photos showing a giant basketball hoop at the beach, called Hoop Dreams, a real-life installation off Long Island which Margaritis set up himself.
“I said, 'I’m gonna take basketball courts in NY, and the ocean in Rockaway or Long Island, and put them into each other,' ” he says.
His dad (the Knicks fan, who is also a builder) helped him devise the apparatus, a 12-foot wooden pole with a backboard up top and a net at the bottom. Friends who grew up surfing, and "know the ocean," helped him drag it out to sea and weigh it down with 4,000 pounds of sandbags, 50 pounds at a time. The whole thing took a few days. Margaritis filmed it as the tide came in, making a video called Caribbean Dreams, which played on a loop on a wall at the end of the gallery.
“The video is not for sale," Margaritis says. "It just helps people get it.”