Meet the Inspired New Yorkers In Search of Greater Goods

When Brooklyn’s AJ the Barber was cutting the hair of soon-to-be-best-friend Aaron Melaragno, they had no idea their casual conversations would soon translate into “In Search of Greater Goods,” a video project out to capture the creative spirits thriving in communities around the globe.

AJ is the mastermind behind ALE Studios (short for A Lesser Evil), which operates as both a barber shop and a vintage clothing store on Grand Street, in Brooklyn. As he was growing his business, AJ was frequently going on excursions to seek out vintage threads for the shop and Melaragno began tagging along; soon, the two linked with filmmaker Zach Cooper.

The mini-doc chronicles the creatives as they travel in search of vintage items for ALE, joining forces with native influencers, artists, and entrepreneurs to lock into the cultural essence of each city.

According to the project’s Indiegogo page, the guys “believe that neighborhoods, much like style, are constantly evolving” and that the series will “shine a light on the story of these evolutions.”

In the first episode, the guys show off their hometown, NYC. They hopped on the E train to Queens, where some members of rap collective World’s Fair gave them a tour of the Jamaica Colosseum Mall. They spent some time shopping in the mall’s stores, checking out the urban roots of today’s high fashion trends, and reflecting on Queens’ distinct style identity.

That same night, the crew makes its way to Brooklyn to visit a family-owned, OG Dominican restaurant called Puerto Viejo. There they sat down with the owners’ son to talk about how they remix traditional fare into innovative, contemporary dishes, a concept that parallels the guys’ outlook on scouting and flipping vintage clothing.

“We’re looking to find old things and breathe new life into them,” said Zach. It’s all about taking things from the past that have maybe been forgotten about, and bringing them back to show people how cool they still are.”

In upcoming episodes, the guys plan to explore Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Kingston, where they’ll continue to hunt for old school threads and document inspiring personalities along the way.

“All around the world, in all different communities, one of the ways people tend to express themselves is through how they dress,” says Melaragno. “Style inspires other creative outlets, and seeing the way it can inspire a community as a whole something we all find really interesting.”

To help fund their travels, make a donation or buy their exclusive merch via the “In Search of Greater Goods” Indiegogo campaign.

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