Fort Wayne native Charnier Corey is branching out in his efforts to make a career in art.
Corey and his wife, Joanna Palacios Corey, hope early next month to open Leisure Life NYC, a store weaving sale of art and fashion with their growing interest in camping and outdoor activities.
The store will specialize in selling menswear, and Charnier Corey has been designing outerwear, bags, wallets and accessories for their in-house brand, he said in an email. He was back in Fort Wayne recently to attend the funeral of his aunt.
A standout athlete, Corey graduated in 1995 after helping lead North Side High School to the semistate in basketball.
He attended the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., but left during his senior year to care for his mother, who had been injured in a traffic accident.
Corey later headed off to New York City with aspirations of making a living as an artist. Leisure Life NYC builds on that dream.
In addition to designing clothing and accessories for their business, Corey has been working with a network of artists and galleries to acquire art for sale in the store, he said.
“We are truly creating a one-of-a-kind space that will be a new take on the retail experience,” he said of the store, which is located at 559 Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn.
Corey said their business plan describes their target market as men who are sharp dressers, educated, upwardly mobile, know fashion trends and want clothing that is somewhat exclusive yet classic in design.
To help promote the store and brand, he is excited he recently arranged a photo shoot with founders of the famous Street Etiquette fashion blog, who wore the Coreys' store's clothing and carried his bags.
“They are world-famous models who have appeared in GQ, Italian Vogue and countless other websites and publications,” he said.