Courtney Sell’s Film About the Endangered Orchard Street Leather Vendors is Screening Tonight

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 at 10:16 am by

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Batchilly Fashions on Orchard St., April 2009

It’s no secret, really, that the “bargain district” of Lower East Side yore is dead. Eroded so absolutely by the marching forces of gentrification. Still hanging onto that thread are a handful of leather and suitcase vendors on Orchard Street, mainly between Delancey and Rivington. The latest shuffle was Daniel’s Leather, which gave up its home at 130 Orchard last March. They downsized to the point of near-disappearance by moving across the street.

Anyway. Local filmmakers Courtney Fathom Sell and Louis Ressy have been chronicling the discount leather businesses’ fight for survival these last few years. The duo made a “portrait piece” in 2012 called Down Orchard Street that chronicles this dying breed. Sell told us in a prior email exchange that “The project was put together on a drunken whim one night at the pub with my close friend Lou, who just happened to be an employee at ‘Daniel’s Leather,’ our main headquarters for filming.”

Now he’s wheeling out the documentary for a public screening … across the river in Williamsburg. You can head over to Videology at 308 Bedford Avenue if you wanna check it out.

For years, Orchard Street has been known for its Leather apparel stores and the abrasive personalities who run and work at them. With gentrification slowly eating away at the true core of the Lower East Side, ‘Down Orchard Street’ is a unique look at one of the city’s’ most historic yet endangered locations. Utilizing the everyday issues in which the Subjects deal with, and the store workers as the main characters, ‘Down Orchard Street’ spans out almost as a sitcom, and is a revealing, occasionally heartbreaking glimpse into the true essence of the Lower East Side.

Scope out the trailer below.

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