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    Garage Sale: United Colors of Benetton's Pop-up Store

    Art, commerce, and preservation intersect cheerfully in the Art of Knit, a pop-up store/gallery conjured by United Colors of Benetton through December 31. Seeking a striking and sustainable stage for the clothing brand’s fall-winter 2012 collection, chief merchandising office and creative director You Nguyen conceived the 2,200-square-foot installation in a shuttered auto-repair garage in downtown Manhattan. 

    Moving beyond mere retail, Nguyen collaborated with Sam Baron, design director of Fabrica, Benetton’s design think tank, which draws talents from around the world to hone their craft. Together, they assembled original works by Fabrica resident artists, such as Cuban-born artist Erik Ravelo, who contorts life-size woolen mannequins into poses from the Kama Sutra. Mingled liberally among the sculptures—and, let’s not forget, the colorful racks of Benetton apparel—is a miscellany of one-off knitted items (letters, watermelons, blankets) that will be auctioned in late November, with proceeds going to Benetton’s UnHate Foundation.