Body shop owner is an ‘underground clown’

for The Brooklyn Paper

The owner of a new Coney Island-based clothing company is about to get some knockout exposure from prizefighter Paulie Malignaggi — though viewers may not even know it.

When the junior welterweight contender and Bensonhurst native gets his rematch with Juan Diaz on Dec. 12, Malignaggi will sport trunks featuring the obscure Underground Clown logo.

Frank Kozlowsky — who is not only the founder of the Underground Clown line, but also the owner of Carousel Collision Auto Body Shop on Neptune Avenue — is obviously thrilled.

“It’s going to get exposure that it wouldn’t normally get,” Kozlowsky said. “We’re going to reach a whole new crowd.”

“The Magic Man” will not only wear Kozlowsky’s logo on his trunks in the ring — but also sport a pair of Underground Clown-covered underwear for the weigh-in next month. Malignaggi turned down more lucrative sponsorship offers to sign with Underground Clown because the company gives most of its profits to charity.

“He likes that I’m trying to help the community because he wants to do the same thing,” Kozlowsky said. “He knows I’m a Brooklyn guy who’s coming from the heart.”

Kozlowsky started making T-shirts, hoodies and trucker hats after his friend Cory Pelzer was shot and killed in 2001. Kozlowsky’s well-established body shop already provides him with a good living, so Underground Clown can devote itself to fashion and philanthropy.

Kozlowsky made his fallen pal a partner in the business and he donates Pelzer’s entire share of the profits to charity. Kozlowsky then matches every dollar of Pelzer’s posthumous contributions.

The designs for Underground Clothing are inspired by Pelzer’s flashy, flamboyant personality, Kozlowsky said. The colors are bright and borderline garish. It’s certainly not a clothing line for those hoping to blend in.

“We have an edgy, rocky, skateboarder look,” Kozlowsky explained.

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Reader Feedback

Sean Carter from Brooklyn says:
That's wats up brotha!
Dec. 10, 2009, 2:57 am

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