Polo and Studio 54 on a Tuesday…why not? It was an uptown and downtown evening when two major players in men’s fashion (separately) hosted two very diverse events to celebrate the inaugural NYFWM. Esquire’s David Granger, Jack Essig, and Giants’ Victor Cruz (who’s everywhere this week) hosted a dinner at Ralph Lauren’s still-swanky joint, which welcomed guests such as John Varvatos, Italo Zucchelli, Timo Weiland, Jesse Metcalfe, Nick Wooster, Nick Sullivan, Wendell Brown, Ariel and Shimon Ovadia, Malcolm Carfrae, and David Lauren. (Sorry, no pics were allowed inside!) Also spotted—but not part of the Esquire gang—were TV legends Alan Alda and Candice Bergen dining with friends.
Things were a little rowdier on West 14th Street, where Jeffrey celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Studio 54 themed party. The store was temporarily transformed into a disco bash, hosted by Ladyfag and featuring a DJ set courtesy of Honey Dijon and a performance by Princess Diandra. Jacqueline Jablonski, RJ King, Lexi Boling, Aline Weber, Greg Krelenstein, Ken Downing (dancing up a storm), Steven Kolb, Brad Goreski and Ajak Deng dropped by to toast the man behind it all, Jeffrey Kalinsky. Naturally, we had to ask the retail legend…
When were you last at Studio 54?
I did see Assassins there [a few years ago]. When I was in high school [in the suburbs], I would go into the city and go to Studio 54 with my friends. I was very preppy and waspy in my dress, and I was always selected to go in. It was one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my life.
How involved were you in the transformation of the space?
My involvement really ended with the selection of Ladyfag, who made my dream of the disco party a reality.
Ever imagine that Jeffrey would become a dance floor for a night when you first opened?
I kind of did! We’ve had a traditional wedding in the store, a birthday party, and a wedding party for two male friends of mine after they got married. I love the idea of the store celebrating life.
Besides Ken Downing’s dancing, what were your favorite moments from the party?
I only danced briefly, but it made me happy to dance. Kevin Hertzog, who is one of my best friends, was there and watching him Vogue was a highlight. He was one of the first Voguers on the dance floor.
What’s your favorite disco song?
I’m not sure I have one. Maybe “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris?
What are some of the store’s proudest moments?
Raising money for AIDS, breast cancer and other LGBT causes, particularly verything we’ve accomplished in Atlanta and New York through Fashion Cares. Opening in New York was a bit of a blur, but it was a moment in time and it was so much more than I had ever hoped for. I felt like I was taken such good care of by the universe. Probably the last highlight was having Nordstrom believe in me. It was a dream come true when they acquired the store ten years ago.
The great thing is I don’t really know! I want to make Jeffrey the best store it can be every single day. I’d personally love to create product—I’m working on lots of collaborations currently. I’m continuing to work on the Sperry collaboration, which is available at Nordstrom and Jeffrey, and have a lot of other exciting projects coming up soon.