I originally met Brian through our mutual friend Niko Liakaris. We were all doing the “end of fashion week party” at the Soho Grand and Niko was telling me what an amazing store Brian has and about his designs – so of course I had to see for myself!
Brian’s store is called Sloane and it sits unobtrusively on a corner on the edge of Chinatown. Walking into it you get the feeling that you’re not in NYC 2010. It feels more like Berlin now or maybe NYC circa 1990: it’s cavernous and racks are on wheels or hung from the ceilings with chains.
The mannequins are old and from various time periods and the desk is a sculpture that looks like haphazard stacks of wood. In short there is no polish or self consciousness to the space -which is refreshing!
And then there are the clothes. Brian’s creations always begin from another garment -something that has been found at an estate sale, on the street or brought in by a friend. He works with what is there and transforms it into something else by adding and subtracting elements from the original piece, until it’s a custom creation with wit and a touch of theatricality.
His clothes are like the best dress up box ever but with the fit and craftsmanship that take them beyond merely play. -Although playing is an important part of Sloane as well! It’s not just a store it’s a magnet for creativity. There is frequently a party or event taking place there and the vibe is friendly and welcoming to all comers. (the first time I went to his store Brian apologized for the disarray stating that the night before there had been a boxing match in a ring right where I was currently standing!)
I’m thrilled to know about Sloane and to share it with you and hope you get a chance to check it out for yourself. Also, we will be putting on an event there on April 17th which will be a party/shoot for their Lookbook. I’ll be shooting it and the entire event will also be covered by Taff! an entertainment show out of Germany. So if you’re interested in being a part of this let me or Brian know.
Following is my original Q + A with Brian.
What is Sloane? A store? Your atelier?
Sloane is all that and more! It is my store, and design studio, but also one of the coolest places in NY to party as well!
Are you the only designer?
Why remake old clothes instead of start from the beginning?
Because I really never enjoy making the same thing twice. It loses its value. And in addition to that, each garment that I have in front of me has a past, a story… a soul even (I know that sounds a little corny!)
How do you see fashion evolving in 2010?
I see more people starting to realize that it is ok to experiment.
Where are your favorite places to go out to have fun in NYC?
Under Sloane… Aaron Genuth, one of my parnters in Sloane, runs the party space that we have in addition to the store, which pretty much always houses some of the chicest people in NYC.
What do you find the most inspiring or challenging about NYC?
The fact that the city is a living entity.
Best advice ever given or received?
In fashion, if your not hanging on by a thread, then what’s the point?