I first met Kata Greaney and Sandra Pelikan last year when they approached me at Six Scents and introduced me to their concept for A8 New York : A marketplace for unique mens’ accessories, beauty products and gifts that would reflect the hustle and bustle of New York City. Kata and Sandra were gracious enough to invite me over today to their studio in Soho and take the time to answer questions about their new venture.
How did the two of you meet?
We met at a casting and clicked instantly so made plans on the spot to meet for a coffee at Saturday’s and the rest is history.
You sell everything from headphones to fragrance to skateboards on your website. How did you curate such a wide range of product?
We work closely with all our brands, although not all products are from the US the brands and products we carry are chosen because they reflect a certain aesthetic that we feel is reflective of New York; items that a New York Gentleman would wear/use. Every item and every brand we hand pick is unique, each product has a handmade quality and a story behind the making of it.
It seems guys are becoming more concerned with grooming and fashion in general where do you see things heading in the future?
As women we are VERY PLEASED to see men spending more time on their appearance, grooming in particular and there are many new cosmetic brands tailored just for men. We are not sure how we would like to see this develop in the future. Right now it’s perfect, I mean we don’t want men walking around smelling and looking like women, men still need to be dirty sometimes.
When it comes to first impressions what makes a guy stand out from the rest?
Attention to detail! Finer details like grooming and accessorizing but in a clean modern masculine way. Men are wearing jewelry and accessories more now when we love to see, it’s just about choosing the right understated pieces.
Kata Greaney next to a prized possession of hers. A photograph taken by her late dear friend Craig Owen shot on new years eve year 2000 in Auckland, New Zealand
How did your experience as models influence A8 New York?
Well between us we have a combined 25 years experience surrounded by talented creative fashion experts, it certainly rubs off and has come in very handy especially when we scout for brands to feature on the site. It’s an industry that we know inside out so there were no surprises. Modeling is like a back stage pass to a concert, you see everything the good and the bad so it prepares you for any kind of work in the fashion business and we have grown a thick skin.
What is it about New York that continues to inspire you?
Kata : For me it is all about the architecture, the streets, the bridges, the landscape and noise.. New York inspires me everyday and is a big part of A8.
Sandra : New York city is so diverse in culture and I take particular inspiration from the people, their style , the neighborhoods and the ever changing movement and energy in the city.
We both agree that New York has a special energy unlike any other place and that drives you to pursue and chase your dreams. New York reminds us every day what we are here for.
What makes A8 New York different from other mens online sites ?
We wanted to create an online shopping experience that focuses on the beauty of each product, without distracting clutter and over crowded shopping pages. By categorizing each product by it’s core material we can display items together on a page that complement each other, where on standard shopping sites they would rarely be seen together. We feel the exposure and focus on the raw material of products gives the site a masculine appeal.
We wanted to create a site where shopping wasn’t the focus as much as the experience of browsing beautiful products; almost like flicking through an architectural design magazine or wandering through an exhibition at an art gallery.
Photography and questions by Rocky Li
“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension. The state of ruin is temporary by nature, the volatile result of the end of an era and the fall of empires. This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time: being dismayed, or admiring, wondering about the permanence of things. Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.”
Highland Park Police Station
Classroom, St Margaret Mary School
United Artists Theater
Ballroom, American Hotel
The above images are from an exhibition entitled ‘The Ruins of Detroit’. The photographs are a collaborative effort between Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre shot over five years.
As described on the project’s website
Detroit, industrial capital of the XXth Century, played a fundamental role shaping the modern world. The logic that created the city also destroyed it. Nowadays, unlike anywhere else, the city’s ruins are not isolated details in the urban environment. They have become a natural component of the landscape. Detroit presents all archetypal buildings of an American city in a state of mummification. Its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great Empire.
Purchase the book here.
Knowing Galadriel is to know that she might just meet you for coffee in ‘cat face.’ If you hang out with Galadriel and her friends contrarian behavior is to be expected and adored.
Galadriel’s introduces the M.O. of her gang of ‘untouchabelles’ on her blog.
‘We draw cat faces on our faces and laugh too loudly in libraries. We have business cards and spikes on our shoes and jackets. A good pun will make us love you forever. A cheesy come-on and you’re done.
We read, of course.
We have our own places.
We have our own projects and our own goals and our own lives.
We are not your girlfriends.’
While that short-form manifesto may seem slightly intimidating, Galadriel is anything but. Her easy-going and free-spirited demeanor is reflected in her sense of style. For this shoot I lent Galadriel a couple button-downs that she absolutely fell in love with. ”
Supreme SS11 Floral Print Liberty Shirt
I asked Galadriel to share her personal sentiments on style.
“Caring about what you wear is not a vanity thing, it’s a creative thing.”
Comme des Garcon SHIRT paneled button-down
“I don’t care to amaze people or to intimidate people. I want my outfits to endear me to people.”
Photography by Rocky Li
Last Thursday I visited Nepenthes New York for the first time for their gallery opening and reception for Ben Este’s Loose Boards exhibition. Even more impressive than their well-curated selection of menswear was the feeling of community that was fostered at the event. Friends, designers, staff and customers mixed and mingle with the night culminated on a poetry slam held right on the middle stairs.
The best brick and mortar shops I’ve been to around the world always go beyond selling clothes; they are able to be a meeting place for friends and like-minded individuals.
Aloha Rag is having a sample sale tomorrow and Saturday. As one of the better shops in New York expect to find both mens and womens items marked down to 80% off. Expect to start seeing sample sale updates on the regular here.
Undercover Irregular Cotton Jacket in Grey
Great summer outerwear is always a challenge to find. Undercover brings this patchwork Irregular Cotton 5-Pocket Jacket to fill just that niche in your wardrobe. The detailing on this piece is quite incredible with 5 utility pockets , multi-colored buttons and a patchwork texture that includes striped, honeycombed and studded portions. The 100% cotton fabric combined with a unique 2-button high stance cut ensures that you’ll stay cool and comfortable throughout the season.
I am a fan of how this look with styled with sneakers (Nike Air Max 90s) and a t-shirt ; keeping with the casual and utilitarian vibe.
$820 on Tres Bien Shop
‘Happy Victims, You Are What You Buy’ by Kyoichi Tsuzuki
Seigensha, Kyoto, 2008. 178 pp., 85 color illustrations, 10½x8″.
Happy Victims is a photo book that profiles Japanese individuals who are obsessed with one particular designer. In the book collectors range from a Buddhist monk who visits his Tokyo condo filled with Comme des Garcons religiously once a month to an instructor at Bunka Fashion College who goes by the name “Maestro Margiela”. The caption underneath his portrait proclaims that he would rather eat out than risk infusing his clothes with cooking smells so he keeps only eardrops in the refrigerator and has never used the cooker.
The book is part of a large body of photojournalist work by Tsuzuki that includes his seminal work ‘Tokyo Style.’ Looking through Happy Victims sheds light on the sacrifices and eccentricities of the obessed Japanese fashion collector. Fashion often criticized for only highlighting the glitz and glamor of the runway; this book only strives to capture clothes in their most honest of settings : the home.
You can purchase a copy HERE