The opening of the edgy chic Surface to Air flagship store in Soho kicked off the unofficial start to Fashion Week Wednesday night. A massive crowd of fashion-y types made their first appearance of the evening at the unveiling of the Parisian brand’s first stateside boutique Mercer Street. Amongst the growing mob of usual downtown scenester types, we, to be perfectly honest, were witness to some of the oddest people we’ve seen since, well, last Fashion Week. We're talking: A guy sporting a full facial tattoo a la Zombie Boy (but incongruously dressed like he was going to a sports bar), a socialite wearing a completely see through diamanté-d dress (but thankfully matching undies), a Benedictine monk wannabe with under-eye liner, and a perspiring man donning a tight translucent cellophane-like wrap. Nice to see you again, the craziness that is Fashion Week.
As for the guests that we did recognize: Starchitect Karim Rashid, Bird’s Jen Mankins, DJ Becka Diamond, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and a Fendi-clad Genevieve Jones, who incidentally told us she just finished tweeting about the aforementioned facial tattoo guy. Reportedly, REM’s Michael Stipe dropped by (and we were keeping an eagle eye on the photogs to signal a famous person’s entrance), but maybe amidst all the out-there scenesters, the usually low-key Stipe just strolled in under the radar.
Amidst the revelry, Surface to Air founder Jérémie Rozan was on hand to chat with the guests and show us around the sleek shop, which features a bunker-inspired center display table that he describes as a “pretty weird tribute to Franco-American relationships.” Hey, but what better common ground than sexy chunky wedge booties and distressed canvas weekenders, right?
The night was also marked the private premiere of rapper/actor Kid Cudi’s “Mr. Rager” video, which was in fact directed by Rozan and features the rapper/actor wearing an exclusive $1000+ motorcycle jacket made especially for him by the label. In case you’re thinking Cudi - who does have his own sartorial street cred by playing Domino Dean on the HBO making-it-in-the-fashion-industry show How to Make it in America - didn’t contribute to the design of the red and black blocked moto-jacket, think again. “He was actually designing it,” Rozan explained. “He had a clear vision of what he wanted in his head. He was a big fan of the Justice jacket we had. Then he contacted us, and he wanted to something like, Warriors, the movie, meets “Thriller” from Michael Jackson, meets the documentary 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s.” Rozan then explained the vision he interpreted for the video. “He asked us to do this new song on his album called “Mr. Rager”, which talks about inner fighting - how you fight with yourself to become yourself. For this film, he was imagining himself fighting a gang of 50 people. A teenager dream, which we all had once.” Did we though?
And speaking of Kid Cudi, we just couldn't resist: