Some say Warhol invented celebrity. The indisputable truth: Andy’s star-studded shots of hot nights at Steve Rubell and Ian Schraeger’s cool West Side hang Studio 54 make it feel like the party’s still going. In its heyday, when topless bartenders, disco, and not a little illicit accelerant pushed the party to an alpine high, Calvin Klein regularly vamped with Grace Jones and Madonna partied with Bill Murray.
Beyond the notorious velvet rope, the inveterate observer Warhol immortalized sweet friendships and fresh faces of “it” kids like Richard Gere circa PYT. From Keith Haring to Diane von Furstenberg, and from Mick to Bianca, parades of stars (Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov! Baby Brooke Shields!) popped in and out of frame, before heading back, just before dawn, to their own private lives.
To celebrate the 36th anniversary of Studio and the last day of the online-only May sale, we asked four contemporary city creatives to show us their Studio. Meet our innovation braintrust: the principals of Black Frame, The Fat Radish, Grey Area, and Refinery29 pictured in their respective hot spots by Ben Fink Shapiro.
Black Frame is an innovation partner for global creatives and thought leaders including Frieze Art Fair, Nike, Rodarte, and The Standard. Their expertise: using high-minded brand DNA to create immersive experiences and growth strategies across industries; from fashion to art and from hospitality to architecture. Elite expertise in the areas of digital and design make them agency aces. And yes, they are behind the rebirth of Kenzo and Francesco Vezzoli’s Diaghilev performance at MOCA Los Angeles featuring Lady Gaga and Visionaire’s legendary events.
Exclusive and luxurious, striking and Studio-esque, the Black Frame team’s go-to: the Top of The Standard at The Standard, High Line.
@FRAMENOIR SHOT @STANDARDNY
“It’s the defining nightlife destination of the 21st century. Power, excess, and beauty colliding together with New York City at your feet. We want to have fun and dance on top of the world.”
Quotes by Brian Phillips
Pictured L to R: Owner & President Brian Phillips, Director of Business Development & Operations Vlado Nedkov, VP of Lifestyle & Fashion Juliana Ribeiro and VP of Fashion & Beauty Poppy Edmonds
TIME AFTER TIME
“I hazily remember a Halloween a few years back where the blond afro wig from my costume mysteriously disappeared, or maybe found a better home, while I was away from the table dancing with Humberto Leon who was incidentally dressed as Harry Potter.”
“Then there was Patti Labelle and Lady Gaga’s impromptu duet for Stephen Gan’s CFDA after-party in June 2011, a combination which stands out for being glamorously demented.”
Quotes by Brian Phillips
Britons Phil Winser (left) and Ben Towill (right) are the culinary and creative forces behind beloved restaurants The Fat Radish and The Leadbelly. Their former catering company quickly grew into an full-on creative agency finding high demand for their hallmark style: sharp design, elegant food and rumpled ease.
Fat Radish opened in early 2011, and quickly became known for its market-fresh menu and irreverent twist on English comfort food. Last year they walked across lower Orchard Street and opened Leadbelly, a 1950s Airstream-inspired oysters and blues bar.
“We have been great friends since we were kids. We share many of the same views and values on life. We might have a different approach but that makes for a great friendship and a great business partnership.”
“We draw inspiration from the amazing people who we work with and the community of people who come to our places. We have been so fortunate to work with incredible brands, organizing the Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic, driving cars in the Colorado mountains for Bentley, creating bespoke bike tours for with Krug …”
“The best times at The Leadbelly are always with our amazing community of friends. We have had some epic nights with the DJ duo Chances with Wolves, who spin amazing old vinyl, and everyone dressed up in ‘50s outfits.”
“We have a costume box in the room that we encourage be used. Any evening where you find yourself opening oysters wearing flippers and a mask is always memorable.”
KNOWING THE AREA
In 2012, art world scion Kyle DeWoody co-founded the art and design enterprise Grey Area, combining online store and roaming pop up shops to sell limited edition Smart Cars, lighters by Tom Sachs and beach towels by Kehinde Wiley, Jasper Johns and Julian Schnabel.
Given her affinity for fresh takes on old models like this Globe ring by Lindhart Design, it isn’t surprising that DeWoody’s favorite night spot is The Wooly, a modern club housed in the bottom of the 100-year-old World Trade Center-era skyscraper, The Woolworth Building.
OLD SCHOOL, NEW SETTING
“The Wooly is the creation of my dear friend Eric Adolfsen (right), though both myself and my brother helped out with the decor. The Wooly is like entering a curio cabinet with fun things to find in every corner. It’s effortlessly awesome and never too perfect unlike some movie set-like venues.”
“Eric created a place where friends can gather without pretense. Just knowing it’s there means you’re cool. I like that I can go there whatever the party and I’ll see Eric and 10 other people having a great time talking about their latest creative endeavor or sweating on the dance floor.”
“Part of Grey Area’s ethos is to break down some of the elitism of the art world. Beyond making art accessible, we strive to engage artists in projects outside their usual practice.”
“We produce partnerships with various brands, retailers and non-profits. We collaborate to produce limited edition furniture, accessories and objects. And we curate shows that draw on different arenas of the creative world or tap into different social trends like Instagram, ping pong, etcetera.”
ONE REFINED DAY
As the editor and co-founder of digital greatness, Refinery29, Christene Barberich knows how to spot what’s good, before anyone else can say “trend!” Barberich, formerly of The Daily, City Magazine and Gourmet, (and who received compliments on her style from Tina Brown while working at The New Yorker,) trusts her taste and the fancy methodology known as trial and error.
True to Barberich’s precocious instincts, one bite at Rucola, a Northern Italian restaurant in Boerum Hill, told her all she needed to know.
RIGHT FOR EVERY OCCASSION
“I’ve had many memorable occasions at Rucola, especially in winter when the space feels particularly cozy, but if I had to choose one, it would be a Champagne lunch with my college best friend and my now-husband following our City Hall wedding. Preceding the evening’s family festivities, it was just the right little escape we needed in order to truly appreciate the good vibes of the day.”
AUTHENTICITY CHECK, PLEASE
“What I love about Rucola is that it’s honestly cool, not superficially cool. And that’s the kind of energy we try to radiate at Refinery29. Everyone has personal style—something that’s very unique to him/her—and I see it as our job at Refinery29 to deliver an experience that helps to nurture and unlock individuality. It’s a feel-good fashion site, just as Rucola is a feel-good place, too.”