3 posts tagged "Aaron Bondaroff"
Sex and streetwear aren’t the most obvious bedfellows, but editor, stylist, and all-around provocateur Andrew Richardson has united them in his new store, Richardson. “I don’t know if there is a logical connection between sex and streetwear, but I always thought that streetwear was sexy and cool,” he mused between puffs on a cigarette. “There’s always an attitude, and I think that’s sexy—sexy confidence.” That may be so, but his shop, which opens this Friday at 325 Broome Street in New York, sells swag that’s arguably more perverse than confidence-boosting hoodies.
Best known for his cerebral, self-titled sex magazine, also called Richardson, Andrew is well versed in the streetwear subculture—he’s even done a bevy of projects with cult label (or, as some would argue, lifestyle) Supreme. In his store, Andrew presents his liberated take on sex and bondage via clever T-shirts, bomber jackets, swim trunks, caps, and towels—many of which were created in collaboration with such artists as Christopher Wool, Bjarne Melgaard, and Aaron Bondaroff. Some highlights include a melting snowman shirt by Nate Lowman; a tee printed with a car that reads “Blow Jobs”; totes scribed with the store’s ethos, “Work hard, play nice, communicate”; and a sweatsuit by artist Mark Gonzales. Embellished with images of lady parts and a cowboy flaunting his impressive member, the latter is guaranteed to inspire stares.
The shop goes beyond threads, though. For instance, good pal Olympia Le-Tan designed a signature patch for Richardson’s club car jacket—more intriguing, though, is her capsule of erotic minaudières (think bags embroidered with busty femmes and titles like Fanny Hill, Cutter Girl, Carnal Cargo, or Sweet and 20.) Above the clutches’ case hang drawings by Japanese artist Hauro Namaikawa that depict couples in compromising, albeit comical, positions. And, across the room, shelves are lined with an A-to-Z collection of erotic tomes, which was curated by Idea Books, London. Richardson is, of course, on sale, too. “There are going to be guys who are my age who are going to come in and spend $1,800 on an original drawing, and I think we’ll have 25-year-old skaters who want to wear fucked-up T-shirts to scare their parents,” said Andrew of his clientele. “There’ll be a range.”
When the editor—whose résumé, it should be noted, includes working on Madonna’s Sex book, as well as shoots with heavyweights like Terry Richardson, Steven Meisel, and Ellen von Unwerth—was asked about the thinking behind his sex-themed products, he told us, “I was always into that idea of idolizing women through sexual provocation…and I’m trying to find that fine line between palatability and provocation. If you’re too provocative, you end the debate.” Ultimately, his patrons will be the ones to decide whether he’s found that balance; however, no matter how explicit or ridiculous Richardson’s offerings may be, everything is done with a wink, a smile, and a streetwise attitude. And somehow, that makes it seem all the sexier.
For many style-world types on the periphery of the interior design world, Rafael de Cárdenas’ opening on Friday night, part of the season’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair schedule, was the first and last ICFF stop. But that’s fitting: De Cárdenas himself toes the line between fashion and design. After studying fashion at RISD and taking a job at Calvin Klein, de Cárdenas quickly figured out that the typical fashion path wasn’t for him. After a second degree in architecture, he branched out into interiors and industrial design—all the while keeping the style world well within his sights. Recent projects include Unknown Union, the Cape Town, South Africa boutique run by the owners of New York’s now-shuttered Bblessing; the OHWOW Gallery in Miami; and the homes of Jess Stam and Parker Posey.
On Friday, he showed his first collection of furniture, an angular, cheerily painted geometric range indebted, he said, to the work of Bruce Goff and Frank Lloyd Wright. (“Actually, this table is called the Wright Table because it’s so similar to [one by] Frank Lloyd Wright,” de Cárdenas admitted. “We called it [that] to get it out of the way.”) Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon (above, with de Cárdenas) and Olivia Kim, Visionaire‘s Cecilia Dean, Sophomore’s Chrissie Miller, and artists Aaron Bondaroff and Aurel Schmidt were a few of the many who spilled onto Greenwich Street to sip beers and check out what the designer called a “joyful” collection. The wooden tables, benches, and desks were decorated with pops of metallic gold, painted ombré, or striped with brilliant color. They’re definitely not made to blend in. So where, one had to wonder, would they fit in—say, chez Stam or chez Posey? “That’s the great thing about these,” de Cárdenas said. “I don’t have to worry about what spaces they live in. That’s not my job today, that’s my job every other day. Today my job is to put it anywhere.”
You may not know the name Rafael de Cárdenas, but if you’ve visited Miami lately, chances are you’ve seen his handiwork. (Or if you’re model-obsessed and pored over the gorgeous spreads of Jessica Stam’s apartment in the October issue of Elle Decor.) De Cárdenas is the architect behind new exhibition space O.H.W.O.W. (short for Our House West of Wynwood). Conceived by Aaron Bondaroff and Miami collector Al Moran, O.H.W.O.W. put itself on the Miami Art Basel flock’s map of must-sees when it played host to It Ain’t Fair, a group show staged by Bondaroff in conjunction with Deitch Projects’ Kathy Grayson and Nicola Vassell, Javier Peres, Terence Koh, and a handful of other art world nabobs. But even Miami locals who wouldn’t know a Dearraindrop from a Dash Snow have taken note of O.H.W.O.W., thanks to the Op Art-inspired design de Cárdenas dreamed up for the venue (interior pictured here). “Cabbies have started calling it ‘The Black and White Building,’ ” de Cárdenas remarks. “It’s funny that they’ve already come up with a nickname.” Instant landmark aside, de Cárdenas made his reputation on intimate spaces—his firm, Architecture at Large, was responsible for the interior of Charlotte Ronson’s Nolita boutique and Waverly-esque West Village restaurant Charles, for example, and helmed the renovations of Jessica Stam’s Manhattan and East Hampton abodes. Here, de Cárdenas talks to Style.com about model homes (pun intended), Our House West of Wynwood, and why style is overrated when it comes to design.
How did you get involved with O.H.W.O.W.?
I grew up in New York, and Aaron Bondaroff and I have been friends for a long time. We’ve collaborated quite a bit. I designed his Wreck Center pop-up last year, for instance, so it was kind of natural that I work on O.H.W.O.W., too.
On the one hand, that seems like kind of a dream project—a huge space, an open-minded client, and a building that was, in essence, a blank slate. But on the other hand, it must be hard to know where to start on a project with so few built-in constraints. Was that a challenge?
When you’ve been designing for a while, you come to each new project with a bag of tricks. There are ideas you like, that you know tend to work for you. O.H.W.O.W. was kind of like a playground. I got to take my favorite ideas out for a run—like, the whole black and white motif, for example. I love that contrast. But in a way, my approach to design operates as its own control. I’m very invested in the way spaces are experienced. So that leads to things like the pattern on the O.H.W.O.W. floors suggesting pathways through the galleries.