4 posts tagged "Mary Ping"
Since launching her cult label Slow and Steady Wins the Race in 2002, designer Mary Ping has often fielded requests from devoted clients to hold a formal presentation during New York fashion week. “For me, there was always something too commercial about doing a traditional runway show,” Ping told Style.com. “I wanted to take my time in terms of rethinking and recontextualizing the idea and ask, ‘If we were to do a live format, what would it be?’ ” The answer: a three-minute, postmodern film starring a gang of female skateboarders decked out in Slow and Steady’s trademark minimalist, architectural duds.
Lensed by director Christelle de Castro of Stoneman Creative, the video, which debuts exclusively here, marks the first time Ping has used live models (previous endeavors have included a still life installation at Saatchi & Saatchi gallery and collaborations with artists Andrew Kuo and Miranda July). The short features real skaters who board their way past city landmarks from the Gretsch Building in Williamsburg to Lever House in midtown Manhattan.
“I didn’t want it to be a straight-up athletic skate video,” explained Ping, whose fans include Taylor Tomasi Hill and Terence Koh. “But there’s something about the skateboarding culture that embodies a cool grace and attitude, which is what we hope for with the clothes.” To that end, Ping’s androgynous models carve and ollie to the sounds of Riot Grrrl band the Julie Ruin while donning Ping’s “wardrobe building blocks,” which include oversize white oxfords, gray sweatshirt ponchos, and leather T-shirts. The flick highlights new Spring ’14 additions, too, such as Yves Klein blue baseball caps and fresh iterations of Ping’s covetable backpack. To coincide with the video’s unveiling, the designer will hold a live skate parade today at noon from West 25th Street to Milk Studios. “The goal has always been, how can we take a standard format and reinvent it?” said Ping. “With this project, we wanted to literally take fashion to the streets and activate the street as the runway.”
Slow and Steady Wins the Race is available at Creatures of Comfort and Opening Ceremony.
We’ve written here before about our disaffection for pop-up shops, so it’s nice to report that at least one designer is attempting to answer back to the trend. Mary Ping’s Slow and Steady Wins the Race installation, which opens to the public tomorrow, uses the idea of the still life to, as Ping puts it, “react to the temporality of the pop-up, and go back to an older tradition of talking about objects.” Readers can parse that statement for themselves; we take it to mean that Ping has grown impatient with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ethos of contemporary retail, the perfect symbol of which is the pop-up. Slow and Steady Wins the Race does, after all, have “slow” in its name, and Ping has made it a practice of her brand that once an item is introduced into the line, it’s there for good. She is anti planned obsolescence. This season, Ping is adding three categories of product to Slow and Steady: “The Bag Shoe” category comprises six styles of shoe, each incorporating design elements from bags—drawstring, topstitched canvas, backpack snap buckles. “Young Bag” includes three black leather bags—a backpack, a duffel, and a bucket bag—scaled down to pocketbook size. And the “Untouchable Bag” category returns Ping to Slow and Steady’s roots remaking iconic designer handbags in natural canvas, only this time Ping has played with the proportions and scale of the bags, making the reference all but unrecognizable. The wares are displayed at the installation alongside works on the “still life” theme by artists such as Andrew Kuo, Miranda July, and Tauba Auerbach. The Slow and Steady Wins the Race exhibition is open at the Saatchi & Saatchi gallery space on the corner of Hudson and King through the 18th. Just don’t call it a pop-up.
Urban Outfitters is at it again. Continuing in its quest to become the tightwad’s answer to Barneys Co-Op, the retailer is set to launch several new designer collections this spring, among them GUAM from jewelry designer Brian Crumley, Dark Matter by Knox bags, and an as-yet-unnamed range of hats by Eugenia Kim. Coming to an Urban near you even sooner than that is Mirror/Dash, designed by Sonic Youth icon Kim Gordon in collaboration with Jeffrey Monteiro and Melinda Wansbrough. The Mirror/Dash pieces include a dot-print wrap dress and cropped double-breasted blazer, and as of now, the store has the exclusive on the previously limited-edition line. Gordon will also be setting up shop at the company’s L.A. pop-up shop, called 15 Twenty, in April. And that’s not all. The first deliveries from Cool Casual, Slow and Steady Wins the Race’s new collection for UO, will also be arriving this month. “The idea is, eight items for $88,” explains Slow and Steady designer Mary Ping. “There are a couple of leather pieces that have to go for more—but that’s still a pretty amazing bargain.” One of the premium items is a leather pocket tee, but the Cool Casual harem-style twills and boatneck dress (pictured here) clock in well below the taxman’s radar, at least in New York City. “I’m taking over the L.A. pop-up in May,” notes Ping. “We’re all crossing our fingers that the bags and shoes will be ready by then.” Given that one of the Cool Casual shoes Ping designed riff on her sold-out Slow and Steady canvas wedges, tightwads everywhere ought to cross their fingers, too.
Though Mary Ping’s many fans couldn’t help but mourn when the designer put her eponymous line on hiatus last year, there’s been reason to celebrate Ping’s decision as well. A full-time focus on her Slow and Steady Wins the Race brand has allowed Ping to go gangbusters, launching both SSWTR’s much-beloved collection of sunglasses with Sol Moscot and a line of shoes that sold out at Opening Ceremony within a week of delivery. Now Ping is opening a store—a department store, in fact. “I’m taking the idea of a big department store, and kind of smushing all the levels into one floor,” Ping explains of her Slow and Steady pop-up, which opens today at the Saatchi & Saatchi space in west Soho. Shoppers will be able to browse the complete archive of Slow and Steady products displayed inside the unfinished wood and raw canvas “departments” Ping has installed at the space, and she’s got a few new tricks up her sleeve, too. “We have a perfume
counter and a bridal atelier.” Bridal? “Yup. There’s one wedding dress, and it costs $100.”