The Byrne Notice—a brand-spanking New York lifestyle site—may be monikered after Fiona Byrne (pictured, left), but it’s not another personal branding exercise. “I don’t want to put my diary on there,” says Byrne, the British expat journalist whose last project was Naag.com, which she launched with Agyness Deyn. “It’s for me and my friends and people who are growing up like us, but it’s also authoritative. We say ‘we,’ not ‘me.’ “
Judging by the flock at last night’s Byrne Notice launch, co-hosted by J Brand, it’s a very royal “we” as far as downtown sovereignty goes. The designer posse that turned out to Acme for the fête included Eddie Borgo, Chrissie Miller, Rebecca Minkoff, and Christian Siriano, whose Chelsea lodgings were just featured on the site. “I didn’t mean it to be as fashion-y,” Byrne said as Jenne Lombardo and Opening Ceremony’s Kate Foley passed by, “but it just seems to come to me.” Though good old fashion makes up the bulk of the content, Byrne seeks to make the site a comprehensive guide to the styled life. Of her epicurean philosophy, she said, “If you have a salted caramel anywhere on your menu, I will go there. I like Laboratorio di Gelato, I love Miss Lily’s. But I’ll also go to Starbucks and get one of those caramel iced things—I’m not a Blue Bottle snob.” Swag aspirations tempered with populist good humor? Noticed.
The gilded elevator gates that divide the bar from the dining room at the back of the new Lower East Side restaurant Mary Queen of Scots are retractable. It’s a feature the guests at the AllSaints-sponsored launch party for Agyness Deyn’s new fashion site, Naag, discovered at the dinner Aggy threw with editor Fiona Byrne, Coco Rocha, Karen Elson (both pictured, left, with Deyn), Zachary Quinto, and SNL‘s Seth Meyers. Guests invited to the rocking after-party (where, later, Miike Snow singer Andrew Wyatt deejayed and an all-but-incognito Marion Cotillard danced) but not to the dinner peered through the grate, like visitors at a couture safari.
Naag is the brainchild of Deyn and veteran journalist Byrne, who serves as its editor in chief. It covers fashion, food, and culture, with an eye to up-and-coming young talent. “It all started with me and Fiona at a music festival. It was raining and we were in the tent waiting for the music to start. And I was scanning the Internet,” Deyn explains. “We were like, we should do a site that has all the stuff that we think is rad. We want it to be kind of like a big cultural sister.”
And, it goes without saying, a fashionable sister, too. “It’s funny—at my job I managed to get the one position where you have to wear a suit and tie,” says Meyers, SNL‘s head writer who also helms the Weekend Update segments. “I’d like to think that if I was so far out of bounds fashion-wise, Fiona or Aggy would tell me. But now this site saves me the awkwardness of their having to do that to my face.” For the record, he was wearing a plaid shirt and baggy pants. If Big Sister minded, she didn’t let on.