Like the line he founded and designs, Assembly New York, Greg Armas has always been a lil' quirky and slickly well-tailored. So, it comes as no surprise that his downtown studio space keeps to this simple-yet-captivating personality and aesthetic. While we've adored the brand since 2008 when Armas founded a brick-and-mortar store and design incubator (he still rubs elbows with R29 faves like Atelier Nunu and Grey Ant), we fell in love again with the label's latest crop of totally-wearable threads when Armas showed at Made Fashion Week just a few weeks ago, and we obviously wanted — and were granted — a grand tour to catch some more eye candy.
On tap in the minimalist-eccentric, LES space? Armas' laid-back work ensembles and his current mood-board, plus his favorite date spots, lunch order, and pre-NYFW traditions (hint: Stress!).
Click through for our one-on-one tour of Assembly's awesome downtown space!
Photographed by Nina Westervelt/MCV Photo
Describe Assembly's design aesthetic.
"I am looking for minimal, clever solutions. It is important that our articles are democratic
How has the brand changed since its inception?
"A lot! I began making just soft tailored suiting for men, and now we have seasonal runway shows
on Style.com and over 50 stockists, from Paris to Tokyo."
What are your pre-Fashion Week traditions?
"Pre-Fashion Week is pure unadulterated 100% stress, just getting
the samples and show details in order. No drinking, no parties, lots of Pellegrino and
What about post-Fashion Week?
"Post-week's activities include a massage at Great Jones Spa, a haircut, and
late dinners at Mogador and Balthazar — re-establishing some of my lifestyle after practically living
in my studio."
How does your studio space reflect your design aesthetic?
"The interior is so edited: One massive cozy couch, apart from a fairly sparse
wood floor and high ceiling. With the shop and studio, sunlight is the most important
Greg's inspiration board shows us a glimpse at what goes into developing the collection.
What music are you listening to lately, and how did you decide on the music for your presentation?
"Music is the most important factor to me — playing and listening. For the show I wanted to set a certain
mood that was intelligent but reserved. We referenced bands like The Field, Harmonimix, and Lee Scratch Perry.
Currently I am hooked on Captain Beefheart, Steely Dan, and James Blake."
Who are other current designers you admire?
"I like(d) all the designers that aren't designing their lines any longer: Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, and Ann Demeulemeester."
Fabric on fabric on fabric.
What are you always stocking up on in the office?
"Cucumbers. I love cucumber water."
Greg's utilitarian-chic flats put a spring in his step.
What is your most common lunch order?
"There are too many good ones in the area to name just one...the vermicelli bowls from An Choi,
sandwiches from Kafe Katja, and doughnuts from Doughnut Plant (an occasional lunch)."
What are your favorite date spots in NYC?
"The unexpected ones you stumble upon — just go for a walk and talk."
Greg inspects one of the pieces from the newest collection.
How did this years' beauty looks (fun nails, green hair) come about?
"This entire collection, I wanted a more irreverent, humorous aesthetic, so incorporating
pop culture snippets into beauty was a quick expression as the theme was work/play. The nails were emojis and
had eyelashes, the green hair is referencing Todd Rundgren. It's always fun working together with our
sponsors like Aveda and Colorclub to come up with something together."
How does designing in NYC affect your aesthetic?
"Downtown Manhattan is the most inspirational section of a city
anywhere. I have the old ladies in mixed prints downstairs from our
Chinatown studio, and ruffian teenagers prowling the sidewalks with
St. Marks punk gear on, side by side."