While 2010 introduced us to the "Gaga Designers," those handpicked by the Lady and Nicola Formichetti to represent the superstar's style, 2011 got to see which one of them really had the chops. Asher Levine's rise has been meteoric, from a club kid with a penchant for leather to a designer with one of the hardest to obtain tickets to Fashion Week. His edgy menswear and his permanent place in Gaga's roster makes him a new New York staple.
His New Year's Resolution:
"Make more clothes, make more money, make more fun.
And to live past the apocalypse in 2012!"
New York experienced a helluva loss this year when institution LCD Soundsystem broke up. But right there, ready to take the dance-rock mantle, was Holy Ghost!, a NYC-based group raised on DFA Records. Headed up by all-around cool (and adorbz!) dudes Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser, these musicians are the future of dance music, and the future looks good.
Frankie Rose is Brooklyn music. Having been a driving force in some of our favorite bands — Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and the Vivian Girls — Rose has now gone solo and continues to impress us with her rocker machinations and totally amazing, cool-girl-next-door style!
Her New Year's Resolution:
"I have never made a New Year's resolution and I doubt that will ever change. I am a work in progress and a date on a calendar doesn't mean much to me. However, looking forward, if I could modify anything, I suppose I wouldn't mind spending more time noticing the good things in front of me rather then waste time worrying about the bad things that have already happened or could potentially happen in the future. "
We've always been fans of this New York shoe designer, but something happened this year. Something clicked. Amidst Wang wedges and Miu Miu pumps, his sky-high heels have become a well-crafted alternative that we've simply been drooling over.
Brooklyn designer Mary Meyer has had quite a year. Not only is she the go-to for singers like EMA or Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino for her cozy, easy-to-wear BK staples, but she also opened her own brick-and-mortar and teamed up with our Reserve program for a jaw-dropping sale. Just another reason why Brooklyn is simply poppin'!
Her Resolution: "I'm looking forward to going to the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend in January. I'm super stoked to be on a tropical beach in the middle of the NYC winter. Also I'm really excited for my spring '12 collection to come out in March: it's the collection I'm most proud of and I resolve to enjoy it when it hits the streets."
P.S. We love Erica. The super creative mind behind our daily read P.S. I Made This proves that it's possible to see something you like, and then — voilà — make it. Not only does Erica have entrepreneurial savvy, to-die-for style, and DIY hints and tricks, but she's also a published author, too!
Elliot Aronow always wears suits. It's a befitting trait of the ultimate guy-about-town, who not only helms Our Show, the 'zine that aims to be the punk version of GQ, but also is the co-founder and creative director of music tastemaker RCRD LBL. And menswear? No one is the maestro of the well-tailored, finely cuffed, bespoke variety quite like Elliot.
Featured on HBO, carried in Bergdorf's, graduated from Harvard: Alexander Olch's pedigree is as serious as they get. The New Yorker started making his eponymous ties for men during his time at Harvard, and quickly became an authority on neckwear to places like Park & Bond, The Selby, and A Continuous Lean (all while making a movie that got heavy HBO rotation). Watch out, Tom Ford.
New Yorkers could play "Six Degrees of Dynamite" — everyone seems to know Dana. Working as a brand ambassador for Sailor Jerry rum (and the tattoo artist's estate) sounds cool, but imagine all the festivals, shows, releases, and showcases the company sponsors. As '11's massively attended "Sailor Jerry Presents" concert series proved, Dana's cool-hunting expertise goes way beyond just pal-ing around with Ry Gos and The Black Lips...but she does that too.
Romantically dark, the jewelry of metal-pro Chris Habana embraces a fresh, geometric approach to symbols like rosaries, skulls, crosses, and fangs. The young designer not only showed at Spring and Fall fashion weeks, but he also is the go-to for editors who want tough and sexy.
Gossip rags know Lüc Carl as the ex-boyfriend of Ms. Gaga, but New Yorkers are more apt to recognize Carl as the dude who once manned the bar at LES mainstay St. Jerome's. Now, Carl has launched the freshly minted Ludlow Manor, all whilst writing his own book, the hilariously titled Drunk Diet (which aims to show that getting in shape doesn't necessarily mean abstaining).
Though born down under, Claire Fitzsimmons, the Aussie known in the indie fashion world as Ms. Fitz, is a consummate New Yorker. Multitalented and cross-disciplined, she spent 2011 styling videos for fellow NYers Peaches, Cazwell, Hercules and Love Affair, and Chew Fu, while getting her own editorially beloved jewelry line launched. Her must-read blog, must-own accessories, and must-follow vision almost haven't afforded her time to start her own branding/PR company. Almost.
Jennifer Murray is one-half of the duo behind Edith A. Miller, the laid-back brand that both The New York Times and Vogue have been drooling over ever since Steven Alan picked the pair to present at his summer pop-up. Rompers and stripes are the brand's bread-and-butter, and 2012 will surely bring loads of Brooklynites riding on cruiser bikes in their must-have nautical onesie.
You know Kerin Rose's work. A Morir, her ultra punk/luxe sunglasses brand, has made a couple of crucial appearances, like, you know, in 100 music videos, on Rihanna, with Debbie Harry, and toted around by Gaga. Yeah, that crazy teacup that Mother Monster was carrying all summer? That was Kerin's. Her made-in-NYC exquisite eyewear is one of our favorite things of the year.
John Januzzi was not @CondeElevator, but everyone certainly thought, given his Lucky position and his incredible Twitter prowess, that the clever writer would be behind such a handle. Untrue, but if you want to read some of his non-Lucky stuff, we adore his literature-meets-fashion Tumblr called Textbook.
Thanks to Christina Tosi, hip young things around the city not only became addicted to New York attraction Momofuku's Milk Bar delicacies, but they learned how to make them themselves. The new Milk Bar got us all addicted to Cereal Milk ice cream and Crack Pie. And when her Milk Bar book was released this October, Amazon actually ran out of the accompanying pie tins.
No doubt we've been big Timo fans since day one, but his first Fashion Week presentation last season really proved that the brand (and the two guys behind it) has the potential of taking their New York label to the next — and worldwide — level. (Also, how cute is his wallet venture, too?)
If you find a cool music and/or food event in NYC, twin brothers Greg and Darin won't be far behind. Known as Fingers On The Pulse, the Brothers Bresnitz mix great tastes with tunes, hosting their own web-show Snacky Tunes (which pairs chefs with music playlists) or producing IFC's Dinner With The Band (which cooks with bands like Neon Indian and The Mountain Goats), while Greg manages events at the Ace Hotel and Darin oversees his own video production company. Color us impressed.
Photo: Courtesy of John Januzzi, Photos: Courtesy of +1 MusicPhoto: Courtesy of Momofuku, Photo: Courtesy of Timo Weiland, Photo: Courtesy of Darin and Greg Bresnitz