NYC isn't only renowned for beautiful women. It's arguable the fellows here are unlike any others in the world. More than swagger, style in this city is constantly evolving, with men and women taking it to the next level. Here are five of my favorite NYC men ... men whose style always stood out to me. They share nuggets of personality, aesthetic reflections, and let us peek into their wardrobes and/or suitcase. Feast your eyes ... Know a NYC man of style? Message me. Episode II is in the works with some super cool men who've already signed on. I smell a calendar coming on ... it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. XO BG
Dave Ortiz: Owner/Founder Dave's WEAR House/Photographer/80s BMX-er
BG: Congrats on Dave’s WEAR House. The shop looks great. I love that you have a shredder for a suggestion box in your office. The store seems more of a multi-media art space with this viral television show studio you’ve got going on here.
DO: “Daytimes with Crazee Dave” is my random TV show where I interview people who represent New York. But Dave’s WEAR House is a shop that’s based on practicality in the sense that everything in here is something you’d use. It’s not based on fashion or style but more on things that kids, – skaters and BMX-ers – need. And can get all in one place. For example, we carry Dickie’s where before you’d have to go to a military surplus store.
BG: So it’s a retail spot for skaters and BMX-ers? That’s kind of different for NYC; I thought there was some kind of beef between skaters and BMX-ers.
DO: I always rode a BMX. But Dave’s WEAR House carries every skate brand company and skate shoes all of the hard good skateboarding needs as well as exclusive boards. The old beef between skaters and BMX-ers comes from the fact that the pegs on the BMX would break the ledges for the skaters.
BG: Who’s your ideal client?
DO: My ideal customer is someone who buys something. Being that we’re in Chinatown, the bootleg capital of the world, we see a lot of foot traffic. While mom is off buying her fake Gucci bag, lil’ Johnny is waiting in here. A lot of people in the neighborhood are really excited about a store that isn't an Asian herbal foot massage spot. Now they don't have to go to Soho to get gear. It’s a perfect spot for the local kids who go to the skate park under the Manhattan Bridge.
BG: What’s hot for Fall/Winter 2011?
DO: Columbia outerwear. Columbia is a brand that's really good. It’s super technical but doesn’t get a lot of play because it’s mass-sold. But it's dope stuff and affordable. With North Face, you're buying the name.
BG: What’s one of your favorite Dave’s WEAR House items?
DO: Zig-Zag shoes. Every skate company has knocked off the The Zig-Zag Whino, but the original can't be beat because these shoes are so cheap. Usually when you buy a bootleg it costs less – but in this case you can buy the real deal for $20.
BG: You've been around the NYC skate scene for a while. How has it changed over the past 10 years?
DO: A lot of people have grown up – stopped doing drugs, drinking, have gone through the trials of doing business – opened up businesses. Downtown is not like it used to be. There are more button-up shirts going to our dirty sleazy, sweaty bars. I call them Joey’s and Stacey’s. We're losing something when you go to Max Fish and I’m getting carded by some dude. I've been here before you've been here. The whole neighborhood went bonkers: condos going up and rich people coming in. But you got to figure something out. Evolve or dissolve.
BG: Where do you see the NYC skate scene going?
DO: Good places because of the money big corporation companies are putting into skate parks. When we were kids, we had shit. These days, kids become skate athletes and skating is treated like more of a sport. There are more kids in skate parks than ball parks. The Chelsea Park is fantastic, Tribeca park is dope; Nike just put $400K into renovating the Manhattan Bridge park. It’s slated to re-open in November. This is all good for skateboarding
BG: What’s the one essential item all dudes should rock?
BG: You do a lot of collaborations with other companies and/or individuals. Tell me about the collab process and why it's important to your style vision.
DO: It’s important because as an artist you want to work and get your work out there. A big company gets your name that much further in the industry. It’s really important to keep going. When a shop does a collab with a big brand, it gives you clout. We’ve done stuff with Air max 90, Oakley, Converse Project Red, Fox Racing Dirtpaw My photographs were on the front and back covers of the Ace Hotel book. It’s about being more than a shop.
BG: Favorite spot to EAT/DRINK/RELAX:
DO: Frank. Epstein's. Home.
BG: Tell me about some of your influences:
DO: Keith Haring – love him to death. Bob Dylan, Freddie Mercury, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Mappelthorpe, Michael Halsband, Mark Gonzalez.
BG: What’s one item that a woman can rock to look sexy as hell?
BG: You’d never rock:
DO: Ed Hardy.
BG: Biggest vice:
Dave’s WEAR House: 123 Baxter Street off Canal, Chinatown, NYC.