They call New York City a melting pot, but in reality, you spend most of your days looking at the same faces, the same social group, over and over again. You and your friends don’t really “melt” with other groups of people so much as “occasionally share a train with them.”
Even within the media strata, there are too many sub-communities to name, mostly based around who you work for and who you drink with.
That’s why every once in awhile its nice to go to an event that gets you out of your own social comfort zone by celebrating both Joe Jonas, Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, and Reuters’ Anthony “Soup” De Rosa, as we did at last night DETAILS’ and Calvin Klein co-hosted event, celebrating the magazine’s “Social Mavericks” feature.
Like characters in a Gustave Flaubert novel trying to escape the banalities of our own small-town existence for one evening (even while living in New York, yes, provincial ennui is common in February, though especially if one is living in Brooklyn), we dolled ourselves up and headed to the Calvin Klein flagship store on 60th and Madison. For some reason, a large piece of driftwood jutted out inconveniently in the main room, making socializing somewhat of a dangerous proposition, as at any point your group got too big and you were pressed against the wood, you risked impalement.
“Here’s a quote for you,” one reveler told us. “I just asked a DETAILS editor who all these people are, and he told us…readers.”
“But I thought he said breeders.”
“And he was like…same difference.”
“I don’t think the men who read DETAILS are very into breeding,” another party-goer said, drolly.
“That was the joke,” said the first guest testily.
Oh what fun we were having!
Though we couldn’t find Mr. Jonas, whose brother is currently starring in How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying on Broadway, we did run into Valentine Uhovski, whom we had sat next to at the Jeremy Scott Fashion Week show.
“Sorry, I didn’t recognize you with the lights on,” Mr. Uhovski said, giving our shoulder a squeeze as he tried to maneuver by us.
We stopped to chat with Dan Peres, EIC of the magazine. “So what made you want to team up with Calvin to celebrate these 12 ‘Social Mavericks’?”
“We’ve worked with Calvin before, but this particular idea came during a dinner we were having in Italy with Italo Zucchelli (the creative director for Calvin Klein’s Menwear).”
“So this whole issue is based on a dinner?”
“More or less,” Mr. Peres laughed. “Though of course social media is extremely important and is making such a huge impact in the way we communicate…”
Right. So why weren’t we singled out for the evening’s tastemakers?
“Sorry, you were Number 13…not a very lucky number, I’m afraid.”
Mr. Zucchelli had a different take on the social media landscape. While talking about the recent Fashion Week, we asked the Creative Director what he thought about the use of cell phones and computers on the red carpet.
“It’s great, in a way, but there’s also this other side of it…where you never know if someone is really watching a show, or just too busy taking pictures and blogging about it to really enjoy,” the Italian designer confided.
“So it’s the difference between the experience and mediating the experience?”
Marshall Mcluhan would have been proud: here we were, socializing IRL by toasting people who have learned how to capitalize in our disseminated digital age.
The Instaprint booth set up past the driftwood was a nice touch.
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