5 mn with… David August Trimble

Profession: Bike racer, designer, engineer, photographer etc…


 

Who are you David?

I am defined in most part by being a member of the Trimble family   I’m 27, the second oldest of eight kids (4 boys and 4 girls).  My dad is the oldest of eight boys.  I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and lived in Boston, Northwest Arkansas, Houston, a brief stint in hell, Indianapolis, before finally coming home to NYC four years ago.

At the age of 12 I raced go-karts. By the time I turned 18, I was racing professionally and traveling all over North America. I wanted to be a Formula 1 driver. As my parents didn’t have enough money to support my expensive career pursuit I relied completely on sponsorship money that I raised.  This eventually ran out and I had to give up… I had also blown all my college money on racing so I began working as a ‘mechanic’ on a Formula Renault team eventually making my way up to the Indycar level.  I spent the next four years of my life slaving away on racecars.  While most kids were attending college I was working 120 hours weeks and traveling non-stop around the world.  The pressure was intense and I soon realized that the ‘hardened’ vets who had been doing it for many years were miserable drunks with broken homes.  I had to get out.

Because I had amassed a slave like work ethic and razor sharp mechanical and problem solving skills my uncle Sam hired me to help manage the construction and custom details on his high-end architectural projects in New York City.  Completely burned out with anything that had an engine on it I moved to NYC with nothing but a suitcase and a bicycle. I have now been at Sam Trimble Design for four years.  The job introduces me to many amazing people and places and I become a part of the city that would otherwise be completely foreign.  Our clients have whole collections named after them at the MET. They are Hollywood stars, and run giant corporations.  Being a part of this juxtaposition next to my humble life is one of the most interesting facets of living in NYC.

You mentioned coming to NY with just a suitcase and a bicycle, I’m guessing the bicycle is a big part of your life?

My father and his brothers are all inventors, engineers, and architects.  In the early days they developed and raced some of the first ever carbon fiber racing bicycles.  One of my uncle Brent’s frame designs went on to win a gold medal in the Sydney Olympics.  Although cycling was always a part of my life I did not start riding seriously until I was 21 years old.

I started riding in Texas.  After moving to NYC I became heavily involved in the cycling scene and began racing bikes at a fanatical level.  I race mountain, road, cyclocross, and suicidal alley cat city races.  The energy and commodore of cycling makes NYC feel like home to me.  The best part is that I am carrying on with the Trimble family tradition of bicycle fanatics.  My siblings and father all bond around the bike and to this day almost all of us compete.

You have organized, The Red Hook Criterium for the past 3 years. A combination of a race and an Art exhibit, tell us more about it?

Most of my friends are bike racers who won’t come out to a social event unless it involves a chance at personal glory.  For this reason I started holding a bike race in conjunction with my birthday party.  The race is held at night in Red Hook on a short, twisty, and dangerous course.  Over the years it has grown into a popular event with hundreds of spectators and racers.  This last year I combined the race with a group art show called “The Unifying Machine”.  The show had over thirty artists exhibiting a wide range of work.  The Red Hook Criterium is basically an art show, bike race, and massive party all rolled into one event.

At “The Unifying Machine” this year, I have seen pictures you shot; are you a photographer as well?

On a basic level I am a photographer because I am on an endless pursuit to live a life that when recorded leaves behind interesting images that will supplement my memory.

Living in the culturally limited Arkansas and Houston and having the opportunity to travel opened my eyes to the world.  I began taking pictures with the intention to try and capture this flow of constant new experiences and images.  Each new place and each new character I met would change me in a way that I felt had to be recorded.  Moving to the huge world of NYC further increased my desire to record everything and everyone I experienced along the way.

Professionally I haven’t started a photography career but as my skills and style develop I am seeing opportunities to use photography beyond a personal level.

Which celebrity would you be flattered to see participate at the Red Hook Criterium?

As far as celebrities go I wouldn’t mind seeing Kayne West show up on his fashion accessory Cinelli Vigorelli so we could lap him 5 times.  Actually most of the local cycling celebrities I want to see racing the Crit already participate.  I really want my brother Nathan to compete next year.  He’s by far the strongest Trimble and could give our family a victory in the race.

What does a city like NY brings to you?

It gives you a chance to be exactly the person you want to be.  No matter what kind of weird or nerdy thing you are into there is likely to be a whole community full of like-minded people.

What is your favorite place in the city?

My favorite place is this massive abandoned Grain Terminal in Red Hook.  I often go exploring in there at night.  The left over machines inside the terminal are very old and incredibly designed.  It gives me the same feeling as when I’m in Alaska exploring old gold mining ruins.

Where would be the best place to buy a good bike?

Depends on what kind of bike.  For a good city bike something on Craigslist is place to find a good deal.  It just requires a little education to spot the lemons.  The Times Up organization is a great place to learn how to build your own bike from old parts and spend next to nothing.  A full on racing bike should be obtained through of very personal experience of picking each part specifically.

What’s next? Any project?

I’m bringing the Red Hook Criterium to Milan, Italy on October 15th.  It’ll be held on the dark streets of an industrial area of Milan.  A dozen riders from NYC are making to the trip to compete against some of the best riders in Europe.
Beyond that I’m working on organizing my first solo photography exhibit, which I hope will be ready by next summer.

Click here to find out more information about the RED HOOK CRIT MILANO
© Photo with orange sweater and bike: Jed Stewart. Photo B&W: Hannah Trimble. David racing : Ed Glazer. Art-show: Chris Thorman. Grain terminal: David Trimble
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5 mn with… Franck Raharinosy

Profession: Ping-Pong Entrepreneur


Who are you Franck?

I’m 34 years old. I was born in France and grew up in Reunion Island near Madagascar where my dad is from.

I came to New York for the first time in 1996 after finishing an internship in Los Angeles. I fell in love with this city from day one.

I have always been very creative and imaginative since a very young age, so after graduating from Business School I decided to go down a different road, traveling around the World and making documentaries. My first job was a non-paid internship at MTV, and I was also working in a couple night clubs. 

When did you start playing ping-pong?

First time I ever played was about 7 years ago. I grabbed a paddle and happened to win a little tournament in Tribeca at a loft party.  I didn’t play again for 3 years, till the day my best friend and roommate, Jonathan Bricklin, and I bought a rather expensive and very beautiful competition ping-pong table with a red arched base, like a rainbow, for our loft/office. Ever since, we’ve been very passionate about the game and have been playing nearly every day since.  We got so hooked that we started taking lessons with several professional ping-pong coaches, began going to tournaments, and then started our own tournament we called Naked Ping Pong. We called it “Naked” (no one was actually naked) merely to add some edge and make it a little sexier than people would normally expect a ping-pong party or tournament to be -3 or 4 years ago ping-pong was extremely un-cool.  We were playing so much ping pong that it was taking over our Filmmaking careers, and at a certain point, I was like “How are we even going to be pay our rent?” 

 

You opened SPiN about a year ago, why did you decide to open a ping-pong club?

When our loft got sold we had such a big following at The Naked Ping Pong parties, that we felt compelled to keep going and try to make it a real business and open our own club, with our ideal design and layout. We had gotten to know Susan Sarandon through my dear friend, who happens to be an extraordinary production designer, Franckie Diago. Susan was also introduced to us through, Andrew Gordon at The National Arts Club. Which is where I live. Andrew is retired investment banker, with a background in professional tennis, and a love for ping-pong.  They both became our partners and we’ve been having amazing time collaborating on SPiN ever since.

It’s more than a simple ping-pong club …

It’s inviting for everyone, every age and demographic and it has a variety of different uses at different times of the day.  We’re about to start exercise classes in the early morning.  During the day time we have the best ping pong coaches in the country that give lessons, then we have a happy hour, and corporate events till later in the evening when it becomes a very cool lounge, and on weekends, more like a night club.  We just introduced “Glow-in-the-dark” ping-pong last week, which is definitely bringing the SPiN experience to an all-new level…

Our food is amazing, we re introducing a summer menu that includes a dark chocolate shake, (it was my special request).

Our private room is the best place in town to have a party, super cosy with a great vibe and of course a ping-pong table.

What’s the crowd like?

Lots of famous and infamous people, I don’t want to be called a namedropper…

Lot’s of celebrities come to SPiN, who surprised you, the most as a ping-pong player?

After The Gorillaz closed Coachella they came to SPiN and played our Naked Ping-pong Tournament which we hold now every Tuesday at 9pm. Jonathan and I played Damon and his friend in double and they ended up beating us in a close match. Then the another night Jack Kevorkian came and played for hours…

 

 

Mike Myers by Zack McTee

 

Along we SPiN, Ping-Pong became fashionable… Do you think you started a new trend?

Ping Pong came out of the basement and players came out of the closet, meaning they weren’t shy anymore, they could say they love to play.

What does a city like NY bring to you?

The first time I came to New York, I loved it right away and felt something that I never felt before, a certain freedom and a strong energy that makes you think that anything is possible… 

What is your favorite place in the city?

I love Gramercy Park and going Surfing… I love water and can’t get enough… It’s because I grew up on an island.

Favorite restaurant?

Raoul on Prince Street

 

Catherine Keener by Zack McTee

 

What’s next? Any project?

A lot is happening! We’re franchising all over America and the World. 

Jonathan and I are producing this once in a lifetime event in June: SPiN Galactic, The World Champions! The evenings will be hosted by celebrity actor/ping pong player extraordinaire Judah Freidlander.  The crowd will be a mixture of elegantly styled, influential, trend setting taste makers, notable New Yorkers, and celebrity actor, director, writer, singer, ping pong aficionados, as well as die hard table tennis fans from across the country. You can buy the tickets on our website

We are also working a Docu-series, that should be very funny and inspiring. 

 

SPiN New York: 48 East 23rd Street @ Park av. Tel: 1 212 980 1404

 

   

5 mn with… Ben Towill and Phil Winser

Profession: Partners of Silkstone


Who are you guys?

Ben Towill, 26: I started my career as a chef in the kitchen’s of Raymond Blanc (of Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons) at the age of 16, working daily side by side with him.  From there I went on to Rick Stein’s in Cornwall where I learnt everything possible about seafood, how to fish for it, prepare in and cook it! Gordon Ramsay’s empire was my next step, first in London then New York where I was picked to head up a team at his new restaurant and then personally accompany Gordon on his Nationwide TV tour for Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares.  Once in New York I opened the popular restaurant – the Kingswood and a year later left to start Silkstone with Phil.

Phil Winser, 25:  I’m a Event Planner and Designer for Silkstone. I have trained in the hospitality industry since I was 14, with one of my first events being at the British Royal Palace I have experienced the highest echelon of service. Their attention to detail and unmistakable perfection inspired me to enter into the hospitality industry. I spent a considerable time with London’s finest event planners – Admiral Crichton Events and Catering – putting on huge production events all over the world.  I also worked at Party Ingredients where I learnt the highest level of planning, management and service through high profile events at locations such as the British Royal Palace.

How or why did you decide to work in the food industry?

Ben: I grew up in-between British Countryside and Coast, where I developed a real understanding of what it takes to produce and source ingredients that not only taste of the highest quality but are produced with integrity and passion.  My family have also been macrobiotic for years, which has been a great influence and inspiration in my cooking and approach to food.

Phil: Coming from a family who’s life (work and play) has been centered around looking into the worlds geography and ecology, I have always been passionate about building a sustainable future. I have also always loved food and in particular the fact that it brings together everyone and provides a great platform for great conversations and even better times.  I have always sourced my food locally (ideally growing it from home) so have realized and enjoyed the benefits of this using local or homegrown quality produce for cooking for a long time. Design is another major part of my life, having followed restaurant, hotel and bar design especially closely my whole life.

When was Silkstone born and what is the concept?

Silkstone officially started in October 2008, but we first thought of it together at school at the age of 16. Silkstone is committed to delivering creative, innovative and sustainable food, lifestyle and design concepts, focused on events, restaurants and developing brands through unique experiences. It is born from the notion that there are two essential ingredients to the service industry:  The stone represents the intensive labor, integrity and commitment, and the silk reflects the creativity, innovation and elegance in which this is presented.

Do you just do large events for private clients or companies or do you do small dinner parties too?

As a comprehensive event planning, design, production and company we look after every aspect to an event, including the catering but do also love being part of the intimate surroundings of a small dinner party too.

Ben, tell me a bit about Silkstone menus.

For our events and catering company we approach every event individually, continually looking for the most seasonal, fresh ingredients.  The journey of farm to plate and the integrity of the ingredients are key to us so we are consistently in touch with our suppliers to get an understanding on how their produce is that very week.  We listen to the clients ideas and try and expand it further, referencing it throughout the food, drink and cocktail offerings but always keeping it true to Silkstone offering balanced, light fresh, intensely flavorful bites. A typical Silkstone meal would be:

Start off party with a cocktail of elderflower, cucumber, and lemongrass vodka, along with a few light bites such as lobster ceviche with passion fruit curd and threads of crispy ginger.  

Then we would move on to the shared dishes passed around communal tables using seasonal ingredients. For example: crisp market vegetables with anchovy and chili dressing.   A salad of sugar snap peas, mint, balsamic caramelized spring onions, pea shoots and baby lettuces all sourced from the nearby Yuno’s farm. A beetroot and Swiss chard crumble that is a savory take on a classic with clothbound cheddar, oats and hazelnuts.  Also as whole grains are such an important part of our menus we would include bulgur wheat tabouleh with kale and blue foot mushrooms.

To finish, it would have to be a berry and pistachio Eton mess (meringue and fresh whipped cream) served in mason jars.

This industry is very challenging in a city like NY, there are so many great restaurants and chefs… what’s the key to success?

Personal service and attention to detail, hard-working happy staff and passionate owners. Simplicity and quality throughout – the food, the design, the service.

Where would you recommend to go food shopping in the city?

Great food shopping can be found all over the city but my one of the most easily accessible places for fresh and quality food can be found at Union square market first thing in the morning. Also the fish market in the Bronx is fantastic for the freshest, flavour-filled and cost-effective fish – but be prepared for a 2am start!  Finally the Essex street market always has some great local producers all year round.

What does a city like NY bring to you?

Ben:  For me, NY is a great place because it is so full of opportunity and life which is not only very beneficial for a start-up company but really inspiring and positive.

Phil: The energy, I feel that anything is possible here and there is always something fun to do.

What is your idea of a perfect day in NY?

Ben: My perfect day would consist of getting up early on a Sunday, its amazingly peaceful as no one in the city is awake! Take the world with the Sunday newspapers (and girly magazines!), maybe heading out for bike ride over to Brooklyn for a wander around the flea market to sample some local delights then as the sun comes down heading back to the city for some rooftop cocktails.

Phil: When I have a bit of a headache – I love to walk around downtown New York, visiting the Russian baths, then heading  to Souen or Japanese for some healthy, light and delicious dinner and then maybe rounding off with a night at the movies – in the summer ideally an open air rooftop cinema. But Its quite fun getting the headaches as well – as they are usually from my great friends bar Apotheke in China Town!

What is your favorite place in the city?

Ben: Visiting Roberta’s in Bushwick for some locally sourced, family style food.  I love the open fire pit outside too!

Phil: The Russian baths on 10th Street is my favorite place and I love hosting a dinner party.

What’s next? Any project?

We have several very fun and quirky weddings in Hamptons coming up which will be great as well as a series of events with a luxury brand (but just in negotiations so can’t reveal the name as yet!)

Also Silkstone have recently been appointed exclusive partners with one of New York’s premiere event spaces – Stephen Weiss studios. A great venue that has had everyone from Def Jam to the Dalai Lama come play & talk. The event space has been developed by Donna Karan whose core principles on design and sustainable, healthy eating marry seamlessly with ours, providing the perfect platform for some great events in 2010!

Lastly, but definitely not least we are building out our restaurant in the lower east side which is due to open in June!  It will be serving modern seasonal British cuisine, which is healthy but still innovative and creatively presented.

Silkstone offices are located 17 Orchard Street, 2nd floor. Tel: 1.646.861.1545. For more info check their Website

5mn with… Vera Balyura

Profession: Jewelry designer

Who are you Vera?

I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. My heart has been beating for about 25 years. I run a jewelry company that began as a way to unwind my brain from stories told to me in dreams, starring bee-keeper centaurs, creatures that never die and deep sea animals…

How or why did you decide to design jewelry?

When I was little my grandpa would show me miniatures he made and do puppet shows for me. I believed the little people and creatures could come alive on their own, but had pride in keeping very still whenever I was looking. When I’d go to sleep they would take me to their magical land. Now I repay them for the adventures by bringing them and their friends back into my world. It’s all about giving back.

When was VearMeat born and why did you pick this name?

VeraMeat was born about 3 years ago. This name was picked because it was the only name which made me laugh and yet felt powerful.

If you had to create  a line for a famous designer or famous brand, who would it be?

Hmm…Chanel would be incredible, Jil Sander would inspire, Marc Jacobs of course… And I’m thinking of doing an exclusive cuff line for Opening Ceremony, something sincere for Atelier…

Which celebrity would you be flattered to see wear your designs?

Hmm… I’ve been super lucky to have a few wish list clients like Miranda July and Tilda Swinton. Would love to add Isabelle Huppert, Zoe Deschanel, Charlotte Rampling & Gainsbourg, Adrien Brody and Patti Smith who is my neighbor. We met through a mutual friend and when I mentioned needing feedback on a writing project she invited me in. So I’m working on a “thank you” VeraMeat for her right now.

What does a city like NY brings to you?

It brings the opportunity to connect with artists you admire and to be inspired every second which can get exhausting in a sexy way. You become a part of the big piece of art that is NY which invite friends into your life who through a conversation make you feel like you’ve evolved into a future ancestor.

What is your idea of a perfect day in NY?

Hah well, I’m an Austrian art fan so a day at Neue Gallery with lunch in their cafe would be perfect… or have breakfast in bed with a French book then design some amazing jewelry … or taking photos of the west village daily life. Again walking around Manhattan to see what the city brings is often better then anything I can foresee.

What is your favorite belonging?

My guitar, love to pick her up, and unrehearsed play whatever comes to mind
and record it. It’s like improved acting at UCB which I also love, magic happens when you let yourself free. Going to be starting a VeraMeat TV in the City series on YouTube!

What is your favorite place in the city?

As far as things to do when in West Village, Happy Owl is great for lunch. In Williamsburg, Monkey Town has great shows and films in their back room-though they may be closing.

What’s next? Any project?

Yes VeraMeat TV satire comedy episodes, viking taking over the sky collection for VeraMeat while building on some old themes. I am recording a punk folk music album under a new band name: Party Of Virgins. I’m also decorating a new studio in the East Village. Please come to the open house on April 24th!

VeraMeat has a studio on 303 East 5th street. apt # 1A. bet 1st & 2nd av.
Check Vera’s Website to see the full collection and order online.

5 mn with… Simon Chaput

Profession: Photographer


Who are you Simon?

I am half French, half English and was born in France 57 years ago. I come from a small town and studied to become a vet. I was a sailing instructor in southern Brittany at the age of 16 and spent my military service as a sailing instructor in Tahiti. There are worst places to be sent I must admit….

I opened a Gallery in France in the mid seventies and came to New York in 1983 for a week to help one of my artists find a gallery here, I fell in love with the energy of the city and have been living here ever since.

I met Jeanne Claude and Christo on my second week here and started working with them on their projects; it was a life changing experience.

Why did you choose to become a photographer?

Photography was always a passion for me, I got my first camera, a Kodak Brownie when I was 7 and fell in love with the magic it created. I started a photo club when I was at school and was shooting everything I could. After failing to get into a photo school, I spend the next 20 years away from photography.

In 1983, I discovered the New York art scene and that nourished my vision.

I was fascinated by the geometry of the urban landscape and that is when I had the urge to get back to photography.

I was lucky enough to join the Howard Greenberg Gallery back in 1997 and have focused my energy on photography since.

Your Nude series is gorgeous, tell us a bit about this project.

The nude series started in Death Valley. I loved the abstract qualities of the sand dunes and wanted to bring a nude in the landscape. It was a challenge when you know the work of artists like Edward Weston and others who have mastered it. I could shoot only one hour at sunrise and one at sunset.

While shooting, I realized that the body could become the landscape itself.

I came back to New York and started shooting in the studio so I could control the light and thereby the form. The body became the landscape.

Would you consider yourself a landscape photographer?

I am not sure if I really fit in that category. The work is more about playing with shape, light and the negative space that has a huge place in my photographs.

When you look at my work, you will notice the importance of the black.

How much time do you spend in the dark room?

I spend a lot of time in the darkroom, sometimes weeks in a row. I am still fascinated by the magic of the process and find that I need to spend many days to control the outcome precisely.

Do you have a dream project?

Dreams are meant to be pursued every new project is a dream project before it happens. It is at first an idea, then images are visualized and from that point on work makes them happen. The result is sometimes even a little different from the initial dreamed images; it is nearly always better as the work grows on itself.

Right now my dream project is the “Waterfalls” series.

Why did you decide to shoot NY? What does the city bring to you?

New York was a love story at first sight, living downtown when I first arrived, I was mesmerized by the tall buildings, narrow streets and by the shadows projected by these buildings, creating these wonderful geometric patterns.

I must have looked strange, I was walking the streets looking up and just enjoying the playfulness of the angular shapes. That has never changed.

Do you have a secret place in the New York?

If I tell you it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, but seriously I am always amazed by something that I hadn’t noticed before. The city changes so much depending on the time of day, the light and my perception of the city also changes with my mood. The secret is to get lost away from our usual paths.

What about the most beautiful views of the city?

Downtown around Wall Street, it is such a complex web of narrow streets.

What are your favorite things to do here?

I love having friends over for dinner, shopping at Di Palo’s, riding a bike in the city and Governor’s Island (a haven of peace and just a small boat ride away) playing tennis under the Williamsburg bridge, eating at “Minetta Tavern” or at “Antonucci’s”, having a small bite at “Blue Ribbon Bar” or a drink at the “Raines Law Room” and so much more…..

What’s next?

The “Waterfalls” series is not finished, so I will be taking more long treks in the wilderness looking for the perfect ones.

I also have a show opening at the Jackson Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta on March 26th, where they will show the Nudes and for the first time some of the Waterfalls.

For more info visit Simon Chaput’s website and  his facebook fan page

Simon’s addresses:
Di Palo’s:  200 Grand St.
Minetta Tavern: 113 MacDougal St.
Antonucci’s:  170 East 81 St.
Blue Ribbon Bar:  34 Downing St.
Raines Law Room:  48 W 17th St.

5 mn with… Michaela Dosamantes

Profession: Stylist


Who are you Michaela?

I was born in Mexico and raised in NY. I’m 26, I’ve been living in New York since I finished university 5 years ago. While studying Art History I lived in Florence and London, where I gained an appreciation for art, culture, design, music and I saw these facets of culture intertwine and affect each other. Fashion was always something I loved but I never thought I could work at it  until I lived in Europe. I started to see it as means of self expression and a way of combining different elements of culture, background and taste. 

After moving to NY I started working for the NY bureau of French Vogue where I worked on many photo shoots– after that the inspiration was endless! 

How did you decide to become a stylist?

Working at the magazine, it was easy to by influenced by the people I worked with, I love meeting new people and getting to know them. Working on shoots you are always meeting new creative people with different points of view and collaborating with them to create something. thats amazing. 

 

Shoot with Robin Wright Penn

Lot’s of fashion stylists dream to work for French Vogue, what would be your dream job now?

My favorite part of the job is working on a shoot and creating something as a team with the photographer, model, makeup artist and hair stylist. I have my dream job! I get to collaborate with such talented people every day. I just hope I get to do it for a long time. I would also like to own a store one day…and go on shopping trips around the world to find fun treasures!

What is your best memory on shoot?

Every shoot is memorable, but one of my favorite shoots was for French Vogue in Montauk for the November 2007 issue. The photographer was Bruce Webber, and we ended up shooting at a petting zoo! We had 6 models, ducks, chickens, pigs (and piglets too!), horses and lamas roaming around, it was so much fun and really hilarious! 

The toughest or worst experience?

A not so funny thing that recently happened to me was having the sprinkler system go off in the middle of the shoot and the firemen had to come to the studio to turn it off! thankfully, none of the models and clothes did get wet. but the camera got soaked!

You must have been on shoot with lots of celebrities, any funny stories?

Lets just say it involved a TOP model, a garbage boat, and a looooong night! You won’t get more details than that. 

Give us a fashion tip or a must have for this winter.

My must have for winter is my Marc Jacobs cashmere beanie from the Mens store on Bleeker street, and of course my vintage mink coat (from my secret spot on the upper west). A must in NY winter!

What does a city like NY bring to you?

The kinetic energy that this city offers you is so special, you can start from scratch every day and have new opportunities at your doorstep. I love that you can walk down one block and hear 6 different languages, and be immersed in several different cultures in one day… In NY you meet people from all over the world, what they all have in common is that they’ve come here to make it. And we all know, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.  

What is your favorite vintage shop in the city?

I don’t have a single favorite vintage shop, but East Eleventh street has a couple of gems!

What is the best affordable one?

Maybe somewhere like Buffalo exchange, you never know what you are going to find!

And an expensive one?

Rare Vintage and Resurrection they have amazing collectable pieces. And, if you are lucky you may get to see the rental only basement at Resurrection, they have Thierry Mugler, Versace and Alaia from the 80’s and 90’s that is to die for! Also, Jewel Diva at the Manhattan antiques pavilion on west 25th street has some pretty amazing costume jewelry from the last 20 years. Ask for Connie. 

What’s next? Any project? 

NY Fashion week just ended, I went to see my friend Joseph Altuzarra’s collection, which was absolutely beautiful. Check it out on Style.com!! And, fingers crossed many shoots and Paris fashion week in a couple of weeks…

Click here to check Michaela’s latest work.

5mn with… Franckie Diago

Profession: Production Designer

 

With Michele Rodriguez, "Tropico de Sangre", 2008

Who are you Franckie?

I’m a French, Hungarian, Berber, mix… I was born in the Loire valley where I had an amazing childhood near the Chambord castle and the Sologne forest…

” To be or not to be,” that was the question I had to ask myself during the time of the hippies. It hit me in my twenties and I faced the dilemma of staying in school and study to become an architect or to go running with those crazy people in the street, spitting fire, and tap dancing their way to the next day.

I did run with them…

How did you decide to design movie sets?

After 3 years of running in every city in Europe with my theater/ circus family, I ended up on a movie set, helping out to build the sets and create the costumes. And that was it … I knew it would be my job…

 

With Charlotte Rampling, "Vers le Sud", 2005

What was the first movie you ever worked on?

The movie for the Magic Circus… directed by Jerome Savary, in black and white.

Which one are you the most proud of?

Proud?  Well they all have something special…

What is your best memory?

I have no memories, but let’s have dinner,  a glass of champagne or two and then I’ll have stories…

With Francis Ford Copola for Godfather III

 

The toughest thing you’ve been asked to do?

To rebuild part of a set overnight which had been destroyed by a storm. And we did it!

You must have been on set with celebrities, any funny stories?

 Well the celebrities, yes I have some stories, but which one to tell ?

The funniest to me is my first real professional experience with a TOP Production Designer, in France named Alexander Trauner (“Les enfans du Paradis”, “Subway”, etc… he was Hungarian, and worked on the best movies of his time). I happened to be interviewed by him to work as his assistant on a French movie “coup de torchon” by Bertrand Tavernier and after few days of anxiety, I got the answer: “YES”… So when I met with him again, I thanked him for choosing me, and I said to him, how should I call you ” MAITRE “? He looked at me (I am 5 ft 7 and he was probably 5 ft 2), and then he said, “ Mini-maitre, will do ma petite fille, Minimetre….” (of course I don’t know how this can be translated in English…)

 

With Andy Garcia for "City Island".

 

What does a city like New York bring to you?

THE LIGHT…and permanent stimulation.

What is your favorite place or thing to do in the city?

Everything, Theater, movies, brunches, walks, museums, Ping Pong (I’m a big fan) …

What’s next? Any project?

Last year I worked on a great comedy, “City Island”, with Andy Garcia & Julia Margules which will be released on March 19th. You should watch the trailer on the check the website.

Next?… I won’t tell as I am superstitious -I had two projects with Tim Robbins, which were cancelled… The first one was a movie, we stopped after two months of hard work… And then, I built 2 big sets for a Showtime Pilot in December 2008 but after Mister Madoff financial trick, everyone retracted on every project in the making… So now, I talk once the project is done, and in the can!

But shuuuush! Something is cooking…

Check out Franckie Diago‘s website here.