On Tuesday night at a party to celebrate the opening of his new SoHo flagship on Grand Street, Alexander Wang stood in the middle of the store near two black fur armchairs. He had brought the furniture over from his own apartment, he said, after a truck carrying a couch meant for the store suffered an accident. Everyone was OK, he said.
A small mix of downtown fashion types, including Zoe Kravitz, Humberto Leon, Santigold and Julia Restoin Roitfeld circulated around the retail space. Rumor had it Lauryn Hill would perform later in the night.
“I don’t know; who told you that?” the designer said, breaking into a laugh. “You know you cannot keep any secrets these day in the fashion industry, can you? Don’t tweet that yet, please.”
As the evening wore on, guests made an impromptu dance floor in front of the DJ booth. Irina Lazareanu was in constant movement. Kravitz and Karen Elson danced together before settling into a black fur hammock with Wang for photo ops.
Kanye West arrived around 10:30. He stuck to his “no press” guns, but at one point could be overheard explaining to Wang, “I’m not a player. I’m more like a girlfriend type.”
When the DJ, Spankrock, put on Cash Money Millionaires’ “Project Chick,” it appeared for a brief moment as if Elson might draw West onto the floor. He made a few moves, but opted to chat up Santigold instead.
After 11 p.m., the action switched to the store’s back room, where a small stage was set up. Hill doesn’t exactly have a history of punctuality, and a few partygoers took to wondering if her show was actually going to happen. Sure enough, a ten-piece band began to assemble around 11:30. And then she was there, wearing heavy eye makeup, a kimono-style button down, black turtleneck and gold bangles.
“Hey… how’s everybody doing tonight?” Hill asked. “We want to send a special thank you and congratulations to Alexander Wang.”
The camera phones went up. It seemed like a safe time to tweet.