DITA’S DEEP FREEZE: Clearly less fussed by Thursday night’s severe chill than the guests, California buds and business partners Jeff Solorio and John Juniper of Dita Eyewear hosted a pack of New York media types to fete their new boutique. The shop, which is located on Lafayette, is their first East Coast venture and a key component of the current growth strategy. According to Solorio, it was a plan five-plus years in the making. “We went all out, it wasn’t half-way. We found the right location and look of the store, knew we had to do it right if we were going to open in New York City,” he said, So far the duo is impressed with the numbers since its’ January 13 soft opening even in this retail graveyard time of year and noted, “We are looking forward to spring.”
Business concerns aside for the evening, the event started with cocktails at the store. A smaller group, which included Harley Viera-Newton who dee-jayed the cocktail, Bryan Boy, Tali Lennox and Nikisha Brunson and Cipriano Quann of Urban Bush Babes, braved the cold again to head around to the corner to a private residence. The dinner was held at the home of Sophie Suzuki (sister of jeweler Marie-Helene de Taillac) and long time friend of Masako Kumakura, senior vice president of branding and communicarions for DIta.
Perhaps in a nod to shared Japanese culture and the So-Cal vibe, a Mexican-fusion meal was served on a long L-shaped table that was about 18 inches off the ground with cushions for seats which prompted a few to wonder if the event would unfold like an Ab Fab episode. While guests navigated their ways to various positions of comfort around the pillows, a “#notgettingup” motto was bandied about. The designers took it all in stride and spent most of the night pillow-hopping getting to know the guests. The wait staff found certain aspects of serving the meal tough to navigate. Nearly spilled soups and few knocks to a mid-Century lamp and Anish Kapoor’s inverted disc-shaped disco ball that dominated a wall of the living room prompted Jorge Garcia of V Magazine to offer “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s insured”. Others like Interviews’ Dan Ragone escaped the cramp-inducing seating by simply sliding under the table. By dessert which was served close to midnight most guests had pried themselves from their cushions and gathered on the civilized sofas.
Pleased with the intimate setting as well the massive piece of art work that served as the conversation piece of the night, Solorio said post-event, “I wish it could have lasted longer.”