If it seems like there’s a little extra Studio 54 in the air, there is — and it’s not an accident.
Elliott Azrak, a Global Brands Group veteran who launched brand firm Venturesome this year, has been behind the scenes, connecting the brand with Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Nars and more to help bring the name into the current day. Azrak has an exclusive partnership with MGM Resorts International, which owns the rights to the Studio 54 name.
Michael Kors, who got into the game early and showed part of his Studio 54-themed collection at New York Fashion Week in February, is still partying, bringing a themed collection to Bergdorf Goodman and holding events this week to celebrate.
Nars is also spotlighting its Studio 54 collection in its windows this week and Calvin Klein, celebrating its 50th anniversary, has also been featuring the Seventies hot spot in its marketing.
Azrak has been working to reestablish the brand — a cultural touchstone of the Seventies — and everything “just kind of really hit” this week.
“It gives visibility,” he said. “Studio 54 is where it should be, as a famous luxury brand living across many of these great collaborators.”
He said last year’s Studio 54 documentary on Netflix really paved the way for a more modern take on the brand that was formed in the hard-partying disco scene, but dovetails nicely with 2019.
“It wasn’t really just bringing back Studio 54, it was really kind of riding the zeitgeist, because everything about Studio 54 is what’s permeating in the culture,” he said. “When you go back to the time of Studio 54, it was just such a complicated time that people just wanted to be free and Studio 54 become a symbol of freedom of expression and people could escape the troubled times.
“Studio 54 was just a cultural moment,” he said. “It was like the center point of all nightlife. It took the LGBTQ community from basements and brought them into the mainstream. Studio 54 was the right place at the right time.”
And Azrak is looking to grow the moment. An exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, “Studio 54: Night Magic,” is set to open next year and Azrak is out looking for more brands to help keep the party going in 2020 and beyond.