Minute Made: AREA NYC Studio Visit
Aliens, Ludacris and Fashion Week all have one thing in common: they each involve a specific type of “area.” While the first may be linked to encounters of the third kind and the second refers to hoes in different area codes, the one we’re talking about is Area NYC, a MADE Fashion Week designer and up-and-coming force to be reckoned with.
Similar to the Bermuda Triangle, Area remains relatively mysterious and hard-to-Google. We headed to the studio of designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk to uncover the secrets of the label we were dying to know. Nestled amidst the bustle of Canal Street food vendors is an oasis brimming with Studio 54 vibes and incredibly beautiful garments, which are a mix of scientific laser-cutting precision and 70s iridescent silks. From the Roger Vivier-inspired princess-pilgrim shoes to the space overflowing with fabric that was hard not to touch, Area let us peek into the world that is sure to be a show-stopping success.
How did you come up with the name Area for your collection?
Piotrek: We wanted something that was clean. Area is like a blank surface, a starting point. Kind of like a studio — a place without really a destination. It can be anything, it can go anywhere. It means something quite banal. Even when we started Googling, it took a while before it popped up because it’s such a random name. At the beginning it was all these little codes and formulas, which was kind of cool. A secret fashion company. It’s cool how it’s developed.
Do your backgrounds, geographically, have any influence?
Piotrek: Totally. Our work in general — we’re quite different but we pull from our own experience. I love the idea of Americana in general. How poppy it is and subcultural in a way, so we tried to pull on those things. Like a sorority. We love to bounce off each other’s ideas. Beckett is from Kentucky, I’m from Poland and raised in Holland, Claire is from Australia, Charlotte is from England — it just kind of happens.
Did you meet in school?
Piotrek: We both went to Parsons and did the MFA there. Beckett was a year above me. I had to help with her thesis. Beckett later went to Calvin Klein and we were like “let’s do this.”
What’s your favorite texture?
Piotrek: Velvet lame. It’s really pretty and expensive. It’s all made in Lyon in France. It’s very fragile and very expensive but beautiful. It’s very old school. We’re interested in technology but tradition in a way. We try source fabrics or mills that specialize in something. I like something quite blank but that has a history of itself that we can manipulate.
Are you looking next season to any specific historical references?
Piotrek: We’re doing a Victorian sportswear story. I think about copying, we’re playing with the idea of how we can copy historic things. We like the idea of fashion and how we can work around that. Our own medium interests us the most.
Did you take a break in between shows?
Piotrek: We went to Paris for market, we partied a bit, but now we’re back at it. In New York you have no break!
If you had a one way ticket to anywhere where would you go?
Piotrek: Somewhere warm! A summer studio in Bermuda. Beckett wanted Florida, I wanted the West Coast and we didn’t want to compromise so we chose Bermuda basically. Our ultimate aspiration is a summer studio in Bermuda.
What would the Area sorority look like?
Beckett: We did a monogram. We’re interested in the codes of a sorority — dress codes and behavioral codes. We’re into that and pull from that subtly. A lot of the themes are things I grew up with and knew a lot about. For Piotrek, they’re totally new so I look at them in a different way.
Is there an ultimate celebrity crush for Area?
Piotrek: We made a pair of shorts for Rihanna. Mel Ottenberg has them.
What would an Area party look like? All of the pieces look like they would make for an epic celebration.
Beckett: We’ve had some here! it’s really just our friends. We wanted our show at Milk Studios to be fluid and kind of trancey. It’s always kind of flowy i think.
Look out for the Area NYC episode debuting on M2M next week, exclusively on Apple TV.
Gifs and lead image by Felipe Medeiros. Additional image by Hali Christou