“I’ve been begging for years to be here, and Russell finally invited me to perform,” rejoiced neo-soul recording artist Maxwell at Danny and Russell Simmons’s 14th annual Art for Life benefit last Saturday. “I knew early on that music was for me, and if we can bring that to children, it can change the world,” the Brooklyn native continued, wearing a three-piece suit for the festivities at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton.
Plenty of other stars turned out to support the cause as well, proving once again that the Hamptons is undoubtedly king when it comes to splashy summertime philanthropic events.
“Arts education gives kids an escape from the streets—that’s why I’m here,” explained actor Anthony Anderson, who hosted a Rush Kids auction during the evening. “As a kid, anything that got me in front of an audience was my outlet.”
The first time The Observer met Niki and Shaokao Cheng, it was July, during the opening night of Julio Gaggia’s art show. Mr. Gaggia, the boyfriend of the plastic surgeon Mark Warfel, was preparing his work “Living Art: Chelsea Boy Apartment,” during which he would live for five days as a window display model at the BoConcept furniture store on West 18th Street. He spent the week eating, sleeping, working—and performing other, less-mentionable activities—in a showroom that divided him from gawkers outside with a pane of glass.
While we lounged about on the display furniture, socialite photographer Patrick McMullan brought over a petite woman with short, pixie-cropped hair.
“Niki is one of the few Power Asians in New York society,” he loudly whispered, flourishing Ms. Cheng before us. She smiled shyly and posed for a photograph before excusing herself.
It would be two weeks before we realized that Ms. Cheng and her husband owned the store where we had dropped more than one canapé between the cushions of a $3,000 couch.
In fact, the couple owns all five locations of the Danish furniture store in New York City, and another two in New Jersey. But the stores themselves aren’t the reason Mr. McMullan calls the Chengs “Power Asians.” Rather, it’s the couple’s seemingly innate social instincts, their ability to leverage a fairly cookie-cutter, mid-market design base into a celebrity-filled social whirl. One might say “Only in America,” or (even worse) “Only in New York,” but this wouldn’t exactly cover it. There is a certain type that thrives in Manhattan no matter what they’re selling, no matter where they’re from, no matter how few resources they have upon arriving.
After the Alexander Wang show last Saturday, The Observer talked to photographer Ryan McGinley, who used a novel point of reference to size up the designer’s collection: “There were some pieces that reminded me of Blade Runner,” he told us.
We nodded because yes, some of the looks did have that 80s-vision-of-the-future feel to Read More
The director of Coco Avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel) Anne Fontaine and its star Audrey Tautou wanted to set one thing straight before the film’s premiere Tuesday night at the Paris Theatre: This movie is not haute couture.
“I really hope that you will enjoy it because it has nothing to do with fashion,” Read More
The wind howled and sheets of rain fell from the sky on Friday, Sept. 11, but that didn’t stop people from coming out to the Luca Luca show at the Altman Building.
“If you’re a fashion buff, you come out no matter what the weather’s like,” the singer Estelle said, sitting in the front Read More
On the night of Wednesday, July 8, DJ Cassidy celebrated his 28th birthday at the New York Public Library with guests Funkmaster Flex, Jay-Z, Estelle, Doug E. Fresh and other hip-hop heavies. Bobby Brown and Rakim put on special performances, and the DJ-to-the-president got an extra-special cake from his father. Due to an embarrassing fall and Read More
Editor’s note: There are corrections to this article at the end of it.
Public broadcasting exec Sharon Rockefeller strolled into the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night, May 26, alongside the artist Jack Shear, both laughing, with cocktails in hand after sitting down to a sensible dinner.
“We had Read More
Last night’s Calvin Klein 40th Anniversary party was held in a John Pawson-designed, temporary structure on 10th Avenue and 30th Street built specifically for the event.
Adjacent to the space—fittingly, it seemed to be constructed from the same building material used to turn Manhattan living rooms into second bedrooms—was the new Highline Park, which Read More
To celebrate the end of the summer, we decided it would be a fun time to make a playlist of the songs we loved most over the last couple of months.
The Hold Steady’s "Constructive Summer"? Check.
Albert Hammond, Jr.’s "GFC"? Check.
Estelle’s "American Boy" featuring Read More
On Thursday evening, Kevin Christiana, a Project Runway Season Four veteran, watched as the principal cast of Traitor celebrated the New York premiere of their film at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza. Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, and Saïd Taghmaoui squeezed onto a pair of plush red couches with Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who is making his directorial Read More