Thursday, September 18, 2014


By Stephenie Adubato Burke

MBFW Kick-Off 2014

Photos courtesy of Fohr Card, The James Hotel and by Stephenie Adubato Burke (3,4)

NEW YORK - On the first truly hot summer night in New York City, the rooftop bar at Jimmy at The James Hotel was positively cool. The Fashion Week kick-off event, hosted by Fohr Card, was held on the 18th floor of The James Hotel in Soho, at a venue simply titled “Jimmy”. This rooftop hideaway boasted both an indoor and outdoor experience, a pool and a panoramic view of Soho and the surrounding area. The enclosed bar was back lit by dozens of bottles of top shelf liquor begetting a sort of stained glass effect and was lined with delicately bare trees dotted with only the tiniest of white lights. Dim lighting elsewhere, courtesy of candles on strategically placed wooden tables, lent the venue a sultry and intimate vibe.

Nestled in a far corner was a two-person nail salon sponsored by Priv, an on-demand beauty and wellness app that promises New Yorkers (and soon, San Franciscans, Londoners and Los Angelenos) within-the-hour service for anything from a blow out to a Pilates class. Needless to say, the line for the manicures was longer than the line for the ladies room and the bar combined. And because no quality event skimps on the music, stationed at the intersection of the indoor/outdoor spheres was Alix Brown, an established NYC DJ with a decidedly classic, if not downright vintage, taste who graciously avoided the overplayed anthems of the summer (or the decade for that matter). The playlist consisted of a solid range of time-honored hits including Ace Frehley’s homage to the city “New York Groove”, Linda Ronstadt’s no-good man anthem “You’re No Good” and the amaranthine dance tune “Twist and Shout”. 

Photo by Stephenie Adubato Burke (Click to enlarge)

Well attended by a crowd of mostly bloggers, a few models and an app creator or two, the event certainly catered to the market Fohr Card is attempting to reach. Formed by James Nord, Rich Tong and Holly Stair and officially launched in early 2013, Fohr Card, like all innovative concepts, arose from the very connundrum it is now attempting to solve for others. Nord himself struggled to break into fashion photography until a chance connection via his friend Tong (former Tumblr fashion director) led him to exactly where he needed to be. Metaphorically, this was the moment that launched a thousand bloggers.

The idea behind Fohr Card is to create a sort of “Fashion Blog Directory”; a space where brands and bloggers can interact and collaborate based on their shared aesthetics. After being vetted and approved, a blogger can gain exposure, access to any of the 90 plus brands that utilize the site and an all-in-one press kit. On the other end, brands can search for bloggers using filters, scan trustworthy social media stats and export ready-made blogger spreadsheets. In many ways, Fohr Card is like Hootsuite/ for the fashion set. 

And judging from the guest list’s street style, Fohr Card will have no shortage of bloggers to highlight. In the chill, comfortable environment, no one was over or under dressed and there was certainly no lack of style. Classic looks and trends were present in the form of plaid-cinched hips (90’s grunge is officially back. Thank you Hedi Slimane), the quintissential New York all black ensembles (I had to look twice at an Alexander Wang look-alike) and a plethora of rompers and jumpsuits.

Judging from this crowd, hats will continue their reign into the fall as men and women alike were decked out in their toppers. The usual bowlers and fedoras were on display and oddly, a few wide-brimmed straw beach hats as well. It was as though some of the guests couldn’t help but desperately cling to the last vestiges of summer. And I can’t exactly say that I blame them.

Jimmy (Photo courtesy of The James Hotel Soho)

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