City Pulse

By Samantha Smikle

For once Underground NYC, the store known to house different indie designers every week, wasn’t full of tourist and native NYers alike, mingling and meeting new designers to add to their closets. Instead, the Ressler brothers, owners of Underground NYC, as well as Fashion Mini, hosted the first Over Under: Where Fashion Meets Innovation fashion show.


Underground NYC functions as a space for independent designers to sell their designs which would probably be sold out of their apartments other wise, said co-owner Jonathan Ressler. “In fashion, it is Bryant Park or nothing.” The show took that concept to another level, giving these designers a stage on which to showcase their designs cost free.

Anthony Malat showcased the only menswear line that night, Sinner/Saint, and said that he had to overcome an interesting obstacle in the process. Here is where the show’s name, Where Fashion Meets Innovation, comes in to play: Malat makes custom reworked suits – not the usual you’d expect in a fashion show.


A shot of detail

As I talked to Malat backstage, he scans his rack and says, “So what you see here is my wardrobe, which is why I’m dressed like this.” His look that night was black. Head to toe. In a zipped hoodie, jeans and boots, he fits right in to any L.E.S hipster scene, but the pieces in his set proved that that look what out of character.

Malat’s work resembles suits today – slim fitting, hipster chic. But what makes them exceptional and innovative are the stories behind them. Malat reworked a white vintage jacket from a size 44 to 34. “When I say rework, I really mean I hack the hell out of it,” he said.

Wondering what he does with the fabric that gets snipped away? He makes scarves and extended patchwork cuffs on jackets. Other equally innovative featured designers included Tara Jarmon, Linda Loudermilk and Nature vs. Future.

Underground NYC will continue to host these presentations at least once a month to serve the emerging designer community and the market that yearns for their designs. While you wait for the next show, check out who’s selling there now.

Underground NYC
440 Broadway (between Grand and Howard Streets)
Note: They are only open Thursday-Sunday, 12- 7pm

Originally published April 2008
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