Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Last night at the Highline Stages, The Meatpacking Business Improvement District (BID) hosted its 5th Annual Open Market. Known yearly as the hottest indoor block party, the event celebrates the local business community by welcoming visitors to a dual-level venue of booths, offering more than 25 area restaurants and bars (like L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, The Standard Biergarten, Bagatelle, Fig & Olive, Catch, La Sirena, TAO Downtown, Soho House, STK Downtown, and High Street on Hudson), a silent auction, music by Coco and Breezy, and sample sale shopping (from brands like Theory, Rag & Bone, DVF, Alice & Olivia, Helmut Lang, The Kooples, and Vince).
“Open Market excites year after year, and knowing it celebrates the neighborhood that Milk has grown with over the years make it truly a celebration with our family. It’s one of the city’s best parties,” said Co-Founder and Creative Director of Milk, Mazdack Rassi. “Eat, drink, and shop, maybe dance a bit—all in support of the district. It’s a win-win.”
The Meatpacking BID’s four co-chairs (Diane von Furstenberg, Founder and Co-Chairman of DVF; Andrew Rosen, Founder and CEO of Theory; Gary Kline, Co-Owner and CEO of Highline Stages; and Mazdack Rassi, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Milk) were joined by a dynamic group of visitors and locals alike.
“The Meatpacking District is its own innovative, interesting and exciting ecosystem. Our Open Market celebration gives us an opportunity to showcase experiences from local entrepreneurs in food, fashion, nightlife and the arts—all in one evening,” said Andrew Rosen, Founder and CEO of Theory.
Open Market funds raised during the night continue to go back into the district, with 100 percent of this year’s profits given to the non-profit business alliance Meatpacking District Improvement Association (MDIA). Specifically, MDIA is applying those funds to assist with the upgrade of the district’s streetscape, known as the 14th Street Master Plan.
Whitewall spoke Siddhartha Shukla, Chief Merchandising Officer at Theory, to hear more about this year’s Open Market, its influence in the community, and art.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about your role at this year’s Open Market.
SIDDARTHA SHULKA: I have been working in the Meatpacking District for the past four and a half years at Theory. It’s a neighborhood to which I feel deeply connected, and whose energy and vitality to the city is important to preserve and build upon. As a member of the Open Market host committee, I am simply channeling my enthusiasm for the district into an event that will create awareness and opportunity.
WW: What is special about this event in terms of creative or fashion partnerships, and how it influences the community?
SS: The district is now known to be a destination for fashion, food, art and entertainment, and whether it is about brands that are headquartered here, or that operate retail, or that simply want to associate themselves with an energetic subculture of Manhattan, the community is richer and more attractive because of the intersection of those brands.
WW: What do you feel Theory gives to the fashion industry?
SS: Theory is a resource for beautifully manufactured essentials that set the bar in terms of fit, fabric, and style.
WW: Do you collect art?
SS: Yes. I’m interested in various media, and from all periods and geographies. I tend to collect works from the last century, mostly high modern and contemporary work. But I am always looking to be surprised and inspired. I find that inspiration in so many places—from great institutions and small independent galleries, to private collections and even in the madness of the art fair circuit.
WW: Where do you go to repose?
SS: On the weekends I drive up to my house in Litchfield County, Connecticut. When I am fortunate enough to be able to escape for longer, I go to Paris, where I stay in a flat that I keep in the 7th. And in the summers to Patmos, in the Dodecanese islands.