As you may already be able to tell, I have quite the fascination with NYC and rightfully so! It really is the land where dreams come true and apparently where all the big shot Influencers reside.. ie Toni Mahfud, Chris Mullington, Justin Liv..etc the list goes on. I mean, you walk down Soho and run into at least 5 celebrities and witness 10 photo shoots in under 30 minutes. It is Instagram heaven.
Why did I randomly go to New York you may ask?
Well… I was lucky enough to be invited to the John Varvatos fashion show and their Grammy’s event during the Grammy’s weekend on January 26th & 27th. I had been working with John Varvatos fragrances for a while now and their global team had taken a notice of my content (thanks to my baby boo; Instagram); as a result, they decided to invite me out to these highly anticipated events.
Boom. I proceeded to buy my flight (which is sooo cheap from Toronto – $255 CAD), pack my bags full of non-previously shot outfits, John Varvatos brand new fragrance Artisan Pure, and god forbid not forget, my camera.
Day 1 – Sleep is for Babies
The flight was early morning (like 6 am early bro) on Thursday and I was already at the James Soho by 8 am, FRESH AF. Of course, with John Varvatos Artisan Pure (new fragrance) by my side, I conducted my typical morning dancing ritual…NYC Style. See below for some clips:
Spontaneously, I had booked a photoshoot with a local Toronto brand, Archer the Fourth, at 1 pm for that day and went to see them at the fashion expo event Liberty Fair. See below for some shots at this buyers event:
It was quite interesting mingling with the tastemakers and designers at the event. One thing about NYC, everyone is DOWN. Out of this event, I got a cool collaboration coming up with Jakett NY which you’ll be seeing photos of in a month or so. Anyways, after my mini networking session, we were off to the Flat Iron building to shoot… boy was it cold but that don’t matter #doitforthegram.
It had been only like 7 hours since I had landed and I had already done so much (*pat myself on the back). Next, we went back to the hotel to see my bro, Brucey, to get ready for dinner at Vandal Restaurant. Ouffff, this restaurant’s ambiance was like a rich skateboarders dream.. super high-end but with graffiti meticulously situated around the space. The drinks, at $20 USD a pop, were, quite honestly, worth every penny. They don’t F around in NYC with the amount of liquor they put in their cocktails… each drink had at least 2.5 ounces.. so on a per ounce basis, it wasn’t a bad deal. After enjoying our nice 3-course meal along with our well-worth-it cocktails, we were LIT and ready to take the hype to the infamous La Esquina. For those of you that haven’t gone, I’m not gonna spoil the surprise but let me tell you, it could be hard to find 😛
Day 2 – Sleep is Still for Babies
After 4 hours of sleep from the night before (ya, La Esquina was excessive), I woke up FRESH..ok, I’m joking, I wasn’t fresh..at all. Regardless, I was up and ready to meet up with my old high school friend, Charlene, who runs her own bathing suit company, Charkbate International, to do some more shoots. I walked from Soho to Chinatown which was super duper cool.. I mean, walking anywhere in NYC is stimulating.
Next thing you know, here I am half naked shooting her speedos in her cool Chinatown flat.
After that situation, we roamed around the city where, admittedly, Charlene nailed it with these shots.
It’s 3:30 pm, John Varvatos fashion show starts at 5 pm. So, my naive brain thinks I have time to eat.. so Char takes me to this bomb ass Australian owned burger joint, Ruby’s, and, O.M.G was it fantastic. See below for this epic burger:
After rushing to eat, I get to our hotel at 4:30 pm and 10 min later, Bruce and I are out the door to the show.. but wait, its peak rush hour in the heart of the city… FML. Thank the lawd, we made it just in the nick of time to experience a legendary show by the one and only, John Varvatos. Here are some of my favourite looks:
After the event, we ubered back to the hotel and got ready for our journey to Output for one of our faves, Jamie Jones. The rest of the night was… quite the blur which means it was probably amazing 🙂
Day 3 (which extended to Day 4) – What Is Sleep?
After another solid four hours of sleep, the boys and I make our way to the Brooklyn Bridge (and Dumbo area)! Finally, after the third time being to NYC, I make time for Brooklyn.. which by the way, is essential to an NYC trip. Of course, while there, we spent an hour shooting on the bridge and almost risked our lives (#forthegram) trying to get the perfect shot.
As soon as we were pleased with the shots, we hunted for the best pizza in Brooklyn and fortunately enough, we landed at Grimaldi’s Pizza. One word. Speechless. See below and FOMO.
Considering this was the big night and we didn’t want to be late, we arrived at the John Varvatos Grammy’s Event an hour early… the beautiful ladies from the Revlon global and the PR team for the event, treated us like celebrities. The event space was absolutely stunning with a full open bar, DJ set up, red carpet and an exclusive fragrance section upstairs.
Without a doubt, we were buzzed up within 60 minutes and were tearing it up! We had a little shoot upstairs (see below) at the fragrance lounge and even got to meet the Revlon execs.
Oh ya, let’s not forget the Jonas brothers. They’re a cool bunch 🙂
At about midnight, we left Varvatos, smelling like a million bucks, to the Akumandra party in Brooklyn which led us to the most epic warehouse after party. Don’t judge me but I went straight from the after party to the Airport. #savage.
I guess it’s true. New York City is the city that never sleeps. Until next time.