“I very rarely go above 14th Street,” says menswear designer Andrew Buckler. His daily commute, on foot no less, takes him from his East Village apartment straight across Manhattan to Buckler headquarters at 13 Gansevoort Street, where his subterranean shop is stocked with clothing described as “English bloke meets New York.” It’s a rather fitting description of Buckler himself, who has lived in the East Village ever since launching his line in 2001. He finds the neighborhood inspirational because it’s “a little bit untouched. It’s still a bit bohemian. It hasn’t gentrified as much as other areas and it’s got a younger vibe.” Mr. Buckler presents his Spring 2012 collection today in the heart of the meatpacking district, but not before telling us about his local favorites.
Edi and the Wolf on Avenue C. It’s a kind of Germanic spot with brilliant food. The way they’ve done the interior is bang on. It’s definitely my local night spot.
Ideal place for people-watching
I’ve got a little doggie (a Shih Tzu), so the park. It gets jammed. It’s quite a little scene.
The Blind Barber. It’s actually a working barber shop. You walk through and there’s a bar. [It has a] speakeasy vibe done in a more modern way.
Favorite shopping spot
I tend to wear most of my own collection. There are a couple of antique shops that I like – Obscura on 9th – I tend to be fascinated by that kind of thing. There are not that many men’s clothing stores [in the East Village]. Maybe I should put one there!
Place to seek out inspiration
I don’t think it’s necessarily the architecture of the neighborhood that influences me. It’s more the people or how somebody might put something together in a slightly odd, peculiar way which you wouldn’t necessarily get if you were on the Upper East Side. People aren’t necessarily experimenting with their clothing up there. Down in the East Village, they are.
Pimm’s Cup at my apartment. There’s always a bottle of Pimm’s and fresh cucumber. I’m ready to roll with that.
On the day of our visit, Buckler’s store is buzzing with pre-show prep. Before we let him get back to work, we ask: Did the East Village choose him, or did he choose the East Village? “The East Village found me,” he says. “I’ve lived in the Upper East Side, nearly all these spots, and the East Village was the last area to get to. So, it found me and it’s my favorite spot.”
Angela Cravens is the editorial director of the pop culture “channelzine” Arcade 44