Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet Steven Day, a new designer for us

NYC Building tee

Steven Day is a New York based artist/photographer and designer, from Newport Beach, California, who also works in London. Steven received a MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 and exhibits his artwork at Pierogi, and Kinkead Contemporary. He was nominated last year for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant, as well as a 2009 nominee for the Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant. Between 2007 and 2008 he participated in 'Emergency Room' at PS1/Moma (Long Island City, NY), lleana Tounta (Athens), and Gallery Taiss (Paris), and exhibited at Art Forum Berlin (Pierogi), 'Foundamental Abstraction' at Haines Gallery (San Francisco), and 'Surprisingly Natural' at Wave Hill (Bronx, NY). Recent publications include Steven Day 'Cranbrook Estate' in ARTERI Issue 9 'New Photography : Seeing through the Socio-Anthropological Lens', photographs of the US Airways Hudson River crash, distributed by Asssociated Press 2009; the Phillips Art Expert Forum 'Exploring modern social housing projects through photography' 2008; International Herald Tribune 'Art on Emergency Situations' 2007; and WNYC New York Public Radio: The Brian Lehrer Show: 'Where Art and Jounalism Collide' 2007.

Steven started NICE in 2002. His first designs were commissioned by a stylist/buyer for Dublin Rock and Roll show. Steven began working with Dernier Cri in the Meatpacking district just after the Dublin show, a store that featured an eclectic group emerging and established fashion designers, as well as ZAKKA, a shop and artists' space, located in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Steven has also worked with Indie Collective in Culver City LA, a store that was opened three years ago founded by Gülbin Yavuz, the former movie set costume designer. She was involved very early in the LA Punk scene in the Late 1970’s.

Below is a recent interview with Steven Day/NICE and Yael Hartmann/FadMashion, the founder of

Have a NICE Day: Artist Tees
by Yael Hartmann - FadMashion

How did you begin making clothing?

It was totally unplanned and unexpected. I know it may sound cliché, but it happened after Jury Duty in 2002. I met a woman who was a clothing buyer from Ireland just outside the court house. She told me that she was having an allergy attack. I took her to a health store in Soho, and it turns out that she was planning to do a rock and roll show in Dublin. When I told her I was an artist, she wanted me to do the tees for the show. When she returned to Dublin, she kept calling me, asking me get started. I kept telling her I was too busy in the studio, etc. She had this sense of urgency to her, yet she was open and generous. After her third call, I said why not?
I decided to call my label "NICE" – and since it was the beginning of the war that, of course, wasn’t one dimensional. It was (and still is) not exactly the best of times.
Do many of your pieces make a statement or contain a message of some kind?
There are pop references, like the washed out, almost ghostly image of Barbara Streisand in the early 1960s. Also, photographs/graphics of deer, and housing projects. Some of it references popular culture, film and music. As a kid I was engrossed with the movie Halloween and Jamie lee Curtis with the knife. So that's why shirts reference her as well as the pumpkin image.
Hopefully my images will provoke some curiosity.

Are you working on something new in fashion design?

I’m into photo silkscreen’s. The work is less graphic and becoming more personal. I’m working with softer fabrics, mostly Summer T’s and American Apparel T-dresses, which are also longer. I want to keep it very straight forward. I would like to keep it street level, meaning affordable and accessible.

What kind of person do you imagine wearing your clothing? What type of lifestyle does their typical customer have or are aiming to have?

Someone who appreciates art and music. A girl who looks like a young Jamie Lee Curtis…with a knife

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