A Spotlite on Designer ASHER LEVINE
By Matthew Leeb
In the few short years since opening his namesake studio, Asher Levine Studios, Asher Levine has quickly proven himself one of New York’s leading designers. Hailing from a quaint, central Florida beach community, Asher always knew it wasn’t big enough to carry his creative spirit; so two days after graduating high school, Asher caught the first flight out to New York with designs of harnessing his unique sartorial vision.
Spring forward eight years and Asher Levine has built himself a blossoming empire that is definably Asher Levine; designing some of the most wildly creative pieces New York has seen in years. His trademark designs spawn from a flesh, muscle, terrestrial and military inspiration, and have caught the attention of today’s biggest style icons, such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas, Scissor Sisters and Adam Lambert, to name a few. Though beyond the success, Asher has managed to remain quite humble–a rare quality seen among the millennial generation upstarts.
We managed to catch up with Asher and find out what he’s been working on of late, hear some once-in-a-lifetime stories, and get a sneak peek into what he has in store for his upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
Matthew Leeb: In the time since PMc Mag last spoke with you, Asher Levine Studios has really exploded. What has been your proudest achievement?
Asher Levine: I am most proud of my team. Many have worked here for a few years now and we are still faced with daily sacrifices as our label constantly deals with growing pains, but that is business. I couldn’t be more grateful and proud of the people that I work with.
ML: You were recently among a select few chosen to redesign Batman”s iconic costume for Batmans 75th Anniversary at this year’s Comic Con. How did that come about?
AL: We began making Halloween masks a few years ago and Vice Magazine, whom I love and am great friends with, remembered the masks and asked if we would be able to make the Batman canvases for the 75th Anniversary. We ended up using a more rigid rubber than the usual masks to give a more solid surface for the artists to paint on.
ML: Another project you worked on was with Beyonce on her “Mine” music video. When you began Asher Levine Studios did you ever, in your wildest dreams, imagine you would cast molds of Beyonce”s face?
AL: This was definitely an experience! As we were casting her face, she had a pen and paper in her hands just in case she needed to communicate, and she wrote, “This is fun J.” She, and everyone that surrounds her, are the best people to work with–so grateful and appreciative.
ML: In one of our previous interviews you spoke about wanting to design for Justin Bieber. Have you yet had the opportunity to work with the Biebs? And if not, is he still high on your list to work with?
AL: Who? (I tend to forget negatively driven people.)
ML: Anyone new on your list of people you”d love to design for but haven”t had the opportunity yet?
AL: We would love to do icons like Cher and Madonna. For newer gals, why not that Iggy Azalea? I also want to get into K-Pop. G-Dragon is cool.
ML: Springing on to Fashion Week. With Spring/Summer 2015 shows under way, are there any you”re excited to see this season?
AL: I’m using the show this season as a political platform–planes are getting shot down, genocides are happening all over the world, and Americans getting shot in our backyards by other Americans–who is doing anything? I’m a science guy at heart and feel more people should embrace science, the world and the universe. Be curious. This is the first official time I’m making camouflage military styles so I thought it would be a good opportunity while we are on the subject.
ML: How would you describe your collection this season?
AL: The collection this season is very terrestrial with earth colors like fallow browns and moss greens mixed with over-dyed camouflage. The silhouettes are a mixture of nomadic-meets-military and motorcycle influences–and, as always, everything has been hand-dyed and distressed.
ML: Which pieces in your season”s collection are you really excited to present?
AL: I’m really excited about the duster shirts, they are an easy way to add layers and extend the silhouette for the summer. I used different burnout and organic knits that are super comfortable.
ML: Being known for your exotic designs, can you hint on any new, as-of-yet unseen materials or textures you”ve been working on that are ready, or near ready, to unveil?
AL: We are bringing the muscle texture back and pairing it with our Grenade Bag 2.0. The new Grenade bag comes with a new specialized pouch for the Trackr chip. All accessories are either black or distressed army green, like in our new Muscle Duffle. We also created our very first molded denim into the collection: bone-like shapes that run along the back on a minimal styled jacket–very sexy.
ML: And lastly, for the fans, where can we find Asher Levine wear?
AL: As everything is made by hand in our downtown Tribeca studio, we are working on small scale capsule productions in our shop. I want each item to be special and unique; I’m not really interested in mass wholesale right now. We are set to launch new fall/winter styles in October so please check www.asherlevine.com for any updates. I can’t wait to see people rock the clothes on the streets!
Asher Levine is a fashion designer who moved to NYC in 2006. Soonafter, early in his career, his experimental outfits were adapted by many nightlife personalities and could be seen across the New York underground club circuit. Asher’s debut Fall/Winter 2010 collection came shortly after his graduation from Pace University, at which point Asher started creating outfits for various prominent performance artists such as Lady Gaga and Sam Sparro. He’s been taking the fashion world by storm ever since.
Written by Matthew Leeb
Photography by Andrew Fitzsimons for Patrick McMullan.com
Design by Francesca Rimi
Asher Levine, Fashion for Action Gala Opening Night Reception, Altman Building, NYC, November 20, 2013, ©Patrick McMullan, Photography by Andrew Fitzsimons for PatrickMcMullan.com