I have many stylish friends and acquaintances, but not very often do I experience with them what I go through when I am in the company of artist Scooter LaForge.
People are always stopping him to inquire about something he is wearing: hats, sunglasses, vintage shirts, pants, backpacks, jackets, socks, tennis shoes, jewelry, bandanas, belts … The list is large, but in the world of Mr. LaForge, who loves Vivienne Westwood, even the most simple item becomes a very interesting part of an ensemble that reflects his daily mood; from a simple romantic normcore to a punk medieval-dreamer look, LaForge incorporates his visions of art into his personal style.
Born in Las Cruces, N.M., Scooter LaForge arrived in New York in 2002 from San Francisco. He belongs to a small group of downtown artists who gets more and more attention in a city that has an increasing busy competitive art scene; but in the end, true originality prevails. Among so many new projects — like his upcoming shows at the Munch Gallery (January) and Leslie-Lohman Museum (April) — LaForge was asked to create five images for shirts to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the famous uptown restaurant Serendipity 3, where Andy Warhol was a regular before he became well-known as was Marilyn Monroe. Stephen Bruce, founder of Serendipity 3, loved the images so much that a limited edition of hand-painted tote bags is in the works.
LaForge paints clothes in a unique way. Patricia Field, the famous “Sex and the City” stylist, stated for Fashion TV Japan that his take on fashion plus art is worth watching since his work — found at her store — is not only fresh, but also new. So, because we are entering a fresh new year, Scooter LaForge is the perfect choice for TheBlot Magazine’s January Style Master.
Gazelle Paulo: Scooter, please describe your style with your own words.
Scooter LaForge: First of all, I love to be comfortable, and I love clothes that my loved ones give me. I don’t buy a lot of clothes but, when I do, I choose well and make them last. I have T-shirts and jeans from high school that I still have and love. I make the most of what I have and mix it up with very expensive and stuff I find on the street.
Do you have any peculiar fashion habits?
I do have fashion habits.This winter, I have a uniform. I have been wearing a really thick blue and cream wool hand-knit sweater and black jeans I got from Old Navy. I love not thinking about what to put on every day. Simplifying is the key. I also paint every day, so I wear white painter pants and a Snoopy sweatshirt that is my work uniform.
How important has fashion and style been to you?
Fashion is everything. My first impressions of people are how they present themselves. I do believe the clothes make the woman or man. I pay attention to everything every detail about what people wear. It is very telling. Style, of course, people are born with, either you have it or not. Style comes in many forms and attitudes. I love expensive things that look cheap and cheap things that look expensive. I also love watches, handbags and jewelry.
What was the defining fashion moment in your life?
I started running with punk and Goth kids in high school. We started making our own clothes, and we were very creative. That is when I started to understand that fashion gets reactions from people. I have loved fashion my whole life and have followed the trends ever since I was 10-years-old. I have defining fashion moments every day, I am always getting inspired, especially living in New York City and being friends with so many creative people.
Who are the most elegant woman and man of all time?
Without a doubt Marilyn Monroe. Not a single day goes by without seeing her image somewhere. She was super-intelligent and super-complex. To this day, her look is still copied and inspired. Her fashion choices were classic, sexy and beautiful. The most elegant man is Albert Einstein — the hair, the gray sweater, the mustache and the pipe. Love his quote “Everybody is a genius;” he had a great way of thinking.
Fashionably speaking, if you could have a second chance to give another first impression, when and why?
I never look back in regards to second chances. I learn from my mistakes, in fashion and everything else and move onwards and upwards!
What is your favorite store in the world and your favorite in New York City?
What was the most spectacular party you attended?
Oh, there are way too many to list. This past few months would have been Susanne Bartsch’s Halloween Bash and her Surrealist Picnic party.
If you could style one person, who would be the lucky one?
Actually no one. I love seeing the way people dress themselves. It is way more interesting and authentic. I think it makes the world a more interesting place.
What is the perfect attire for the eternal sleep?