By far one of the nicest (and best dressed) dudes around - Joseph Quartana, head buyer of Seven New York knows a thing or two about men's fashion. He gave us some insight into how his store became the go-to location for trend setters, cutting edge fashions, off beat desighers and those whose fashion sense leans to the ultra-progressive realm. Not to mention - if you have a chance, you need to check out his DJ sets. See below how this fashion icon ditched his Economic background to become one of the most notable buyers New York has to offer. (Yale Breslin)
Name: Joseph Quartana
Occupation: Head Buyer, Seven New York
Location: 110 Mercer St. New York City
Since opening in 2000 - Seven New York has become the prominent shop for cutting edge/trend setting clothes. Why did you originally decide to open up a shop? Well, when I was in school at NYU studying Economics, I hung around a lot more with the Parson’s fashion kids. And at the time my girlfriend had just graduated from Parsons and was working under Gabi (from Threeasfour) at Adrienne Vittadini. So I got exposed to the industry back then and realized that I wanted to apply my business skills to it. I saw that a lot of designer’s had no idea how to run a business; it seemed everyone wanted to be a designer, and noone wanted to be a buyer, so I figured, hell, I’ll do that. Also at the time in New York there weren’t any shops doing super cutting edge fashion; I figured if I wanted to buy and wear ‘runway’ pieces, there must be others out there.
What are you most looking forward to for the upcoming Fashion week events? I want to see MGMT at the mini Cooper rooftop thing...and we’re doing a press cocktail for Henrik Vibskov for his line of futuristic baby buggys he did for Quinny. I’m dying to share his creations with New York! They are sooooo cute!
Your personal style is described as..... influenced by my New Wave heroes from the ‘80s, Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Duran Duran, etc.
You are always carrying the most innovative and new designers in your store. Any emerging designers that you are excited about? A few: Rad Hourani, Juun J., and Damir Doma.
Favorite fashion destination? London or Tokyo...i just got back from Copenhagen fashion week and I have to say I really liked that city too (but it’s much smaller obviously).
What is it about London that you find so appealing? How’d you know I was going to answer ‘London’? Londoners are pretty fearless about their style. We New Yorkers are almost conservative by comparison! Though not everyone of course or I would be out of business.
Have you always been a trendsetter? When did you discover you had an eye for discovering things before they hit the mainstream market? I guess it started in junior high. I was seriously the smallest kid in my class, so perhaps to make up for my lack of stature I used fashion to stand out? My friends used to make fun of my style actually. In fact I took a lot of flak for my fashion choices at that time in the late ‘80s (think Z Cavaricci). And in retrospect I laugh at myself, but what the hell, I was a kid. I don’t know, it just sort of comes naturally. I don’t know why I can see trends ahead of others, actually. I’m flattered you say so.
i never leave home without.....? My iPhone, chapstick, a spritz of Cmmes des Garcons #2, cigarettes, wallet, and my keys.
What's going to be big for men's denim? Nothing. I think denim is over. Everything that can be done has been done in the last few years. The key is just sticking to a silhouette/color that works for your body type.
Trend you never want to see again? Boho or anything hippie. Please stop. Now.
From business and economics to.....fashion? How/why did this transition occur? I realized in high school that I had a knack for economics but I never saw myself doing straight up business. I always wanted to work in some sort of creative field, and had I not met my girlfriend and perhaps had I not gone to NYU I might well be working in the music industry today (thank god I didn’t).
What do you miss most about your old 180 Orchard location? Rosario’s Pizza. Not much else to be honest.
Where is your favorite place to scout new talent? The mind of editors and stylists I deeply respect.
Where are your favorite places to shop? Maria Luisa in Paris though they never seem to be on sale when I’m in there. Most of what I wear comes from my own shop, partly because I’m not wealthy and partly because I love all the designers I sell. I used to like Helmut Lang and still have and wear a lot of his pieces. And Dior Homme when Hedi was in charge. I’ll probably buy some of the Givenchy mens SS09 (hot!) and maybe some Jil Sander.
All time favorite purchase? Probably this black and gold Vivienne Westwood man-blouse I bought back in 1995 as it was my first high end purchase of my life; I think it changed me.
Upcoming trends to take notice of? Grunge is creeping back. All in ones. Black is back big time for Spring.
Most valuable posession? My beloved wife, Sophie (the girlfriend I mentioned above; we’re married now).
As a DJ as well - what music are you currently into? I’m loving anything by the Crookers, Tronik Youth, Glass Candy, the Chromatics, Kissy Sell Out, Van She, Kid Sister, Santogold, Hot Chip, Cut Copy, and the Black Ghosts.