Fashion is everywhere if you look closely — it’s even around our own campus. There are many legendary fashion-related locations near NYU that are rarely acknowledged but shouldn’t be kept a secret any longer. These fashionable sites remind us that fashion encompasses more than clothing.
The iconic rock club and storied bar once located at 315 Bowery opened 44 years ago, only to close its doors in 2006 following punk rock idol Patti Smith’s last show at the venue, according to the club’s website. CBGB is often considered the birthplace of punk due to its extensive history of hosting famous headbanging acts such as the Ramones and Guns N’ Roses. While there are few remnants of CBGB at its original site, the music club still managed to leave its mark on history. A 2013 film titled CBGB detailed the origins of the club, but according to the Gothamist, the original awning hangs in the lobby of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Its influence on punk fashion is remembered as well. Punk music originated at CBGB and so did the fashion closely associated with it. People at CBGB often sported the signature leather moto jackets, skin tight jeans and studded belts of the punk movement.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Company Factory
What is now NYU’s Brown Building used to be the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Factory. THe factory was located on the former Asch Building’s eighth, ninth and tenth floors on Greene Street and Washington Place’s northwest corner. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is known for its unfortunate but preventable fire — the greatest industrial disaster in New York City’s history on March 25, 1911. The event pushed the unsafe working conditions in sweatshop factories to the forefront of the public’s minds. The fire also resulted in the passing of various laws and regulations that made an effort to ensure workers’ safety. Still, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Factory is relevant today as poor working conditions in garment factories and similar workplaces still prevail.
Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment
Fans of the hugely popular television show “Sex and the City” might be aware that Carrie Bradshaw’s Upper East Side apartment is actually located in Manhattan’s West Village. Not to ruin anyone’s vision of Carrie’s idealized Upper East Side den, but in reality, the apartment in the first three (seasons/episode) was located at 64 Perry St., but the show later filmed at 65 Perry St., which had the fancier grand front steps. With the apartment so close by, it’s easy to witness where Carrie, a fashion icon, wrote her column.
At 115 MacDougal St. and Minetta Ln. in Greenwich Village, you can find the live music venue that has hosted numerous acclaimed musicians such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, Bruce Springsteen and Peter, Paul & Mary, according to the New York Times. Cafe Wha? Is still located at its original address, allowing people to experience a space that has a unique history as a spot for artists and musicians to gather even when the folk scene led into the era of rock ‘n’ roll. At this venue, the folk scene’s striped shirts, oversized sweaters, cowl collared tops and black form-fitting pants evolved into the rock ‘n’ roll world’s tight T-shirts, dungarees and black leather jackets.
The FUN Gallery once existed on On 229 E. 11th St. This venue hosted some of the first shows of distinguished artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. FUN was the first of the 1980s East Village galleries to be brave enough to display artists with a street background. Until it closed in 1985, FUN was a patchwork of different styles from regulars like funky downtown artists, bold rappers, major museum curators and chic art collectors
With all of these historical fashion locations just blocks away from campus, we can learn that fashion is more than what meets the eye — it is what is happening around us.
Sherah Ndjongo is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.