Unlike the opening of the John Varvatos store in the former CBGB last month, there were no protesters outside last night’s preview opening of Rogan Gregory’s new Rogan store on the corner of Bond and Bowery. Perhaps the CFDA-winning Mr. Gregory and his line of sleek eighties-inspired wares doesn’t register on the radar of the bleeding-heart set. Nevertheless, the black-clad indie fashion crowd knew where to gather. Blonde Redhead made a visit (naturally), Mr. Waris Ahluwalia showed (but of course), and Jennifer Esposito of Samantha Who looked lovably out of place.
Far from the rarefied air of Barneys, where his Target line will go on sale on Friday, the enviro-friendly designer seemed quite at home in his new retail space, which featured “green” dual-flush toilets (thank you oh so much). Located in the old Bouwerie Lane Theater, the store is a minimalist match to Gregory’s aesthetic, featuring a mirrored back wall (with which several partygoers collided) and sharp metal racks for the clothes (which we can only presume were fabulous, as the party was too packed to see a single thread). But what of the gentrification of New York’s beloved, unwashed Bowery? Gregory, who stocked his bar with 40-ounce malt-liquor bottles, was appropriately attuned. “Bowery is a little cracky, but it’s got soul and integrity,” he said. “I only hope we can contribute to that.” Certainly the forties were a good first step. —Gabriel Bell