Tying One on With Alexander Olch and Jamie Johnson’s Black Sweater Bash at Bergdorfs

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Despite slush and slippery sidewalks, The AVENUEinsider braved the brittle elements and hit Bergdorf Goodman where the store, along with Ivanka Trump and Craig McDean hosted a party for the launches of Jamie Johnson‘s menswear line Black Sweater and Alexander Olch‘s new collection of ties.

A little back story on Black Sweater: the name comes from Hobe Sound, Florida – a WASPy island that revolves around the Jupiter Island Club where Lilly Pulitzer and Jack Rogers sandals rule the beach. Mrs. Permelia Reed, the onetime grand dame of Jupiter as locals call the beach club, would ship a black sweater to any members or guests who made a faux pas like sleeping with someone’s wife or passing out drunk. The idea was that you would NOT be vacationing in the sun. Meanwhile, The AVENUEinsider lived in fear of receiving said black sweater from the mysterious Mrs. Reed as we graduated from smoke bombs on the golf course (age 10) to beer bongs on the golf course (age 15). We never did get a black sweater, but the ominous idea of being 86-ed haunted us for weeks after every trip to Hobe Sound.

Johnson’s line is very chic and sleek – think fitted piped dinner jackets and of course the perfect black sweater. And Olch’s ties look great with everything in the Black Sweater collection. A menswear marriage! Johnson and Olchs know tout New York so the place was jammed: Antonia Thompson, Kwesi Blair, Chessy Wilson, Dustin Yellin, Luigi Tadini, Lauren Remington Platt, Daisy Prince, Winston Lapham, designer Timo Weiland, Stephanie LaCava (in divine neon), Alexander May, Todd Eberle, Ashley Wick, Bennett Leifer, Bettina Prentice, Mortimer Singer, Olivia Chantecaille and Robert Burke to name a bunch.

Afterwards, the party raged on at Desmond’s, which is fast becoming the UES’s coolest restaurant/hang-out. We loved seeing Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Mandie Erickson, style guru Michael MackoGeorge SoteloKristian Laliberte and one of AVENUE’s Best Dressed beauties: the ever-cool Linda Fargo.

Naturally today we are racing to buy a black sweater by Black Sweater and do not plan on wearing it ever to Hobe Sound.


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by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Griffin Lipson and Hunter Abrams/