Chantal Chadwick’s Gallery Girl Power
Chantal Chadwick is not your ordinary reality television star. Sure, she may have been Bravo’s most blogged-about Gallery Girl, likely due to her perpetual conversation-starting fashion numbers, her penchant for blood red lipstick and for loathing wines from Oregon. But she definitely (and thankfully) doesn’t fit the reality star norm of heinously overpriced hair extensions, drag queen-heavy makeup and a criminal record. So major kudos to you, girl. Also, did I mention that she’s just 25 and runs a successful boutique, End of Century, in the Lower East Side? Yeah, there’s that too. If you inexplicably didn’t throw weekly Gallery Girls’ viewing parties, then you might not understand what End of Century is all about. EOC describes itself as a “non-conventional platform for creatives that is staged as showroom, store, salon, and exhibition space,” but I just call it UH-MAZING. The intimate space is super cute: the racks and displays artfully showcase a slew of cutting-edge designer duds, art magazines/DVDs/records, and statement pieces like no other, often including a selection of zany hats — seriously, there’s a massive Daphne Guinness-friendly hat that gives me goth-chic windmill vibes. But it’s not just another trendy LES boutique: EOC also acts as a gallery space for young artists, allowing you to get your culture and shop on at the same time. Oh, and let’s not forget EOC’s killer parties! Seriously, I’ve spent many an evening coming very near to spilling my cup of red wine all over silk headwraps before stumbling out onto Eldrige Street. Alas, Chadwick opened up to Galore about End of Century’s NYFW (and future) plans, her “hilarious” reality television experience, and potentially releasing a (non-conventional, obvi) Gallery Girls’ soundtrack. Here’s hoping!
Tell me the story behind opening End of Century. What was your vision? What makes EOC stand out from a sea of other Lower East Side boutiques? My partner, Lara [Hodulick] and I had the opportunity to temporarily take over a retail space and felt that emerging designers in New York had very few platforms to showcase and sell their work. So many young designers live in New York and move here to focus on their lines, but end up getting stuck working in huge corporate design houses and are miserable, and eventually burn out or just give up. We saw this happening to our friends — people who inspire us and are truly talented — and wanted to give them a place to be seen. I feel End of Century is different than other stores in that we really focus on carrying and showing unrepresented artists and designers. When I’m shopping around, I’m so used to coming across the same thing in store-after-store-after-store. We also host tons of events: book launches, readings, trunk shows, music performances, dinners, the list goes on…
So, we hear EOC has a party coming up…! Are we invited? Yes! On the 16th of February we are hosting Naked Label‘s first presentation of the Elements collection for NYFW.
What else is in the works for EOC? We’d love to focus on the website more which would give us the opportunity to travel and bring our designers with us to other cities. Mostly, we are interested in exploring ways around the typical retail environment. Stay tuned…
Now let’s discuss your personal style, which I am obsessed with… Describe your look in five words. Vibrant, structural, haphazard, cosy, layered.
Who are some of your favorite designers on the EOC racks? Titania Inglis and Upstate for really easy but unique pieces that can transform from beachwear to evening wear. Merida Anderson and Julie Thevenot make jewelry like I’ve never seen. And I’ll be married in Sobotka.
EOC has showcased a slew of emerging artist’s work. Could you pick a favorite past show? Not going to pick favorites, but Edouard Nardon‘s “You want to have some ice cream with my friend and me?”, a site-specific installation comprised of fox pelts, rope, light tubes, and a table really made a point.
What would your wedding song be? Jamie Principle – “Baby Wants to Ride”
How about funeral song? Hype Williams “Untitled” and I will rise from the dead.
Got any special Valentine’s Day plans? Unplanned as of now. Every day is Valentine’s Day when you’re in love.
AWWW! So, what’s your spirit animal? I’m basically my cat Mikon.
It’s Marry, F***, Kill time: HBO’s GIRLS edition. Hannah, Shoshanna, Marnie… go! I don’t watch GIRLS. It’s terrible, I know.
OMG. You’re really not kidding, are you? Moving on… describe your experience on Gallery Girls with one word: Hilarious.
How are the GG fans treating you? How insane are they on a scale from 1-10?! Well, the store has received some pretty amazing voicemails. We are thinking of releasing an album.
Chantal Chadwick is photographed byAndrew Beardsworth