Document joins designer Charles Jeffery as he explores the fluorescent haze of the New York Mart mall hidden underneath the Manhattan Bridge.
On a sunny day inside a fluorescent lit mall in New York’s Chinatown, director Emmanuel Olunkwa and Document’s Shawn Lakin met with the sweetheart of London, Charles Jeffrey. His reputation as the mind behind his namesake brand, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, was born of an underground culture and passion for discovering rare treasures in unexpected places, like the New York Mart mall tucked underneath the Manhattan Bridge. Inside the cluttered maze of shops and storefronts is one the most unique corners of the city. Amidst walls lined with ruby red slippers by the original chinatown vendors such as Zhang Ying Jewelry and Ai Ku Fashion are a cluster of stores that Jeffrey took to like a fish in water, trying on clothes at vintage heaven James Veloria, sifting through books and records at 2 Bridges Music & Arts, and talking to us about his inspirations and aspirations outside an amply named installation space labeled “Philosophical Investigation Agency.” The quirky nature of the space and surrounding area meshed together unerringly. It was hard to imagine the fact that Jeffrey’s first experience with New York City came a mere 18 months ago—every step he took mirrored the ebb and flow of the city.
Jeffery’s work for Loverboy has made waves through both the fashion and nightlife scene of London with outrageous designs that bleed originality and edge. The brand, as such, is an outcropping of his own tastes and curiosities, a fact that was well evident when Jeffery arrived at the mall in perfectly-placed drawn on black moles, an overtly miniature neck scarf, and massive cork platform shoes. Although Jeffery’s outward appearance exuded a gravity that drew in everyone, it was his personality, equal parts unabashed extrovert by lengths gentle and unassuming, that had everyone in the second floor of the mall transfixed as he made the space his own, just for the moment.
Special Thanks to Two Bridges Music & Arts, Zhang Ying Jewelry, Ai Ku Fashion, James Veloria, Philosophical Investigation Agency, Eckhaus Latta, Tramps and Michael Werner Gallery, Coming Soon, Templo Vintage.