FIVE QUESTIONS WITH OLIVER EVANS
by Hannah De La Viña
Catching up with New York mover & shaker in Fashion, Arts & Real Estate—Oliver Evans
1. How did you get the idea to create the Dusty Diamonds designer showcase?
I originally got the idea during preparation for my first Burning Man in 2016. Struggling for costume ideas, I stumbled across an Arts & Craft sale in the city. There, I met a young female stylist who ended up custom making a killer jacket for me, which I wore all of Burning Man and the following Halloween.
I thought…Wow, there is something in this—creating a unique piece which truly encapsulates the experience and cannot be found anywhere else. Why can't we curate themed sales that expose the pool of independent talent in New York who are relatively unknown? So I made it happen.
2. What new talent has you most excited?
Two designers who have been instrumental in getting Dusty Diamonds going:
Nancy Marcus (& Facebook link) who formerly worked on Tommy Hilfiger's design team and is now a full-time Designer & Stylist working with many of New York's most eligible men and women. Nancy also has a talent for discovering new designers and helping to curate our growing community of artists & designers.
Justin Montoya is really skillful and inspiring jewelry designer - see bio. Very excited about the philosophy behind his pieces.
3. What is the history with the space?
I work with a number of unique and beautiful buildings, which we either own or manage. Our last 'Pop-Up Experience' was in July was at De Kooning Studios. The history of this building is incredible, not only because of its location in the heart of Union Square, but also its historic and cultural relevance - officially landmarked October last year.
The cast iron Italianate building built in 1860, was designed by world renowned architect Griffith Thomas (architect of the Clocktower building). It was the former live-work studio of Willem de Kooning and his wife Elaine, and soon became the world epicenter of Abstract Expressionism, occupying artists such as Paul Jenkins, Larry Poons, Jules Olitski and home of the MoMA curator, William Rubin, whose apartment was was designed by Richard Meier.
Fascinatingly, the first tenant of the building was Allen Wilson’s company Wheeler & Wilson, who invented one of the first successful sewing machines.
4. How does creativity fit into your life?
I've never really considered myself a creative person, I don't really have any particular craft or artistic skill, other than the art of spotting talent and bringing people together through creating experiences. I've been doing this all my life, through one medium or another.
In terms of coming up with ideas I love to travel, walk in nature, listen to music and meet people from all walks of life.
5. Describe your ideal night out in the city:
Dinner at a fun restaurant in Lower East Side with some close friends, followed by live music and perhaps late night deep house party in Brooklyn. The late night portion are very infrequent these days - both a combination of approaching my mid-thirties, but also the stagnation of creatively in NY nightlife these days. This is the main reason I decided to launch the music series Tongue In Cheek...
@xohannahdelavina // Editor