Words by: Edie Kim
Photos by: Michael Dumler
Modeled by: Mariel Soehner
The West Village is like the Lower East Side’s more refined older sister. Perhaps not in so much in age (both were settled simultaneously by the Dutch in the 1630’s) as in spirit. While both maintain similar reputations of serving as safe havens for the creatives, the disenfranchised, and the misunderstood (the West known for the bohemians, the beatniks, and the LGBT community; the East for its anarchists, punks, and tenement-era immigrants), the West Village has matured into a respectable neighborhood while the Lower East Side (for all its inevitable gentrification) stubbornly refuses to grow up.
The West Village still purports its artistic beginnings by supporting a burgeoning tattoo community; the most famous of which is the titular “West 4” tattoo parlor where up until recently, Jon Boy was based. But if “West 4” is illustrative of the West Village’s current creative community, Jon Boy’s clientele elucidates what the West Village has become. He has tattooed both Jenner sisters, Justin Bieber, Sofia Richie, and Bella Hadid; just to name a few. The West Village is a requisite landmark of NYC: a perfect dichotomy of dollar slices and fine-dining, beatnik cafes and hotel rooftop lounges, broke NYU students and A-list celebrities; but the sophistication of this neighborhood demands an equally tasteful outfit.
Our selection features a reinterpreted tie-dye top from Lacausa paired with white sunglasses by Raen. Lacausa derives its name from “La Causa” (“the cause”) which they define as eco-friendly and ethically-made quality garments. As a consummate balance between bohemian ideals and contemporary luxury, Lacausa exemplifies the spirit of the West Village. Their tie-dye piece, in particular, furthers this connotation through an artistic print redefined as a modernized and elegant aesthetic.
The Raen sunglasses are equally well-balanced; the thick, white frames reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s rocker vibes but refined enough to turn heads in the West Village. Raen sunglasses are just as unique as the individuals who don them, as each pair is hand-cut and hand-polished with immaculate detail; rather than mass-produced thoughtlessly. The West Village may have matured externally, but the heart of its bohemian spirit remains, and the two pieces we have selected both strive to represent these steadfast ideals of sophistication with soul; class with a conscience.
Both Lacausa and Raen are mindful brands based out of California, which explains why their luxury goods are effortlessly evocative of a West Coast-leisure lifestyle. Channel that Californian disposition with a new summer wardrobe from Taste Collection before September arrives all-too-soon and steals our sunshine.