To hear makeup artist Stevie Huynh tell it, he and his friends (a half-dozen-strong crew of fashion-forward queer Asians) just wanted to go out. “I don’t care if you’re going to a bar in the East Village or Bushwick or Hell’s Kitchen or Chelsea, you walk in and you just feel different,” says Huynh, 33. “There is no Asian nightlife in the city — literally none.” So he and his friends, artists Nicholas Andersen and Vivianne Yi and designers Pedro Vidallon, Paul Tran, and Karlo Bueno Bello (who performs as Bichon), decided to create their own roving monthly dance party catering to creative Asians in the Williamsburg-Bushwick-Greenpoint triangle.
Top image: STEVIE HUYNH, makeup artist, Fendi shearling coat, $19,500 at fendi.com; Eric Javits hat, $600 at ericjavits.com
Photo by Mamadi Doumbouya. Styled by Diana Tsui.
It’s called Bubble_T (after the Taiwanese drink), and since it began in May, it’s become a fashionable party (Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon has hosted several times; Solange appeared at a December party) as well as a monthly exercise in genre-mixing: beefy Tom of Finland types, New Wave Asian goths, high-concept drag artists. They call themselves the “Slaysians.” As these things tend to go, the party’s become more diverse as its profile has risen; in one night, you can overhear an Asian partygoer griping about too many non-Asians right before eavesdropping on a (clueless) white attendee asking, “Why are there so many Asians?” Bubble_T’s mission is unequivocal, though: It’s here for the Slaysians. “People will tell me, ‘It’s a new experience to see attractive faces that are like mine, and not feel like the only one,’” says Andersen. “That’s a great thing. We want to take this energy and make it more than a party.”