One hot summer afternoon, Curtis Kulig rolled up to our photo shoot on his bicycle wearing cuffed jeans, a white linen button-up, and black loafers with white socks. This is his summer uniform, he explains, as he grips a copy of Harper’s magazine.
“I’m reading this crazy story on the neoliberal arts,” he says. “This super smart girl I’ve been hanging out with suggested I read it.”
He’s just come from his downtown studio at Broadway and Canal, where he’s been busy painting. Kulig is best known for his now famous Love Me art project, which has led to an array of cool projects, ranging from fashion collaborations to high-profile commissions. The artist revealed he’s got a performance piece coming up at MoMA next year: “It’s a one-night-only event on International Happiness Day. I’m going to be the father of happiness and love.”
How would you describe your look?
Today’s look is … lazy. I’m kind of really into uniforms. I pick out a uniform and stick to it for a few weeks. Or, I love all-tonal, color-coordinated looks. It’s usually inspired by an older man. I have always been really into Paul Newman’s look.
What are some of your favorite shops in New York City?
Unis on Elizabeth Street; she makes the best T-shirts in town. Then I just love Bergdorf Goodman; that’s kind of my spot. I love the first floor of all the Italian classics, like Brioni.
What does New York City style mean to you?
Uptown defines New York style to me. It’s more uniform and buttoned-up. It’s just proper and together, very classic.
What are you working on these days?
I have a line for Topman coming out in December, and it’s like 20 pieces. It’s all long coats, trousers, corduroy suits, etc. It’s all my own designs; I really like the idea of designing clothes.