downtownfrombehind (DFB) is a photographic series capturing subjects riding their bike from behind on some 200+ streets, avenues and lanes below 14th street in New York City.

The result is an environmental portrait for each street and subject with a goal to highlight a set of individuals, emerging and established, each uniquely contributing; culturally, socially and physically, to make this part of the city what it is today.

The project has been widely covered in the press, from New York Times, Huffington Post, Coolhunting, Vogue, Nylon Magazine and many blogs (thankyou).

Subjects photographed to date include industrial designers, architects, creative directors, restauranteurs, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, artists and academics.

www.downtownfrombehind.com

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CHARLTON STREET.
Sally Ross, Executive Vice President of Merchandising at Nine West for Downtownfrombehind.


When most of Manhattan is bound for the Hamptons, I discovered that Sally Ross prefers to spend her summer weekends in the city. The ordinarily very private Executive Vice President of Merchandising at Nine West, (yes it’s almost impossible to find an image of Sally anywhere!), recently showed me some of her favorite New York destinations. And as we hopped between downtown stoops, I discovered that we share a similar love for good coffee, a weekend newspaper and of course, biking in New York. Sally, who has built a career in the fashion industry working with a host of iconic retailers including Bergdorf Goodman, is excited to be sharing her styling tips every week, check #SallySays.

I tend to agree ‘wear what makes you happy’ is good advice.

- DFB

DOWNTOWNFROMBEHIND IS LOOKING FOR AN INTERN!

Send us a note if you think you’ve got what it takes; you should be clever, funny, like coffee, like social media, live in New York, can spell, have initiative and other great stuff like that. Subject ‘INTERN’ to contact@downtownfrombehind.com

GROVE STREET.  OUT_TAKES

(How to smile at police) by Leandra Medine, consumer, editor-at-large and Man Repeller for Downtownfrombehind.

GROVE STREET.

Leandra Medine, consumer, editor-at-large and Man Repeller for Downtownfrombehind.

It’s difficult not to have a small crush on anyone who happily quotes, “if it looks like a vagina, then its probably couture”. Through the infinite amount of beige content being blogged and reblogged by today’s ‘new editors’, there’s the occasional show stopper. Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner. Meet Leandra Medine, the (sometimes) lady behind cult site The Man Repeller and heavy weight champion of relevant irreverent man repelling recommendations and fashion opinion.
 
With more commercial collaborations than one can count, it’s clear her content has struck a chord with her forever swelling dedicated audience of tumblr, instagram, twitter, blog, slash every other digital orifice bank of followers. She doesn’t take herself to seriously, she has a point of view and she can write (well), winning.
 
When she’s not ‘outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex’ in ‘such garments including but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs’, you’ll find her enthusiastically propping up the local economy, favo(u)ring such brands as Proenza Schouler, and occasionally turning to the EU for support, insert Isabel Marant here.
 
One savvy lady, if you’re not following her this week, I’m sure you will be next.

More new Downtowntownfrombehind things here.

DOWNTOWNFROMBEHIND + COACH TAKE A TRIP AROUND MANHATTAN!

Really thrilled to have partnered with Coach this month!  More of our day trip, the city and some of our favorite spots here.

DOWNTOWNFROMBEHIND X COACH COLLABORATION

14TH STREET.

14th Street, Justyna Sroka, Student, Film, Media and Political Science Major for Downtownfrombehind.

Bust out your bike.  It’s Spring.  And do you best to get an outside table at Gitane Café. If you’re a Nolita local, then maybe Justyna has sat you at Gitane.  When she’s not sitting you, she is studying, hard.  She is one very focused and refreshingly determined young lady.  For now it’s documentary films, her narrative usually involving a twist on social injustice.  She will graduate from Hunter College in May 2012 with Beunos Aires a consideration for a tweleve month stint as she is looking to pick up an additional language.  She’s had an interest in politics and global economy for as long as she can remember, and when other young girls were dreaming about owning ponys, she had her sight set on Polish presidency.  A goal that seems very achievable upon getting to know her, she did after all tour professionally on the European handball circuit for Poland at sixteen, uh hum.  Her inspiration cult documentary go to film is Burden of Dreams (by Les Blank, shot during and about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, in the jungles of South America), do your homework, its worth it.

More Justyna at downtownfrombehind.com   DFB.

 

RIDGE STREET.

RIDGE STREET, Lindsey Kelk, Author and Columnist for Dowtownfrombehind.

Lindsey Kelk is the effervescent author of the I Heart series and The Single Girl’s To -Do List. Imagine Sex in the City meets Bridget Jones with an addiction to make-up, Mulberry bags and a good vintage find. After a trip to New York in 2007 left her longing for more (not to mention broke and depressed), unable to return in the foreseeable future, she decided to write about it instead, and thus the I Heart New York series was conceived. Now with an apartment in New York, new material seems to find her everyday. The fifth book in the I Heart series will be available May 2012, with more in the pipeline. She is also a regular columnist at Marie Claire UK, an opportunity that presented itself off the back of a tour with their team, inspiring young women by sharing her experiences and offering advice on how to get published. She likes martinis, admits it’s clique to finish books about Vegas in Vegas (but isn’t ashamed to have done just that), and confesses that many of her dating experiences do find themselves on the pages of her paperbacks. Gentlemen (if you are out there), beware!  DFB.

WASHINGTON PLACE.

WASHINGTON PLACE, Yigal Azrouël, Fashion Designer & creative director of Yigal Azrouël for Downtownfrombehind.

Yigal Azrouël has a laid-back beach vibe and warm smile that has you convinced he spends most weekends surfing and bbq’ing with friends year round.  The self-taught designer, who still produces around 70% of his collection locally, is known for a refined, cool and wearable aesthetic. Every season feels like a fresh classic, with high-quality fabrics and an attention to detail that has many of his menswear pieces migrating from my boyfriends side of the wardrobe to my own. Last year he launched women’s diffusion line Cut25, positioned at a lower price point than the original women’s wear line, and it has very quickly become a commercial hit (and worth a look). Go behind the scenes with the designer and see what inspires each collection at the brands blog, Inside the Studio. In the meantime I’ll be circling his flagship store doing my best to resist retail temptation. DFB.


COMMERCE STREET.

COMMERCE STREET, Alex Williams, writer at the New York Times, and Joanna Goddard, writer and creator of A Cup of Jo, with their son, Toby for Downtownfrombehind.

Alex and Joanna have one of those romantic New York stories. She liked his glasses, he liked her toothy grin, they met at the Oscars over a bowl of guacamole. First date and Alex opted for a movie. He spent the entire time wondering if Jo was into him. Jo spent the entire time thinking about making out with him. Fast forward, and they’re the proud parents of Toby Goddard-Williams. Forbes just named Joanna’s blog, A Cup of Jo, one of the top 10 lifestyle websites for women. Nice. Alex is a staff writer for the New York Times Styles section, specializing in trend stories, lifestyle features, and profiles of downtown tastemakers in restaurants, nightlife, fashion, and the media. He has worked for the Times for seven years, and now shows off his team spirit by peddling around town on a three-speed, 1974 Schwinn Speedsterthe very model ridden by his octogenarian colleague on the Styles desk, photographer Bill Cunningham. You can catch this duo on weekends in the West Village, and, Alex is most often greeted with “Hey, you’re Alex from Cup of Jo!” despite the fact his work in the Sunday Styles appears in front of some thirty million readers each week. Toby is trying to like stinky cheese at Murray’s, but prefers swinging, bananas, guitars, and skipping baths. DFB.

CROSBY STREET.

CROSBY STREET, Warriors of Radness, surfers, dudes and brand muses for Downtownfrombehind.

Josh Lyons, Nova Bleckley, Bradlee Coleman, Kyle Robbins, Kurt Narmore, and Levi Yaokum Prairie are Warriors of Radness. They love surfing, drinking, sunshine, women, and cool beach style that is soulful and authentic. Their clothing line has an underground following, and they seem to be collaborating with all the right people, including both Opening Ceremony and Saturdays here in New York. They’ve also just created an Endless Summer–inspired collection for John’s, their favorite surf store in Japan. Not just brand muses, Levi is a talented singer and songwriter, Kurt created a nonprofit called Hand Me Ups, Bradlee dropped out of high school for three months as stunt double for Jay Adams in the Lords of Dogtown, Kyle plays drums (as Richard Gere when in the Hamptons), Nova sports an infamous ALOHA tattoo (a la Sailor Jerry) on the back of his head, and Josh surfs, very well. DFB shot the guys on Crosby Street the frosty morning after they partied at GQ’s fashion week event, celebrating their label’s nomination for Best New Menswear Designer. They were in relatively good condition all considered. Just one small spill, Bradlee, the semi professional stuntman. More here. DFB.

CEDAR STREET.

CEDAR STREET, Roya Kazemi, NYC Mayor’s Office, Director of GreeNYC.

Roya, a lover of big cats who dreams of one day hugging a tiger, is also a downtown junkie. She’s been satiating her raging social habit across lower Manhattan since she was barely a teen, has lived in Battery Park City for more than twelve years and has worked below Houston Street for almost as long. Her career started in the music industry, working at Virgin Records America and later at indie labels. Since then, Roya has found her groove in greener pastures: the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.  As Director of GreeNYC, she is now all about motivating New Yorkers to make sustainable lifestyle choices. When not at City Hall or running along the Hudson, you may spot her strolling through town with GreeNYC’s lovable 7-foot mascot, Birdie. Roya says the stares they get are all worth it if even just one New Yorker is inspired to act on Birdie’s messages to help green NYC. Birdie’s not the only furry love in Roya’s life. Her pitbull rescue, Daisy, is a regular winner at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog parade – and this Jackie O costume explains it all.  DFB.

HOUSTON STREET.

HOUSTON STREET, Colin Brice and Caleb Mulvena, architects and founders of Mapos for Downtownfrombehind.

Colin and Caleb have had somewhat of a professional romance for almost fifteen years. They worked at opposing firms, chasing one another from Aspen to Boston during their careers before finally deciding to tie the knot (so to speak) in New York launching their own studio, Mapos, in 2007. Perched in a modern loft on the Bowery, their office is full of architects, designers, and hard-to-label creatives who provide the multi-disciplinary services for creative concepts, architectural environments and experiential branding. We first stumbled upon their work, the restoration of the former YMCA building on Bowery now green retail store Green Depot at its opening. Green Depot is a great destination for several reasons, for us it’s the retail hit and history fix all in one. The original pool tiles still dress its beams and what was once a pool (you can still see the concrete outline) is now full of green products. The guys are currently working on a full rebranding for skin care and cosmetics national store Fresh. The first of the new look stores was unveiled recently at the Broadway and 18th street location just north of Union Square. Colin and Caleb are fearless bikers, coffee enthusiasts, and occasional models (see J. Crew catalogue circa 2009). They frequent Tom and Jerry’s for cold beer. So do we. DFB.

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LISPENARD STREET.

LISPENARD STREET, Candice Lake, Photographer, Writer and Blogger for Downtownfromhehind.

Her official title is Global Client Relations Manager for the quintessential Parisian fashion house Rue Du Mail. But twice yearly she joins the fashion circuit as a contributing photographer, writer and blogger for Vogue US, UK and Australia (amongst others), sighting trends, snapping models and interviewing key personalities along the way. The best part about this junket?, is of course ending it in Paris - merci beaucoup!  There’s a good chance you’ll find her at Cafe Charlot in the Marais district at the end of the night (it’s opposite one of the oldest converted markets in Paris XV1 century, and a perfect place to find champagne and stinky cheese).  A bit of a humble style icon herself, think Meryl Streep in Out of Africa meets Helmut Newton, at the end of the day she calls London home where she lives with her architect beau. Her home, she says, is their luxury. DFB.

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