New York designer Levi Okunov and Olympic figure skating champion Oksana Baiul brought fashion and skating together at The 1929, a clothing boutique in downtown Manhattan. According to Levi, co-founder of the store along with Ari Kaplan and Aaron Genuth, since we're in a recession, why not offer great fashion at Great Depression prices? And there lies the concept behind The 1929. The boutique offers Levi's "The 1929" label as well as work from other designers under the premise that you don't need to spend a ton of money to look trendy and great. But be warned, the store is only open for the next few months so bring your savings mentality to 174 Mott Street as soon as possible. Levi also told me that there's soup for their patrons which I didn't get to delve into because the soup comment didn't register until I got home. ("Did he say there was soup available? Let's check the videotape - yes he did!") The boys are looking to expand and in the meantime, celebrated the joys of the holidays on Friday evening (December 19) with ice skating performances in their store.
Oksana and Levi have collaborated on a handful of fashion shows and she was on hand to entertain the crowd who made it to the show despite the snowstorm and 20 degree temperature that evening. Skating on plastic ice, Oksana did a cute routine playing, I think, a sexy...something, and then changed into an angelic ensemble for the second piece. Joined by fellow performers Valery Levine and Marni Halasa from the Coney Island Ice Theatre, the girls skated to klezmer music for the finale. Oksana calls Levi's designs "controversial" and Levi a "Jewish rebel" which are qualities she said she identified with (she recently found out from her father that she has "Jewish blood"). And she had an interesting story on how they first met. It's all in the video story above!
(photos below, Oksana Baiul performing at The 1929, clothing boutique founded by designer Levi Okunov)