Fashion Icon Richard Persakian Talks Vintage, Combat Boots and Creating a ‘Safe Space’
name: Richard Parsakian
work: AEON’S FASHION ANTIQUE. 5850 Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside
website: facebook.com/eonsfashion, instagram.com/eonsfashion, and twitter.com/eonsfashion
How do you define your style?
I have two fashion styles, one for work and one for events, but it’s almost always 95% slow fashion. It can be sustainable, recycled or green depending on the terminology used. I would say vintage because that’s where my brand is.
Work is very comfortable and practical. Combat boots, jeans, and t-shirts are available for winter. Summer is my signature black tank top with jeans and combat boots, or shorts and athletic shoes.
My event look can be anything I would consider a “costume look.” I recommend wearing something relaxed, like a t-shirt with a sports jacket, fun skinny-cut pants, or a dressy look with a vest and tie. . Always with our signature combat paratrooper boots with side zippers. I love to “paint” looks from my closet collection. Black is my color, but you can change it to a lighter color depending on your mood.
Who is your style inspiration?
I am inspired by so many cultural icons of the past and tend to put them in a mixer and create my own stand-alone statement. Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohji Yamamoto, Claude Montana, Issey MiyakeBut I combine decades of fashion to create my own style.
When was your first independent style/fashion moment as a child?
Looking back at my childhood photos, I don’t remember having my own style until high school and college. Perhaps getting his first bellbottom was the moment Woodstock declared his freedom and his love of revolutionaries began. … Growing up in the 60s and his 70s, the social changes amplified what we wear. The assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X were moments of my generation, as were Woodstock, the moon landing, Stonewall, and the anti-Vietnam war movement. Social turmoil has always affected my style.
How has your style evolved over the years?
As I got more involved in fundraising for nonprofits, I realized I needed to look more polished, but still maintained that avant-garde edge. I like to match I like to add unexpected twists to my looks. My leather was custom made in New York by David Menkes, his CMU alum who builds all the leather costumes used on Broadway, and also specializes in leather fetish wear. Knowledge of fashion history and expressions is also important.
What have you noticed in the last few years regarding your interest in vintage and antique clothing?
I basically have 4 types of clients. Those interested in earth-respecting slow fashion and sustainability-enhanced fashion looks or designer names. The second group will shop at my store and treat everything as an ‘outfit’ for a period party.3 The first is a used clothing dealer who travels the world looking for specific items to resell. Some come from England and America, but most come from Japan. The Asian market has an incredible interest in all things American. The final group is his designer of costumes involved in theatrical, dance, or filming of films and television shows. I love working with the last group of creatives. Because I see your curated items about actors bringing to life items that once had a Pittsburgh backstory. Many of them have won Oscars for their work.
Please tell us about your outfit today.
I usually wear thrift store clothes, much of it coming from my store. There is a 1980s Jeanjer Jeans jacket with a lapel pin (Keith worked down the street before having his first solo exhibition at the Arts Center). 1978). Beneath that is a Paradise Garage tank top, a gift from two longtime friends, Brent Earle and Tomé Cousin. I also have a 1970s leather band watch and another leather wristband I bought in pre-Katrina New Orleans. It is worn to honor those who perished in the terrible flood.
Look No. 2 transforms a jean jacket into a 1970s printed kimono. I was going to wear this for a visit to the 2022 Fire Island Dance Festival that I am supporting, but the hot weather changed the look. Look for it at upcoming events.
“Everything has a meaning,” you told me. Can you tell me the meaning of what you’re wearing?
I love connecting fashion and cultural histories when I’m working on one of my customer conversations or fashion events. For more information on the Pittsburgh Opera’s recent fundraiser, Divas Dreams & Fashion QueensI dive into the Eons archives to dress 27 models who are friends, dancers and actors, curate a gender-fluid show, and represent a community that includes trans, queer, black and non-binary friends. Did.
With each look, they tried to create and “paint” a look that took into account the person’s cultural history, so they understood the importance of the designer. make.
Do you have a gift from someone who wears it often?
I wear my Paradise tank top all year round. My friend Brent Earle from New York, who gifted me with Tomé Cousin, is an LGBTQ legend, part of his scene in the club, and keeping an eye on the AIDS epidemic.Founded by Brent this organization Raised awareness and funding for AIDS. He also worked with his ACT UP in New York, an activist organization that was very vocal in the early days of the epidemic. He was friends with Keith Haring and brought him to one of their meetings. Keith then created iconic artwork for the organization. He is honored to have known them and become friends with them.
In addition to his entrepreneurial spirit, he is also deeply involved in the community. What projects and actions are you currently working on?
I am a constant multitasker and I am honored that my voice seems to matter. I am deeply involved in the dance and theater communities and love to support my friends who are creating amazing and important work that is socially relevant. Billy Porter, and Slow Danger.
I love being a member of the Pittsburgh Dance Council Advisory Board. The Pittsburgh Dance Council brings the work of many national and international dance artists to Pittsburgh.
I am also honored to be a member of Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ Commission. The Commission’s mission is to protect and uplift the voices of marginalized communities as they come under attack from others who seek to erase our equal rights. I have a long history of elevating the drag community, participating in the Stonewall Uprising and continuing to raise funds for AIDS when the government ignored the crisis. I have the utmost respect for these drag queens and kings. I created the historic Pittsburgh Pride Flag that has been present at marches and political events for over 25 years.
In the art world, I serve on the boards of the Pittsburgh Art Commission and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, both of which elevate the voices and artistic visions of Pittsburgh’s creators.
Each year I help curate Ecolution, a sustainable fashion event that fosters discussion about how art speaks to the dangers that are destroying our planet. I am also involved with Planned Parenthood in Western Pennsylvania, helping raise funds to protect women’s right to choose and provide reproductive health care.
Do you have anything you would like to share?
Yes, I want to talk about how I created a safe space for my queer community and those who feel they need a place to freely determine their gender identity. Eons loves telling the story of a mother who heard it was a safe place to bring her transgender son, and recently my aunt told me that her nonbinary nephew bought her first dress at my store. I was so excited. I get so emotional when I talk about this because I know I’m doing the right thing. We are guardians of future generations. We must always teach our children. We are changemakers. #Art Equal Truth.