In the '80s, Swatch was the ultimate accessory-creative, addictive, pop culture-infused, and swappable with best friends and transient lovers alike. To unveil the next collection of Swatch design, The New Gent, we brought together a colorful vanguard of musicians, actors, designers, and fashionable innovators, whose creativity and friendships infuse one another's work in a thoroughly modern alchemy. Each new Swatch color represents something different to each member of this insiders' club, and we set out to find out exactly what.
GRACE GUMMER & GIA MANTEGNA
Gia Mantegna's eyes widen and glow as she explains why her upcoming TeenNick series, Gigantic, will stand out from the world of Gossip Girl private schools or Bad Girls Club-reality refuse. "The show is glamorous, but presents this world of young Hollywood teens in a realistic way," Mantegna says. She first met her co-star, Grace Gummer, on the Gigantic set. When asked if the two are friends, Gummer pops her head into the room. "We hate each other," she says. "We really don't get along," Mantegna agrees. (They are both laughing.) As Grace describes her character, the over-achieving Anna, you get the sense she is in fact talking about herself: "Despite her life, she's grounded, she has morals. We're just people." Mantegna nods in agreement: "They're good-spirited. Relatable. But they're also the cool girls."
GRACE GUMMER, Actress
Habitat: Los Angeles and New York City. Alma Mater: Vassar. First Internship: Zac Posen. Hollywood Lineage: Mother is Meryl Streep. On Gigantic: We're showing the lives of these children of privilege. They're real. They're not conniving. Really? No frenemies? Sure, we go in and out of being friends-just like in real life. But it's not . . . oh, what's the word-cynical. It's not that. Other Little Projects Of Note: I just finished the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts film Larry Crowne. Iconic New York Moment: We were shooting, early, on 34th and 10th. Everyone was getting up for the day and the light was so beautiful. It was like a theater. Obsessed With: Florence & The Machine. Favorite Designers: Acne, YSL, and, of course, Zac! On Her Arm: New Gent Swatch in Red, Turquoise, and Purple. All we wear is black every day, I just love how colorful this is.
GIA MANTEGNA, Actress
Habitat: Los Angeles. En Route To: Barcelona to shoot a horror film. Unbiased Opinion On Gigantic: It's the best show in the world. Character Study: I play the villain, but it's not a caricature-she has a heart. Hollywood Lineage: Father is Joe Mantegna. On her iPod: The Beatles, The Doors, La Roux, Eminem. On Social Technology: I Tweet. And it's verified. Whatever I say I can get in trouble for. '90s Sitcom of Choice: Will & Grace. Wardrobe: The show is shot wonderfully, with up-and-coming designers and vintage, it really captures what young Hollywood actually wears. Passions: Still photography, piano, drums. On Her Arm: New Gent Swatch in Purple, Red, and Turquoise. Splashes of color are what's happening now. It's like friendship bracelets-these are friendship watches.
Brooklyn's Golden Triangle may look like stylish extras from a mod 1960s soundstage, but their music is a modern but catchy garage-rock sound that's equal parts exuberant and insouciant, perhaps best experienced at a chaotic warehouse party filled with the city's edgiest set. The band currently inhabits the interconnected Brooklyn art-and-design scene, and when not performing, they're chefs, visual artists, gallerists, and photographers-who alternately cook, host, style, shoot, and design for each other.
Habitat: Brooklyn, New York. Self-Described Sound: Swampy garage rock from outer space; Like a circus; A jungle on the moon. First Gig: Mardi Gras. Most Memorable Show: Bikini Bash at the Tip-Top bar. There was cake and beer everywhere and we all got electrocuted. Debut Album: Double Jointer (March 2010, Hardly Art). Vinyl or MP3: We're definitely pro-vinyl, from a preservationist standpoint and as artists. Preferred Venues: Brooklyn's Monster Island, Manhattan's Santos Party House. First Swatch: OJ: It had a red band and a white face. Jay: The clear one, you could see the gears working. Alix: Nanette Lepore did a collaboration with Pat Field and I had that one. Carly: The big, oversize one, the one that was a clock. Why Black, White, and Charcoal? OJ: I like black. Alix: I like the iridescent face. Carly: I like dark colors.
WALTER OBAL, MIGUEL ENAMORADO & KATE FLEMING
Miguel Enamorado is Interview's current market director (menswear) and has previously been a stylist at Teen Vogue, Esquire, and Cargo. When not busy being a creative force of nature, he hangs with friends Kate Fleming, avant-garde handbag designer, and Walter Obal, genius makeup artist. They all met in and around the heady '90s fashion industry and have remained close ever since. "We are all each other's creative barometers," Enamorado says. "Our work is our life-in the end, you all influence each other."
KATE FLEMING, Handbag and Accessories Designer
Habitat: New York City. Right Now: Getting ready for Spring 2011. We're doing lots of color, lots of python skin. Work Ethic: We are in Italy and I work directly with the materials-everything evolves from there. Personal Style: A mix of vintage, hand-me-downs from my mother and grandmother, and modern pieces. On Recession Chic: Fashion is changing. People are mixing high and low together. That's what I'm seeing on the streets and in stores. Swatch, Then & Now: I had a Keith Haring Swatch. It had dogs and little people on it. I wish I still had it now! I gravitate toward classic, timeless colors, so now I prefer the New Gent in Navy Blue.
MIGUEL ENAMORADO, Market Director (menswear) at Interview
Habitat: New York City. Most Memorable Shoot: Machu Picchu. We rented out The Orient Express and we shot on the train on the way up. I remember thinking, We're literally on top of the world-it can't get more fabulous than this. Guilty Pleasure: La Esquina. Favorite Passport Stamp: Mykonos, Greece. A Secret About The Fashion Industry: You imagine these "personalities," but in more cases, it's the introspective types that posses the most powerful creative minds. Vodka or Gin Martini? Vodka. Straight up and dirty. Fall/Winter 2010 Trend: The Shearling coat. Swatch, Then & Now: I had the see-through one. I was so proud. Now, I like the New Gent in Grey. It's neutral without being boring . . . It's subtle and sophisticated.
WALTER OBAL, Makeup Artist
Habitat: New York City and South America. Big Break: A good friend, Jamie King, was modeling in New York and had just launched House of Style. I'd do makeup for her when I'd take photos. Beauty Authority: International Spokesperson for Esika, a South American cosmetics company. Beauty Philosophy: Fresh skin is always beautiful. Personal Style: Casual. I'm a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guy. I wear the same Australian work boots (Blundstones) every day. Favorite Jobs: Beauty editorial-it gives me the freedom to be creative. Makeup Forecast for Fall/Winter: Beauty and glamour is back: a rebellion against the '80 revival. Swatch, Then & Now: I had the bright, super-colorful one. Now the New Gent in Purple-it reminds me of the rich, deep purples we saw on the runway.