Drinks With Andre
Andre fights for Belvedere, the right to party. Photo by Terry Richardson, courtesy of Belvedere.
Enfant terrible Andre Saraiva is many things to many people. To the Parisian police, he’s Mr. A, a legendary graffiti artist so recognizable he’s no longer able to work in his hometown. To the international art circuit, he’s the guy throwing the grittiest art fair parties. To fashion followers, he’s the Purple cover boy with the signature paint-splattered jeans and dark sunglasses. To the shiny young things in New York, Paris, and Tokyo, he’s the impresario behind the nightclubs Paris Paris, le Baron, and Beatrice, from whose sub-basement den you might, on any given night, catch our current cover girl surfacing.
So it wasn’t surprising that Belvedere—who’ve scruffed up their image of late with ad campaigns starring Mr. Brown Bunny himself, Vincent Gallo—called on Monsieur Andre to throw his hot-pink tag on its brand-new IX vodka (pronounced “One-X”), a nightlife-oriented spirit only available at select nightspots (for now at least). When I caught up with Andre on the phone a couple weeks ago to ask him about spirits and spray paint, he was, typically, on the move. “I just got off a plane,” he said. “I’m getting into a car now to go to Stefano’s show.” Stefano Pilati, designer of Yves Saint Laurent, is a friend of Andre’s. So is Terry Richardson, who shot Andre for the Belvedere campaign. “Working with Terry is great,” Andre said. “We’ve been friends for a long time. It’s very comfortable, not like work at all.”
Andre’s got a knack not only for making friends, but for making the right friends, like Olivier Zahm, the leather-clad editor of the Purple titles. Together, they produced a nightlife magazine, Wow. “Hopefully years from now someone will find it in a flea market or old bookshop or something like that,” Andre said. “It’s like a record.” Another friend (and co-owner of the Beatrice Inn), Paul Sevigny, spins them–and will deejay at an invite-only party at the Beatrice to launch Belvedere IX next Thursday in New York. There’s a grander launch event this Thursday on the other coast, at the newly-opened club My House, deejayed by French duo Justice. “Obviously,” says Andre, “I’ll bring all my friends.” One could only hope.