Spring is in the air, and with it, spring party season. We kicked things off right last night with our own festive fête, toasting both The Black Leather Jacket project and our new Downtown Flagship. And since we love an excuse to gab with fab guests, we took the opportunity to go Off Topic at the party and ask a few fun questions to attendees ranging from designers and artists to participants in the recent Our Town campaign by Bruce Weber.

Paying homage to Barneys’ iconic 1986 Decorated Denim event—where artists and designers reimagined the denim jacket, resulting in a runway show featuring models like Madonna, Iman, and Debbie Harry to raise money for an AIDS benefit—The Black Leather Jacket asked some of today’s top designers and most in-demand artists to put their own spin on the classic biker jacket.

All the resulting styles are currently available on auction via Christie’s, with proceeds going to benefit both White Columns, an organization dedicated to fostering young artists and providing them a space to exhibit their work, and New York’s LGBT Center. Head over to Christie’s for a chance to make one of these jackets your own, and scroll on for a closer look at the event and to see what happens when we go Off Topic.

Learn More About The Black Leather Jacket

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Andy Cohen poses with the jacket celebrating Paris created by Dries Van Noten.
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Matthew Higgs, director of White Columns, at last night’s event.
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DJ, designer, and director Va$htie Kola provided the soundtrack for the evening.

The Window: With our new Downtown flagship, we’re celebrating our hometown of New York. Who’s your favorite New York personality and why?

Va$htie Kola: My favorite New York personality is Spike Lee. I think that as an artist, he always seems to evoke New York even if his film isn’t necessarily about New York. He’s always representative of the city, which is amazing. You see him on the sideline of the Knicks and other teams, so he’s an advocate for New York both in his work and in his personal life.

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Jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher, left, and Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, right.
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The architect and designer of the new Downtown Flagship, Steven Harris and Lucien Rees Roberts, along with Barneys CEO Mark Lee.

The Window: With the first day of spring this weekend, what’s your first symptom of spring fever?

Steven Harris: I can take my collection of classic cars out of the garage and enjoy driving again.

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Designer Maria Cornejo with Barneys’ own Simon Doonan. And a special guest appearance by Simon’s four-legged friend, Foxy Lady.

The Window: What’s your first symptom of spring fever?

Simon Doonan: I fling open the doors on our balcony and just let out a big shriek!

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Hip-hop and R&B artist Swizz Beatz shows off a pretty amazing jacket, even if it isn’t of the leather variety.
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Two of the artists featured in Bruce Weber’s Our Town campaign, Muffinhead and Veritee Hill, pose with brothers Narayana, Eddie, and Mukunda Angulo from the recent hit documentary, The Wolfpack, and who also appear in the Bruce Weber campaign.

The Window: Do you have a personal favorite leather jacket from your own collection?

Eddie Angulo: We have tons. I have a closet full of Judas Priest leather jackets that I’ve painted on. Some we’ve had since we were kids.

Mukunda Angulo: There are so many! Maybe The Lost Boys jacket is my favorite. It’s been used for so many things: role-playing as band members and definitely movie icons like the Terminator and The Lost Boys especially.

Eddie Angulo: I have this one biker jacket that I love because it keeps me warm, and it has this look like you’re ready to go to work or ready for action.

Narayana Angulo: I’m a vegan, so I’m the wrong person to ask! I wear faux leather.

The Window: What’s your first symptom of spring fever?

Muffinhead: I get kind of turned on! Everybody gets more naked, so you can’t help it.

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Model Garrett Neff with Vanity Fair’s “Our Man on the Street,” Derek Blasberg
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Barneys Senior Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura and designer Lisa Perry.

The Window: With all the leather jackets we’re celebrating tonight, do you have a favorite leather jacket from your own collection?

Lisa Perry: It’s the one I have with me tonight! It’s vintage Courrèges from the ‘60s—my favorite. I go for the vinyl jackets.

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Shala Monroque shows off that you can be One Bad Mutha, with or without a biker jacket.
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Artist Alex Katz, Barneys EVP Charlotte Blechman, and designer Narciso Rodriquez.

The Window: What’s your first symptom of spring fever?

Alex Katz: I start looking at girls!

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Jewelry designer Ana Khouri
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Drew Elliott and PAPER Magazine’s editorial director, Mickey Boardman

The Window: Is there a leather jacket from your own collection that you have a special connection to?

Mickey Boardman: I’m actually cruelty-free, which is why I’m carrying a Stella McCartney handbag! The leather jacket is such a classic staple of fashion, but personally I don’t have any leather in my home. Many years ago, I had a green leather jacket that I got at a flea market on Grand Street. It was very tight and had white piping, and I would wear it under a big blue fake-fur coat with green piping. I was creating quite a splash down on Spring and Broadway!

The Window: What’s your first symptom of spring fever?

Mickey Boardman: Noticing how cute the boys are in New York City? Like today, I was noticing all the cute boys in tight pants—there are cute boys all over the world, but in New York, we’ve got a fucking buffet of every type of man you could be interested in: young, old, every variety! I notice that in the spring and for sure noticed it today.

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The always-dapper Dexter and Byron Peart, founders of Want les Essentials.
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Designer Victor Alfaro

The Window: Who’s your favorite New York personality?

Victor Alfaro: In 1986, while I was at FIT, I came here to Barneys for this amazing auction you had of denim jackets, a lot like tonight. But Madonna walked down the staircase wearing this jacket by Keith Haring, and it was the first time I ever saw her in person. We later became friends, but to me, she’s a citizen of New York. Either her or Jay Z. He’s done Brooklyn to Barneys, which is a New York fantasy.

The Window: Has there been a leather jacket that’s had a personal resonance for you?

Victor Alfaro: I once had the only men’s made-to-order Azzedine Alaia leather jacket, which I’ve since donated to FIT. I went to Paris and had it made, which was an incredible experience.

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Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman with designer Joseph Alutzarra, who created his own leather jacket for the project.
Darlene Elkanic, Dandy Wellington
Producer, performer, stylist, and bandleader Dandy Wellington poses with Darlene Elkanick as they both show off their signature style.

The Window: What’s your first symptom of spring fever?

Dandy Wellington: I mean spring and summer are my favorite months especially since I’m a summer baby—I’m always excited, always reviving up for it. For me it’s about bright colors. It’s an opportunity to put away some of the felts and the wools, bring out the straws. You know? And you know get ready for some lighter fabric and some outside fun.

Learn More About The Black Leather Jacket

Bid On Your Favorite Leather Jacket

Learn More About White Columns

Learn More About The Center