KATIE REX: Before we met Liara and I were mutual admirers from afar. So when we met to collaborate there was an immediate electricity. 'Sacred Rites' is a place for queer bimbos, himbos, and bookish sinners. It’s a space where we can forge the ideas and values behind Liara’s burgeoning brand WHORE (synonymous with her book) and BOUND to a night with extreme heat and playfulness. Clubs are venues of hedonistic worship without repression and nowhere else in the world is like Le Bain with views and vibe. The name just fit.
Speaking of ‘Whore of New York’, you and Liara celebrated the release of the book at The Standard a few months ago. I saw some pictures and it seemed you had some fun. What was your favorite part of it?
Interpreting the book into an event with Liara was such a gratifying experience. This was really how our minds melded. Liara and I met Donna Ferrato at 9am the day of the party at Veniero’s in the East Village to get sweets. Choosing 20lbs of saccharine fruit topped pastries, knowing that they would be served on Liara’s nude body (inspired by Nyotaimori) was iconic.
The Standard High Line has been well-known for his erotic appeal (and the Steve McQueen’s 2008 movie Hunger surely played a role). Did you still feel it? Do you think erotism is something that people or places have in their DNA, or is something that needs to be built and nurtured?
One of my favorite things about The Standard High Line is how unabashedly New York it is. There’s an experience for any interest. New Yorkers are constantly moving in excess to be seduced; eating, drinking, movement, and spending. I think all of that is pinned in eroticism and The Standard facilitates seamlessly. The line between fantasy and reality is blurred, but to exist in both is a pleasure.
What is your favorite thing about hotels?
When there’s authentic finesse and attention to leisure, hotels can be transformative. It’s so important for people to have spaces where they feel nurtured and cared for outside of their day to day. That’s the whole idea of “vacation days,” right? A good stay at a hotel can improve your sleep schedule, your senses, and your relationships.
In New York, clubs are the vessel for promoters to come in and activate niche spaces for communities to thrive and build. I love the club as an access point to build culture and let it breathe.
And about techno?
It’s the sexiest music in the world, of course.
You created BOUND in 2016 and it has become one of the most exciting parties happening in New York. Was it a surprise or did you have a big plan from the beginning?
BOUND was created as a space for a very specific subset of people, so upon inception I would say I didn’t anticipate the growth. But when I felt it was time to build it happened in an instant, going from 75 people a night to 1750 people.
BOUND’s trinity is techno, queer and fetish, which sounds like a very Berlin/Berghain thing. Was Berlin a big inspiration or do you consider BOUND to be first and foremost a Brooklyn baby?
Berlin has lots of openness to sexual expression in nightclubs, so I’m not surprised people draw the comparison. BOUND is a New Yorker.
Besides the parties and the label, you have become Vogue’s go-to personality for fetish gear and fashion. You said, “It’s not wearing a costume; it’s wearing a certain confidence.” Could we consider that fetishism is the ultimate fashion empowerment?
I do think that wearing utilitarian accessories is the ultimate balance to a look. Matthew Williams executes this excellently with 1017 ALYX 9SM and incorporates it into the Givenchy collections with an unparalleled finesse. BOND Hardware has also championed this in the luxury sphere. You can wear a t-shirt, a suit, or a gown all the same. But when you add a piece of hardware, latex, or leather, it transforms and adds a subverted balance.
You moved to Brooklyn from Philadelphia in 2014. Both cities had a tremendous influence on what you are today. What would be the next city for Katie Rex?
Somewhere in the Southwest, Marfa or Sedona
Tell us about the July Sky over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I’m a proud National Parks Pass holder. Shenandoah is a nice drive away from the city and packs in the beauty.
On Friday, February 11th, Liara Roux and Katie Rex present 'Sacred Rites' at Le Bain. Music by Juliana Huxtable, DJ Sharf and Katie Rex. Hosted by Dynasty, Taylore Scarabelli, Sandra Song and Liara Roux. Performance from Lindsay Dye. Doors 10pm.