Avie Acosta is Living the New York City Nightlife Dream

Avie Acosta is Living the New York City Nightlife Dream

Who isn't she? Fresh from the snoozy Midwest and into the city that never sleeps, meet the gender non-conforming model and DJ making the dancefloor her own.

Who isn't she? Fresh from the snoozy Midwest and into the city that never sleeps, meet the gender non-conforming model and DJ making the dancefloor her own.

Photography: Sarah Brickey

Styling: Donte McGuine

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

There are a million ways to define a “real” New Yorker. Avie Acosta, despite being fairly new in town, perhaps embodies it best: someone who came from the middle of nowhere (sorry, Oklahoma), pinched pennies for a ride or flight out, and then arrived in the city only to make it her own. As a DJ, model, and writer, Acosta’s arrival summoned memories of the creative youth that used to run away from home in the ‘90s to meet up with NYC’s club kids. She’s a reminder that, relatively speaking, New York is a safe haven for those that don’t fit into the neat, cookie cutter world around us—it’s also, as she has proven, a place where these creatives can thrive.

We caught up with Acosta to talk about her new weekly party (“Who Isn’t She?"), how the city pushes her, and why she prefers a New Year’s goal over a resolution.

 

Why did you decide to move to New York last year? 

All my life, I've talked and dreamed and talked some more, and it just got to the point where I needed to take a risk. It was time to stop talking and just do. I gave up every luxury and all the safety I had living in that bubble. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. Here I am.

What've been your favorite part of living here?

She [New York] keeps me on my toes and demands that I do better and work harder than I did the day before. I've learned more in the nine months I've been here than I did in my first 21 years of life. New York forces you to grow, and that's all I'll ever ask of her.

How would you describe the people you've met here? 

I'm constantly surveying crowds that I'm in. New York is the best place to learn about people and yourself because everyone here is thirsty and doing things in the way that they believe will get them where they want to go. I take notes from them all. I feel most inspired and connected to manager Kendall Werts because we are so much alike, meaning we're both funny and crazy as hell.

What stereotypes have you found to be true about the fashion industry? Which ones have been false? 

There’s truth in all of the stories that have been told! Fashion people say and do things that rub lots of people the wrong way. I just choose to not let it affect me. I've become what I describe as “unoffendable.” I stopped giving people the power to affecting my emotions. If you aren't uplifting in any way than you aren't for me! Positivity is all I'm about.

How does New York nightlife play into fashion? How has it played into your life personally?

Both are about the music, the clothes, and the people. It's taught me about curation—how to create a fantasy. How to live a life that’s true and specific to me.

You're a model, writer, and DJ, on top of other things. How do you balance everything out?

After I moved, I wasn't really working; it was hard. I struggled for months and now that I'm doing a lot of what I once dreamed about, I'm finding it increasingly more difficult to say no to gigs. All I ever wanted was to be working and I'm so fortunate to get to live doing things I love. Google Calendar saves my life. I make the balance work because I never want to seem ungrateful for anything.

What are you currently working on? 

Kendall’s fashion! He's come a long way from socks with sandals. We were chatting at the Wilhelmina office about how he had a shirt made to his measurements and became inspired to dress differently. I told him I'd throw him a party in celebration! I asked, "Who isn't she?" He responded with a look and a smirk. He called out for the intern to grab a mirror; moments later, the intern arrives with a floor-length mirror and sets it against the wall. Kendall steps behind, points, and says, "She, is everything!"

 

How do you remain grounded while surrounded by so much superficiality? 

[Laughs] It's corny as hell, but my grandma! We are always talking on the phone. She wants to know every little detail and so I get to satisfy that childish desire we all have to revel in the small crazy things, like seeing Andy Cohen at a party my first week in the city. Or being friends with the child of one of her favorite pop stars. I have a strong sense of self and who I want to be, but having that relationship with her really helps with keeping myself in check.

What was your New Year's resolution? 

I prefer New Year’s goal; It's a bit more aspirational. I hinted at it earlier, but I'm starting this new party and Friday, January 27 marks the second volume. There's something truly magical about [the venue] Bedlam. The way certain songs elicit such a vocal response, causing the music to drift to the background. It's one thing to make the people dance; it's a whole new level when an entire bar is belting “I'm Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado.

DRESS PHILOSOPHY, CHOKER CELANO, BRACELET (TOP) JULIA COHEN, BRACELET (BOTTOM) RONA PFEIFFER
Credits: Hair Evanie Frausto  Makeup Katie Jane Hughes

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