Chef Angie Mar Launches Her First Clothing Line

Chef Angie Mar Launches Her First Clothing Line

Chef Angie Mar Launches Her First Clothing Line

V was able to speak with Angie Mar about the release of her first capsule collaboration THE BEATRICE INN x AUTUM STUDIOS.

V was able to speak with Angie Mar about the release of her first capsule collaboration THE BEATRICE INN x AUTUM STUDIOS.

Photography: Annebet Duvall

Text: Cullen Ormond

Anyone who knows anything about New York knows about The Beatrice Inn. What began as a speakeasy for legendary Fitzgerald and Hemingway to congregate at morphed into a well-known Italian eatery then into a nightclub. In 2016 it changed hands again.

And it wasn’t purchased with any one person with just any one set of hands. It was bought by Angie Mar who happens to be 2017’s best new chef according to Food and Wine, a cookbook author, businesswoman and today, a clothing designer.

November 22 marks the launch of THE BEATRICE INN x AUTUM STUDIOS unisex collaboration in honor of Mar’s most recent cookbook Butcher + Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat which is “more like an art-photo-fashion kind of book than one to actually cook from,” according to Bon Apétit.

Mar is a respected chef and under her guidance, the restaurant received a two-star review from restaurant critic Pete Wells of the New York Times. But she differs from other chefs in the sense that she also has a passion for fashion. In the images from her lookbook, shot by photographer Johnny Miller, she rocks a plethora of designer garments.

So, it came as no surprise when she announced the capsule collection she made in collaboration with AUTUM Studios, a clothing line headed by her brother Conrad Mar and his partner April Liang. The athleisure collection is made up of sweatpants with the phrase “Après nous, le deluge” or “Call me Big Poppa” written in bold, or hooded and scooped-neck sweatshirts with photographs taken by Miller which have been selected from Mar’s cookbook, there’s also a shirt that wants you to “Free the Beatrice,” as well as other items.

The prices range from $78 to $198 and are available on AUTUM Studio’s e-commerce website. However, don’t hesitate to purchase as there are only 150 items per style available.

V had the opportunity to speak with Chef Mar about her inspiration behind the collection.

What was the inspiration behind creating this collection to honor The Beatrice Inn and your new cookbook Butcher + Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat?

Art, fashion and food have always been such a huge part of my life. When we were shooting Butcher + Beast, there was a huge emphasis on the artwork. Johnny Miller shot the entire book exclusively on Polaroid film, and the clothing stylist, Annebet Duvall, really brought another level of artistry to the table. Really, it encapsulated everything that I wanted, and what life at the Beatrice Inn is like.

When my brother, Conrad and his partner April and I started talking about a capsule collection, it only made sense for us to incorporate the artwork from the book. It was just another layer of the life that we lead, the food that we eat, and the clothes that we wear.

 The pieces have photographs shot by Johnny Miller which were included in your cookbook. How did you choose the specific photographs that are featured?

 We wanted the photos to feel more like pieces of art that you could live with, rather than photos of food. The two that we chose for this capsule are some of my favorites because you’re not quite sure what is happening in them, or the context of the scene. They are more abstract in a way and leave a lot to the imagination.

 Could you explain the creative process of designing this collection?

 My brother Conrad Mar, and his partner April Liang are the true designers at AUTUM Studios and their other brand PAINKLLR. They are so talented and for me, this was about choosing the ideal pieces that I wanted to live in during my everyday life. Ones that transition from streetwear to something I can wear with heels or a fur.

How does it differ from writing a cookbook or working on a new recipe?

In many ways, I feel it’s the same as creating a dish or how I felt when I was writing my book. As creatives, we want people to see and experience the soul and passion we put into each and every piece we make. Whether it is a piece of art, a plate of food, a garment or a piece of literature, it’s an expression of who we are, where we are at this moment, right now, a little bit of our soul that we are giving away.

You’re working with your brother, Conrad and his partner April, for this collaboration, what was it like working with family?

Working with family is nothing foreign to me. I own the Bea [Beatrice Inn] with my cousin, Melissa and both my brothers helped us design our branding. One of my cousins worked in my kitchen. My family’s legacy was built on the notion that we have always worked for and with one another. It’s how our family rose out of the extreme poverty they were born into in the 1920’s, and how we still operate today. We are very close, and I truly cannot imagine us doing business any other way.

 You also described two versions of family, the one you’re born into and the one you choose, how does this collection and the restaurant itself represent family?

 For me, restaurants are very much a family, and we operate as I do with my own flesh and blood. When Melissa and I bought the Bea, we felt a tremendous obligation to the team that we have on our payroll, they have families of their own, budding careers, and goals and end games, just as we do. Since our family has always operated on the premise of making sure each other’s goals are achieved, it was never a question on if we would operate our business any other way. Our goal is and has always been that we help those that are our chosen family as well and bring them along as we would our own.

How does your love for fashion influence your cooking?

I am not the kind of chef that creates dishes based on what is in season, which has never interested me. Many of the dishes that I create are really inspired by a piece of art, by fashion, by a period in time, or maybe just by a simple notion, like madness or darkness. My palette is undeniably French, and I often feel that although the Bea has been labeled a “Chophouse” for our love of meats, you’d be hard-pressed to find a chef in the City that has more of a love for French cuisine than I do. It very much shows through our cooking philosophy and through the technique when we create these dishes. The food becomes simply a vessel to show our interpretation of the inspiration, a canvas so to speak.

You purchased The Beatrice Inn in 2016, a legendary restaurant that has a long, important history. What does the restaurant currently represent?

 My iteration of this historic space is really an homage to its rich history. I never wanted to change it into something it’s not, but rather to write a menu and give it an atmosphere and a style of hospitality that is indicative of the spirit and soul of the place. To return it to New York, to return it to its full glory, and really to do right by a place that has seen the good, the bad and the scandalous. The Beatrice Inn will never be just a small chapter in my history, but moreover, I just feel quite fortunate that my family is a chapter within her story.

What is your favorite memory in the Beatrice Inn?

When I moved to New York nine years ago, I had about $250 in my bank account, nowhere to live and two suitcases with all my belongings. I was so broke that I couldn’t afford the subway, and really the only time I ate was at staff meal at whatever restaurant I was working for at the time. But I kept my head down and worked. Within six years, I was buying Graydon Carter out of the Beatrice Inn, and trying to keep my head above water as we prepared to open another chapter. But yet, I still kept my head down, and worked towards achieving the next goal and continuing to push the boundaries.

A week before Butcher + Beast was released, I was walking through the restaurant during a Saturday night dinner service, and I just stopped. I watched the room, the guests, the servers, the food. I let the aromas of the restaurant fill my lungs, with its wood smoke, and smoldering herbs and light florals and roasted meats. I listened to the sounds of orders being called in the kitchen, the music coming through the speakers, the pure joy in conversations of our guests. And it was at that exact moment I finally, after all these years, listened to my father and looked up and that is when it occurred to me, “Oh shit. I OWN THE BEATRICE INN.” 

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