As I walked into the Gap on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, I was greeted by a table of arts and crafts materials and a line of guests waiting to get their old jeans customized by Nylon‘s Dani Stahl and her crew. Definitely not your average evening at the Gap store.
After taking full advantage of the free treats being offered by Sweet City Candy, Stahl and I got to talking about her DIY project with the retailer, pet peeves when it comes to shorts, and her personal denim style. Read on, readers.
So why did you want to work with Gap on this DIY party?
Why wouldn’t I want to partner up with Gap? It’s an amazing, iconic brand that I’ve always wanted to do work with. I mean, to have the opportunity to come in, and customize jeans. I’m an art school kid, so I get to bring back some of that design stuff. Denim is something that I work with and know so much about, so this is the perfect marriage to get together and do something.
What are some easy items people can customize?
Denim, like jean shorts, is really one of the things that’s easiest to customize. T-shirts, sweatshirts, sleeves, and necklines. With denim and shirts, I think it’s a great way to just get in there, be creative, and make it different. But to be perfectly honest, I do love to value the work of a designer. With designer things, I think it’s good to stay true to the stuff. The other day, I got this fancy dress and my mother said, ‘You should take the neck off.’ But that’s not the way the designer intended it!
Tell us more about the three styles you customized.
I wanted to do something basic, like a template for people. So I did the Preppy (which had grosgrain ribbon), Rockstar (studs), and Sweetheart (heart-shaped appliques), and so when people came up here they could have an idea of things. I think the idea is that you really get your basics here, then you can leave and continue the process. It’s for inspiration, and then everyone can do it themselves.
What’s your own denim style?
I’m pretty much a skinnies girl. I don’t like too-low waists. I do like a boyfriend cut with a roll-up leg. I also love a boot leg, but I’m really not a flare girl. I want to be a flare girl, but I find that I always take off the flare before I leave the house. I never make it out.
Do you have a pet peeve when it comes to wearing shorts?
Well, the problem is that you need to fit into shorts. If you can’t fit in them, it all looks really bad. So as fun as short shorts are, you have to be careful with your very short shorts. Like they can be short, they don’t have to be really, really short. The rise in the back should never be too high, and nothing should ever be coming out!
We could not agree more. Stop by Lincoln Center’s Gap store on July 19 from 6 to 8 P.M. for a second DIY party, and check out Stahl at work and some happy campers below:
this is some kind of spaceship or something.