“I have to go change,” designer Jean-Claude Jitrois announced, right before his Madison Avenue shop kicked off festivities Tuesday night to mark the opening of the Met Breuer’s new "Mastry" exhibit by painter and sculptor Kerry James Marshall. Jitrois shot a secretive smile to his confused guests, who couldn’t imagine why he would need to change. The designer, after all, was clad head-to-toe in skin-tight leather, for which his brand is well-known.
It turned out that Jitrois was having a true art-meets-fashion moment at the shop, thanks to the Canadian painter and performance artist Jessica Gorlicky. Gorlicky did a performance piece, and then proceeded to paint Jitrois. She painted his likeness on canvas, and then turned her paintbrush to the designer himself, much to the delight of customers and other artists in the crowd, like the activist and director Sonia Nasssery Cole and Amir Baradaran.
It was a fun night in New York for the Frenchman, who counts the Madison Avenue shop as his U.S. flagship, outside of Aspen. “It feels like it is booming,” said the designer of New York, just as his leather-clad denizens filtered out into the brisk evening, off to visit neighboring stores, like Djula – which officially launched their fall jewelry collection – Aquatalia, and Gianvito Rossi.