We’re hanging out in Little Skips. Subconsciously, my teeth are unrolling the edge of the plastic cup, while my eyes are stuck to Richard, who is sitting across the table, casually sipping his coffee while he describes how tiring life can get–if you have to attend 9 fashion shows in one day during Fashion Week. Okay, I can understand, but it’s becoming super-difficult for me to hide my excitement. This feels like I’ve just been awarded a very early Christmas gift. In the universe of a fashion junkie, Richard is a god: Richard is showing the entire skeptical crowd that, yes, indeed it is possible to make it in fashion and to live your dreams. You just need to find a way to keep doing what you’re doing and tune out the less capable “friends” who advise you to give up.
Richard Haines is one of those miraculous people in fashion who made the leap from behind a laptop screen to the front rows of top fashion shows. Richard always wanted to be a fashion illustrator, and he established himself in fashion, but somehow his dream career as an illustrator wasn’t happening. So about three years ago, he started his own blog, where he’s been posting sketches of fashionable people he meets at random–on New York streets, at work, or while he’s getting his coffee. Richard’s blog, What I Saw Today, eventually became so popular that The New York Times hired him to sketch models during Fashion Week.
As I take my photos, and between talk about The Style Rookie, Garance, The Sartorialist and French Vogue, Richard is sketching his fashion idol, Yves Saint Laurent, from an old photograph on the wall of his Bushwick apartment. I am silently admiring his creative mess: brushes, chalks, sketch papers, fashion magazines. My eyes stop on a photo of Richard in a Burberry trench coat taken by the Sartorialist himself, Scott Schuman.
Richard loves Bushwick; it’s easy to spot him in the neighborhood riding a bike, drinking coffee in Skips, or he might ask you about the new bar around the corner from his apartment. Wherever you see him, he will be fashionably dressed and really friendly–another Bushwick artist has found his dream.