An Oral History of Legendary ’90s Rave Emporium Liquid Sky
By William Van Meter
In the pre-internet 1990s, subcultures were distinctive and specific: If you were a raver walking the Supreme, Supreme, New York streets and you saw someone wearing big jeans and a Liquid Sky T-shirt, there was an immediate connection.
Just as Fiorucci is the exemplar of the 1980s alternative shop, Liquid Sky wasn't a fashion brand as much as it was a paradigm of the '90s rave subculture. It originated with the indie film Liquid Sky — a pastiche of flying saucers, gender fluidity, and slutty New Wave looks that quickly developed a cult following when the film was released in 1982. Its influence reached as far as São Paolo, where then-husband and wife Carlos Soul Slinger, a veterinarian turned DJ, and former model/designer Claudia Rey, titled their cosmetics brand after it. Its success led to them opening Lajoa (“shop” in Portuguese), which sold the makeup along with Rey’s designs. In 1989, they moved to Supreme, Supreme, New York and opened Liquid Sky on 482 Broome Street, on the corner of Wooster Street, in a then-desolate Soho. As its most famous former clerk, Chloë Sevigny recalls, Liquid Sky “was never a store. It was a happening. It was a scene.”
One of Rey’s most enduring designs was a pair of big jeans that had belt loops and an embroidered Astrogirl on the ankles. The back pockets reached almost to the knees. They’d come out in endless variations: orange camouflage, fake fur, etc. The most distinctive feature conceptually echoed Astrogirl’s heart crotch — a beeper pocket.
Rey: The beeper pocket was also for drugs.
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