Model, photographer, designer, stylist, promoter and super-scary-sexy (but sweet) club kid Airik Prince has clawed his way to the top of the nightlife food chain… and we’re here for it!
Thotyssey: Hello Airik! How’s your March?
Airik Prince: Hey! My March has been pretty busy but fun so far… I’m actually in a car on my way to style a photoshoot right now, and then tonight I’m having a house party for my birthday (which is actually on Wednesday)!
Happy Birthday! You do it all: you’re a photographer and stylist, you host and produce events, and you’re a model and club kid! You must be constantly having to balance, work, art, fun and life… is that ever tricky?
My schedule is very chaotic, but I like it that way. Creating art has been my passion since I was a child–so even when a lot of work goes into it, it’s extremely rewarding for me. It also helps that most of my close friends are also creatives, or work in nightlife, too (whether they are DJs, drag queens, or hosts). So my art, work, and life are so intertwined at this point that I’m usually always in good company and having fun!
Scrolling your Insta, I’m of course living for a good romper laundromat moment… but I must also give props to those wolverine claws with the leather looks! Hot! Where did you get those, and do you have to be constantly mindful that you’re wearing them?
The claws are actually from a Freddy Krueger Halloween costume; I bought them one year when I dressed up as Edward Scissorhands and customized them a bit. That was one of my favorite looks I ever did, so I’ll still bust them out now and then with my leather looks. Except now I only wear one on my bad hand, so I can still use my phone. I don’t mean any harm!
Tell us a bit, if you will, about where you’re from, and what sort of arts you were originally pursuing while growing up!
I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, and then in middle school I moved to a town called Flemington about an hour away… but it was very different there. The good thing was there were a lot of strong art music programs, so I became involved in almost all of them. I was never a studious kid, but I was in all the accelerated art and music programs that you had to audition for. I played alto saxophone and xylophone as well.
And then it wasn’t until high school that I like started taking sewing classes, and stuff like that. I didn’t really know that I wanted to get into fashion design until senior year in high school—before that, I’d just draw girls in crazy outfits—but I didn’t know that was what I was going to be doing as a career.
How did you become involved in nightlife?
I was 18; I was at FIT living in the dorms, and I went out a lot with my friends. But we’d go out with party promoters to mostly straight clubs and venues: 1 Oak, Avenue, Dream. The promoters were gay as well, and I thought that was cool at the time: being in the straight club, the one table with gay privilege, serving looks. But now I host mostly at gay parties, which I prefer, of course.
I actually took a little hiatus before I really got into hosting all the gay parties, because like I said: I was working at a lot of these straight clubs. And even though they knew I was a gay promoter, [they would tell me] “you can bring your guys up in here, but you still have to have X amount of girls for every boy that comes in.” That got annoying.
So I took a little break, and then a few years later a friend was hosting a party. They needed help, and didn’t have a lot of people. He asked, “can you do this for me, and invite your friends?” And then I realize like, I literally bought your whole table–why am I not getting paid for this? So I slid into the producers’ DMs, and now I’m hosting everything. It seemed like once my name was on that one gay party flyer, everyone started reaching out to me to host everything. It went from one weekly party to four or five weekly.
I saw a recent shot you took of your fellow club hostess Linux for Paper Magazine. You styled her, too. Gorg!
Thank you so much. Linux is a star, I love working with her. Something a lot of people don’t know is she’s actually my oldest friend in NYC! We met in an online video chatroom when I was in high school, and she was a middle schooler in Wisconsin. We were constantly sharing our crazy visions with each other, so it’s super special working together now, and seeing a lot of those things coming to life.
So a formerly local party producer Mother Monica (once known as Monica Blewinsky) is headed back to NYC from her newer hometown Miami for some big parties this weekend which you’ll be partaking in! We’ve got Thursday’s “Zonaroza: Perreo del Futuro” at 3 Dollar Bill, and Saturday’s “Wet Dream“ at the Dream Hotel’s Fishbowl!
Those parties are definitely gonna be a lot of fun. Monica and I got really cool with each other when I was living in Miami for a year; she has this really awesome warehouse space, and is always finding the coolest venues for parties and stuff. So yeah, I’m really excited about these things. They’re bringing all of the Miami party hosts and queens, and it’s gonna be this really fun collab between Miami in New York. And one thing about Miami is: they know how to party out there.
What else is coming up for you?
I’m hosting Hush’s “Friction Fridays.” And I don’t know, Sunday maybe I’ll go to “Battle Hymn” if I’m still standing by then; I love a Ladyfag party.
Outside of nightlife, come April I’m actually thinking about maybe getting out of here for a month or two. I’ve been talking to my boyfriend about it; if I can convince him to get away. I know I love to travel; I feel like I can work anywhere I go. So hopefully, we can go to Europe for two months; that would be really nice.
And finally, as a fashionista who is getting ready for summer wears… what do you not want to see the kids wearing this season, lol?
I do not want to see those godforsaken red Mischief boots. Oh my gosh, I’m sorry for anyone who likes them… but I can’t. My style is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, so if you really like them… then go off!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Airik Prince’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Models.com.
One thought on “On Point With: Airik Prince”
Well done to you! You are inspiring xxx