By NOAH BECKER May, 2019
Noah Becker: So, when did you get the idea to start LBV?
Joss Sackler: So it’s our second year officially that LBV has existed, but it started off like a very loose network of women that just wanted to get together and learn more about wine. And since then it’s evolved. I would say this year has been the inaugural year, essentially.
NB: And it was three or four people?
JS: When we started I would say it was about five or six.
NB: Okay. And how did it go from being a wine club to also having a fashion component?
JS: So it started off as a wine club, and then the next progression was that we realized that women, our members, were looking to create more of a connection than just over dinners and wine. So we started doing different kinds of events, like working out for example, art studio visits, cheese class, you name it, different varied types of events.
And then from there the first piece of apparel or product that we made was this gold cuff. And the idea behind that was that the other existing wine societies in the city carry these medallions, and basically you wear that as a symbol of your membership. And so we wanted to do something that was more feminine, that represented unity and was emblematic of the group, and then from that we just wanted to rep LBV, so it developed into its own line.
NB: I see. And then the group has expanded?
JS: Correct, yeah.
NB: And how do you become a member?
JS: By referral only. So you basically join and then friends of friends will join. That’s how we’ve kept it.
NB: I see. And was there a specific kind of wine that you were all drinking, or was it …
JS: In the beginning?
NB: Yeah, like was it red or white or …
JS: Yeah, so we focused in the beginning on burgundy and bordeaux wines.
NB: So was it like rare wines?
JS: Sometimes. So not always, definitely not always. The women really wanted to dive into the study of wine, so we even had wine lectures, and it was, people would come and take notes, and there would be PowerPoint presentations on grape varieties, and climate, and everything else that goes into the study of wine. So I would say we tasted a lot of different kinds of wine, some were rare and some were not so rare, but -
NB: I see. So was it more about the taste and sort of learning how to interact as a wine group with different wines?
NB: Like an educational kind of thing.
JS: Yeah, there was definitely always a very strong educational component.
NB: And do you have any male members of LBV of the wine group?
JS: So LBV started as a wine group, and it progressed into a social group that is much more than just a shared interest of wine. So in LBV, the private club, we do have male members, yes.
NB: I see. And so what are some of the other things that the group has expanded into besides wine?
JS: Yeah, so we do studio visits. We went to go visit CJ Hendry’s studio, Will Cotton’s studio, what else? We do workouts, group workouts. We’ve done a cheese class—very educational—with a master of cheese, Max McCalvin.
JS: We’ve done showroom visits with designers. Women have very varied interests and I think that’s something that I understand very well, so the agenda and the calendar varies.
NB: Is it ongoing or is there a season?
JS: It’s ongoing. It definitely slows down over the summertime. We still have a few more events that we’ll organize that are more social events: probably somme more studio visits, et cetera over the summer, but the dinners are typically between November and May.
NB: Right. And you do a lot of climbing. And do any of the members go climbing with you? Because I noticed that you do a lot of climbing of mountains and different things.
JS: Yeah, actually.
NB: But you climb serious mountains, like really epic mountains, right? And what is the most difficult climb that you’ve done?
JS: That's a good question. I anticipate that it'll probably be the climb that we do this summer, like in June.
NB: What are you climbing?
JS: So we're going to Pakistan, and we are going to trek into K2 Basecamp, and then from there play it by ear, but hopefully go to advanced basecamp, camp one, and possibly camp two.
NB: I see. And I saw a video of you free climbing, it was a tall red rock and you were free climbing to the top of it and standing on it, and there was either a helicopter or drone camera going around you.
NB: Was that in the Grand Canyon or something?
JS: No, that was in Sedona, and I have a couple of friends, a group of friends that like to climb these towers with me, so yeah we were flying a drone around it. It was beautiful.
NB: And that was just free climbing, you weren't tethered to anything?
JS: No we definitely had ropes going ... we placed gear, like protection, and we had rope as we climbed up, and then once we reached the summit we kind of untied and took a moment.
NB: I see. And so, as far as LBV goes, what are some of the plans you have for it, or some of the dreams you have for the future of LBV?
JS: Yeah, so we'll continue to grow the membership base, our calendar will expand next year to include even more diverse events and special speakers, and we will be presenting our spring/summer collection at New York Fashion Week in September.
NB: Great. Okay, well that should be great.
JS: Cool. WM
Noah Becker shows his paintings internationally. A visual artist, saxophonist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine, Becker has also written freelance articles for many other major magazines. Becker's writing has appeared in The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post. He has also written texts for major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010) viewable on Youtube.
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