The club kid movement dominated New York City in the ’80s and early ’90s. For most nocturnal revelers, club kids represented the golden age of nightlife. In those days, every serious club dedicated at least some of its bank to bring the fun, the havoc and the cool. Twenty years ago, a visit from Michael Alig and his entourage—always paid for by owners with deep pockets—granted the space legitimacy among the young and hot. Murders, arrests and scandals stigmatized the movement, and Alig was tucked away in an exclusive venue with a very tough door: the upstate prison where he remains incarcerated today. But a new generation of style-savvy merrymakers has risen to carry the torch. Back in Alig’s day, the annual “Changing of the Guard” party and accompanying group photo (example above) announced a who’s-who of upcoming club kings and queens. This yearly photograph and the subsequent event was social validation, or social death, for that generation. 20 years latter, for BlackBook‘s December/January issue, we took a group shot of the current crop of denizens of the deep, dark night. This is, of course, only a glimpse of the current scene, as there are hundreds more of these colorful revelers not pictured. The modern club kids are scattered in many scenes and across multiple boroughs, without an Alig-type leader to galvanize them into one big driving cultural force. Here is a closer look at the next generation, with photos by Gina Sachi Codi.
From left to right, back row: 1) Hunter Thompson, stylist, professional crumper, dead animal collector; 2) Danzie, DJ, blogger (zdanz.com), music specialist; 3) Samuel Valentine, promoter, band booker; 4) Dani Baum, blogger (thefrogge.com), actress; 5) Patrick Duffy, owner of Serpentine; 6) Ting Chu, fashion designer; 7) Kendra Martyn, door girl; 8) Axel Kohler, menswear designer; 9) Epiphany Get Paid, performance artist; 10) Lauren Dillard, DJ, promoter, musician, member of band Creep; 11) April Chalpara, member of band Figure Study; 12) Aris Schwabe, student; 13) Nadia Koch, co-owner of Home Sweet Home; 14) Alex Chapman, stylist, clothier; 15) Libby Broocks, jazz singer, photographer (fulltimefriend.com).
From left to right, front row: 16) Jermaine Jagger, designer, DJ; 17) William Merrell, bartender, tooth-and-bone collector; 18) DJ Nita, DJ at Tubway at Mr. Black; 19) One-Half Nelson, designer, host, eccentric; 20) James Coppola, promoter (fulltimefriend.com); 21) Ladyfag, performer, writer, nightlife personality.