It’s almost impossible to stumble upon the hidden shop Salvor Projects on it’s tree lined street on the LES of Manhattan. The store is flanked with a flaming orange ramp which would be hard to miss from ten miles away in a low-visibility fog. Even though it’s kind-of hidden, Salvor Projects is quietly and rapidly garnering a following of those who dared to embark up the store’s wild walk-way. Neatly arranged inside is a vibrant array of abstract, graphic printed scarves and denim that seems to glow independent of any lighting scheme against the store’s charcoal walls.
So energized by the visuals before it, the BULLETT fashion department threw itself into the open arms of the boldly colored clothing that beckoned to be shot. BULLETT sat down with Salvor Projects store owner and designer Ross Muenez to discuss his artist’s perspective, the store front and how a non-denim wearer came to design the coolest jeans around.
Where did your store name Salvor Projects come from?
My daughter India lent it to me. It’s her middle name. She got it from her triple great Icelandic grandma. It’s also an English word meaning, ” A person engaged in salvage of a ship or items lost at sea” which I found out about later but this definition felt right also….
How long have you been open?
The store opened in May but it’s been a long project getting here. It’s been about 5 years to get to where we are now in terms of the work developing each area we’re working in.
What piece are you personally most excited to wear in the summer season?
Not so summery but the denim has been the most “Must-Have/Must-Try” for me. I’m not a denim guy. I never wore blue jeans. Even when I was five or six years old, I only wore “pants.”
I decided to approach making jeans as if we were building a bridge or a car that had to get across a desert or some long drawn out difficult passage. We wanted to make the pair of jeans you would choose if you were leaving home and never knew when you could come back.
Describe the clientele that comes through your store.
Definitely, “the curiouser, the better” as there’s a lot going on that’s not visible at first glance. It takes a few beats for it to register or at least to recognize this is going to take a closer look.
Describe your store decor. Who designed the space?
It was designed together with Nick Dine. We were just looking for a steady bass-line background for the color notes to float on. Beuys and Tony Smith are the heaviest influences visible.
Tell me a little bit about your background and how did you end up opening this store?
The store was a chance to fuse a lot of my background work and phases I had been through: metalwork, industrial design, interiors, furniture, graphics… Divergent work I had been doing since the art school days in the late 80s all come together in this one space. It’s a first attempt at an “unified field theory”– a home for each project.
My favorite thing about fashion as a medium is how it accommodates; it can absorb just about anything you throw at it. It’s this amazing binder that holds the pigments (your obsessions, fears, etc..) together in a (sometimes) coherent expression.