Last Thursday, Hayley Pisaturo and Romina Cenisio celebrated the launch of their streetwear line-cum-creative consulting brand VENOMISS with a Y2K-themed party at Coyote Ugly. Like a scene straight out of the millennial cult classic, girls in cowboy hats and bedazzled booty shorts were spotted grinding on top the bar with tattooed and topless boys beneath them, ignoring the sign that read “please don’t pet the coyotes.”
“We chose to have the launch at Coyote Ugly because we felt that the vibe fit perfectly with the aesthetic of VENOMISS,” Pisaturo and Cenisio tell me. “Being in a saloon with girls turning up on the bar and EDM music blasting isn’t the typical place you would find the downtown fashion crowd, but once everyone gave into the vibe they all had a great time.”
Just like the party at Coyote Ugly, the image of VENOMISS falls in line with the popular it’s-so-bad-its-good aesthetic that has come to dominate the New York streetwear scene. The collection, inspired by Jersey mall culture and electronic dance music, is primarily made up of crop tops and beaters bedazzled with the VENOMISS logo. Like the pop-star aesthetic of the early 2000s, Pisaturo and Cenisio’s line is more concert merch than high fashion, or what they like to call “demented basics with an attitude.”
“I guess we would consider ourselves streetwear,” the girls tell me when I ask how VENOMISS fits in with the aesthetic of VFILES, with whom they’ve collaborated on an exclusive run, “but it might even be more basic than that. We want it to be much more accessible and affordable and wearable. We’re not about being rare. For us it’s about making girls feel sexy and confident, and we think that’s an idea that everyone can relate to.”
For girls who have worked in the fashion industry for years (Cenisio was the head graphic designer at Hood by Air and Pisaturo was as an assistant stylist to Lady Gaga under Nicola Formichetti), it seems surprising that creating a brand that prioritizes inclusivity was high on their list.
“We are so used to doing crazy over-the-top things for our previous jobs, so we would love to have our brand to have a similar overall aesthetic.” Pisaturo and Cenisio say, “We want to keep it basic but different–different enough that you need it, but you can also incorporate it with the rest of your wardrobe.”
With their talons on the pulse of the EDM scene, the girls behind VENOMISS hope to export their streetwear label to the world of festivals, DJs, and electronic music videos.
“We miss the days of Babyphat and Juicy Couture, and we feel like it’s time for another rise of the real, sexy girl gang.”