"I think the 'Downtown Girl' is someone who breaks the rules a little,” artist Tasya Van Ree told us, sitting perched on a bench in the East Village. “She is someone who is free spirited and a true romantic. Someone who takes risks."
Van Ree doesn’t exactly play by the books, so to speak. She’s the kind of girl who tosses on a torn-up wife-beater and layers a slew of sheer long sleeves, despite the strange, summer-like heat of N.Y.C. in September; in all fairness, she is an L.A. based/Hawaii-born girl – she’s used to that kind of thing. She’s the kind of girl who designs T-shirts called “DieWilder” that say things like, “Hell is where the heart is” and “Unapologetic.” She’s the kind of girl who tattoos her ex-girlfriend’s name on her body (as well as a bunch of other tattoos) and then chooses to endure the painful process of having to remove it later. And, she’s the kind of girl who admits she will never be caught dead in a dress, like, ever again.
We met up with Van Ree (just to clarify, it’s pronounced, “Van Ray,” guys) with her in hand at The Bowery Hotel and then headed out to hit up some of her favorite spots in the city. First up? La Esquina. Because, really, who turns down a taco? Van Ree opted for the Agua de Jamaica (which she perfectly pronounced, may we add) and sipped the sweet hibiscus tea as she strolled the streets towards the historic Bowery-Houston Mural. Van Ree (who just so happens to be a photographer, director, artist, designer and former model – there’s nothing she can’t do) seemed right at home alongside the mural’s kaleidoscope of colors. After admiring Revok & POSE’s work on the wall, we soon found ourselves browsing through Dashwood Books’ extensive selection of Juergen Teller and coincidentally getting to meet the man himself (yes, we met Juergen Teller) who just so happened to be doing an in-store appearance. NBD. Only in New York, right?