“We can do easy, but it still feels like a punch in your face,” smirks Piotrek Panszczyk over a Zoom call. Beckett Fogg, his Area co-founder, is smiling in her own Zoom square. The pair are presenting their second see-now-buy-now ready-to-wear offering, a total trip of glitz, Dadaism, and some Margiela-esque subversions. The “easy” Panszczyk is speaking of is a scan of the brand’s many crystal pieces that has been digitally manipulated and printed on mesh and denim. The result is a selection of stretchy bodywear and loose jeans that have all the camp and glory of a full-body crystal Area piece at a fraction of the cost—and double the comfort.
Unlocking the ability to offer the full Area proposition—bitchy, hot, catty space diva—has opened up a new galaxy of creative potential for Panszczyk and Fogg. The more conceptual pieces take the idea of duality, two ideas swirling together, and represent it literally in a spiral of fabric on bosoms and blazers. Models wear full face masks and giant crystal bow headbands, their feet tucked into platform disco-inspired clogs. Paul Kooiker’s surreal photography only makes the Area proposition look all the more appealing: at once nostalgic (sort of Dada; sort of AREA, the infamous nightclub), but also of our time (indoors, manic, brimming with self-expression). There’s a freedom in Area’s new path forward of fusing comfort, creativity, and e-commerce. The customer is always right—and the customer, Panszczyk and Fogg report, really wants Area.