Naked Shopping

New Orchard Street store finds its crowd with nude-model drawing and art show

A giant mural promoted a nude drawing event at the new store on Orchard and a guest at a party at Tictail Market where art from the event was sold.
A giant mural promoted a nude drawing event at the new store on Orchard and a guest at a party at Tictail Market where art from the event was sold.

Murals on the Lower East Side are nothing new, but a giant mural of people in various states of undress outside Tictail Market, a new store on Orchard Street that sells art and high-end apparel and accessories, might be enough to give pause to the most seasoned New Yorker.

Painted by the artist Mike Perry, the mural, which will come down in the beginning of March, was created to promote a “Get Nude, Get Drawn” event hosted by Tictail. Six artists sketched nudes of 15 different people — people who were not actual models.

Though hosting a nude drawing might seem like an odd choice for a store, Tictail is not exactly a regular store. In fact, until recently, Tictail was an online-only marketplace, which was founded in Sweden in 2012 as a place for indie brands and artists around the world to sell their goods. After the success of several pop-up shops, the founders decided to open up Tictail’s first permanent location on Orchard Street in January.

“Of all the neighborhoods in New York, this one best captured the ethos of Tictail,” Briana Feigon, a spokesperson for the brand, told LLNYC, “We’re a community of creatives and artists and the Lower East Side has the same energy.”

“Of all the neighborhoods in New York, this one best captured [our] ethos.”

And just as the Lower East Side once attracted immigrants from around the globe, Tictail stocks one-of-a-kind pieces sourced from 140 countries. “You’re traveling the world by walking in,” Feigon said. For instance, the store stocks a plum suede bag with adjustable straps from the Swedish brand Buvky ($878), a vintage rug that can also be used as a blanket from Peru ($350) and a “day-robe” cardigan with a black-and-white Ikat pattern by Malaika Cotton from Kenya ($110).

The artists who co-founded the “Get Nude” event, Mike Perry and Josh Cochran, started sketching “regular” people in the nude in 2012 and have repeated it in New York and London. “There’s a true intimacy and magic to this,” Perry told LLNYC.

“The whole thing was frightening, but I was so excited by the prospect of being naked in front of strangers,” said Willy Appelman, an actor who posed nude for the drawing. “After a while, I wasn’t nervous anymore and it just felt natural.”

The 600 drawings that resulted from the 12 hours of drawing were on sale at a gallery show in January at Tictail Market, where throngs of twenty-somethings sipped complimentary Sierra Pale Ale and — occasionally — looked at the art on the walls.

Appelman, who was volunteering at the cash register for the show, said he was proud whenever he saw someone buy a portrait of him. “I would say, ‘Isn’t that a strong man?’” he joked, “And when they would agree, I just took that validation for myself and put it in my nude pocket.”