Monday kicked off the Year of the Monkey. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Public School and DKNY co-designer Dao-Yi Chow and his wife Canis Chow took over the iconic NYC hot spot Indochine for an intimate dinner. The event, sponsored by Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, was filled with designers and models, wearing cool custom-made monkey masks. We got the host — who gave each guest red envelopes with eight $1 bills inside — to tell us the difference between hanging with a DKNY vs. Public School girl.
What was Chinese New Year like growing up?
As a little kid all you really care about is the little red envelope. [Laughs] Once you get past that it was about family, all your local family getting together and having dinner. The whole idea of an Asian family, being respectful to your parents and elders, those [values] were really reinforced.
How do you guys celebrate at home now?
We do the same thing. Had we not been hosting this we would have had dinner at home with my sister and her two kids and my parents. But we would probably go out to eat. It was the same way when we were younger.
Why did you want to host this dinner?
It’s good to celebrate Chinese New Year with other than just Chinese people. So it was about bringing people together from, not only just fashion, but art and music and sports, so you can give them a sense of the culture and all the different traditions.
What customs did you put them on to?
We made these custom plexi masks for the Year of the Monkey with artist Max Steiner. It was more the astrology behind the Year of the Monkey and what that meant. The monkey represents change and movement and getting those messages across. My grandmother was a Chinese opera singer and they wore those masks, so it was sort of inspired by that also.
This is an event sponsored by Hennessy, so let’s talk spirits. If you saw a DKNY girl and a Public School girl at a bar, what would their vibe be?
Would they be in the same bar? [Laughs] I mean they are pretty similar. The DKNY girl is a little bit older than the Public School girl. The Public School girls are more creative and the DKNY girl is more determined. She’s maybe a little further along in her career. The Public School girl is drinking beer and the DKNY girl is drinking something with vodka in it. I’m not a big drinker, so I don’t know the big differences.