SO this is a new thread here where we dig into the underground shit that your mother probably doesn't approve of, but your friends are dying to join in. Creativity knows no boundaries, so it's no surprise that creative circles are always at the forefront of revolution. Art, music, drugs, fashion, sex, experimentation - these things are catalysts for enlightenment (look at Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Dali, Pollock). Small pockets of creative energy exist all over, and in many different varieties.

This week we're looking at SOFT LEATHER...

Once upon a time, three DJs combined their talents to create the most raunchy, exclusive 'pan-sexual dress-to-sweat-event.' SOFT LEATHER was coined - basically a freaky, no rules party, hosted by progressive thinkers that are shattering the norm of what it means to "go out." This weekend marks Soft Leather's first birthday, and the future of the party is looking very bright.


The sound:

Johnny Love AKA DeathFace carries a huge influence in the underground party scene in Chicago - and has for the last ten or so years. Founder of The Opaque Project, former member of Guns'n'Bombs, and currently signed as DEATHFACE on LIL DEATH. Love is constantly dropping heavy club mixes and simultaneously talking shit on all social media. Oh yea, and he's also credited with starting #HEALTHGOTH, the newest trend that everyone is blogging about. Regardless of his sleazy reputation, Love is a business man, and he's played the game quite well. HEALTHGOTH on NYLON.

Zain Curtis AKA Teen Witch Fan Club brings a cluster-fuck of fluorescent color and mainstream pop to the otherwise goth-industrial vibe at Soft Leather. Zain's entire aura revolves around 90's internet memes, Hannah Montana, Lisa Frank, 3D alien porn, etc. Aside from creating #sadgirlpop, he's also making T-shirts and even some magazines under the Teen Witch brand. Zain also hosts an event called #AREA69 that takes place upstairs at EXIT, and TOTAL THERAPY at Berlin Night Club. He is essentially our new-age club kid leader. TWFC on NOISEY.

David Beltran AKA Starfoxxx is another huge name in the DIY-music scene. At Soft Leather, Beltran DJs with Brian Denning under the name House Szechuan. But outside of SL, Beltran is the main dude at FeelTrip Records, producing music by Paul Cherry, Dam Gila, and PTA. In the past, FeelTrip was also THE coolest illegal loft venue, and the only one in the world with a 12 foot cig smoking cat head. Since then, the venue has shut down, but FeelTrip Records is still very active. Beltran is also an esteemed stick-n-poke artist, and friends with New York based street artist Hanksy. STARFOXXX on THUMP

These guys are all making moves on their own, but when they come together once a month for SOFT LEATHER, all fucking hell breaks loose. This is the true power of collaboration, and the epitome of a revolutionary creative collective genius.


Jazzeppi Zanaughti, Claudia De Châlon, Jpeg Papi, Jack The Lad, and Jimmy Da Virtual Brat are the hosts, and also the faces of Soft Leather fashion and sex appeal. Each of the hosts curates a new look each month that showcases individuality, sexual freedom and wearable art. The look is different for everyone, whether subtle or extreme, but no matter what you decide to wear, you'll fit right in.

It's nothing like other queer or goth bars at all, there are no formalities whatsoever. That's why we love this party so much - it revolves around individuality, open sexuality and widespread acceptance. Regardless of your age, race, sex, orientation, whatever - you're invited to get wild at SOFT LEATHER. Of course, haters find their way in, but if any rude vibes enter the space, you're encouraged to leave (maybe with some shit talk from Johnny Love). And that's another reason why we dig this event - we fit right in with a tight-knit group of social rebels.

Another talented contributor, Ben Morino, brings Soft Leather to the online realm through event photography. Morino's grungey-alley aesthetic perfectly captures the spirit of the party. Lighting and in-camera effects add to the illusion of an alcohol and ecstasy induced Soft Leather night out.

As you may have guessed it, fashion is obviously a huge part of the night, so naturally the party is sponsored by a fashion label. NVRMND, a fashion label closely related to Teen Witch and Healthgoth, is usually on the roster too. NVRMND specializes in creating a black wardrobe with printed Internet symbols, altered brand logos and disruptive sayings like, "Teen Girl Dies After Rave."

Soft Leather started at EXIT, upgraded to EAST ROOM, and now this Friday they make their debut at the SOHO HOUSE CHICAGO. CLASSY AS FUCKK.

Next soft leather is TOMORROW!

soft leather 1 year anniversary // johnny love'S birthday


Photos: Ben Morino