Alex Hawgood wrote an awesome article for Vogue.com about Fire Island called "Beach Babes" that's fully loaded with video (Petra Collins) and pics (Bardia Zeinali) of some of our favorite clients, stylists, and friends. The lesbian minority has had exponential growth over the last few years, especially in the Fire Island Pines, which has been dominated my mostly white gay men, whose focus has been attaining perfect bodies--both in bed and on their own persons--for decades. But that's changing rapidly, as more women are flocking to the island's modernist houses equipped with sun-drenched swimming pools and party-ready outdoor spaces. Much of this is credited to Boffo Fire Island Art Camp, an annual summer art residency program founded by Faris Al-Shathir and its focus on inclusion of women artists. We all know that FI is the global destination (sorry Mykonos, but, hey Sitges, we might have a tie) for queers who wanna let it all hang out but more importantly have a celebratory space all our own. The most common and on point adjective bandied about regarding The Pines and Cherry Grove is "magical". And these two hamlets always deliver. Starring K8 Hardy, JD Samson, Seagull hair colorist Jeanise Aviles, Rachel Singer, A.L. Steiner, Pati Hertling and Wu Tsang.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
For K8 Hardy, a conceptual artist known in the art and style worlds for her cerebral pastiche of feminist theory and kaleidoscopic fashion sense (The New York Times once described her yellow-hued hair as “lending her some resemblance to a fertilized egg”), Fire Island—that narrow 32-mile sliver of sand and sun off the southern coast of Long Island—is much more than a mere summer getaway. It’s a gay haven for hedonism, artistic expression, and female autonomy that feels protected from an increasingly uncertain world. “I don’t want to be at a ‘straight’ place,” she said. “I’m a pretty flamboyant person. For me, [on Fire Island] I feel comfortable. It’s okay to be glamorous there and outrageous and everything like that.”
Hardy is hardly alone. Although Fire Island’s gay communities (namely the Pines, a modernist real-estate paradise, and Cherry Grove, its SNL-skewered quirkier sister neighborhood about a half mile down the beach) have obtained near-mythological status in popular culture as playpens for muscled-up gay men, there is a less discussed yet no less thriving scene of LGBTQIA women drawn to the area’s intoxicating mix of rest and relaxation, remoteness and revelry.
Strolling along the island’s winding, car-less boardwalks under the towering bamboo and clusters of Japanese black pines, one might bump into JD Samson, the androgynous artist and DJ from the legendary electro-punk band Le Tigre, in a tank top and short men’s swim trunks. (Or some mixture of those elements: It was while visiting the Pines last month that Samson went topless at the beach for the first time in her life.) On the bayside, German lawyer and curator Pati Hertling likes to windsurf alongside the choppy wake from the incoming ferries. Hidden under one of her fitted “Gay Power” baseball caps (sold at downtown boutique Otherwild) with a piña colada in hand, Kelly Rakowski (the force behind Herstory), prefers beachcombing along the pristine seashore.“The most special part is when you get on the ferry and leave NYC behind and enter this gay utopia,” Rakowski said. “It’s like you’re completely tuned out.”