Kan-682x1024During the late 1970’s on the Upper West Side, the further you got away from Central Park the more it became like the Wild Wild West. At that time, the updated Trinity School was a relative newcomer with a spanking new underground pool and soaring modern tower complete with tennis courts. It was a prime target for petty theft, and the Trinity students were mugged daily. I was told by my friends that I was never targeted by adolescent thugs because I was not white, but what I was spared on the streets of upper Columbus Ave, I paid for within the walls of grade school. As one of only two Chinese in our class (it was all boys back then), I physically fought my way through the unforgiving Darwinism of the school pack. By Third Grade I had worked my way up to top of the pecking order, but the perception that being Chinese was a liability had started to take root. “Chink” was a slur which would follow me right up to college, but then something strange happened. It was then, in a time of Zoli, Elite, and Wilhelmina that fashion wanted me to wear their clothes. It was a time (and still is) where the Chinese male never seems to be thought of as the “boy next door”. So as the song goes, “I’ve looked at life from both sides now…” and I am grateful for the perspective. This is a shot of Stephen Sprouse’s clothes from his first collection photographed by Patrice Cassanova.>> Back to Many Faces