Tombolo The Sopranos Collaboration Launch Party

Tombolo The Sopranos Collaboration Launch Party


You could smell this party from two blocks away. Walking down Mulberry Street at 9.30pm usually brings smells from the perfume shops of Elizabeth Street or getting loads of dishes from alfresco dinners at Balthazar, Gitane, Rintintin or Lovely Day. Last night, however, the thick smell of cigar smoke drew me to this party like a tractor beam. I was heading to The Mulberry, where forward-thinking cabana shirt brand Tombolo is celebrating its new collaboration with The Sopranos, the TV show that championed the cabana shirt.

I started to hear the party as I got closer. On the first warm night of the summer season, the crowd had spilled onto Mulberry Street. It was the usual Nolita crowd: younger, hotter people dressed for something, even when that means dressing up for it.

Being a summer wear brand, or “escape wear” (as they call it), it's only natural that a Tombolo party brings out a group ready for warm nights and fashionable looks. SNL's Heidi Gardner spent the party with a group of friends. Danny Mondello he waved his wrist at the fans wearing one of Sartiale's shirts. Arianna Margulies mixed with friends outside for a drink. A man in what appeared to be bell bottoms and an open shirt appeared to be from Kelso That 70's show did a Prada ad. Many men had mustaches and turtlenecks. Many women seemed ready to trade in their leather skirts from Saturday night in Manhattan for the clothes of the Hamptons season.

Pretty soon, the smell becomes clear, there is a stand set up with an old man rolling cigars by hand for people. Next to him, people in tank tops take out a box of cigarettes and smoke. I know we're in a cigar bar, but it's strange to see this group smoking so freely without a vape in sight. I've never been a smoker, so once inside, it's the food that immediately comes to me that sells me. There's a table full of gabagool on skewers, fried ravioli and tomato and mozzarella skewers. There's also a mass of people stacked three-deep at the bar waiting for beers and vodka sodas.

Beyond the crowd at the bar, there's a clearing where a stripper's pole has been erected and two dancers take turns spinning slowly around it. They don't attract as many people as strippers as they are like Soprano-like additions to the party. No one leaves dollar bills on the platform, but many people smile and wave at the situation saying, “Oh, like Bada Bing!”

Behind the strippers is a glass case that usually holds cigar boxes, but has been cleared to house Tombolo's collection. The collection has a mix of colors between both brands. There is a Bada Bing plush fabric! Cabana shirts with matching shorts, a two-tone Satriale button-down, a robe with ducks and hats, and shirts with the Sopranos logo, among other pieces. Mike Sard i Chris Galassoco-founders, greeted guests, shook hands and sported the collection's “Fowl Play” tank top under a black blazer.

At the end of the night, the fried ravioli is swept away, the two older security guards are grinning from ear to ear dancing with a couple of young women from the party, and through the haze of cigar smoke, everyone begins to look like it is a real Sopranos character. If there were name tags, each one would say Vincent Michael or Gianna Maria or some other name that screams New Jersey in the late 90's. And as someone who came out of New Jersey in the late 90's, only a 15 minute drive from Satin Dolls (the IRL Bada Bing), I can say with confidence.

Ajani Russell and Chenoa JadeB.F.A

The scene at The Mulberry.B.F.A

The scene at The Mulberry.


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