Chris Habana’s eponymous jewelry line is a visual feast, and always makes a statement; bold geometric features, religious iconography, and gender references permeate his designs – a reflection of his personality. Growing up his childhood was influenced by Fantasy and Sci-Fi, an escape from his Catholic schooling.

Habana’s adolescence struck him with a deep appreciation for music and counter-culture: Depeche Mode, Grace Jones, and Yaz stood out atop a strong Punk Rock foundation. He was one to indulge in the big club scene, and still today can be caught out at night brandishing bold dancing shoes. Since then he’s perfected the craft of bringing his avant-garde vision to the masses – this was undeniable with his collaboration with Urban Outfitters, and the introduction of his diffusion collection My Enemy. 

With a fashion line that bursts with creativity, and visual notations on society, Chris Habana is a true New York treasure. Read on below as Chris tells us about his favorite New York tips, and a profound love for the East-Village.

GrandLife: How long have you lived in New York for? Where are you originally from?

Chris Habana: I’ve been in New York for 13 years now. I’m originally from the Philippines.

GL: Why do you love living in New York?

CH: New York is an ever-changing city. There’s always something popping up or closing, everywhere you turn. However, regardless of these changes it still surprises and inspires me.

GL: Where do you like to go for a casual meal? A finer meal? A comfortable drink?

CH: Well, I am in love with my neighborhood in Alphabet City. For lunches and such, Barnyard or Minca Ramen are great. I don’t do “finer” meals much, but I do love Masak because they do insanely good takes on Singaporean food. Maharlika has my heart. For drinks, I frequent gay bars in my hood, such as the Boiler Room, but Decibel has a great look with a great selection of sake.

GL: How would you describe your personal style? Where do you like to shop?

CH: I have always been attracted to thrift and vintage clothing. I don’t shop for clothing very often. When I do, my favorite places to shop are About Glamour in Brooklyn, or Amarcord. These days, however, I’m forming great friendships with some great designers, so I’ve been into trades and hand-me downs.

GL: What is your quintessential suggestion for a New York must-see experience?

CH: My favorite place right now is Wrecked. It’s a bi-monthly party that happens in a basement in the East Village. It feels more like the New York that I love, so I go there every time it happens.

GL: Who is your favorite New York personality, and why?

CH: The Ladyfag. I love the parties she throws, as the DJ’s she hosts like Michael Magnan are stellar. It’s all about dancing for me, and her parties don’t disappoint. She’s a friend as well, she’s kind and just wants everyone to have a good time – a nice trait in a club personality.

GL: Which current trend in New York do you like?

CH: I’m not really into tracking trends, but I can say what I am not too into – I hope this doesn’t alienate people, but mullet skirts kill me!

GL: When getting into the design-mood, what kind of music do you listen to?

CH: It all really depends. Right now I am listening to a Sound Cloud called Clown and Sunset. Whoever does this, is a genius.

GL: What is your favorite piece of furniture at home/in the work space?

CH: I still have this club chair that I inherited from a visual display gig. I patched it with different fabrics like Oscar de la Renta, Toile, and African. It’s pretty cool.

GL: Do you have any pets?

CH: I wish! None right now, because my work studio is my home studio, but soon.