Art books

Eighty Seven is a new boutique and art collective on Grand Ave in Phoenix

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Few women would wear a green sequined dress as a wedding dress. Even fewer have a full “Hook” themed wedding.

But that’s exactly how local artists Mallory Ruiz and John Moody – a mural artist also known as MDMN – celebrated their wedding. It was a day when bartenders turned pirates, an officiant became Mr. Smee, and the pixie dust was edible. “Hook” actor Dante Basco even faced FaceTimed to say his congratulations.

The creativity didn’t stop there.

On Saturday, November 20, the couple – Ruiz in a sequined pink dress and Moody, dressed head-to-toe in vintage streetwear – opened Eighty Seven, a 1980s-themed boutique and art collective on Grand Avenue. The store will not only sell vintage streetwear and retro knickknacks, but art supplies as well. It will also present pieces of products from local artists.

Customers gather outside at the grand opening of Eighty Seven in Phoenix on November 20, 2021.

This is the couple’s first major project since returning to Phoenix in 2018 after 10 years in Los Angeles.

“We asked ourselves: what’s the next step? What are we good at? Moody said. “We’re good at art, we’re good at curators, we’re good at art culture, and we’re good at streetwear. So that’s what we did.”

What is Eighty-Seven?

The boutique is a mix of modernity and retro. The name was chosen because they were born in 1987 – a special year for them, Ruiz said.

“Every time we hear a song, see a movie, we ask ourselves, ‘what year was it made? I bet it was 1987 because it’s the coolest year ever, isn’t it? And then it clicked, ”Ruiz said.

The couple opened the store within a month, after finding the listing on Craigslist in July, Ruiz said.

Mallory Ruiz attends Rich Cottle and his children, Wyatt and Colt, at the Eighty Seven grand opening in Phoenix on November 20, 2021.

Soft neon pinks, sunny yellows and deep turquoise blues cover this minimalist boutique. To the right is a wall with painted vintage VHS tapes, all painted by local artists from the community. This is exactly what the store is supposed to be, said MDMN: a collective for creatives to share their work, a store open to artists to sell their work.

While the store has a retro vibe – subtle glowing lights line the walls and an illuminated neon purple sign greets guests as they enter – this is a store that sells brand-new ’80s-style streetwear with the brand name. store, Eighty Seven, as well as Professional Art Provisions. Illustrative paint markers, drawing books, and spray paint are all items scattered around the store for creatives.

Used VHS tapes are displayed and played on a small blue TV behind the register of Eighty Seven in Phoenix on November 20, 2021.

There are also trinkets scattered throughout the store, like video game erasers, bright blue sunglasses, and Lisa Frank coloring books and notebooks.

“We wanted people to feel, when they walk into the store, that they are somewhere else,” Ruiz said, “and in a completely different time period. ”

How they made their mark on the LA art scene

It was 2009. Moody, a musician at the time, had just finished his tour in Tempe. Her first stop after the concert was a house party. Ruiz walked around the house bar in a retro t-shirt dress and Ruiz walked in with a vintage Los Angeles Lakers t-shirt and skinny jeans.

“I just walked over to her and said, ‘Who are you? Moody said.

Eighty-seven owners, Mallory Ruiz and John Moody, pose for a photo during the grand opening of their new store on Grand Avenue in Phoenix on November 20, 2021.

Six months later, they started dating – and less than two years later, the couple moved to LA.

After traveling with the band on tour as “merch girl,” Ruiz said, the couple moved to LA to pursue their artistic careers. They have always been creative. MDMN had a degree in graphic design and Ruiz grew up with a mom who was a chef. Crafting and Ruiz were old friends, as she made jewelry and clothes and created collages.

Although they were working in the corporate world by day – Ruiz as a merchandiser for Coca-Cola and Ruiz as a sous chef for Chef JoseAndres de Tres at the SLS Hotel – they were involved in the artistic community.

It was in LA that Moody established himself as MDMN. In Beverly Hills, Orange County or Hollywood, he anonymously scattered stickers across town. No one knew who he was, but these simple stickers communicated his name.

“What was I going to do?” Write John on the sticker? I couldn’t do that, ”Moody said with a laugh.

Making stickers turned into creating posters that turned into learning wall painting. Soon Moody gave up his corporate job to work at Blick Art Materials, the largest professional art supply store in Hollywood. In addition to working with and for celebrities and artists from across town – Beyoncé, J-Lo and Ozzy Osbourne to name a few – Moody has traveled to major cities across the country to paint murals. Ruiz worked as a manager and accountant.

“I went from $ 22 an hour to $ 9 an hour, and it was tough,” Moody said. “I had to go get it, I had to go out and sleep on sofas, sleep in rental cars, make walls for free. But it was all worth it.”

Build a bridge

Clothing hangs on a shelf next to the Eighty Seven register in Phoenix on November 20, 2021.

One year of “I hope to be successful” in LA has turned into 10, Moody said. They created a community in LA. Street artists and graffiti artists took to the upscale Beverly Hills restaurant district where Ruiz worked. All of Ruiz’s girlfriends have taken part in street art festivals.

Los Angeles’ Fairfax neighborhood had become their inspiration – a clothing and art district with vintage, retro, upscale, and brick-and-mortar boutiques and stores. Soon they knew it was time to return to Phoenix. Their objective? Pursue independence and entrepreneurship and bring what they have learned to the Phoenix arts community. They returned in 2018.

“You don’t just walk away from one of the biggest and most famous cities in the world,” Moody said. “Our friends were so worried, but we knew we wanted to go back to Phoenix and build a bridge. We told them, ‘Phoenix doesn’t have that yet, but we want to take what we’ve learned here and go build the bridge. over there, then you guys come over here and we can spread out. ”

Although the couple own a store, the two care more about the relationships they will forge through it. It was always about community, they said, and the art they can share with others.

“You can come in and talk about art, the art scene, and streetwear,” Moody said. “We’ve always been people to organize. It’s not going to concern us, it’s our time to bring everyone together.”

Details: Eighty-Seven, 1325 Grand Ave # 108, Phoenix. The hours are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday. https://www.instagram.com/eighty.sevenshop/

Contact the reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @ sofia.krusmark


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