Susanne Bartsch “the world behind the woman.” For nightlife, there is nowhere in the world like New York City. Few places can support and finance the lives and livelihoods of a whole community of artists working in that space.
And for the better part of four decades, Swiss-born Susanne Bartsch has served as the reigning queen of this scene. Bartsch reflected on her rise in the club scene after opening a small boutique in SoHo in the 1970s. Her activist work for HIV/AIDS through the Love Ball. And her matriarchal role for a continually revolving door of young artists and creatives.
“It’s one of those magical stories, really,” Susanne Bartsch told The Huffington Post. “I’m not out there planning and thinking I should have a documentary.”
It all started after directing duo Anthony & Alex premiered a short fashion film at Bartsch’s weekly summer party. On top, literally on the roof of The Standard Hotel’s Le Bain — in 2015. “I liked it,” Bartsch elaborated. “It looked sort of different–Warhol now but then but not Warhol.”
The Nightlife icon short film premiered.
Just as Susanne Bartsch was preparing to showcase decades worth of fashion and looks via an exhibit. Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch at The Museum at FIT. She invited Anthony & Alex to view the show, hoping to chronicle the event. But their perspective changed the project into a whole-length film.
“It’s a New York story as much as a story of life,” Susanne Bartsch continued. “You know, I travel around the world with what I do. And the message is really about. What the norm? The norm is who you want to be. Don’t be afraid of who you want to be; you can be anything you want to be. You just have to have faith in what you feel and go for it.”