The Legendary Damon is on everyone’s list, are you on his?
Words by Edric Robinson
The sexiest part of any city is its nightlife. The Legendary Damon, as he is known as, can be considered by many to be the Hitch of nightlife, connecting all realms of people to places and individuals they wouldn’t get a chance to be at or meet alternatively.
It’s about 7:30PM on a slightly chilly autumn Thursday night in Chelsea. As he prepares to man the door at a Cavalli & Desaronno event, a line of about 50 guests has started to build on one side of the Milk studios building. Wearing a black pulled back fedora, black trousers, and black boots, his multi colored silk shirt is buttoned to the neck, adorned with gold jewelry and a metallic gold bomber jacket sits perfectly under an open double breasted black coat. Damon is known as much for his eccentric style (with the likes of furs and diamonds) as he is for his audacious parties. While others huddled around him seem anxious, he does not. He’s done this many times before. From an outsider looking in, his job tonight seems simple enough; check guests off the list and get them into the event. But as he explains; this represents one of his many talents – Damon has been throwing parties and helping clients throw parties since he was 16 years old in Detroit, Michigan.
“It’s an unreal world. From the sexy lighting, to the furniture and models which make up the ambience – I mean this event has ballerinas dancing on platforms,” Damon laughed. “But I try to be as real as I can be in these manufactured environments.” At age 19, Damon moved to NYC and took on his first event. He has undoubtedly throughout the years continued to grow and expand his circle and event repertoire. Beyond the glitz and glamor, fashion and parties, one thing he seems to be fully aware of is his larger role as a connector. “I like to think of myself as a cultural curator. I bring great people from all walks of life together that might not necessary be in the same room otherwise. All roads leads back to me. If you met so and so you probably met them because I introduced you in one way or another, Damon stated. According to author Malcolm Gladwell of The Tipping Point, sprinkled among every walk of life, are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances. They are Connectors. Damon has realized this early on and used his love for events to connect others.
Many seem to adore him. His Instagram account, @LegendaryDamon has over 26 thousand followers. Perhaps it’s his invisible veil that seems to envelope him and let’s others know, he walks to the beat of his own drum. Among some of his notable celebrity friends are Kelis, Lil Kim and Janelle Monae. There’s a genuine nature that totally contradicts with the aesthetic first impressions. One friend, Jenay Alejandro calls it his, “Midwest values.” “He has great morals and is extremely hard working. Damon is able to merge so many industries and I think he really likes seeing people work together,” Jenay beamed.
With his events, the stories and experiences run abound. From angry crowds pushing barriers trying to get into the venue, to one guest who allegedly cried after being told she was not on the list. “My parties are very authentic because of the people. There’s also great music, everyone is actually dancing, and everyone looks great,” Damon revealed.
As one friend, Mike recalled, “I used to work for a Fashion photographer and would see Damon at events. I started to realize that if he was there, this was the party to be at.”
Out of all the events he throws year round, his birthday party is by far his favorite. “I’ve ridden in on a White horse, flew through the ceiling, I was an aerialist one year. Last year Lil Kim and I came out in a spaceship and Jussie Smollet sang happy birthday. This year will be equally amazing, it’s the one time I get to focus on myself entirely,” Damon said.
Damon’s name has become synonymous with a great time in the city. TV personality Bevy Smith allegedly calls him the empresario of nightlife. Whether he’s throwing a party in LA on a Sunday, or a ‘NO Basics Brunch’, with Claire Sulmers and Ty Hunter in Harlem, his lists are the ones everyone wants to be on. Yet it doesn’t seem like he lets any of this get to his head. “We can’t take this too serious. I always say – it’s just a party people,” Damon smiled.