How one leather party is taking back New York City

A constestant strikes a sexy pit pose at International Mr Leather. 

Brüt is New York City’s monthly leather party, which also hosts regular events in San Francisco and Los Angeles (Atlanta in July). Its popularity is sky-rocketing: the tickets for the New York event sell out within hours , and it was featured in the New York Times, quickly establishing itself as an essential part of the city’s nightlife. The promoters have aspired to attract a whole new generation of men, offering an evolved and inclusive approach to the scene. Regardless of age or socioeconomic status (they offer cheaper drink prices), they encourage men to come in their sexiest — be it singlets, jockstraps or rubber shorts. In a city that can be overpriced and cliquey, perhaps this refreshing approach is what has made the party such a massive success?

Event co-producer Dan Darlington spent much time at the original Manhole in Chicago when he was younger. It was a seedy, dark hole-in-the-wall, with incredible DJs and music. “It was everything to me,” Darlington says. “I wanted to recreate that but I wanted it to be a leather party and I wanted it to be even seedier. I was kind of trying to bring a little bit of what was going on in Germany to New York, which I felt New York was also lacking: that kind of freedom to be sexual . . . to an extent. You can’t get away with as much as they get away with in Germany, but you can still have that feeling.”

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