Get the scoop on this year’s exclusive event…
The day before the 7th annual New York Dîner en blanc, we interviewed co-founder Aymeric Pasquier, a French national who now resides in Montréal, about the event and what one could expect. Monsieur Pasquier told us about the event’s history, its growth over the years, and the ways in which New York’s dinner is special to him.
What can you tell someone who’s never been before to expect?
Aymeric Pasquier: I would say you should be ready to work. Have a trolley to tie your equipment to. Bring a second pair of shoes, for the ladies, maybe one a little more sophisticated, one for the venue, and one white flat shoes to walk. Have ice to keep the champagne cool and make the wine cool. … They’ve been really working in order to prepare this event, they probably went to grab their equipment many days in advance, find the best outfit, find the best food. So everybody has worked a lot in order to participate in this event. They probably know there are a lot of people on the waiting list who would love to attend as well. But, you know, we can only allow 5,000 people.
And is there anything specific that makes the New York dinner special?
Pasquier: For me, the New York event is probably my favorite. Yeah I can say it without any problem, it is my favorite event because I can see the dedication of the guests regarding the decoration. The passion and the effort they put into this event. They really are passionate people. You can notice a lot of outfits I’ve never seen anywhere. People send to sometimes overdress, which is fantastic, which is amazing. They really find the best little details that are going to distinguish themselves from the rest of the other people. So they are really creative people, really elegant as well, I’ve always been impressed with the elegance of the guests. They love to be different. New Yorkers love to be different. … When they love you, they’ll really show it. When they hate you, they’ll also really show it. That’s how I would define New Yorkers. Either they love you, either they hate you, but they are not in the middle. … There’s a special energy coming from this crowd of participants every year and I feel the dedication, I feel the commitment. … New York has a special place in my heart for this reason, but also because I created the first Dîner en blanc in New York in 2011 and that’s where everything started. From there, we created the Dîner en blanc international because so many people wanted to do the same thing. New York has a special window on the rest of the world. Whatever you do here, if it’s a success, it’s going to work everywhere and it’s going to have exposure everywhere. New York is really international and worldwide and that’s where everything started.
Speaking of its history, the event has expanded to so many cities around the world. Do you think it will continue to expand?
Pasquier: Actually, we don’t produce the event ourselves. We teach others to do it. We receive requests from all over the world, and we select the best team. Once they are selected we train them, we help them to organize their own event in their city. I’m always very happy to train a new capitol or a new city or in a new country. That’s very exciting to see these family concepts expanding and being impressed by people with different religions and different cultures adopting this family concept in their city. I’m proud of that and I’m really happy to see this expansion. But at the same time, I know that it’s the beginning of something bigger we could eventually create. Based on these people that participate all over the world every year in the Dîner en blanc, now we have about 150,000 people attending the Dîner en blanc every year, which is the base, the core of a big crowd of all these people of different languages and educations. But you can see there’s a common base for all these people and they want to participate in this event no matter what their culture is. So it’s something universal.
You can read about the party itself in our recap article.
Photo credit: Light Feather Photo.