Can you say fashion fight? The New York Post reported that Federico Pignatelli, the owner of the Pier 59 photography studio, recently hired Ronny Livian, a former Department of Buildings official, to dig up undiscovered building-code violations on his fashion photography competitors. Pignatelli has previously accused other studios of trying to take his staff and shut down his business. He said he wanted to ensure his competition faces the same costs he does to maintain his building and ensure safety.
Some violations found could bring about vacate orders for fashion tenants, the Post said, which would leave models and photographers bereft of a studio space. According to the report, few of the spaces bear the correct registration as art studios.
Studios potentially in violation include photographer Terry Richardson’s Milk Studios, which still has a 1995 certificate for retail space. Chief of Skylight Studio Jennifer Blumin also says her studio’s certificate of occupancy is not current and told the Post that this is “typical of buildings which reside in dynamic, changing neighborhoods where industrial uses are no longer viable.” [Post]