May Kwok

May Kwok is one of the fashion world’s hottest party DJs, and she’s had a trip or two down the runway herself. This summer, she opened a fashionable surf shop named The Notion at Rockaway Beach, the hipster surf haven and Hamptons alternative for the downtown set. We asked her about her vision for the project and how she made it happen.

What was behind your original vision for The Notion?

I conceptualized The Notion thinking it would fill a void in the active, modern-day girl’s shopping experiences. As city women increasingly integrate fitness and active-wear into their daily routines and wardrobes, I wanted to create a one-stop shop for surf, fitness and fashion – a place for chic accessories, ready-to-wear and workout gear for girls to mix and match.

Why Rockaway?

I wanted to test out the retail store idea in this area, because I wanted to be a pioneer in the town. I had been surfing a lot out here in Rockaway, and I loved the idea of making it the site of my first pop-up. It’s such a fun place in the summer, but there’s really not much fashion retail. There's a lot happening in this area, whether it's new restaurants, retail shops and artists, and it’s so great to see the town’s resilience as it bounces back from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.

What music do you play in your store, and how does it differ from your DJ sets?

I played a lot of reggae, because it was near the beach – it just happened that way!  I rarely play reggae on my playlists at events or nightlife parties, though.

How do the Kingsley Rowe frames you chose reflect your personal style?

They have a classic, old school silhouette, but with a strong, modern touch to them – and I love the detail of the hexagon-shaped bolt. I’m into a few touches of the kind of menswear-inspired, unisex vibe they have.

Check out the future moves of The Notion at @thenotionnyc and follow May at @iamamayzing.