Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mike Ruiz 45th Birthday Party

Usually I go to a party to see either the venue or the host. But tonight I went to Mike Ruiz’s birthday party specifically because of his fabulous photos of celebrities on his Web site, I wanted to meet the person behind those photos.
A few days ago, I’d received an invitation to the event at the Hudson Bar at the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street, marking Ruiz’s 45th birthday. But today I was hesitant to go out in the bitter cold.

Then I surfed through the photos of celebrities like Tyra Banks, Christian Bale, Queen Latifeh, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Brooke Shields (and so many more) that Ruiz has posted on his Web site. His approach to shooting and styling is his own. No wonder celebrities seek him out.

His party also had its own feel. Produced by Jason LeBlond, Andretti Andretti and Jaizen Homiller of Stellar Events NYC, it featured the musical stylings of Hex Hector and a birthday serenade (but not the actual “Happy Birthday” song) by Kristine W (who is among artists with music videos, which Ruiz has directed). Guests included models, photographers, makeup artists, and designers.
“I’m so glad to be here,” said Mina, a party guest. “The ambience, the guests. The crazy people and the not-so-crazy people at the same time.”

Ruiz told me: “This is it.” After this he is not going to have any more birthday parties – at least ones where he grows older.
Not that he looks like he’s in his 40s, wearing a tight tank top that showed off his muscular shoulders, arms and six-pack abs.
“It’s the last party I’ll be celebrating,” Ruiz said. “Now I’m going backwards. From here on out, in 10 years, I’ll be in my 30s.”

-- Kari Jensen