KLEEK app got me wasted at a really expensive London Fashion Week after-party
‘It was a ghetto of cheek bones’
Tonight it’s the start of Fashion Week and we’re going to Tape, a private bar in Mayfair, where a VIP table will set you back over a grand. It’s Felder Felder’s after-party.
We walk past the queue and straight into Tape’s private members lounge. It’s a ghetto of cheekbones. The label founders Daniela and Annette Felder are dancing in the middle of the room. Our bottle of Belvedere appears almost instantly. Everyone seems to have great hair, even the bald guys without any of it. There’s a man who’s purposelessly running around while wearing a giant red indian headdress.
Like a party you went to last November, everyone keeps talking about Justin Bieber. Apparently he was in Tape a few Wednesdays ago, using the recording studio here to make a new track. He played it to the cleaners after everyone else had left the club.
Luckily, I’m here with Antoin Commane, a high-profile nightlife and tech entrepreneur.
We walk through a hidden door into the main club. Inside it is heavy with the scent of perfume. DJs wield smoke guns, glitter falls, and Fetty Wap’s agonised wailing sounds like the future. It’s wild compared to what’s happening in the other room, so I decide to dance on a table for a few minutes.
I’m unsure about the crowd here. There are man-boys in white shirts, bow ties and braces who don’t move very well. They think they’re Bateman, they think they’re wolves, but really they’re just rich. The girls are straight out of a Drake video. Bomb-sized bottles of vodka glow and throb in the half-light, which is cut and cut again by fingers of blue laser.
I chat to a woman who used to work in the costume department at Madame Tussauds. She claims Steve Irwin’s family sent them the clothes he literally died in for the Australian’s waxwork, bloodstains and all. I sort of wish we could go back to talking about Bieber.
I feel relaxed until someone tells me in no uncertain terms: do not take any photographs. You’ll have to imagine the exposed brick work, the tasteful lighting, the Marvin Gaye albums hanging above the bar, the guy with a topknot making cocktails behind it.
“It’s like a green room,” Antoin says, by way of explanation for the no-photos rule.
“Do you know what I mean?”
“Yeah I think so.”
Antoin’s deal is simple: he’s a good -looking prince of Mayfair’s nightlife scene. A former partner of venues like Bodo’s Schloss and 5 Pollen St, now he’s launched an app, called KLEEK. It’s his attempt to open up this glittering world – to the right people, for the right price – with an app that he calls a “hospitality solution”.
KLEEK looks good and works well. It lets you discover events and book tables in Tatler’s clubland: Charlie, Toy Room, Maddox, Black Dice – places where Leo shows off his Bafta when he’s in town. We talk the usual app talk – scalability, trickle-down potential, targeting the right people. Antoin’s journey has not been without its struggles – the team had to move offices from Shoreditch to Berkeley Square because none of his clients would have meetings out east.
You go out in London – what do you think would improve going out in this city? If you’re anything like me the answer isn’t “another app”. Everyone has an app. The bloke in a cardboard box you gave a cigarette to by Old Street Station, the bus driver, your unemployed mate – they’re all working on apps. You never have the heart to tell them that what they’re enthusiastically pitching to you sounds exactly like Citymapper.
KLEEK’s aim is to become integral to the ritual of going out, for “KLEEK” to become a verb. Let’s quarter that gram, let’s KLEEK, let’s Uber. The people who’ll be made obsolete if this happens for KLEEK – the black cabbies of this situation – are promoters. No one will mourn the demise of their class.
This fashion week after-party is the kind of event to which KLEEK will grant you access – depending on your peer group and how much you spend. It becomes clear that KLEEK is and isn’t for everyone: it has a variety of tiers and access points, and at the moment it’s invite only. It exists to make the nights of the have-it-alls and have-a-lots as frictionless as possible. Whether or not that’s a good thing is a matter of perspective.
Smoking area: one of Antoin’s friends is telling me that if anyone can make Kleek work it’s Antoin, because he “knows everyone”. This is undoubtedly true – throughout the night people keep shaking his hand and smiling at him. I’m distracted by the sight of an absurdly handsome man talking to two Swedish girls. What do you do, they ask him in their Eurovision voices. “I work for the Government,” he replies, adding that he cannot tell them exactly what he does. I reflect briefly on what a fantastic answer this is.
In the Uber I ask Antoin how they’d be able to keep on top of trends, how they’d always make sure Kleek partnered with the coolest venues. “Well,” he says, “hopefully we’ll get to the point where we can control what’s cool.”
We got ready to leave for another club. Another cigarette, another round of drinks, another set of people having fun with alluring menace, and ready to be borne back into more dark rooms. I start to feel like Kleek might work: for those with money who are nonetheless lost in the city, who want exclusivity but lack the nous, the connections and the superlegitimacy to get it.
Antoin has all of those things and he’ll share them with you. Depending on who you are.