Walking the line between naughty and nice

Derek Blasberg for Paperless Post

Derek Blasberg knows a thing or two about parties. Publications like Vogue and Style.com have heralded him as one New York’s most-invited guests and sought-after plus-ones, and something of a social genius, to boot. (For his thirtieth birthday extravaganza he threw what was later called the “chicest barnyard bash in history”; other party themes have included a “mod-velous ball” and “trailer park couture.”) But there’s no rest for the weary—when the party’s over, Blasberg goes to work as Harper Bazaar’s youngest-ever editor at large and a New York Times bestselling author two times over.

Derek Blasberg's 30th birthday

Written correspondence wasn’t his first love, though. “My mother had a rule: my brother and I had to write our thank you notes before we could use our toys on Christmas and birthdays,” Blasberg told us. “It infuriated me!” But mothers know best, don’t they? Since then, Blasberg has filed away nearly every handwritten note he’s received. “I’ve kept all my letters: holiday greetings from Anna Wintour, thank you notes from Karl Lagerfeld. Everything.” As busy as Blasberg may be jet-setting to the next big fashion show, he always makes time for personal notes. “It only takes a few minutes to fire off a card, but it can make a world of difference to the person who’s getting it. It really is the thought that counts, which is why it’s never too late to send a thank you.”

Derek Blasberg's 30th birthday

Now, the authority of parties and correspondence is debuting a line of invitations and greetings that‘s as wry and impertinent as any affair you’d expect him to throw. Classically demure designs are made Blasbergian with a wink that walks the line between naughty and nice. “Yes, there will be an open bar!" promises one invitation, before getting to the presumably less-important details (like the actual occasion). A gracious condolence note reads, "I’m here for you if you ever need anything… unless it’s money." The collection’s theme-party invitations include festive suggestions for your next fête, like "hot wings and Champagne,” ”red, white, and booze,” and “country bumpkin couture.”

Derek Blasberg for Paperless Post

Exuberant themes aside, Blasberg believes that the most successful parties are about the company as much as the novelty: “To be honest, some of the best parties I’ve been to have been small, no-frills get-togethers with good friends—you know, the kind of night where you lose track of time and pay for it the next day.”

Derek Blasberg's 30th birthday

Derek Blasberg for Paperless Post launches Thursday, September 19th; the occasion will be marked with hot wings and Champagne at one of New York’s best-known dives. View the collection.