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Katie Sands

Founder of the successful lifestyle blog, HonestlyKate, and the name is definitely not a coincidence. She is all about authenticity stating that being honest entails sharing brands that align with her core values that she finds meaning in.

Honestly Inspiring, Honestly Amazing

honestlykate @honestlykate

“I feel more confident in the mission and purpose I am putting out daily, but the bigger the brand grows the more work I am taking on. I am finding the balance between it all while trying my hardest to enjoy the ride.”

Katie Sands’ brand is all about being honest, to be honest about her journey as a young woman navigating the in and out of New York City, staying true to who she is and what she values no matter what kinds of obstacles show up along the way. She is the founder of the successful lifestyle blog, HonestlyKate, and the name is definitely not a coincidence. She is all about authenticity stating that being honest entails sharing brands that align with her core values that she finds meaning in. 

Though Sands has achieved great success, it didn’t happen overnight. She says, “it was and still continues to be an uphill battle with little fires that have to be extinguished along the way. I feel more confident in the mission and purpose I am putting out daily, but the bigger the brand grows the more work I am taking on. I am finding the balance between it all while trying my hardest to enjoy the ride.” We had a chance to chat with Katie about her daily routine and other aspects of her life that make her the person she is.

“As an entrepreneur, I have to constantly remind myself of the core reasons why I started to blog: my love for fashion and my passion for helping people be their truest selves. As long as you’re true to yourself and your ambitions, you will always be authentic”

First off, what is your go-to breakfast?
I am a big foodie and I am that person that wakes up starving. I usually start my day with a packed spinach smoothie and if I’m still hungry, I’ll make either sunny side up eggs or avocado toast. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Shakshuka and have been having so much fun with it. Head to my What I Eat In A Day Video for more ☺

What is your go-to workout routine? 
My weekly workout routine consists of two to three days of Pilates and one day of either dance cardio or hot yoga. I have been taking private Pilates lessons with Gina de Pool at Flex Studios and it has really changed my life. I feel stronger, leaner, and more grounded mentally. I love to do workouts that not only move you physically but mentally as well. I am starting a series called “Moves For Your Mind” on my IGTV that will really focus on the movements you need to combat stress and anxiety.

Do you use supplements? What supplements and why?
I recently started to take supplements, but I am always on the fence with them. I am currently taking Tula’s new balanced beauty gummy vitamins for strong hair, skin, and nails. Every morning I always add a teaspoon of Spirulina Powder into my smoothie for a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory immune boost. I’m a big fan of CBD oils. It might be a total placebo effect but either way, it works for me to calm my energy and center my focus.

What are some of your favorite hair-care products? What are some hair-care tips for blondes?
I love this question because I recently went through an entire hair evolution. I have always had blonde hair but as I got older, I wanted to continue making it blonder and blonder…you know the drill. In any case, I have spent the last few years bringing my hair back to it’s healthier roots (pun intended) and have found products that work well in keeping my hair healthier, longer, and stronger. I only trust Aveda salons when it comes to any sort of color treatment or gloss. I love their products because they are natural plant based and don’t break my hair. For shampoo & conditioner, I have recently been using the Act+Acre products as I am trying to transition to a cleaner cleansing routine. For blondes, it’s important to use very little shampoo and ONLY ever condition the ends because a little goes a long way, and can way your hair down in a negative way. I also think with blondes it’s important to never stray too far away from your eyebrow color. I have and always will have darker brows, and when I went too blonde it was too big a contrast that it looked crazy. Now that I am closer to my natural color, I don’t worry about the maintenance of keeping up with coloring and I think I look a lot more relaxed and less forced overall.

What are some skincare products you cannot live without?
Where do I even begin? I absolutely love the First Aid Beauty Coconut Primer to put on either as a moisturizer, alone, or to set my makeup. I’ve been lathering my entire face with Sunday Riley’s C.E.O Glow, a vitamin c serum great for brightening the skin in the dead of winter. I have also been getting really into taking baths and I love all the J.R Watkins new line of bath and body washes. They smell incredible and I feel the immediate effects on my muscles.

People say that an outfit can really help boost confidence, what are three outfits in your closet right now that really boost your confidence?
Let’s face it, we all want to look good whether we’re on the subway, at a job interview, or just out for the night with our closest friends because you never know who you’ll run into. From the beginning, it’s been my goal to inspire girls to curate their own futures and let them in on my fashion and beauty secrets along the way. And what better place than New York to do it all?! The three outfits that really help put me help to brighten my mood are a bold colored power suit, I’m currently loving this pink set I have from Alice & Olivia. There is something so empowering about a suit set that makes me want to ring the bell at the NYSE all day long. The second outfit would be a long maxi dress paired with a leather jacket and biker boots. There is something so intriguing about a girl who dresses like a ballerina pop star, don’t you think? And my third and my go-to look is always a white t-shirt and high waisted Levis for anytime I need to feel like Kate Hudson in How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

What are some of your favorite restaurants and spas New York City?
Restaurants: JG Melon for the best burger in NYC, Mezzaluna for my all-time favorite Italian, and Raoul’s for a spicy date night. Spas: I love Tracie Martyn’s spa for a great facial, I also love WTHN and ORA for acupuncture, and for a mani/pedi you can always find me at GlossLab’s flatiron location.

What projects are you working on next?
I’m so excited to finally announce that I am moving back into hosting starting with Amazon Live, Amazon’s live streaming show. Hosting has been such an incredible way for me to mend both my love for fashion with my passion for theater. It gives me that outward energy and immediate adrenaline rush I so love and miss in the theater community while also giving me the opportunity to “play” myself and connect with my audience on a more authentic level.


Photos: Aline Velter

Grace Brea

She has worked to Bottega Veneta in both Milan and New York, Andrew Rosen at Theory and Helmut Lang, the Richemont Group, and Chanel.

Fashionable & Proud

“I am not a fan of the clicky mentality where everyone looks the same, dresses the same, has the same things. I love people watching and New York provides plenty of that. I also have a love/hate relationship with the pace here”

Grace

From working in fashion to hospitality, and now design, Grace Brea is an industry veteran with more than experience to go around. Currently serving as the Brand Experience Director for both Artemest, a luxury Italian furniture and handmade decor company, and jewelry brand IPPOLITA, Brea has worked with the like of Bottega Veneta in both Milan and New York, Andrew Rosen at Theory and Helmut Lang, the Richemont Group and Chanel. The Miami native grew up in Latin America, went to school in Boston, and did her last semester in Paris. We had a chance to chat with Grace about how she’s gotten where she is today.

How did you start your career? 
I had a wonderful mentor who really helped open doors early in my career when I wanted to make the jump to client side (I was working for WPP at the time). She was involved with Tom Ford in the creation of the Gucci Group in the 90s. I had lived/worked in three different markets by then and spoke five languages, which I think also helped open some doors.

You have worked with luxury in Fashion, Hospitality and now Design and Jewelry. What are the trends you see for a successful relationship with customers in the next 5 years?
The importance of placing the client experience at the forefront of every interaction can’t be overstated. A decent product, design, and price point will bring someone to your brand once. But it’s the small details from that moment on that keep them coming back. Or not. There will always be a newer, shinier something popping up, but if a client can recall their experience with your brand fondly, it will keep them coming back. A lot of the decline in retail comes from that oversight.

” I spend more time curating the spaces around me than I do on myself, but like I said I love beautiful, well-crafted things which translate into how I dress. I’d say I’m for the most part minimal. Super feminine. Very into accessories, particularly earrings”

Grace

You have lived in different countries working in the fashion industry. Tell us a lesson you have learned from each different type of culture?
From the French, I learned to value and treasure beauty. From Italians, I learned a lot of patience, but most importantly the quality of life. Latin America I learned to multitask (a bit too much maybe). I also get all my heart and soul, my values and priorities from Latin culture. I couldn’t be more proud to be Latin.

What fuels you to live life?
Beautiful things and beautiful moments. Beauty elevates our experience here in the world. It excites the soul. That’s why when we see something beautiful (a baby, a painting, a building, a piece of furniture) we can’t help but smile a little. I also think it’s inevitable to have a deep appreciation for life when you travel throughout so many underdeveloped countries and see firsthand just how good we have it. How lucky we are solely because of where we born.

What do you do to slow down and relax at home?
I light candles and play music around the apartment. I’ll steam or draw a bath every so often while listening to a podcast. But nothing relaxes me like a good puzzle. It’s my ultimate meditation.

You are so stylish. Can you share a little about your personal aesthetic? How was it formed? Who are your influences and icons?
I spend more time curating the spaces around me than I do on myself, but like I said I love beautiful, well-crafted things which translate into how I dress. I’d say I’m for the most part minimal. Super feminine. Very into accessories, particularly earrings. Growing up with a Latin grandmother was definitely a big influence. One could never leave the house in sweats.

What do you love most about NYC?
It’s the least homogenous place in the world. I’m not a fan of the clicky mentality where everyone looks the same, dresses the same, has the same things. I love people watching and New York provides plenty of that. I also have a love/hate relationship with the pace here. The energy is electrifying and exciting, but can also wear you down if you’re not hyper conscious of it. I refuse to fall into the rat race.

What are your top 5 restaurants, cafes?
We’re major foodies. It’s hard to narrow down to 5 restaurants overall when I have at least 5 favorites within each cuisine type! New York provides that expansive, ever growing variety of choices it can be hard to remember where you ate last week. That being said, while we venture out to try new restaurants all the time, there’s a few we continue to return to because of the mix of food, ambiance, and friends. Here are some of my favorites right now: Verõnika – the new Stephen Starr is great. The space is stunning (the walls, the plates, the lighting) and the food is excellent. Sushia Yasuda—no need to reinvent the wheel. Estela – It’s in my neighborhood and I definitely don’t go as much as I’d like to. It never disappoints. For Italian, I love Via Carota. I was living on Grove Street when it opened. It’s such a quaint, charming space and the food always delivers. Bistrot Leo is a small gem in Soho by a Daniel Boulud alum. It’s consistent, delicious, comforting French cuisine and has a perfect wine list. It’s also one of my favorites in terms of design downtown.

What are some of your “best-kept secret” in New York City?
For entertaining friends, The Magician at the Nomad is top. I’ve been over five times and keep going back. Its small, intimate, sexy, super well produced. I love working with a recent Italian import (chef Pier Sando) for any event or dinner I host at home. He’s wildly creative and makes beautiful and delicious Italian menus. Hudson River Flowers makes stunning bouquets and their price point is not insulting. They make you want to gift flowers for any occasion. But my ultimate New York secret is getting away often enough in order to decompress and appreciate it more.


Photos: Aline Velter

Cheryl Eisen

The woman behind the work of setting up movie-worthy sets in mansions for sale.

Design Desire

♦imgnyc @cheryleisen

The woman behind the work of setting up movie-worthy sets, in mansions for sale. As a touch of magic, Cheryl combines architecture with fashion and style. With her art, she is able to sell millionaire properties in the blink of an eye

Known for breaking paradigms in a rather specific area, Cheryl Eisen has become a kind of celebrity, decorating scores of luxurious apartments with valuations of a minimum of 5 million dollars. Her principal setting for work is in New York, but the business that she created 12 years ago, Interior Marketing Group, has multiple different locations across the US.

As well as clients like Ivanka Trump, Kim Kardashian West, and John Legend. At 51 years old, Cheryl has won notoriety both within her specialized field of decoration and in the entertainment arena. She can frequently be seen on TV programs like Million Dollar Listing and Selling New York, as well as on the internet, showing off her latest decorations of some dreamy penthouse or simply talking about her day today.

“We have to quickly transform empty spaces into very luxurious and pleasant environments”

The main part of her work has to do with “staging,” or creating an alluring scene on a property that is for sale. Her multi-million dollar ventures make the eyes of potential investors pop. She brings a keen sense of style to engage with the customer, understanding what the personalities of potential buyers will be like. “It’s not easy,” says Cheryl.

It’s certainly a challenge, but with Cheryl’s experience in the area, few stand a chance of beating her. In addition to the process of creating deluxe environments, the agency has teams that assemble marketing material on the property and promote complete events, organizing everything from the ambiance to service.

The result makes a real impact. Cheryl claims she has seen many people cry when they first enter her spaces. And we’re talking about customers that are used to the most refined environments and events.

Cheryl owns a huge shed with hundreds of chairs, tables, rugs, cushions and every kind of furniture you can imagine. In addition, she has a huge collection of digitized works of art that, with the help of a giant machine, can be printed in time for any project.

Specialized professionals are in charge of giving the pieces their finishing touches, either by adding a brush of color to the pictures of the paintings, or covering an armchair with a fabric that is different from the original. Everything is done internally so that they waste nothing and can get the property ready on time, usually within one to two weeks.


Photos: Aline Velter

Wild Ink

Wild Ink has arrived to complement the diverse list of restaurants at the Hudson Yards complex and has quickly become one of the most in-demand places in the city.



Where the Wild Things Are

♦wildink @wildink


New York is always reinventing itself. Though often called “The city that never sleeps”, the metropolis could just as well be called the city that never stops building. Hudson Yards considered the largest private real-estate enterprise in the United States, has now surpassed giants like Rockefeller Center in scope and scale. Located on the west side of midtown Manhattan, the complex has opened an enormous amount of space for new businesses. One group that has stepped in to fill that coveted space is Wild Ink, an Asian restaurant located on the fifth floor of the building. Can you imagine the view? Wild Ink landed in New York courtesy of the English group Rhubarb, the same name behind the world-famous Sky Garden and Royal Albert Hall. “We are thrilled to launch our first international restaurant at Hudson Yards. Rhubarb creates memorable dining experiences in the most prominent places in the world. We couldn’t be left out of one of the most iconic places in New York that is redefining gastronomy, ” says P.B Jacobse, the group’s director.

Developed by London designer Robert Angell, the creative engineer behind The Savoy, the space has oriental influences with an industrial touch. The highlight of the design is a 10-seat marble-topped counter in front of an open kitchen that allows guests to watch chefs make the culinary magic happen. If you can’t get counter space, you can seat yourself in one of the 173 seats the restaurant offers, all offering a picturesque view of The Vessel and the Hudson River.

Led by head chef Peter Jim (who had hit restaurants at 50 Bowery and Refinery Hotel), the menu was inspired by his travel diary and is infused with far-flung flavors that incorporate Asian influences and global ingredients.

The menu is divided into seven sections and features shared starters and individual dishes. Begin your dining experience with exotic and tasty snacks, such as crispy pork with lemongrass, garlic and citrus, and wagyu pork with spiced coleslaw and chips in XO sauce. Creating Asian classics with a modern twist is this chef’s specialty. One particular Chinese classic could not be left off this menu: Dim Sum. Coming in three different versions, these small dumplings pack a flavorful punch.

You can choose between the saffron and curry lamb fillings; tofu, ginger, cilantro, and soy vinegar; or an American inspired dumpling filled with bacon, egg yolk, and homemade ketchup. Jim’s dumplings are a modernist’s vision of a traditional dish, smaller than the original but exponentially tastier.

For main courses, bet on the tartare accompanied by mustard that comes to the table on fire, literally. A connection between Italy and Japan is expertly forged by the Yuzu risotto with spice-scented mushrooms. If you just want to snack on something while getting drinks, choose the scallops or chips with aioli sauce. Speaking of drinks, Wild Ink has a cocktail menu created by renowned mixologist Johnny Swet, who earned his stripes at top restaurants like Balthazar, Jimmy, and Pastis.

The drinks evoke a mixture of Eastern and Western influences, with distinctive ingredients such as Thai whiskey, black sesame-infused gin, and more cream. Another highlight in the drinks category is the sheer variety of wines: the restaurant houses a 30-foot wall filled with over 650 labels from various continents. Such is the success of Wild Ink that the London-based group is betting on another venture next year. This next venture, also in Hudson Yards, will contain a bar, restaurant, an event space, and will feature the largest observatory in the western hemisphere.


Photos: Courtesy Wild Ink

The Salons Particuliers

Le Bon Marché the ultimate shopping experience.



French & Chic

24s @lebonmarcherivegauche


This space, which was formerly a chic bar, today takes the concept of Personal Shopping to a whole new level of intimacy. The Salons Particuliers offers 5-star tailoring service I’m for anyone that needs to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Le Bon Marché has been around since the 19th century being one of the first department stores, or brands magasins, a remarkable achievement has given the Parisian fashion industry. Since then, the brand has been dedicated to being a symbol of style and diversity that its customers could always count on.

But we want to focus on the unique experience that awaits third-floor visitors. The Salons Particuliers is a 3,200 square foot private apartment meticulously decorated by renowned artists, striking the perfect balance between creativity and modernity without losing Le Bon Marché’s sophisticated and high-end touch.

Along with this space were introduced two new services:

Personal Shopping
Here, a team of stylists will guide the customers through the store floors and select the items that caught their eyes. These are free fashion advice sessions that last as long as needed for the customers to find their perfect pieces.

Private Styling
Anyone interested in more specific advice needs to prepare their pockets for a 150 Euro fee. This service features 2 hours of advice from a personal stylist. It is a highly personalized service where the client can speak directly to the professional to determine the particularities and make an appointment.

No wonder Le Bon Marché is one of Paris’s most exclusive and renowned brands magasins. This level of personalization, sophistication, authenticity, and modernity is not a veneer but is rooted in every aspect of the brand. The experience the client is in for is evident from the names available on the shelves – Dior, Balenciaga, Celine, Gucci, Chloé, etc. – even the environment is thought out to the smallest detail by brilliant artists. All of this combined with Les Salons Particuliers’ personalized and private experience.

The Salons Particuliers consist of three rooms that open up into a comfortable and spacious dressing room, the Aristide, La Biblothèque and the Grand Salon. Together they create a gigantic and sophisticated environment that makes all the difference to the customer shopping experience. This is, in fact, the best shopping experience available in Paris! And surely it’s a must when you’re in the French capital – a moment of undiluted pleasure, as Le Bon Marché itself states. One tip: be sure to pay attention to library titles and chandeliers, they are amazing!


Photos: Courtesy Le Bon Marché

Christine & John Gachot

Mixing experiences, work, and married life – which includes two children and a dog – Christine and John Gachot have been able to work out a healthy and harmonious lifestyle.

L’Amour & Lines

gachotstudios @gachotstudios

“We set our egos aside and involved our entire team on the project so that everybody could offer their best”

says John Gachot.

Mixing experiences, work, and married life – which includes two children and a dog – Christine and John Gachot have been able to work out a healthy and harmonious lifestyle. This, in turn, has allowed them to create more than just a company – but a true common life project. The pair have complementary work styles.

Christine takes a broader view, seeing the entirety of the project from above, while John gets enmeshed in the details. While Christine has more experience with hotels and restaurants, John has done a tremendous amount of work on home-oriented projects. Seven years ago, their complementary careers and the desire to be closer led the couple to create Gachot Studios. At John’s office at 594 Broadway in New York, the pair are developing strikingly modern projects, such as the interior design for the Glossier flagship brand store and Shinola Hotels‘ Detroit unit – a taste of how they can tell a historical story through design.

John is wildly creative and always an inspiration. I learn so much from him, we’re best friends

“We always think about how the individual who sleeps in that hotel or shops in that store uses the space and everything that surrounds it before starting a project. Our projects have a lot to do with lifestyle, they’re not there just to look beautiful,” adds Christine.

“Our projects have a lot to do with lifestyle, they’re not there just to look beautiful”

You both worked together a long time ago and then followed separate careers. How is it now, to have your own studio and work together?
It’s fun! I often say that my job comes with fringe benefits!!!! John is wildly creative and always an inspiration I learn so much from him but I simply like him, we’re best friends! We also have the absolute pleasure of working with many of our friends from our past careers so we all know each other. The support is amazing.


Does it affect your personal life?
We get to spend so much more time together, which is AMAZING! I feel like we spent half of our adult lives in separate parts of the world. As we all know traveling for business sounds very glamorous but it can get lonely. John is a great plane partner, his crossword game is on and he knows my take- off cocktail spec! The extra bonus is that on many occasions clients have been generous enough to invite the boys, that has been incredible for us all!


What is Gachot Studios DNA?
We say this all the time and we really mean it — our approach is project and client-specific. We don’t try to replicate a signature style for every project; it’s not about us. It’s about creating the best space for the situation and for the client. That being said, we definitely have design principles that influence the way our projects look; when you insist that spaces feel comfortable, welcoming, human — that creates a connective tissue throughout different projects.


In an interview, you said something about having a collaborative workspace, with everybody having ideas and no space for ego. For that to continue, do you have to stay the same size? Or do you both believe that the same energy will be present if the business grows?
When you bring new, disparate voices to the table – when you lift up a new talent and give credit where it’s due – everybody wins. A larger team means more perspectives, and that’s a good thing. Of course, you need to edit. You need to guiding vision. But size is definitely not an inhibitor of innovation or good, collaborative design.


Do you consider Gachot Studios somewhere between an art company and a more traditional design firm? Not so wild, but not so standardized.
We employ creatives across a range of disciplines. There are many talented designers and architects, but also art directors and branding people. Having lots of different expertise under one roof informs the product — rounds it out. It also makes us more efficient at communicating our ideas to crucial partners in the design process, and the client themselves.


How do you both see design these days?
CG: Collaborative and Social Awareness comes to mind! Clients are so knowledgeable, design and architecture have become familiar in our language. What I enjoy the most about what I do is the interaction between people, the team, the clients, our peers so opening up the forum is very exciting. It’s certainly holding all far more accountable. Developers care, they’re not just putting up a building, they’re investing in the community, the skyline and hopefully in the global environment!


Photos: Aline Velter

Pastis New York

After a hiatus of five years, the Meatpacking District’s trendiest restaurant reopens its doors at a new address without losing a bit of its original charm.



De La Bonne Bouffe

pastisnyc @pastisnyc


When the restaurateur Keith Mcnally decided to open Pastis in 1999, there was no Highline, no boutique stores, and almost nothing in the way of tourist attractions for visitors in Chelsea. McNally cleverly realized that, in such a setting, there would be little competition for a great restaurant. His creation would help boost the culinary and cultural scene of the formerly anemic neighborhood, as he pioneered a landmark restaurant on ninth ave and Little Street.

Born in London, McNally moved to New York in 1975, where he worked in dozens of restaurants. In the mid-‘80s, McNally opened his first venture, The Odeon. He hasn’t stopped expanding his business since, with staggeringly successful restaurants like Nell, Balthazar, and Pastis, among others, totaling 39 restaurants in all.

Entering the new Pastis location is something akin to having déjà vu. Located only a few feet away from the original address in the hippest part of the Meatpacking District, the new restaurant has been reborn through the partnership of McNally and restaurateur Stephen Starr. The opening celebrates the return of McNally, who spent three years away from the business while dealing with health issues.

The yellowish light, the stainless steel doors, the tiled floors and antique mirrors with plates of the day written on them – all of these details reference the first Pastis (including the telephone number, which remains the same despite the former closure.) The improvements, however, make a significant difference.

The new menu features classic dishes that made the locale one of the most sought after gastronomic destinations in the city. Nonetheless, the owners saw fit to institute a few changes. The steak (the restaurant’s signature dish) now comes with a side of fries, and the Au Poivre can be ordered in three sizes, with prices ranging from $32 to $48.

As for appetizers, the French classics are a hit, such as a tuna in ravigote sauce, escargot à la bourguignonne, herring with roasted potatoes, and the famous salad niçoise, accompanied by a red wine vinaigrette. The steak sandwich makes a return to the menu with onion and gruyère cheese, in addition to other delectable plates such as the cheeseburger à l’Américaine, roast duck with olives, and the mustard skate.

The breakfast menu also features traditional French dishes such as ham, egg, and gruyere crepes and Florentine quiche. Classic American dishes are also available, such as avocado toast and eggs Benedict with Parisian ham and hollandaise sauce. Buttermilk pancakes make a triumphant return, as well as Croque monsieur and organic-egg omelets with fries. For desserts, bet on handcrafted ice creams like Coupe de Cerises made with pistachios, among other French innovations.

If your idea is to go to Pastis for just one drink, you would do well to remember that each drink has been carefully selected. You can’t go wrong with Champagne, beer, and of course, the classic Pastis house drink. The highlight, however, is the French wine list, which has a collection of red, white, rosé and sparkling varieties, all coming directly from renowned French wineries.

The wine selection was carefully crafted to transport each customer from New York to a true Parisian bistro. Guests can experience a kind of taste-bud wine tour of France without leaving New York. Pastis has 180 indoor seats and an outdoor patio with seating for 30 people. Reservations can be made through Resy.


Photos: Courtesy of Pastis

The Edition Hotel

Housed in MetLife’s former headquarters, The New York Edition is a true oasis of luxury in Manhattan, built for those who prefer personalized service with an air of elegant simplicity.



A Native New Yorker

editionhotels @editionhotels


Like wine, the refined taste of this visionary entrepreneur only improves with age. As if it weren’t enough to be the creator of the revolutionary Studio 54 and the very concept of the boutique hotel in New York in the 1980s, businessman Ian Schrager is also the name behind legendary institutions like Gramercy Park. From Renaissance-style hotels to modern buildings made for the new Instagram generation – Schrager is not afraid to risk it all. His current goal is to produce a new generation of glamor in a technological setting.

Millennials have long been waiting for accommodation in New York designed especially for them, different from standard hotels that are indistinguishable from one another. For this new audience, “high-end” doesn’t equate to the status symbols of the past. What millennials want, ultimately, is to have an unforgettable experience – from the room amenities to the hotel restaurant. With this insight in mind, Schrager and the Marriott group have teamed up to build a hotel that satisfies the desires of these young travelers – knowing that today’s style is all about simplicity. Defined as a “home-facing hotel,” the New York Edition was inspired by twentieth-century New York’s private clubs, Gilded Age mansions, and Stanford White’s architectural masterpieces. The feeling that one is staying in a home makes the place a haven within the city.

I am always interested in circumventing the status quo to go in new directions. When two opposing aesthetics come together, they either fail miserably or create alchemy. If done well, the presence of the old will always highlight the new, and vice versa” Ian Schrager

To maintain the touch of elegance and warmth envisioned by Schrager, few buildings could serve as a site for The New York Edition. For this reason, the iconic Clocktower, also known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (MetLife), was chosen as a home for the hotel. Designed in 1909 by architectural firm Napoleon LeBrun & Sons, the Clocktower was for many years the tallest building in the Big Apple, until it was topped by the Woolworth Building in 1913.

Situated in a neighborhood known as NoMad, the hotel is one of the busiest locations in the city. The area has boomed in recent years and is seen by many as the new city center, north of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea and south of Times Square. As Arne Sorenson, Marriott International CEO puts is, “luxury has a new address. With the opening of our first Edition hotel in New York, in addition to the Clocktower restaurant, we have ushered in a new era of timeless lodging. ”

In all, there are 273 rooms with high ceilings and elegant decor, reminiscent of the luxury apartments in New York City in the 1990s. The building’s large original windows provide full views of the city – the larger apartments even have 360 ​​° views. The highlight of the decoration is the long table made of white oak, inspired by Jean-Michel Frank.

When it comes to amenities, guests’ tastes have changed in recent years. Aware of the change, the hotel offers modern and attentive service without being officious. The team is trained to know exactly when to enter and when to give a visitor space. Guests are encouraged to do what they want when they want. An example of this is the room service, which offers Prime beef and wild Atlantic salmon, but which can in minutes deliver a hamburger or a simple pasta if so-desired by the customer.

Speaking of eating, the New York Edition also features The Clocktower, a restaurant overlooking the park, headed by chef Jason Atherton. Tomato salad, burrata and basil, and seared tuna are part of the restaurant’s exclusive menu. The restaurant is divided into three dining rooms, one of which housed the chair of Met Life’s president in the old days. The sideboard, in which wines from around the world are stored, was where a secretary would file folders and documents from the CEO in days gone by.

For Schrager, “It is impossible to label this look”. Indeed. Few hotels can preserve the historic buildings in which they are housed with such elegance. The New Edition, while it respects the original facilities, knows how to provide guests with a refined environment. It’s clear that the partnership between Schrager and Marriott is a match made in heaven. The result is an Edition unlike any other in the world, primed for even further global expansion.

Two bars and a billiard room are also part of the hotel’s attractions. Separated as though in a private home, the rooms come together harmoniously, with spacious interiors and plenty of natural light. In the lobby bar, plaster walls stand in contrast to large custom-molded concrete windows – offering a stunning view of Madison Square Park. As a riff on the Millionaire’s Row mansions, a hand-painted steel fireplace has been placed in the lobby next to the spiral staircase leading to the second floor.


Photos: Courtesy The Edition Hotel

Lola Taverna

SoHo’s new restaurant puts a twist on Greek classics, updating the dishes in a modern way without leaving tradition behind.



We Love Lola

lolataverna @lolataverna


New York has one of the largest Greek populations outside of Greece, in competition with only Boston and Chicago. Approximately 23,000 Greeks live in the Big Apple. Add this to the recent popularity of destinations like Mikonos and Santorini and the result is clear: the demand for quality Greek cuisine is only going up.

It was with this in mind that chef Dionisis Liakopoulos took over the kitchen of Lola Taverna, which does Greek food with a fun and modern twist. The New York-based Greek chef has previously been responsible for the menus of renowned restaurants such as Kuzina, NOMA, Aska and the Greek bakery Fournos Theophilos.

Located in SoHo on the charming corner of Prince Street and 6th Avenue, the interior of the restaurant was designed by restauranteur and owner Cobi Levy, known for restaurants such as Babu Ji, Black Seed Bags and Little Prince. “We are excited to bring Lola to SoHo. The restaurant is hip and vibrant with excellent food and warm service. It’s the perfect mixture of two places I love: Greece and New York” Says Levy.

The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows carry SoHo’s vibrant soul into Lola, while the interior décor evokes the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere of the Hellenic peninsula. The neutral color palette could not be greeker and matches exquisitely with the floral arrangements and ceramic pots made by the American potter Helen Levi. With a modern take on Greek cuisine, Liakopoulos’s menu was inspired by the lush vegetation of the islands.

Classics like mezze (small, varied portions), moussaka and Greek salad are can’t miss attractions. Served in dishes made by Jono Pandolfi, risotto al Nero di sepia, rice feta and fried calamari with furikake seasoning are the highlights of the menu, which also includes tasty lobster noodles (prepared on the client’s table) and lobster with the essence of ouzo, a typically Greek aniseed drink.

Claur visited the restaurant, and we noticed that all the cool kids from NYC were out here. It’s the perfect option for an unhurried dinner on a lively night with good food and beautiful people. To create the drink list, the restaurant called in reinforcements from friends in the gastronomic sector. The cocktail list went to the staff of Athenian bar “The Clumsies” which this year joined the ranking of the best bars in the world. The drinks revisit Greek classics. One highlight is the Spritz of Athens, which features vermouth and a splash of Aperol. The Skinos Snapper combines vodka, ouzo, lemon juice and a Bloody-Mary mix produced by the house. The Kalamata Negroni updates the traditional drink, utilizing an exotic Campari made of black olives.

To harmonize completely with the dishes, the wine list was adeptly selected by sommelier Laura Maniec Fiorvanti, co-founder of Corkbuzz wine bar. The selections have the best of the Mediterranean, including the Peloponnese mix of Agiorgitiko and Cabernet, as well as Sardinian Skouras Megas Oenos and Panevino Rosso Picci.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9hPNqxJN6C/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Photos Courtesy Lola Taverna

NICOLE WARNE

Born in South Korea, she was adopted and raised in Australia, and now has a global audience of 2.3 million people.

Sweet & Stylish

garypepper @nicolewarne

“To be able to use my platforms to help raise awareness and action for a cause so deeply connected to my story is the greatest gift social media has given me”

When social media was still in its infancy, when it was still nothing more than a mix of photo albums and long-lost friends, a few visionaries began to venture through these websites and create their own virtual businesses. Many vanished without a trace, but, as always, the truly special ones survived. This was the case for Nicole Warne, a true digital influencer hailing from Australia. Born in South Korea, she was adopted and raised in Australia, and now has a global audience of 2.3 million people. Her tasteful style became the trademark of an online vintage clothing store called Gary Pepper.

Social media allowed her to spread the virtual store’s influence and functioned as a window for Nicole’s work, who, though barely twenty years old, was soon being hired as a digital media consultant and strategist for brands like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Cartier. Her early exposure to social media was the first step in her realizing that her personal life, her day to day clothing choices, could be more interesting than the products she sold. Her name became more and more prominent, eventually leading to her inclusion in Forbes Asia’s “30 under 30” list in 2016.

Since then, she has been printed in various magazines and has become a lifestyle reference. Extremely professional and always willing to go for the best with her work, she is beloved by all who know her. How this woman can move so deftly through the fashion world, have a wedding straight out of the movies – last year she married her long-time partner Luke Shadbolt in Wanaka, New Zealand – and continue to be a truly humble and caring person, you’ll find out in our exclusive interview.

“I always aspired to have a global brand, but I didn’t have a clue that it would be by using social media. I recognize I was in the right place at the right time – and that I wouldn’t be where I am today without social media

What’s your audience now?
When I started my business, I was 20 years old and my audience was the same age. 10 years later and my audience has watched me grow and have naturally evolved with me from teenagers to adults, but with the same interests in photography, travel, fashion, and beauty. I’m quite a private person, so as I’ve grown up I’ve learned to share more of my personal life and interests like my values, my charity work, family and friends, fitness, and health, and my followers have loved seeing more inside my everyday life because it’s not as polished. I went from going to the ends of the earth to compose the perfect photo, to consciously trying to ensure my community realized that not everything is perfect; life isn’t perfect; no one is perfect, you’re not perfect, and that’s okay. I hate that social media has created so much social pressure for young teens, so it’s important to me to share more real and candid insights into my life. I know as I keep evolving as a human, a woman, and as a business, my audience will continue to change and grow with me, and that is the most rewarding thing in the world.


How do you see the Gary Pepper brand now?

Gary Pepper was originally an online vintage store back in 2009. It feels crazy to look back and see how much has changed, for both myself and the digital and social industry, which was in its infancy when I started. Once I closed my store, I shifted from selling physical products to being able to market my personal skillset to clients. It gave me a unique opportunity to explore and express my creativity again, which led to consulting or producing digital editorials and campaigns for luxury brands I grew up idolizing like Chanel, Dior, Valentino and Cartier, to name a few. I still see my business as a lifestyle brand which is centered around my community and creativity, but behind the scenes, my team and I, operate as a digital and creative agency.


Did you ever imagine that it could reach this size?

Absolutely not. Social media was a different tool when I was in high school or it just didn’t exist yet; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter were all launched after I had graduated, so it was impossible for me to grasp just how large the global reach would be and how quickly the business, and my following, would expand using these platforms. I always aspired to have a global brand, but I didn’t have a clue that it would be by using social media. I recognize I was in the right place at the right time – and that I wouldn’t be where I am today without social media.


How do you deal with the names Gary Pepper and Nicole Warne? Are they something separate or both important brands for you?

Last year I changed my Instagram handle from @garypeppergirl to my name @nicolewarne and it was so liberating. I wanted to do it for years but to be honest I was terrified of shifting from my brand name to my personal name because it felt like I was losing such an important chapter of my life and I didn’t want to lose a part of me that was so integral to where I am today. I started my social media the same day I launched my online vintage store, so my platforms were used for my business, and as things began to shift I always struggled with accepting the weird and wild reality that people were actually interested in me and my life rather than just my products. Once I realized my community will support me through anything it gave me such beautiful confidence in moving forward. Now, Gary Pepper is more of an aesthetic, so I still share content and collaborations through the Gary Pepper lens. At the end of the day, my hope is that everything I share can inspire and cultivate positive change, which is what I have always wanted to use my platforms for.


You are a vegan now. Is this something that changed your life?

Yes, I’ve been on a plant-based diet for three and a half years now. I used to eat meat in every meal, three times a day, but I always wanted to explore being vegetarian or vegan to support animal rights and to help the environment but I had the common excuse of saying “But I could never give up cheese!” or “But I love eggs too much”. It wasn’t until my Mum, who is vegan, gave me a book called ‘The China Study’, which is the largest case study on nutrition ever conducted, that everything shifted. It was like someone flicked a switch in my brain. I couldn’t view food the same way as before. I just woke up one morning and the sight of meat repulsed me, so I said I was going to try being vegan for one week, which turned into one month, then one year, and so on. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I have never felt healthier.


What are your favorite vegan dishes? The same as before?

I’ve always eaten clean, so going on a plant-based diet wasn’t too much of a shift. I love ‘eating the rainbow’ and will cook with fresh vegetables and some sort of protein every single night. I generally make roast vegetables, protein bowls, smoothies or anything Mexican. I love making vegan cookies and cakes when I’m stressed. It’s so easy to substitute ingredients for vegan alternatives when you’re cooking or baking now so I still get to eat all the fun (and bad) things like pizza, pasta, cookies, etc.


You are living in New York now, right? How is your life as a New Yorker?

Yes, I am. I moved last August and it’s been the fastest year of my life. My life in New York could not be more of a contrast to my life in Australia. I have a house in my hometown back in Australia, where it’s quiet, isolated and incredibly sheltered. There isn’t much to do besides enjoying time outside in nature with family and friends. It’s an oasis. Whereas in New York there’s hardly any nature, the city and the people never stop moving and you can basically get anything you want, as late as you want. I never hear the sound of the trees moving in the wind or birds and bees during Spring, but my time in New York has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life and we feel very lucky to experience both worlds. It’s confronting, it’s hard, it’s unforgiving, but it’s pushed me further than anything ever has, and I absolutely love it. There is no place in the world quite like New York.


What do you like best in town?

I love Central Park and could spend hours there. I love exploring the city by bike. I love Domino Park in Williamsburg. I love dedicating a day to seeing the new exhibitions at the art galleries in Chelsea or museums. I love going to Broadway by myself. I love vegan places like ABCV in Flatiron, Jajaja in LES and Modern Love in Brooklyn. Tracey Anderson is one of my favorite workouts ever. You can actually find any form of exercise in this city – the options are endless. The city is constantly changing so there’s always so much to explore.

You are a very engaged person, with lots of social projects. On your website, you suggest a connection with being adopted. That’s a special subject for you?
I work with Adopt Change, a not-for-profit organization founded by Deborah-Lee Furness which advocates for making adoption and foster care easier within Australia, and the work we do together has given me so much fulfillment and joy. I’ve always been very open about being adopted and have wanted to work with Adopt Change for years. To be able to use my platforms to help raise awareness and action for a cause so deeply connected to my story is the greatest gift social media has given me. To know my platforms are helping to improve the quality of life for anyone – there is no better feeling.


A natural question after such a beautiful wedding, do you plan to have kids?
This is the million-dollar question right now! I’ve always wanted children and it’s something my husband and I want in the near future. We’re just enjoying each other and being married for a moment before moving onto the next chapter.


And what are your plans for the future?
Right now, I’m still in a relationship with New York and trying to spend as much time there as possible when I’m not traveling for work. My husband and I are working on a book together which will be out next year, as well as a few other projects. I’m excited to continue my work as an Ambassador for Adopt Change and to help raise awareness for more charities I’m passionate about, like ‘Take 3 for The Sea’ and ‘WWF’. I’m trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle which I want to share more of this year.


Nicole Warne wears Dior at The Edition Hotel New York
Photographer: Remi Pyrdol
Creative Direction: Claudia Ribeiro Bernstein
Styling: C. Otts
Beauty: Sandrine VanSlee
Hair: Yukiko Tajima

Ralph’s Coffee

Following a string of successful openings in Hong Kong and Tokyo, Ralph Lauren has opened the wonderful Ralph’s Coffee in New York, offering something well beyond the classic espresso.



A Cup of Charm

ralphlauren @ralphscoffee


The Big Apple has had a long history with Ralph Lauren’s cafés. It began in 2014 when the beloved brand decided to open a coffee shop with its signature logo near the iconic Fifth Avenue store. Buzz about this new outpost swept the neighborhood, and the place became a go-to for coffee-crazed New Yorkers. With the closure of the café two years later, many of the city’s coffee-lovers were orphaned.

Building on the success of its Asian stores, the Ralph Lauren brand has once again landed back in Manhattan, this time with a food truck in the middle of Rockefeller Center. Betting on its lifestyle contingent, Ralph’s Coffee has reopened its doors, this time in the Flatiron neighborhood, boasting a spectacular view of Fifth Avenue.

With a vibe equal parts elegant and authentic, Ralph’s is more than just a coffee shop. Upon entering, the espresso machine (with its pearly white tone and retro feel) gives off a lustrous glow. Behind the counter, impeccably attired waiters wear striped shirts and Ralph Lauren knitwear, together with denim aprons embroidered with the unmistakable logo.

With a warm and inviting interior, the colorful tiles and marble countertops almost make us forget why we’re here: to savor the rich and aromatic coffee. Teapots painted with the brand logo carry milk and other additions for the flagship store’s coffee. Known principally for his exquisite fashion choices, Ralph Lauren brings the same attention to detail to his coffee.

To this end, the store has partnered with La Colombe, a reputable coffee roaster that sells beans grown in Africa, Central America, and South America. Made from organic beans, the classic and creamy espresso, the decaf coffee, and the special “Ralph’s Roast” are sold in creative metallic packaging that has old school energy. For caffeine-free coffee fans, don’t worry, the brand has a Swiss decaffeination process that gives you the full flavor of the coffee without the stimulating effects.

Ralph’s Coffee is proud to be the first in New York to offer Espresso Tonic, which is made with three servings of cold Espresso, tonic water, and a slice of orange. This delightful concoction is an ideal choice on hot days. One can also visit the store to taste one of the teas created exclusively by the Ralph Lauren brand.

When it comes to treats, the store has copious options for any sweet tooth, such as brownies, croissants, and a delicious chocolate cake. The Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s restaurant in north Midtown, is responsible for some of Ralph’s Coffee’s delicacies – notably the cookies, which are some of the most frequently requested desserts in the restaurant.

Beyond serving cups of coffee, Ralph Lauren has been able to create a delightful visitor experience by cultivating an authentic brand atmosphere and engaging the consumer by gesturing towards its own history.

Want to have a taste of the shop at home or give a gift to a coffee lover? In addition to selling coffee beans, the store has a variety of designer products such as Ralph Lauren logo bags, t-shirts, and mugs.


Photos: Courtesy Ralphs Coffee

Tinamarie Clark

Tina and the Shift Stirrer Method

Yeah babe, she’s got it

shiftstirrer @tinamarieclark

“My grandmother always told me that I was born wanting to be a model. From childhood, this was always my way of expressing myself and finding a place in the world”

A daughter of a single mother, Tinamarie was the youngest child and grew up in public housing with two older brothers and has always been the tough type, the kind who wears armor in order to hide their insecurities. She attended a number of different schools and was what some call a “problem child.” Her bad-girl past could have inspired a Gerry Ross film and also could have led in a quite different direction if it hadn’t been for her pursuit of a goal that changed her life – the desire to become a model.

Perusing the gorgeous pictures of Tinamarie Clark on social media, it’s hard to imagine that she’s had even a single bad day in her life. Gorgeous, blessed with a cover girl’s smile, a career as a model, a comfortable life with husband David Rosenberg, and two kids – Maximus and Lexington – her family poses amidst the beautiful backdrop of their Bridgehampton property. But before getting to this moment, the model had to free herself from a lot of baggage.

When the opportunity to become a model came along, Tinamarie almost lost it all because of her temperament. She was warned that no one would want to deal with a professional who didn’t know how to behave like one. The possibility of missing her big chance was what led her to put her aggression aside and look inside of herself, in an effort to understand what made her act so impulsively at different moments in her life. So, she became invested in the current wave of Mindfulness. It was in this way that the “Shift Stirrer” method began to develop, without her even realizing it:

“For at least 10 years, these are the practices I applied in order to get where I needed to, all without having the faintest idea that I was even applying some kind of method. The goal is to be able to smile in a way that is real and calm, not in an effort to hide a world of anxieties and insecurities”

When some difficult emotions came up, I recognized the feeling, let it just happen, and tried to be comfortable with something that I wasn’t naturally comfortable with. Afterward, I would reflect on it, understanding what was really happening with my mind and my body, and identifying the good and bad feelings that were coming up.

With effort, I was able to free myself from bad energy, recognizing the distortions that we create for ourselves in certain situations. After I would share everything with someone who has my complete trust – could be my mom or a friend. In the end, I processed the change I achieved and celebrated it since it really was an amazing achievement. This entire mechanism that Tinamarie created as a survival strategy, this pursuit of self-care and self-knowledge, became a method that she went on to promote almost two years ago.

Her desire today is to share this technique worldwide so that everyone can have a chance to deal with challenges and day-to-day questions better while searching for a more full and balanced life. Still, she claims that it’s important to remember all the steps each day. It’s all about a constant fight with her own ego. “The application of all this is simple, but still pretty difficult,” she says. “You need to know what your triggers are and recognize when something bothers you.

As soon as this happens, what are you going to do to protect yourself and feel better? In the majority of cases, these natural reactions are not good and don’t reflect who you are. They’re defense mechanisms. But if you look inside yourself and go through this process, you become free to act intentionally and not on your automatic triggers. ” This way of organizing thoughts and seeing life quickly became Tinamarie’s main engagement and mission.

Tinamarie has lectured, developed a workbook from the Shift Stirrer Method, and has looked for ways to share her life lessons. With this knowledge the model has given us, we may be able to see social media photos in a new light. It takes willpower to fill our pictures with meaning, such that they are really a projection of our internal feelings.

The willingness and joy with which Tinamarie Clark told us her story prove that her daily struggle has resulted in something great and that there is nothing better than sharing one’s journey of self-knowledge with everyone.


Photos: Aline Velter