The Insider’s Guide to Auckland

Both bustling and naturally beautiful, Auckland is a city unlike any other.  There are rainforests to hike; picturesque beaches for relaxing, swimming and surfing; and vineyards to wander through. Its hills, lakes and basins, formed by the city’s 50 surrounding volcanoes, are also there to explore. Here, you can kayak in the morning, shop boutiques and local markets in the afternoon, then savor a slice of meat pie and glass of Sauvignon Blanc at one of the best restaurants. No wonder so many amazing creatives call this place home. We caught up with our new Kiwi pals–the city’s talented indie designers and boutique owners–to get the scoop on the best places to eat, drink and people watch.

WHERE TO EAT

There are so many places,we have an amazing restaurant scene,” explains Anna Murray of Laing Home. “But if I have to pick, Cassia in Fort Lane for modern Indian and Kiss Kiss in Dominion Road for cheap, tasty Asian fusion.”

Cassia, 5 Fort Ln

Kiss Kiss, 1 Rocklands Avenue

Anywhere in Sandringham is amazing for tasty vegetarian options,” explains Penny Sage’s designer Kate Megaw. “One of my favorite places to share a meal is Saattveek. When you can’t decide what to eat, they ask you how hungry you are, then they bring out plates of everything delicious, and don’t stop until you’re full!”

Saattveek, 570 Sandringham Rd

Images top to bottom: Cassia, Cazador, Orphan’s Kitchen and Fukuko Bar

Kristine Crabb, designer of Miss Crabb, had a hard time deciding but managed to narrow it down to her top three. “My favorites at the moment are Coco’s Cantina, Madame George and Gemmayze St,” she said.

“Well, the obvious favourite is Coco’s Cantina, as it just feels like home,” reveals Greta van der Star, the talented stylist and photographer who shot Yasmine Ganley for our Q&A.  “I adore the girls who run it and everyone who works there!” She adds, “I also love Conch which is South American, they do the best tacos and have an outdoor courtyard with booths, so you feel very hidden away.”

Coco’s Cantina, 376 Karangahape Rd

Madame George, 490 Karangahape Rd

Gemmayze Street, 183 Karangahape Road

Conch Records Kitchen & Bar, 115A Ponsonby Rd

Unequivocally, it’s the Orphans Kitchen for designer Kate Sylvester. An multi-award winner restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner including a bowl of potatoes you won’t be able to stop eating.

Orphans Kitchen, 118 Ponsonby Rd

Sherie Rai, designer of Sherie Muijs swears by family owned and operated restaurant Cazador. Specializing in sustainable cooking, it also happens to be Auckland’s only game restaurant.

Cazador, 118 Ponsonby Rd

 

WHERE TO DRINK

Images top to bottom: Coco’s Cantina, Orphan’s Kitchen, Cassia and Cazador

Ruben Bryant, the owner of Good as Gold, heads to Golden Dawn when in need of a drink. Tucked away, this popular Auckland watering hole has long been a haven for the city’s creative community and serves everything from eclectic cocktails to a vast selection of beers and wines.

Anna also fancies at spot on Ponsonby Road: “Annabelles is the perfect little local!”

Golden Dawn, 134 Ponsonby Rd

Annabelles, 409 Tamaki Dr

“On my balcony watching the cheeky Tui’s—for all you non-Kiwis this is a large honeyeater bird—fight for a spot in a big Pohutukawa tree,” admits Kate. “But If I’m feeling fancy, I like going to the Federal Delicatessen for a piece of cheesecake and an Aperol spritz.”

Federal Delicatessen, 86 Federal Street

“Any RSA (Returned Services Association) or Bowling Club around NZ,” says Greta, “You’ll meet the best characters and the drinks are simple and cheap!”

 

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

“Fukuko in Briomart,” says Anna, “Grab a cocktail and a window seat and watch the beautiful people of the Britomart precinct on their way home.”

Fukuko Bar, 43 Tyler St

Sherie and Kate both love to people watch at Coco’s Cantina, especially while sitting at the outside tables.

Images top to bottom: @greerinnz, @nutrition_consultants and @re_placed

“Avondale markets on Sunday mornings,” reveals Greta. “It has the produce side—always rammed with people filling their bags and pulling trolleys which offers a mixture of fresh veg and treats such as Samoan banana bread or breakfast noodle bowls. Then the other side is more car boot-style where you’ll see so many interesting people and their dogs rummaging through trinkets.”

Avondale Market, 2 Ash St

Filled with contemporary art galleries, boutiques, vintage shopping and hundreds of restaurants, Auckland’s infamous K Road in the business district is where it’s at for Ruben.

Marina Davis, the designer of Ovna Ovich, also loves K Road for people watching. “My studio window is perfect, it looks out over Karangahape Road.”

Another top watching spot: “The Downtown Ferry Terminal never has a dull moment,” says Kate.

Lead image: Cassia

Shop New Zealand’s wildly cool indie boutiques and designers right here!

The Insider’s Guide to Tel Aviv

Located on the edge of the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is a haven of buttery beaches and vibrant culture. The Israeli city — nicknamed “the White City” for the surplus of white, 1930s Bauhaus-style buildings that decorate the streets — boasts a unique combination of old and new: thousands of years of history set within a young, modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere. A place you sip black coffee on a storied palm tree-lined boulevard, explore an ancient port and discover a pop-up boutique tucked around the corner of the crumbly walls, stumble across a feminist art exhibition held in a restored Ottoman-era building. Elderly men play backgammon and smoke cigarettes in open-air markets while the latest, hippest restaurant bustles feverishly in the space next door. As such, it’s really no surprise that the city is such a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of creatives, from chefs and architects to musicians, artists and designers. This juxtaposition supplies Tel Aviv — at once a beach town, a thriving arts hub, an inclusive space for both tradition and boundary-pushing ideas — with a spirited energy that fuels the need to discover and rediscover it time and time again.

With that in mind, we asked a couple of our closest local pals to give us the low down on all of their go-to places to eat, beach and sightsee in the colorful, vivacious place they call home.

 

WHERE TO EAT

Photos by Roni Cnaani

“Oasis on Montefiori St,” says Gittit Szwarc, designer behind the multidisciplinary studio Knobbly. “It’s the vision of a mad and inspired chef, Rima Olvera. I’m a food culture skeptic in general — I eat to get through my day, usually while reading/talking/texting. I remember being a little upset the first time I ate at Oasis because I couldn’t ignore the food I was eating the way I’m used to doing. I had to stop and experience it. And the place is designed to support it, dark and minimal with weird murals in the patio from local artist Klone. It’s a place to go to experience food as art.”

The charming Montefiori St is home to another excellent restaurant, this one at a boutique hotel. “Hotel Montefiori is a great option if you’re more into French-inspired classics, and is the place for an over the top breakfast/brunch,” adds Hila Chemony of Vender.

For the best hummus — a classic staple of the Israeli diet — in town, both Gittit and Hila recommend Abu Hassan in Jaffa. “Get the “Hummus Masabakha” (hummus with chickpeas cooked for 8 hours) with a brown egg,” Gittit says. “It’s only open until 4PM, the good stuff usually runs out by 2, it’s super crowded and noisy with communal seating, and you’ll be in and out in 15 minutes — the original hummus experience.” Check out Garger Hazahav (which means “the Golden Chickpea” in Hebrew) in the funky Florentin neighbourhood, too. “They have amazing hummus, delicious sides and a cool casual vibe,” describes Hila.

Oasis, Montefiore St 17

Hotel Montefiori, Montefiori St 36

Abu Hassan, Ha-Dolfin St 1

Garger Hazahav, Levinsky 30

Bait Thailandi, Bograshov St 8

 

WHERE TO DRINK

Unequivocally, the Teder. “It’s located in a courtyard surrounded by a complex with mainly artist and designer studios and there’s always some unoccupied room or corridor being taken over by an exhibition, pop up shop or music label, as well as live shows in the main area,” Gittit says. “You can find a quiet spot to sit with friends or take your drink and walk around to see what’s happening.”

The four-level complex itself is called Beit Romano and, along with the Teder, Hila suggests exploring the whole place. “The Romano restaurant on the second level is a great spot for dinner and drinks.”

The Teder, Beit Romano, Derech Jaffa 9

Romano, Beit Romano, Derech Jaffa 9

 

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

Photos by Roni Cnaani

One of the most wonderful things about Tel Aviv is its diversity. And the Great Synagogue, built in the 1920s and located on Allenby St, is a great spot to go at night to people watch, Hila says. Have a drink at Port Sa’id just across the street and settle in for the evening.

“Casino San Remo in the Noga District in Jaffa — a cafe by day and bar by night,” Gittit adds. “It’s casual but not too small, so there’s a wide range of people of all ages and walks of life who feel at home there in different hours of the day.”

Great Synagogue, Allenby St 110

Port Sa’id, Har Sinai St 5

Casino San Remo, Nehama St 2

 

WHERE TO BEACH

The White City’s coastline, with gorgeous yellow sand beaches looking out at jewel blue water, is hard to beat. “Beit Haetzel beach right on the edge of Tel Aviv and the beginning of Jaffa is simply beautiful,” Hila says. “If you’re into surfing (or surfers) you should head to Hilton beach, and don’t miss the Independence Garden right above it.”

Gittit recommends the laid back Ajami beach, just south of Old Jaffa.

Photos by Yasmine Shemesh (left) and Roni Cnaani (right)

 

WHERE TO SHOP

The best shopping district? “The Noga District!” Gittit says. “It’s where my studio is located. Most of the designers’ spaces there function foremost as studios and second as shops, which means you’ll usually be talking to the designer herself when you enter. You can find some conceptual-yet-wearable stuff at Magpie Goose (with whom I share studio space), HOKO, Juliett and Naomi Maaravi, strong clean basics at KAV, and you’ll be breathing sea air the whole time.”

For an eclectic experience, Hila suggests wandering the flea market in Jaffa — the Shuk HaPishpushim. “It is a fun way to spend half a day between the independent designer shops, galleries, cafes and a great place to find flea market finds.”

Noga District, in between Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Flea Market, Jaffa

 

WHERE TO SIGHTSEE

Photos by Yasmine Shemesh

“Try and find a nice bike (or rent one of the city’s) and spend a day going from the Jaffa flea market and up Rothschild Blvd,” Gittit says. “I feel like cycling is the best way to feel the city.” Another superb way to take in Tel Aviv’s culture is going to watch local bands perform. “There’s some really amazing stuff happening here this year,” Gittit adds. “Girl punk duo Deaf Chonky, glam rock band the White Screen, political punk from Antigona Rex, lots of interesting electronic and stoner rock stuff!”

“Tel Aviv’s historical neighborhoods are absolutely gorgeous,” Hila says. “Neve Tzedek or Old Jaffa are a must, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (and the new wing especially) has great exhibitions throughout the year.”

Rothschild Boulevard

Neve Tzedek, southwestern Tel Aviv

Old Jaffa, Jaffa

 

ONE MORE THING YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO

For Gittit, when anyone visits Israel, they must take a trip out to the Dead Sea. It’s a two-hour drive, but so worth it. “It’s such a surreal and intense place unlike anything else on Earth,” she says. Staying strictly in Tel Aviv, though? Find an Airbnb in North Jaffa and make it your home base. “Tel Aviv can be really intense and Jaffa is the more laid back and arty part of the city, so that’s where I tend to spend more time.”

And, before you go, a coast-to-coast walk along the beachfront is essential. “Starting up north at Reding, going all the way through Tel Aviv Port, the boardwalk and into Jaffa’s Old Port and Old City,” says Hila. “Tel Aviv’s beach is always an option, no matter the season, time or mood.”

by Yasmine Shemesh

The Insider’s Guide to Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia is a small but mighty city. As the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1780—as well as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War—it’s a town steeped in history, evident in its well-preserved, historic architecture. Now, with a thriving influx of creatives, Richmond has turned into a young community of small businesses, nonprofits and endless opportunities. “Everyone is so creative and supportive of each other,” says Emi Moore, owner of Casa Shop. With more than 20 craft breweries, a ton of amazing restaurants, and beautiful street art on every other corner, there is always something to do and see. Plus, everything is an easy walk or short drive away.

We wanted to get the low-down on the best places to eat, drink and people watch, so we reached out to the people we love most: the city’s boutique owners and designers. Trust us, after this guide, you’ll be bumping Richmond to the top of your must-visit list.

 

WHERE TO EAT

“My favorite place to eat is Edo’s Squid,” says Kate Jennings of Na Nin. “Butter parmesan spaghetti, eggplant parm, great house wine, and it is accommodating to all diets with wonderful vegetarian and vegan options.”

Emi Moore, owner of Casa Shop continues the Edo’s Squid rave. “They have the best pasta and a cozy candlelit atmosphere. Caroline Young, artist and jewelry designer of Giantlion, admits her soft spot for the restaurant too. “It has been my favorite restaurant for the past 12 years!”

Edo’s Squid, 411 N Harrison St

Photo via @stellas

Kristy Cotter, designer of Drift Riot and owner of Dear Neighbor, doesn’t mess around when it comes to places to grab a bite. Here’s her expert list: “Brenner Pass, Metzger, Dutch & Co., Saison, Sub Rosa Bakery and Can Can.”

Brenner Pass, 3200 Rockbridge St Suite #100

Metzger Bar and Butchery, 801 N 23rd St

Dutch & Company, 400 N 27th St

Saison, 23 W Marshall St

Sub Rosa Bakery, 620 N 25th St

Can Can, 3120 W Cary St

“Mamma Zu (an old-school Italian restaurant), never disappoints,” declares Deborah Boschen, the founder and owner of boutique Verdalina, which has been one of the city’s source for slow-philosophy wardrobe essentials since it opened its doors in 2013.

Mamma Zu, 501 S Pine St

WHERE TO DRINK

Photo via @brennerpassrva

Christine Young, the designer behind jewelry line Young Frankk (you know those cult-favorite hand earrings), heads to Brenner Pass when in need of a drink. Their eclectic cocktail menu is sure to satisfy all your fancy drink needs. Think: Tito’s handmade vodka, green chartreuse, cocchi americano, lemon, and pineapple-lavender syrup. Caroline also recommends cocktails from Brenner Pass followed by Mekong for beer.

Brenner Pass, 3200 Rockbridge St Suite #100

Mekong, 6004 W Broad St

“Bamboo Cafe is an institution in Richmond with a diverse crowd and a beautiful, old marble bar,” says Deborah.

“I can have a drink anywhere!” Kate admits. But she has three solid suggestions: “Stella’s, which is not only great for cocktails but the food is some of the most delicious Greek dishes ever and they always have impressive specials, Helen’s for a fun night out, and Enoteca Sogno. It’s right in my neighborhood, so I love to enjoy a glass of wine there and the ambiance is lovely.”

Bamboo Cafe, 1 S Mulberry St

Stella’s, 1012 Lafayette St

Helen’s Restaurant, 2527 W Main St

Enoteca Sogno, 223 Bellevue Ave

@stellas

Emi reveals a fresh spot to check out. “A place just opened called The Circuit, it’s a bar/arcade combo, which is a new concept for Richmond. I’ve only been once but I feel like it will be my new spot. Plus, they have self serve wine on tap!”

The Circuit, 3121 W Leigh T

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

“Quirk Hotel, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for happy hour––very interesting mix of people in the summer, or Can Can at the bar,” Kristy says. Emi also heads to the VMFA. “During the warmer months, they have a beautiful lawn with a great happy hour, it is where you’ll find me (and everyone else in Richmond) on most Fridays.”

Quirk Hotel, 201 W Broad St

VMFA, 200 N Boulevard

Can Can, 3120 W Cary St

Photo via @quirkhotel

Caroline loves to people watch when she goes to concerts. (Who doesn’t?). “Vagabond for live music just about any night of the week,” she says.

It’s all about Carytown––Richmond’s quirky ever-changing neighborhood filled with a ton of shops and restaurants––for Christine.

“If you like to be around a lot of people and want an opportunity to make new friends, I think Lamplighter has a great set up, and always a full patio of people enjoying coffee and fare,” explains Kate. “It’s also right across the street from our shop and our lovely neighbours, Addison Handmade & Vintage and Yesterday’s Heroes.

Vagabond, 700 E Broad St

Lamplighter, 3 Locations

Lead image (left to right): @brennerpassrva, @vmfamuseum, @lamplightercoffee, @naninstudio

How to Survive the Holidays In Good Health and With Killer Style

For being deemed the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can actually be quite the gongshow. It’s not uncommon to feel an overwhelming amount of stress for the whole month of December as your calendar fills to the brim with work deadlines, family gatherings, gift shopping and more. Expectations seem higher than ever – *cough cough* when your mother in-law comes to stay at your house for a full week – but you’ve got to keep your cool. Because the holidays, in fact, are pretty darn special and should be savored. With the right tips and tricks, they totally can be.

We reached out to a group of experts on varying subjects, from skincare to women’s health to fancy dressing, to help you get through this season like the bad-ass boss woman you are. Grab a glass of wine and read on.

 

SKIN CARE WITH ANNA STEVENETT

As part of the editorial team at Glossier, Anna Stevenett’s job is to know a lot about skin. Here, she suggests three simple but impactful holiday season changes to your beauty routine.  

  • Keep a hand cream handy. Holidays mean colder weather and, thus, drier skin. I find myself in varying levels of discomfort if the skin on my hands is dry, so I like to keep a hand cream nearby, with which I moisturize with gusto, and often. My favorites are Susanne Kaufmann (smells like bananas!), Weleda (it’s $12 and I can use it on my face in emergencies), and Chanel La Crème Main. As it happens, hand creams also make for excellent gifts.
  • Add oil. In the same dryness vein, oils are a kind of a necessary luxury during the holidays. To prevent“hangover face,” I use an oil at night—Pai’s rosehip oil is pretty good. When I’m out of the shower, Imoisturize my body with a dry oil like the classic Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse or Leonor Greyl’s Huile de Magnolia.I like to switch to using an oil version of my perfume around the holidays, too, because it feels fancier andcozier than eau de parfum. Mine is Vanille 44 by Le Labo. Maison Louise Marie makes some great scents, too.
  • Mask often. And drink more water! I’m typically stressed, traveling, or drinking too much this time of year, so masking helps combat the consequences. If I’m flying I like Charlotte Tilbury’s Dry Mask because it’s easy no mess. At home I like Sisley’s Black Rose Mask, and for extra moisture and plumpness, I use Glossier’s Moon Mask to help me wake up in the morning.

 

 

TRAVEL STYLE WITH LAUREN CARUSO

New York-based fashion writer Lauren Caruso is our go-to for minimalist fashion inspiration. Whether she’s working on set, running to appointments, or even on a late night grocery run, Lauren knows how to look put together without sacrificing comfort. Take note on how below:

  • I know this might sound silly considering December is the only month where crushed red velvet and glitter accessories are the norm, but my best tip for surviving holiday travel is to be comfortable. I refuse to travel in or wear anything that might be too tight, short, or otherwise uncomfortable, especially to a holiday party. For me, that usually means packing a ton of high-waisted, wide-leg pants, cropped, oversized sweaters, and the comfiest pair of boots I own. I stick to cozy, natural-fiber separates in neutrals that pair well together and don’t require a ton of steaming to look expensive.

 

HEALTH WITH JESSICA MURNANE

Jessica Murnane is kind of like our health superwoman. She is the author of One Part Plant cookbook, which encourages people to eat one plant-based meal a day with 100 allergy-free recipes to choose from, and hosts One Part Podcast, where she facilitates conversations with some of the most interesting and inspiring minds in wellness, music, food, fashion and design. She also happens to be hilarious and has kick-ass style, of course. Peep her tips on how to keep things healthy during the season of gluttony.

  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish). If you want to make sure there is a healthy option for you at the holiday party, bring it yourself. Call or e-mail your host ahead of time and ask if you can bring a dish to share. Don’t make a big announcement about how gluten-free and dairy-free it is… just bring something really delicious.
  • Be smart about booze. Before you accept that third or fourth cocktail at your next holiday party, pause and ask yourself these two questions: 1) How will this make me feel in the morning? and then 2) Is it worth it? If the answer is no, grab a glass of club soda with lime or stash a bottle of Kombucha in your bag and pour it into a cocktail glass on the sly. With a drink in hand, you won’t have to field the “Why aren’t you drinking?” questions and will, no doubt, wake up feeling way better the next day.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself. If your grandma only makes her famous Christmas cookies once a year and you want one… have one. Constantly asking yourself “Should I or shouldn’t I?” during the holidays can create some serious stress in your head and stop you from being present for all the fun. Be mindful, listen when your belly is full, and remember nobody’s perfect.

 

HOME DECOR WITH COURTNEY MOLYNEAUX

Interior designer and photographer Courtney Molyneaux strives to create unique and memorable spaces that simply feel good. Her blend of Scandinavian and mid-century design aesthetics has that undeniably home-y feel. With the increased time spent indoors over the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to ask Courtney how to keep your home from feeling like a winter prison cell. Not to mention, she lives in Calgary where the cold is fierce and the winter is no joke. Below she lists her at home essentials during the holiday season:

  • A woodsy scented candle (or three)
  • A wool blanket or throw
  • Fresh flowers or greenery
  • Hot chocolate in the pantry at all times
  • A good pair of cute, warm socks

 

GETTING FANCY WITH ALYSSA COSCARELLI

Refinery 29 fashion market editor Alyssa Coscarelli has an undeniably bold style that inspires us daily. With the holidays comes holiday events, which means the need for fancy dressing. Alyssa has some hot tips on how to approach party attire when in that constant holiday season rush, from making what you’ve worn all day at work cocktail-attire appropriate to what to do when you find yourself in jeans at fancy-ish place.

  • Keep a pair of just-in-case earrings in your bag. One night, I took a pair of hoops out of my ears and threw them in my bag. Now, they just stay there. It’s actually one of the best things I’ve ever accidentally done. Now, I have a pair of statement earrings that just stay in my bag — and they’re the easiest way to dress up a sweater and jeans.
  • Glossier Generation G in ‘Zip’ is a lifesaver. It gives lips a pop of color without being too in-your-face. And, it’s super easy to swipe on in a moving cab without worrying that you don’t have lipliner or a mirror.
  • Accept that mini bags aren’t always a reality. Mini bags are one of the biggest trends we’ve seen in handbags as of late, but, to be honest, they’re not always a reality for me. I’m often going to holiday parties or events with my laptop and a tote bag full of gym clothes. Luckily, I’ve found a sleek tote that holds a ton and doesn’t look too disheveled: It’s black leather and always gets compliments wherever I go. But since bumping people with your tote at parties isn’t cute, I either stick it all in a safe corner once I arrive, or take advantage of coat check if it’s offered. Sorry, mini bags, maybe next year…
  • It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll be surprised how much you have in common with a stranger. Fancy parties are intimidating, but the good news is that most people in the room feel that way. It may be awkward to break the ice, but once you step out of your comfort zone and talk to people, you’ll be surprised how much you can find in common with someone random at a party — and you may even leave with a new friend or two.

The Insider’s Guide to Vancouver

It may come as a surprise that Vancouver, British Columbia has been ranked by travel experts as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, alongside knockouts like Sydney, Kyoto, and Rome. But with an unrivaled setting of endless mountains and copious amounts of swimmable waters — from the Pacific ocean to local lakes and rivers — it takes the cake as the most stunning, calming metropolitan area we know. Vancouver’s accessibility to nature lets you start your day in the mountains, head to the beach for the afternoon, and end in the heart of a bustling downtown. Not to mention, the air is seriously fresh anywhere you go — like, smell the glacier waters and pine trees fresh. Plus, it also happens to be the home to Garmentory’s Canadian HQ.

 As a tourist hotspot, you can no doubt find 100 city guides on Vancouver, but we’ve got one unlike any other thanks to our community of local creatives. (Shop the boutiques and designers right here on Garmentory!). Scroll on to discover the best places to eat, drink, and people watch straight from the city’s boutique owners, designers, and style influencers. 

WHERE TO EAT

“Ask For Luigi is one of my favourite restaurants in the city,” says Kleah Graham, co-owner of boutique Charlie & Lee. “Honest, simple, high-quality Italian food in a charming little building,” she explains.“My top list is about 30 restaurants long, though, and I can never decide on an absolute number one! [There’s] an abundance of excellent food in this city.”

Ask for Luigi by Christopher Flett

Saager Dilawri and Karyna Schultz, owners of Neighbour, a boutique in the historic neighborhood Gastown, also can’t just pick one favorite restaurant. “Too many to name,” says Saager, “but for starters: Ask for Luigi, Savio Volpe, Bao Bei, Carp, The Birds and The Beets and Pazzo Chow.”

Designer Sunja Link and Stephanie Gorrell, owner of Umeboshi also declared their love for Ask for Luigi.

Ask For Luigi, 305 Alexander Street

Savio Volpe, 615 Kingsway

Bao Bei, 163 Keefer Street

Carp, 2516 Prince Edward Street

The Birds and The Beets, 55 Powell Street

Pazzo Chow, 620 Quebec Street

Ask for Luigi by Christopher Flett

For brunch, designer Erin Templeton likes Alibi Room, a beautiful restaurant in a historic building with over 50 taps of local and imported craft beer, plus delicious, local food. Michaela Smeaton, the designer behind Folk Fortune suggests Teahouse in Stanley Park for brunch.“I’m a vegetarian,” she says, “so I prefer places where I have more than a veggie burger to choose from. Heirloom, East is East, Flying Pig, Meet, and Pizzeria Farina all have good options.” Marie Foxall,  the designer behind jewelry line Wasted Effort, offers even more veg-friendly options. “It is a really easy place to be vegan,” she says of Vancouver, “especially with restaurants like The Arbor. It’s like the low-key little sister of The Acorn (which is also amazing), and their deep-fried oyster mushrooms are the stuff of dreams.”

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander Street

Teahouse, 7501 Stanley Park Drive

Heirloom Vegetarian, 1509 W 12th Avenue

East is East, 4433 Main Street

The Flying Pig, 127 W 2nd Avenue

MeeT on Main, 4288 Main Street

Pizzeria Farina, 915 Main Street

The Arbor, 3941 Main Street

The Acorn, 3995 Main Street

Savio Volpe by Knauf and Brown

 

WHERE TO DRINK

“I love the bar at L’Abattoir,” says Sarah Savoy, who owns the Main Street boutique Much & Little. “Bao Bei never disappoints for a delicious, inventive cocktail,” she adds. Amy Renee York and Noah MacNayr-Heath, the super cute couple behind boutique Nouvelle Nouvelle are emphatic about Boxcar. Located between a pizza shop and popular concert venue, it’s kind of the best place to grab a drink, see a show, then get some midnight ‘za.

Style influencer Kirstyn König has a favorite spot nice and close to her home. “My favourite little neighbourhood gem is Grapes and Soda,” she says, “a natural wine bar that also has an incredible cocktail and dinner menu. It’s a small, intimate space with a speakeasy vibe and is tucked away next door to another must-try restaurant, The Farmer’s Apprentice.”

33 Acres via @33acresbrewing

“Best cocktail stumbling distance from my house is Nomad, with some of the best bartenders in Vancouver,” reveals Alex Chichak of Still Life boutique. “Otherwise, I’d spend every spare summer moment sipping a paloma at El Camino’s.”

Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow, the ladies behind vintage clothing and lifestyle boutique Hey Jude, have a very special place to drink. “We’re probably biased but on Fridays we’ll hang and have happy hour at our shop (all are welcome!).” They also suggest, “for a favourite local spot we head to 33 Acres for craft beer and cider. If you’re lucky you’ll hit a night with live music.”

L’Abattoir, 217 Carrall Street

Boxcar, 923 Main Street

Grapes and Soda, 1541 W 6th Avenue

The Farmer’s Apprentice, 1535 W 6th Avenue

Nomad, 3950 Main Street

El Caminos, 3250 Main Street

33 Acres, 15 W 8th Avenue

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

Daniel Caesar at The Biltmore by Nicole Wong

“Coffee shops are ideal places to people watch. I’m lucky to have great ones really close to both my house and my shop: Prado on Commercial Drive and Kafka’s on Main Street,” Sarah says.  Amy and Noah like Revolver, a coffee shop in Gastown, for people watching. Grab a seat on one of the benches out front and scope out the local scene (then hit the new Nouvelle Nouvelle location, right around the corner).

Kirstyn heads to the outdoor patio at the Gallery Cafe. “It’s nestled away on the second level of the Vancouver Art Gallery, overlooking Robson Square,” she explains. “Grabbing a glass of wine and basking in the sun after perusing the gallery is one of my favourite weekend activities.” Vancouverite and travel blogger Nicole Wong loves to people watch when she goes to concerts (try the Biltmore to catch emerging acts). “It’s really interesting to check out the crowd and just observe the people who like the same music as I do,” she says.

Marie, of Wasted Effort, has great people watching in her workspace. “From the window of my studio on Columbia Street in Chinatown [I can see] a strange microcosm of humanity, incorporating every element of stereotypical Vancouver life… and it’s endlessly entertaining.”

Prado, 1938 Commercial Drive

Kafka’s Coffee and Tea, 2525 Main Street

Gallery Café, 750 Hornby Street

Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward Street

Revolver, 325 Cambie Street

If you can’t get yourself to Vancouver any time soon, don’t freight. We’ve got all the best boutiques and designers right here on Garmentory. Shop the city’s finest from the comfort of your couch.

Anna Gray’s Go-To Spots During New York Fashion Week

Did you know that I moved to New York as a totally clueless 18-year-old with a college acceptance letter, side bangs and stretchy purple Urban Outfitters jeans? Entire inner worlds are destroyed and rebuilt between the ages of 18 and 28 anyway, but imagine living that out in New York City. But I didn’t die and here I am, bedecked in cool-girl garments, mostly emotionally sound and holding an iced almond latte ready to show you around. (The purple pants are long gone, I promise). The first thing you learn in this here town is that lifespans are short. Favorite bars, vintage stores, restaurants, fast first year friends? All gone. The key is to visit favorites often, experiment with new places and avoid serious attachment. A bit like dating, for some.

Anyway, here are my favorite places that are still around. Though they did just open a Starbucks on the corner of St. Marks Place and Avenue A, so  this is probably the end of NYC as we (I) know it. Swing by any of my below go-to spots  during Fashion Week and you might catch me hiding out.

Aurora Vestita skirt; Catzorange bag; Vans sneakers

6th & B Garden: Okay, this place will be here for awhile because it’s a city sanctioned non-profit. Also, it looks like all of your secret garden dreams come true. There’s a treehouse! Drink your morning coffee in here and make a calm memory you can return to when you’re sprinting between shows.

Still House: I swing by Still House before any birthday/baby shower/wedding to pick up something small, beautiful and reasonably priced. Their ceramics and minimal jewelry are great. It’s a tiny shop so browsing is quick – i.e. it’s a great place to kill the tiny amount of time you have before your next appointment.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mogador: A classic since 1983. You’ve probably been here but I’m putting it on the list in case you haven’t. Delicious Moroccan food, reasonable prices and it’s on my block so you’ll likely run into me and we can talk about how great it is! Go on off hours like 3:30pm to avoid a long wait.

Oliver St Coffee: From the team that made Mr Fongs (more on that later), Oliver Coffee is a kind reprieve from the usual laptop-crowded cafe and also the mayhem that is fashion week. The magazine selection is great, they have obscure Asian snacks and the coffee/tea/milk options are plentiful.

Coming Soon: Fabiana and Helena are women with taste as excellent as their dispositions. They carry Chen & Kai, Concrete Cat, Fredericks and Mae, to name drop a few. They have lots of small cute gifts, so even if you’re in for the long haul of fashion month you can snag a souvenir. I go in for gifts but want everything for myself.

Town Clothes blouse c/o Either, And; Glass earrings c/o The Drive New York

Mr Fongs: Too many of my favorite bars have closed in New York but it’s okay because now we have Fongs. It’s cute, they have snacks and banquettes and the bartenders are nice. I highly suggest going when it’s still sunny out, it looks prettier.

Starstruck Vintage: Great vintage that requires a little digging but not too much. Sunglasses, dresses from all eras, and the bag selection is solid. Their vintage tees are outrageously expensive though! It’s on the west side, so you can stop by when you’re heading east after leaving the piers.

Kes NYC dress

Text by Anna Gray

Photography by Chloe Horseman

The Ins-And-Outs Of New York City With Our Boutiques And Designers

There is no arguing that New York City is a magical, fast-paced, concrete zoo filled with bustling creatives in every realm possible. It’s the city that never sleeps and, as any denizen or tourist can attest, has hundreds of unspoken rules that you best know before coming (like don’t make eye contact on the subway, never take a selfie at a museum, and always move out of the middle of the sidewalk if you are a slow walker). It is also home to many of our close friends, the emerging designers and indie boutique owners that live the city day in and day out; the people we turn to for the inside scoop on how to survive manic, hectic, addictive, draining New York City.

To kick off New York Fashion Week, possibly one of the craziest times to be in the city, we wanted to reveal the best of the Big Apple from our New Yorkers. Scroll on for tips on where to escape the madness, wisdom on how to de-stress, and where to get the best cup of joe.

 

WHERE IN NEW YORK CITY DO YOU FEEL MOST PRODUCTIVE?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

New York can be an extremely productive city, and on the other hand extremely playful city,” says Ivan Gilkes, co-owner of In Support Of, a boutique and showroom in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood. “The trick comes to knowing when to turn it off, and when to turn it on,” he explains.

Szeki Chan of 7115 by Szeki says her studio is her most productive place. “Quiet, peaceful, and no distractions,” she explains. Assembly’s Greg Armas agrees, saying his Chinatown studio is where he gets in the zone. “It’s nice to be surrounded by the city but slightly isolated,” he says. For designer Nikki Chasin it’s her studio in Chelsea.

But for others, being on the on go is what sparks productivity. Anna Pang, the designer behind womenswear line Index Series, says her brain is best “on the train! I tend to have sudden revelations of what my inspiration, concept, ideas are for collections.” Katie Goldman Macdonald, designer of House Dress, bounces off the energy of the Garment District. “It’s where everything happens. I run back and forth between my factories, button, and fabric stores — as well as coffee shops — and end up feeling pretty satisfied (and exhausted) by the end of the day.”

 

HOW MANY COFFEES/TEAS/LIQUIDS DO YOU DRINK A DAY? WHERE’S YOUR GO-TO SPOT?

Image by Hannah Schneider

At least two,” admits Mandy Kordal, designer of knitwear label Kordal. “I need coffee to start my day, and then around 4pm I either make another batch of coffee or tea,” Luis Morales, co-founder and creative director of The Ensign, is also dedicated to that AM caffeine fix. “I try to limit myself to one coffee a day, but it’s a mandatory request for each morning.” He likes to stop at Café Integral (above) for his one a day. Greg heads to Doughnut Plant. “Creature of habit, I have one Americano every morning… and a doughnut.”

Stacia Canyon, owner and buyer of boutique Canon NYC, which is located on Sullivan Street in Soho has her liquid day mapped out to a T. “One to two coffees a day from Cafe Regular in Brooklyn or Colombe on Prince Street in SoHo, then one matcha latte from Banter on Sullivan Street in Manhattan, and finally one juice from the Juice Press in Manhattan.”

Image by Matt Johnson

Szeki opts for, “just one, two tops!” She goes to, “Caffe Vita if I’m close to our LES location, Ninth Street Espresso if I’m at the studio in the East Village, and Sweatshop (above) if I’m at the Williamsburg location.” While on the other hand Katie’s average is, “five coffees a day.I love Madman Espresso on 35th, Grumpys on 37th and Culture on 36th in the Garment District. Sometimes if I’m feeling too caffeinated, I’ll sneak in an herbal iced tea or kombucha.”

As for the non-coffee drinkers: “I drink fresh juice in the morning from Kabila across the street from my studio then I drink water throughout the rest of the day. I don’t really drink coffee unless I’m trying to stay up really late or pull an all nighter to work,” explains Dominic Sondag, the designer behind menswear line S.K. Manor Hill.

Adeniyi Okuboyejo, the designer of Post-Imperial, also prefers a fruity option. “I usually get smoothies from the bodega around the corner of my apartment.”

 

WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET FRESH AIR?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

Escaping the concrete craziness is essential. “I love to go to Jefferson Park for fresh air. It’s a beautiful garden on the grounds of what used to be an infamous women’s prison, a hidden jewel. I’m also often at Washington Square dog park,” says Kelly Colasanti, owner of Fairlight, a beautiful boutique located in the West Village of Manhattan.

The ladies of Duo NYC, Wendy and LaRae Kangas, love to go for, “ a run along the East River. It’s breezy and great for people watching. But for a dose of real fresh air we take a road trip upstate to Woodstock or Hudson.”

“The parks in NYC are the best,” proclaims Ivan. “I have a top four depending on my mood: Grand Ferry Park is a super cute and tiny inlet park in Williamsburg with great views of Manhattan above the Williamsburg Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 has an equally fantastic view of downtown Manhattan and a great lawn for sipping wine with friends. Prospect Park, which in my opinion is better than Central Park, is the best park for activities all year round. It’s great for a picnic and party during the summer and in the winter if it snows you can sled on the Long Meadow there. Last the High Line is a super fun park for people watching and at the end of it you can finish your visit to the park with a trip to the Whitney.”

But sometimes no nature is needed at all. “When I’m at work I’ll step outside the studio to the street on 39th and if I’m at my house I’ll sit on the stoop,” expresses Dominic.

 

DURING FASHION WEEK, HOW DO YOU GET PUMPED UP? AND THEN, HOW DO YOU DE-STRESS?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

“The buzz of the shows and the anticipation of the collections generally gets me excited,” explains Luis. Ivan has a similar reaction. “Fashion Week can be an extremely fast paced time during the year. Getting pumped up for it doesn’t take that much though. If there is a brand that I’m really pumped to see I feel the excitement come naturally.” His trick once he feels overwhelmed? “I like to return to my home and watch some TV and tune out of fashion completely. This coming fashion week fall shows will be back I’m sure I’ll be watching How to Get Away with Murder and hopefully Scandal.”

For designers, things can be a little different. “I get pumped up when I have all of my samples ready to shoot,” says Nikki. Katie explains how she’s, “just naturally high on adrenaline (and coffee) for a week straight during Fashion Week.” So undoubtingly needs, “to lie comatose for a few days and drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc in the tub.”

Getting pumped for Anna starts with, “an early rest and a somewhat substantial breakfast (scrambled eggs, toast and an apple).” To de-stress, she likes to, “light a candle, lie in bed and put on a cool face mask for 30 minutes. I never feel like I have time to actually do this so when I do it feels extra amazing.”

Sometimes after that crazy week, it takes an actual escape. “For de-stress, I usually leave for a bit after Fashion Week, it can be intense,” admits Greg.

 

ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE NEW YORK CITY?

Image by Michael Cobarrubia

“My love for NYC is a rollercoaster. I’m from Northern California and that’s a hard place to beat, but I’ve lived here for 6 years and I love it a little more every year. Hot sweaty days where I’m carrying 50 lbs of fabric in the Garment District I rate a four, but when I get home and see the trees of Inwood park out my window, my love surges to a ten,” says Katie. Luis has the same teetering feelings. It’s about a two from January-March, a four in March-April, a solid ten from May-July, back down to one in August, and about an eight from September through December. We have a love/hate relationship, but we somehow make it work.”

For others, their love for the city is undeniable. “Ten. After living almost fifteen years in this city, I wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. New York has the absolute best of it all,” asserts Ivan. Wendy and LaRae agree, “Eight to ten depending on the day but there’s no place quite like NYC, we’ve got it all here.”

“Ten for sure! I love NYC so much!” professes Kelly.

Both Nikki and Adeniyi went for eleven. “To be honest, I am not sure there is any better city in the world than New York. It keeps me on my toes. It constantly kicks me in the ass to remind me that even with all my accomplishments so far, there is still tons of work that needs to be done,” Adeniyi admits.

“It’s required to 100% love New York City to live here,” states Greg.

Lead and featured image by Michael Cobarrubia

Get To Know Six Of Seattle’s Coolest Creatives

Between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington lies a city of distinct neighborhoods and urban districts that thrive with industrial, commercial and cultural activity around the clock. This bustling city is overflowing with creatives, makers, and explorers, and we want you to get to know six of our favorite. In the simplest terms, our Seattleite squad includes a photographer, restaurant owner, designer, toy collector, hair stylist, and vintage store owner. But, of course, they are all so much more. Get ready to meet some of the coolest creatives we know, find out why they love to call Seattle home, and get the lowdown on their expert city tips.

CHRISTINA HICKS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Art director and photographer Christina Hicks lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood with her boyfriend Ryan — also a multi-disciplinary creative — and their two year old rescue dog, Nori (a must-follow on Instagram). Hicks creates content in the fields of design, fashion, travel and technology with work that is both commercially strategic as well as artful.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the freedom of living in a growing city with so many amenities, yet being within a short drive of so many beautiful natural environments: the Pacific ocean, the Puget Sound, two major mountain ranges, an archipelago of islands, national parks, forests, and deserts, to name a few.

WHAT’S THE CREATIVITY COMMUNITY LIKE? The creative community here is definitely close knit — I think Seattle’s geographic location up in the corner of the country contributes to a sense of pragmatism and camaraderie.

I love that there’s an undercurrent of go-getters that gravitate towards one another, encouraging and supporting each other as both friends and creative colleagues. And with the more recent tech boom, I feel as though the creative community is coming together even more strongly as a means of survival in a quickly changing city that could easily displace artists and small businesses.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE IN SEATTLE TO PHOTOGRAPH? I love the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island- it’s an inspiring place to walk and clear your head, and the impeccably kept grounds offer an endlessly changing backdrop of colors and textures.

Follow @xt_marie

 

MICHELE TANSEY, HOME GOODS STORE OWNER

Michele Tansey co-owns a vintage rug and furniture shop called Homestead Seattle as well as Plant Shop Seattle (you can imagine what they sell) with her partner Ryan. In their spare time, the couple has been renovating and restoring their 1903 house over the course of seven years. They run an Airbnb out of the home, and it is one of the most beautiful places to stay when in the city.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I’m from Washington state but grew up in the midwest, and I always felt like I just needed to get back to Seattle. It’s beautiful here even when it’s cold and rainy because it stays so lush and green. If the green can carry you through the sunless winter, the summer here is just perfect (and practically mosquito free). We live about a mile from downtown and can walk to a beach or forest just as easily as a museum or restaurant. But my favorite thing about living in Seattle right now is watching it grow, so much so fast. Even though some of the growth is problematic I’m still proud as hell of our city, continuing to evolve and make a bigger name for itself in the world. Like me, it seems to be right in the middle of its story and I’m interested to watch how it plays out for both of us.

WHAT’S VINTAGE/ANTIQUE SHOPPING LIKE IN SEATTLE? It’s good and bad. Compared to somewhere like Portland, we have fewer cute, small vintage furniture shops, but we have more large antique malls, especially if you’re willing to drive an hours. I’d consider Pacific Galleries to be the gold standard of antique malls in Seattle. We also have some really great collectors that you can easily find selling on Craigslist. If you’re not scared of a bit of elbow grease, our friends over at Seattle Furniture Co have a 7000+ sq ft basement filled with furniture to hunt through.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER FOUND AND DID YOU KEEP IT? Pretty much anything that’s made the cut to stay in our house at this point falls into the category “favorite.” We only have so much space, and in order for something to stay something else has to move on. If I was forced to pick one thing right now that I own I think it would be a large Persian Gabbeh carpet that I have hiding under a stack of other beautiful hoarded rugs in my basement (this stack is the one thing I allow to grow). As for furniture, in the shop right now we have a pair of lucite Pace Argenta Chairs and a set of Mario Botta Quinta Chairs. If I could, I would hoard those forever, too!! Definitely going to cry when those lucite chairs leave the shop.

Follow @micheletansey

 

BOBBIE YANOUPETH, HAIR STYLIST

After living in New York for the past 10 years, Bobbie Yanoupeth has moved back to his hometown of Seattle. In 2015, he and his business partner Michael Sing teamed up to open BAHTOH, a bridal boutique that does everything from floral arrangements to decor to hair styling. Bobbie is a professional (and seriously amazing) hair stylist who has worked with Lady Gaga, numerous fashion houses, and whose work has been featured in Vogue, Brides, Nylon, and more.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? Seattle has just as much to offer as any other big city. It has great food, cute little shops, dope art, so many cool neighborhoods, diversity and who doesn’t love driving along the freeway and seeing all the lush greens and Mt. Rainier in the distance!?! Even with all this growth and great culture, Seattle still has a small town feel. Since opening our shop, so many people have reached out to us and are so excited to support us. There is a sense of community here that a lot of big cities lack.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR HAIR STYLING? I was eight and we were living in Holland, MI. My parents were refugees from Laos and could barely speak English. So my mother decided that in order for her to keep up with the hair trends, she was going to teach me. She pulled the dining chair up to the kitchen counter and taught me how to perm her hair. Which then led to French braids, French twist and other updos. I became obsessed and started playing with everyone’s hair. I would get in trouble in class cause I was braiding hair during work period.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING VENUE IN SEATTLE? I’ve really been into intimate weddings. We did a wedding at Zoe Events recently. It feels like a little secret garden in the middle of the city. I can’t wait for the day that a couple give us total freedom to do whatever in that space. I want to recreate that moment in The Great Gatsby movie when he meets up with Daisy at her cousin’s house. He had the whole place decked out with tons of flowers, sweet treats and cakes. SOOOOO DREAMY!!!

Follow @sachoon

 

LINDA DERSCHANG, RESTAURATEUR

Linda Derschang is the founder and CEO of The Derschang Group, which owns and operates six neighborhood cafes, bars, and restaurants in Seattle. With so much success, Linda has rightfully earned the title “Queen of Capitol Hill.” Her signature aesthetic –– rustic, Scandinavian-inspired, vintage–– can be found in each space, big or small.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the Seattle summers. After nine months of grey, it is such a treat to spend so much time outside and on the water.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN THE SEATTLE FOOD SCENE? Ever since moving to Seattle I have known people who are involved in food, art, and music. After opening Linda’s Tavern in 1994, it was just a natural progression to move into food.  

TELL US WHERE YOUR IDEAL DAY OF EATING OUT WOULD BE FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT. My ideal eating out day would start with Vif in Fremont for breakfast. I love their smoked trout tartine. Then I would pop over to Juicebox in Capitol Hill for lunch. They have amazing juice and salads. Le Caviste is just a few blocks from my house downtown so I often head there for wine, bread, and cheese, or charcuterie in the evening. I would  finish out the day at Stateside in Capitol Hill.

Follow @lindaderschang

 

ABRAHAM VU, BOUTIQUE TOY SHOP OWNER

Abraham Vu and his family moved to Seattle from Edmonton in the late ‘90s. He’s spent most of his career at tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, until he recently quit the corporate world to pursue his dream of starting a boutique toy shop, curating collectible and designer toys under the moniker Made to Scale.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? The diverse mix of culture, food, and the great outdoors. Seattle’s culture has been flourishing with the recent come up of tech companies and startups, leading to the increase of new food spots and developments in the city. I also love that you don’t have to drive very far to be surrounded by water, mountains, or the forests of the Pacific Northwest; what’s not to love!

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO COLLECTING TOYS? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into collecting toys at some point in my life. My passion started as a kid the day I received my very first Transformers toy from my parents as a birthday gift. Since then I’ve collected everything from He-Man and Ninja Turtles, to Marvel toys, to now the more art-centric collectibles. I’m a huge sneaker collector, too, and the designer vinyls go hand-in-hand with sneaker culture. I think what appeals to me the most about toys is seeing the progression of the hobby so deeply rooted in my childhood to now being fully engrained in my life and my appreciation for them as an art form. I have always viewed toys as the artistic process of starting from a 2D art drawing, manifesting into its 3D representation.

YOUR FAVORITE TOY RIGHT NOW AND WHY? My favorite toy right now is the 400% Jackson Pollock Be@rbrick, from the Japanese company Medicom Toy, a collaboration with the late American painter. What draws me to this piece is that it perfectly captures the essence of Jackson Pollock’s work and makes for a great display piece in any collection. Medicom Toy is definitely my favorite toy company because of their collaborations with high profile artists and brands such Andy Warhol, Kaws, Nike, A Bathing Ape, Daft Punk, just a name a few.

Follow @madetoscaleshop

 

NIN TRUONG, DESIGNER

Splitting his time between Seattle, California, and Japan, Nin Truong kind of does it all. He runs a small design studio and gallery called WKND with his partner Christa Thomas, which is home to serveral in-house projects: Maiden Noir, a men’s and womenswear line, Blk Pine Workshop, a lifestyle, accessories, and furniture collection, and a small neighborhood coffee shop called Café Weekend. Along with the design studio, he is the design director for Stussy and to top it off, he has recently started a new project called the Da Da Da Gallery. Located in Seattle’s little Nihonmachi/Japantown, it is a revolving creative and contemporary space for work that can transcend from multiple dimensions.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I really love the geography and setting in Seattle. It’s a major city but is tucked away between the water and the mountains. I’m always reminded about how much I love Seattle when I’m flying back home.

YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND WHY? My favorite or part of Seattle is the South End (Columbia City, Beacon Hill, and Seward Park). There’s a lot of diversity and food choices are pretty amazing. There are still little immigrant restaurants and shops sprinkled throughout. Seward Park is great for swimming and there’s a few good loops for trail running.

HOW WOULD DESCRIBE SEATTLE MEN’S STYLE? It’s a mixture between laid back outdoorsy and contemporary. There are remnants of the grunge era still around, that’s part of the laid back vibe. Filson is based out here, along with several other outdoor brands, so that has an influence. Then there’s a great design and art community in Seattle. It’s much more contemporary — almost Scandinavian or Japanese in sensibility.

Follow @maidennoir

Bonus: We have an unreal Seattle flash sale happening right now! Shop the city’s brightest boutiques and designers at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. And go >

The Insider’s Guide To Seattle

As the largest metropolis of the Pacific Northwest, there is no shortage of things to do, sites to see, and people to know in Seattle, WA. The city has something for everyone, from picturesque mountains to diverse neighborhoods, all sandwiched between the epic Pacific ocean and the second largest freshwater lake in Washington. Seattle is famously known for its iconic Space Needle, rainy reputation, and being home to the first Starbucks — but we wanted to dig a little deeper and uncover the city’s lesser-known gems. Plus, it also happens to be the home of Garmentory’s stateside HQ. This is where our network of local boutiques and designers comes in. Not to brag, but we happen to work with some of the city’s coolest creatives, so instead of relying on dusty tourist books or travel apps, we asked them to reveal the best places to eat, drink, and people watch. Start planning your west coast adventure now.

WHERE TO EAT

“Food is high on the list of reasons why I love this city,” boasts Alisa Furoyama, co-owner of design shop Glasswing. She suggests heading to “Single Shot, especially for weekend brunch, Harry’s Fine Foods for breakfast or lunch, Juicebox for a wellness shot, Plum for vegetarian, and Agua Verde for summer tacos.”

Single Shot, 611 Summit Ave E

Harry’s Fine Foods, 601 Bellevue Ave E

Juicebox, 1517 12th Ave #100

Plum Bistro, 1429 12th Ave

Agua Verde, 1303 NE Boat St

Julia Briggs, founder of New Jersey boutique Mothers + Daughters, recently made the move to Seattle and like Alisa, she loves Harry’s Fine Food for brunch!” She also notes “Suika (below) and Japanese food in general. The sushi here is amazing.”

Suika, 611 Pine St

Image c/o Suika

Suk Chai, designer of womenswear label SCHAI, has a few must-eat recommendations: “Sitka and Spruce, Oddfellows, Whale Wins, Walrus and Carpenter,” she suggests.”You can’t go wrong dining at restaurants who create food inspired by locally sourced and foraged ingredients,” she adds.

Sitka and Spruce, 1531 Melrose Ave

Oddfellows, 1525 10th Ave

The Whale Wins, 3506 Stone Way N

The Walrus and the Carpenter, 4743 Ballard Ave NW

Deborah Roberts, co-owner of Belltown boutique RIZOM and the designer behind ready-to-wear line Silvae, reveals that Cascina Spinasse is her go to for a special meal. “They focus on recipes and techniques from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, while incorporating products of artisans and small farmers from the Pacific Northwest.” Her inside tip: “Sit at the bar where you have a great view of the open kitchen and can watch the pasta being made by hand.”

Cascina Spinasse, 1531 14th Ave

WHERE TO DRINK

Images c/o Sun Liquor

Forget Starbucks, Seattle has what feels like a limitless amount of places to grab a cup of Jo. The two best according to our Alisa and Suk: Analog and Caffe Vita.

Analog, 235 Summit Ave E

Caffe Vita, multiple locations

Now let’s talk happy hour. “If it’s a weeknight, Foreign National for interesting flavors,” says Alisa, “or Sun Liquor (above) for cocktails and something cozy.” Deborah is also an advocate for both Foreign National and Sun Liquor.

Foreign National, 300 E Pike St

Sun Liquor, 607 Summit Ave E

“Nothing beats the Fremont Brewery,” Julia argues. “We have kids so it’s hard for us to go out a lot and this place is so wonderfully family friendly! Not to mention the view! Swoon. If you’re looking for a good mixed drink, Oddfellows in Cap-Hill makes my favorite bourbon cocktail.”

Fremont Brewery, 1050 N 34th St

WHERE TO PEOPLE WATCH

Image c/o Molly Moons

Deborah has a whole day planned where you can sneak in some ideal people watching. “In the heart of Capitol Hill, Oddfellows cafe/bar is a great place for people watching. Afterwards, grab ice cream at Molly Moons (above) on east Pine Street  and head to Cal Anderson park, or go down the block to Elliott Bay Books for some travel reading.” Okay, that’s three times Oddfellows has been suggested. As the ideal place to grab a bite, drinks and people watch, it’s officially at the top of our list.

Molly Moons, multiple locations

Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave

Elliott Bay Books1521 10th Ave

“I’d have to say the Ballard farmers market (below)!” says Julia. “We love strolling through all the farmers markets in Seattle and we’re so lucky to have them in different neighborhoods year round. We spend all day Sunday between Fremont and Ballard checking out local makers, vintage sellers and farmers. It’s a dream.”

Ballard Farmers Market, 5300 Ballard Ave NW

Image c/o Ballards Farmers Market

Suk heads to The Olympic Sculpture Park (below). “You get the locals and you get the tourists. You get the earth and art-conscious, and you get selfie addicts. All are worth watching,” she confesses. That sounds like the ultimate people watching day.

Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave

Images by Benjamin Benschneider

Bonus: We’ve teamed up with these guys for an exclusive flash sale! Shop ‘em all at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. This way >

Lead image by Benjamin Benschneider

The Insider’s Guide to Helsinki With Samuji’s Suvi-Elina Enqvist

Not to be trite, but the best word to describe Finland is magical.  Both the natural wonders and cultural heritage that make up this country are certifiably mind-blowing: You can spot the neon wash of the Aurora Borealis up to 200 nights a year; take in the mind-rattling, reality-bending Midnight Sun throughout June and July; enjoy a remarkable 188,000 clean lakes, relax in over two million saunas (hell yeah!); and — of course — bask in the serene simplicity and playful color use that characterizes Finnish design.

From Jackie O’s trademark Marimekko dresses to Alvar Aalto’s architectural creations around the world, Finland has been setting design trends for decades. Let’s just say they know what’s up when it comes to creating beautiful pieces. Among our favorite contemporary design authorities in the country is Samuji, based in the country’s capital, Helsinki. Samuji is a creative studio specializing in women’s ready-to-wear and home interior products. Its work focuses on a love of necessary things designed with simple functionality and kindness.

Below we chat with Suvi-Elina Enqvist, head of sales and marketing at Samuji. With over 15 years experience in fashion PR and communications, Enqvist has built a global network of sales across more than 25 countries for Samuji. And while she’s worked in both France and the U.S., Helsinki is home for Enqvist, so we got her to spill on the city’s best places to eat, drink, shop, and more. Forget Tripadvisor and read on.

Suvi-Elina wears a coat by Samuji. 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN HELSINKI? Helsinki has a distinct and charming atmosphere where minimalistic architecture meets Slavic influence. The city’s pallet of seasonal colors — fluctuating between vivid summer green, intense Baltic blue and the crystal white of Nordic winter — makes Helsinki a truly special place year-round. It’s a metropolis with finesse, especially in the summer with the “nightless” nights.

IS THERE SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE CITY, BUT SHOULD? The solitude. Even if you are in the center of the nation’s capital, you can still be the only passenger on the train.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HELSINKI STYLE? Colorful and diverse. Clothes reflect one’s personality and values. Individuality is important.

BEST PLACE TO EAT? There are restaurants all around the city that are really great, presenting pure and innovative dishes using local ingredients that you can only experience in the Nordic countries. I recommend Grön (Punavuori district), Ask (Kruununhaka district), Kom Theater (Ullanlinna district), as well as the old time classic Savoy (downtown).

Top by Samuji, skirt by Apiece Apart, earrings by Melissa Joy Manning.

BEST PLACE TO DRINK? For the best bartenders and drinks you should head out to Helsinki’s meatpacking district Teurastamo and to a place called Tislaamo Distillery Bar.

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE WATCH? Sompasaari Sauna — a place to meet interesting locals, bathe and relax while enjoying the views towards the old parts of Helsinki, Katajanokka and Kruununhaka districts.

BEST PLACE TO SHOP? Hakaniemi Market Hall for an authentic grocery shopping experience. Artek and Lokal for contemporary Finnish furniture and homeware, and Samuji House, our store that combines elements of a gallery, boutique and home. I also love R/H and Arela, Finnish designer clothing and accessories brands.

Coat, shirt and trousers by Samuji; shoes by Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

TELL US ABOUT THE SUMMER HOUSE CULTURE IN FINLAND. WHERE DO YOU ESCAPE TO ON THE WEEKENDS? The Helsinki archipelago is an endless source of inspiration and accessible for everyone. Just a fifteen minute boat ride from the city and it feels like a true getaway. You don’t have to leave the capital area to find peaceful scenery.

Summer cottage (mökki) is a must for a true Finnish lifestyle experience. The cottages are everywhere and they are not just close geographically, but also philosophically and socially too.

Photography by Lari Heikkilä

Locations, top to bottom: Lokal, Cafe Fleuriste and Samuji.