All Posts in NYC Insider

February 27, 2015

Shopping Guide: Where To Shop in NYC

Shopping
Pro Tip: Avoid this scene at all costs // Photo by Joey Lax-Salinas on Flickr

Shopping in New York City can be a lot of things, but the first word that comes to mind is "overwhelming." If dodging camera-toting tourists, waiting in fitting room lines long enough to make it through your entire Instagram feed, and battling techno music-induced headaches (down with the trendy department store DJs), this round-up is for you.

It can be tough to pull out the gems among the "quantity over quality" global retailers that seem to be on every corner of the city. Nicole Lenzen (who confesses to not really enjoy shopping in most cases) has a few go-to spots for low-key browsing of timeless wardrobe essentials and quality designs that will last for years to come—if you give them the care they need. Give our NYC shopping guide a read and start planning that buying spree.

Clothes: Eva Gentry Consignment

If you couldn't tell, we're really into the idea of clothes having a story behind them. Eva Gentry does consignment like no one else. All of the pieces comes from tried-and-true names (think McQueen, Margiela, Band of Outsiders, Helmut Lang, Proenza Schouler) guaranteeing that you're going home with a piece that's sure to impress.

Nicole's recommendation: Eva Gentry definitely has a knack for retail buying. I came across her stores in Boerum Hill by first wandering into her high-fashion boutique (killer avant-garde aesthetic leaning very Antwerp-Six). Then I discovered her consignment shop down the street (which now appears to be her sole business focus), with an amazing collection of designer pieces in impeccable condition, across a wider style spectrum.

Location:
371 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Clothes: Kaight
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Photo: Kaight's Facebook page

Stop into Kaight for a taste of Brooklyn designers, and stories behind the brands. All of the pieces in the store (womenswear, accessories, and gifts) are made sustainability and/or are locally produced. The shop was recently named Best NYC Sustainable Fashion Boutique by Ecocult.

Nicole's Recommendation:  Kate (founder and owner of Kaight) has a nice eye for curation and I always enjoy browsing her shop. Plus she has always only carried lines with an ethical and sustainable focus. If I'm going to buy something new, I always try to shop from someone I respect. (Plus it's fun catching up with her if she's in the store, always a rewarding experience!)

Location:
382 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY Read more

January 20, 2015

Stories & Style: Comedian Mad Libs

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Our Stories & Style event is coming up quick—have you RSVP'd yet? (Better get on that—the list is filling up!) We've told you all about the night's storytellers: Ophira Eisenberg, Elna Baker, and Sara Benincasa. While a bit of background information is always a good thing to have in tow when you're off to meet someone new, we wanted to give you a deeper look into the personalities and humor of these fine ladies, including our very own Nicole Lenzen. We gave them a throwback assignment of sorts, one that will look very familiar if you grew up with those handy-dandy packets called Mad Libs.

Sit back, read on, and get to know these four empowering ladies:

Ophira Eisenberg, Writer/Host of NPR's Ask Me Another

Ophira 1

I  can’t leave home without red lipstick.

My go-to clothing item is a sequin top. Unless it's dirty, then I wear a dirty sequin top.

When I feel most confident I look in the mirror and say, it's better than I thought.

My best beauty tip is to smile, but never ever fake laugh.

When I wanna dance I listen to Prince. When I need to cry I listen to Joni Mitchell.

Ray LaMontagne keeps me sane.

The strangest/best compliment I’ve ever gotten was, "I've masturbated to your voice on public radio. If you're looking for something less dirty: "I can tell by looking at you that you live in a fifth floor walk up. Keep it up."

My favorite thing to do for myself is cancel everything on my schedule.

Rachel Maddow is the most empowering woman I know.

Fedora, Beret, Beanie, or Top Hat?  In this order: Beret, Top Hat, Fedora, Beanie.

When I’m looking for a pick-me-up, strong espresso, little milk (or icy vodka) is just what I need.

Purse, Backpack, Fannypack, or Pockets? Purse, Pockets—If I never see another backpack or fannypack again, that would be great.

At parties I try to stand right next to the cheese cubes.

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November 30, 2014

Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event @ Series by Young & Able

Holiday-Trunk-Show-Blog

Join us for a holiday style event and trunk show at Young & Able Series! Try on and shop for holiday dresses by Nicole Lenzen and jewelry by Abby Carnevale. Meet the designers to learn more about their collections, and be there by 7pm for a special holiday styling talk from fashion blogger and personal stylist Sara Jessica Berman. Please be sure to RSVP in our form below.

Interested in receiving personalized style advice? Let us know in your RSVP comments, and the first three to reply will get personalized suggestions from Sara during the event.

In addition to items to spice up your holiday (and everyday) wardrobe, Series has a wide collection of fantastic gift options from local and international designers. All items in the store will be 10% off exclusively during the event. We'll also have drinks from Maven Cocktails, and snacks to satisfy post-work peckishness.

HOLIDAY STYLE EVENT
Featuring:
Nicole Lenzen
Abby Carnevale Jewelry
Stylist Sara Jessica Berman

Tuesday, December 9th
Trunk Show: 6:30-8:30pm
Stylist Talk/Demo: 7:00-7:30pm

Series by Young & Able
345 Broome St.
New York, NY 10013

Drinks sponsored by Maven Cocktails
Light snacks provided

Press Inquiries: Mindy Raf

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Nicole Lenzen is a Brooklyn-based designer whose collection of dresses, rompers, and separates are inspired by the freedom of movement in swing dancing. As a trained patternmaker with over a decade’s worth of experience in the fashion industry including custom couture work, she is proud to represent a ready-to-wear collection that allows women to—as they do in the energetic Lindy Hop dance—swing out and let go. Mixing sustainably sourced silks with activewear fabrics, Nicole thinks across the size spectrum with an attention to fit that gives the modern, professional woman the freedom to effortlessly move from a quick bike commute to a high profile client pitch. In fact, you might catch Nicole, who practices low-impact living, wearing one of her pieces while biking around NYC.

Abby Carnevale Jewelry is a Brooklyn-based jewelry brand, offering an array of designs handcrafted from locally-sourced materials including semi-precious metals and stones along with vintage lace. Inspired by her grandmother’s jewelry collection, Abby’s line translates the classic “Old Hollywood Glamour” style into one with modern flair, making each piece timeless and everlasting, an investment piece to be treasured.

Sara Jessica Berman is an Elite Stylist for Keaton Row. Certified as a Marie Claire Master Stylist in July 2014, Sara's teaching background and penchant for fashion have earned her a loyal client base. She shares her expert styling tips on her blog fashinny.nyc.

Created by Stephenie Harris in 2012, Maven Cocktails is the world’s first ready-to-drink wine cocktail. Bridging the gap between cocktail and wine, Maven is the signature drink that delivers on three fronts—the pedigree of a truly fine wine, consistent drinkability, and a nice cocktail kick. Infused with ultra-premium wine, this vodka-based cocktail has the velvety taste of wine but the high-energy kick of a cocktail.

Series is a month-long collaborative pop-up space supporting designers in an offline setting produced by Young & Able, an alternative multi-brand retail platform devoted to sharing emerging designers and their stories.

 

November 28, 2014

Small Business Saturday: Where To Go + Where We’ll Be

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One of many must-visit Small Business Saturday spots

The Thanksgiving feast is over, and hopefully you're all rested up after one (or three) holiday naps. If you haven't already, make sure to give our Thanksgiving playlist a listen—we promise it isn't one of those Christmas-only compilations that gets old after the third listen. A good part of the Thanksgiving weekend fun are the traditions that come along with it—and shopping may play into those, depending on how claustrophobic and patient of long lines you are. It can be easy to forget about Small Business Saturday with all of the unpleasant-looking media Black Friday receives—when tends to be more and more each year, it seems. But this weekend is the perfect time to support your favorite designers, makers, and artists, while checking off people on your gift list at the same time.

The shopping opportunities in New York City are overwhelming, especially once the first snow hits and your trips to various brick and mortars hold more regard (shopping for others is always intimidating, no matter how well you know them). Of course, we're here to help make that a little easier on you. Make sure to pay a visit to your favorite local designers and visit us at one of the pop-up locations we're involved in this Small Business Saturday. Here are our must-visit spots:

Young & Able, Lower Manhattan

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There's a tiny storefront in Lower Manhattan that you won't want to miss. Young & Able is a month-long pop-up retail space created specifically for your holiday shopping needs. You may remember us inviting you to their launch party a couple of weeks ago (which was an absolute blast, complete with a photobooth). You can find some of our designs at the space, but you can also find a selection from all of the designers (which range from local makers in NYC to international designers all the way from Australia) online. The physical space is open from 11am-7pm daily—go give it a see before it closes its doors on December 21st.

345 Broome St. New York, NY

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November 20, 2014

Make The Future Now: Get a Peek Into BF+DA’s New Accelerator Space in Brooklyn

NL-BFDA-TableThere's something revolutionary about the new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator space off of the Flushing G stop in Brooklyn. Maybe it's something about the space itself—seeing as its history is as rich as the work that will surely come of it—mixed with the people and enthusiasm within its walls. The space's opening event on November 11th almost seemed more like a pep rally than anything, with the program's makers and designers proudly displaying the fruits of their labors for passersby.

NL-BFDA-PillowsFirst, let's dig into the people and goals behind the initiative. Picture yourself as a recent college grad with no room for running your own endeavor—or simply throw yourself back to those real-life growing pains you remember like yesterday. In a world that's so focused on being self-made, that is a tough place to be. And as a respected arts and design establishment, Pratt knows this. So, instead of offering job placement advice or leaving grads completely on their own to fend for work, they decided to do something for up-and-coming creators. The Brooklyn Accelerator is a space for creatives to find the resources they need to make their ideas into reality, whether that's a desk to work on or a station for 3D printing (you can check out more of the available resources here). One of the most impressive assets was the larger-than-life mechanical loom humming away in one of the side rooms.

While it's easy to walk into a room of makers and quickly recognize what they're doing. But the BF+DA designers are doing much more than simply "making." To be a part of the program, they need to be focused on incorporating sustainable best practices into their work and, straight from the mouth of the program itself, "exploring the relationship of apparel + technology and the future of production."

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November 18, 2014

Come Check Us Out: Young & Able Series Launch Party

SeriesLaunchParty_FriendsYou might remember us mentioning a certain online pop-up called Young & Able a couple of weeks back. The site has been up and going strong for a while now, bringing designers of all styles together in one, extremely diverse hub. (Seriously, from specialty lifestyle zines and embossed leather pouches to hardware-inspired jewelry and our very own power pieces, there's something for everyone.)

For one month starting this Friday, November 21st (through December 21st), you can see some of these designs in-person at a pop-up space in Manhattan. Here's a quick refresher for those of you who haven't heard of the Young & Able initiative yet. The project started as a Kickstarter campaign looking to "experiment with the traditional retail model by hosting an innovative 'series' of engaging offline events for individuals to gather, exchange ideas and interact with the participating makers"—the first of these offline events being this week's launch party. Among other Series activities will be workshops, talks, networking events, installations, and trunk shows (Save the date for the Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event on Dec 9th!). In short, the initiative does a great job embodying what we, and all of the other involved designers, look to share in our work—in their words: "From the beginning, it was about taking our shoppers inside the world of emerging designers and makers by uncovering the unique stories and inspirations behind their creative pursuits." Amen.

Series Promo Card

We'd love to see you at the Series launch party this Friday. Aside from great work from up-and-coming designers, there will also be music from DJ Alix Brown (7pm - 7:30pm) and Marsweather (7:30pm - 10pm), and cocktails (as well as mocktails) courtesy of Iceberg Vodka, The Owl's Brew, Belvoir, and So Delicious. Want to come check it out? Be sure to RSVP with your name and email to rsvp@shopyoungandable.com.

If you can't make it out on Friday night, make sure to save the date for the Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event at Series on Tuesday December 9th at 6:30pmmore details TBA. Or check out the space anytime while it's open—until December 21st—at 345 Broome St. New York, NY 10013. The holiday shop is open from 11am to 7pm daily. 

October 8, 2014

Check Us Out: Young & Able + A Pop-Up Appearance

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Since the #WashableFashion runway show, we've been busy planning a number of events we're really excited about. While some are still in the works, we're proud to share that we've partnered with the amazing Young & Able to offer a selection of our Eva Collection on their platform.

First, a little more on Young & Able, catered to talented up-and-coming designers. Rosa Ng, founder of Young & Able and a fellow designer, took on the initiative to help creatives like herself share their work with a larger audience. Here's their recent Kickstarter video for more reference:

We of all people know that being able to see and touch a design is important. And while you can hop on our website—or Young & Able's site—at any time of the day and peruse our selection of office (and play) power pieces, we want to make sure you have plenty of opportunities to experience all of the great details we're always telling you about in-person. On that note, we're also excited to spill the news that we'll be sharing a few of our NYC-made designs as a part of the month-long Young & Able pop-up space, Series, starting November 21st. Stay tuned for details of our trunk show scheduled for Tuesday, December 9th!

And, as always, if you can't make it to the Young & Able space, shoot us an email and we'll find a time to get you in some amazing pieces. But until then, make sure to support small businesses and spend some time checking out Young & Able! See you at Series.

September 26, 2014

Voon’s Vault: Manhattan & Brooklyn Vintage Store Must-Visits From the Master

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A classic vintage store scene // Photo cred: ashton/Flickr

We love vintage for so many reasons. Vintage clothes typically have superior garment construction compared to today's throwaway fast fashion. Even if slight alterations or mending are required, the original sewing techniques will likely stand the test of time. Finding unique statement pieces is also easier in vintage or thrift stores than within ubiquitous global chains. Plus, who doesn't love to add a touch of class and glamour from eras past into their day-to-day?

We realize, however, that vintage shopping can be intimidating for many folks. Just because something is vintage doesn't mean you'll be reaping in the compliments day in and day out. If you've ever been vintage shopping, you know that it can take some work. Digging through musty bins of satchels after spending a good amount of elbow effort sliding through groaning racks of dresses isn't everyone's idea of a good Saturday out.

To help facilitate your next vintage jaunt, we've tapped into the resources of our fabulously stylish friend Voon. He's an absolute vintage pro, and was nice enough to share a list of his haunts with us. Read on to discover some of NYC's best vintage stores and start planning your next outing while the weather's ideal.

Manhattan

Housing Works

157 East 23rd St

There are a number of locations around the city—Soho, the East Village, Chelsea—but Voon recommends hitting up the one in Chelsea.

City Opera Thrift Shop

222 E 23rd St

From designer names to quirky finds, City Opera Thrift Shop is the place to go when you're taking in the Gramercy sights.

Cure Thrift

111 E 12th Street

This two-level store also has knick-knacks scattering its space—perfect for giving your eyes a quick break from the racks and stacks.

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September 2, 2014

7 Rad (Mostly) Women’s Organizations You’ve Got to Know About

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Photo: Leorex/Flickr

With the long Labor Day weekend behind us, it's time to buckle down for a while before we get another holiday to celebrate. (But that doesn't mean you can't still give our Labor Day weekend playlist a listen every once in a while.) A quick getaway might have left you feeling refreshed and ready to take on any task that may come your way, but it's only a matter of time before something tries to bring you down. Do yourself a favor and plan something special just for yourself—you know, "you" time can be just as effective as fleeing the city if you do it the right way. And what better way to do that than with a group of women looking for the same thing? The number of possible activities in New York City can be overwhelming, but here are seven (mostly) women's organizations we can't wait to check out:

Techfest Club

This group revolves around their monthly breakfast meet-ups, with a few panel discussions and networking events thrown in between. Created by women in tech for ladies in the industry, these morning chats are focused on delivering a daily dose of inspiration before taking off to work while the evening get-togethers are reserved for getting to know women of similar interests and letting loose with a drink or two. Luckily for interested women outside of the NYC area, you can catch keynote addresses online after the event.

NYC Cyclettes: Babes Who Bike

If you're looking for a group to ride with (at a moderate pace—16-18 mph, the group description states), this is for you. The group rides through some of the city's most scenic spots: Central Park, Prospect Park, and up 9W. Aside from group rides, the organization also hosts classes at local bicycle shops, covering topics like fixing a flat and how to fit yourself for a bike. Check out their upcoming events here.

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August 18, 2014

A Look Back at the New York Art Deco Scavenger Hunt—And Why You Can’t Miss The Next One

transmitter_37Transmitter Building at 500 5th Ave

My love for all things Jazz Age made taking part in the New York Art Deco Scavenger Hunt a no-brainer. I've participated in and enjoyed Open House New York weekend tours, talks, and open studios in the past, and given the opportunity to discover and learn about important NYC historical architectural landmarks, with the option to do so on bike, I couldn't pass it up!

I teamed up with a couple of my favorite art & design exploration buddies (being a cyclist was also a must). My friend Walter who is an architect and fellow swing dancer was immediately game. Glen, the guy who makes the Nicole Lenzen website and brand collateral look amazing, was our team art director, and was the one who discovered the outrageous fashion crime story of the Straw Hat Riot, which became our team name and photo theme.

bryant_park_33 American Radiator Building on Bryant Park

Quick sidetrack, because you've all got to know about the Straw Hat Riot if you don't already. In the early 20th century, there was an unofficial style law created that straw hats could not be worn after September 15th. If you were unfortunate enough to don this fashion faux pas, you were at least looking at being bullied for your mishap. Going even further, it became a tradition for others to knock your straw hat off and stomp it into the ground. Unbelievably, this devolved into a two day riot in New York in 1922, even stopping traffic on the Manhattan Bridge. To save themselves the risk of attack, people promptly made the switch to felt hats when the 15th came around.

clippingStraw Hat Riot News Clipping

ge_building_27GE Building at Rockefeller Center

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