Category Archives: Shop

The Little Red Planet: A Sustainable Children’s Brand

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Sustainable. Ethical. Adorable. This is how The Little Red Planet store is described in 3 simple but powerful words. This mindfully curated and sustainable children’s brand in Williamsburg is a must-go!

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I’m not a mom (yet), but I always have a pretty hard time buying stylish, good quality clothes to my friend’s kids, that don’t cost a fortune!!! A sustainable children’s brand would be a dream come true too, right?

Those chain brands are great with prices, but after 1, 2 washes, it practically dissolves inside the washing machine, hahaha! Plus, you’ll probably see other kids wearing the same thing as your baby…that that’s just a “blah”!

That said, the other day I was walking around Williamsburg, in Brooklyn and bumped into a super cute store called The Little Red Planet. And I have to say, I fell in love with it!

Everything there was amazing, carefully though about, unique, fun, stylish and still, ethically curated! Since it’s an independently owned brand, like we love, they don’t have huge amounts of each piece.

Here is how Mindi Smith, the Founder, explains her brand:

“The Little Red Planet offers exceptional design, style and quality from over 30 global children’s designers. We want to introduce to you a new concept in ethical children’s fashion for the mindfully stylish.

Our goal is to hand-select designers who slow manufacture their apparel, give back to charity, and/or use organic and sustainable materials whenever possible.

I work creatively with our designers to bring awareness to and support global children’s causes. Let’s teach our children together that less is more, quality counts, and we can make a positive change in the world we live in.”

How amazing is this, right?

I really enjoyed everything they do and stand for! And now, I can finally buy kids gifts that I just really l-o-v-e and would buy for my own (future) kids!

Now, since you’re in Williamsburg, you might just want to head a few blocks North to the Artists & Flees Market. You’ll find some pretty cool stuff there too!

And lastly, you’ve never been to NYC because you have small kids, or you’re considering moving here, but you’re skeptic? Take a look at the many reasons why NYC is great for kids!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Location: 103 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

https://thelittleredplanet.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of brand
*Last Update on March/2020.*

The Best Of Vegan With Kim-Julie Hansen

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From a meat-eater to being one of the most renowned Vegan experts in the world, Kim-Julie Hansen shared with us how she started Best of Vegan, as well as her Vegan Reset blog and most recently launched a fantastic 28-Day Vegan Plan book!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan by Edward Gebel
Photo Credit: Edward Gebel

Tell me a bit about you! Where you’re from, what you studied, where you’ve worked, how you ended up in NYC…

I’m Kim-Julie, I’m 32 years old and originally from Brussels, Belgium, although that’s only partially true. I was actually born in West Berlin (two years before the Berlin Wall fell) and have lived in many places throughout my life.

I studied modern languages and comparative literature (BA and MA) in Brussels and I’ve worked all over the world in tourism and hospitality before starting my own business.

Five years ago I came to New York for an event and stayed with a friend for 5 days. On the fifth day, I knew that I needed to move here.

Luckily, my online business’s audience was located mostly in the US, so I got my Visa thanks to that (and the advice and support of amazing friends who had undergone the process before me!).

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Creamy Mushroom Penne
Creamy Mushroom Pasta – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

You have countless different platforms and social channels. I’d love if you could share a bit about each of them!

My two main platforms are Best of Vegan and Vegan Reset.

Best of Vegan is a digital culinary publication focused on crowd-sourced and crowd-pleasing recipes for every occasion and showcasing the best the vegan culinary scene has to offer.

Vegan Reset is my health conscious blog within Best of Vegan. It’s where I share meal prep and plant-based lifestyle tips, as well as my own quick and easy recipes. It’s also the name of my book and online program.

In addition to those, I also share the things that inspire me on my personal page and blog, @KimJulieHansen and I have two additional vegan Instagram accounts: @VeganChallenge based on the free 7-day vegan challenges I host and @IDontWantSalad, an ode to vegan comfort food, which I created to show that vegans can eat much more than just salad.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Green Smoothies
Green Smoothies – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

How was your journey into the Vegan lifestyle?

Unexpected, overnight and life changing. I was the furthest thing from a vegan you could possibly imagine.

I loved meat, dairy and eggs and had them every day. Then, in 2011, I read two books that made me change my eating and lifestyle habits instantly: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz.

It was a strictly ethical decision for me at first and I didn’t even know that veganism could be healthy. I ended up researching and trying to find out everything I could for months.

That’s how I ended up learning more about whole foods and cooking with unprocessed ingredients, incorporating more fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. I had never liked any of these foods, so no one was more surprised than me.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Muffins
Blueberry Muffins – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

What are some myths about Vegan cuisine that people believe?

That it’s bland, boring, not nutritionally adequate, hard to adapt to and impractical.

I believed all of that too before going vegan myself, so as you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled to give up so much of what I enjoyed, but I soon found out that you can actually veganize practically anything.

Latte? Make it a soy or oat latte. Sushi? Make it a sweet potato or avocado roll. Pizza? Add some vegan cheese and pepperoni. It obviously doesn’t taste exactly the same, but it’s close enough and, given the ethical implications, definitely worth the sacrifice.

What I at first feared would be restrictive ended up opening the doors to a whole new world for me. I enjoy cooking and eating out so much more now. Vegan cuisine is also neither boring nor deficient. You can get all the same nutrients from plants and whenever they’re harder to get, you can take a vegan supplement for convenience.

I do want to note that vegan foods and products aren’t readily available to everyone equally, so I think that as someone who does have access to the lifestyle, it’s important to simultaneously educate and motivate those who are in the same position while also actively working on making access easier for those who do not without ever judging them.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Salad
Smoky Tempeh & Vegan Cheese Salad – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

What are your favorite NYC Vegan spots? Sorry for this tough question, Kim… 🙂

There are far too many to list!

I love using the app “Vegan NYC” to discover new spots, but my all time favorites are Seasoned Vegan, Avant Garden, Adelina’s, Little Choc Apothecary, Bar Velo, Jungle Cafe and Délice & Sarrasin.

I’m probably forgetting half the list…!

How about your top Vegan brands that are really disrupting the industry, in New York?

I love brands that emphasize quality and/or community and are based right out of New York. Some of them include Egunsi Foods, Raaka Chocolate and Foreal Foods.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Yogurt
Vegan Breakfast Idea: granola, fresh fruit & plant-based yogurt with toppings – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

Ah! And you have a gorgeous life changing book and I was lucky enough to follow closely it coming to life! So tell our readers what it’s all about and what they can expect.

Thank you for the kind words!

My book, Vegan Reset (called The 28-Day Vegan Plan in the U.K.), is a practical guide, a cookbook and a 28-day meal plan. It’s an introduction to ethical veganism, plant-based living and a holistic approach to health.

It’s not a diet in the sense that the goal is feeling good physically and mentally, not weight loss.

While it teaches you how to incorporate more fresh produce and unprocessed foods, there are no strict guidelines and you can adapt everything as you see fit. The main motivation is ethical rather than dietary.

Do you have any super cool upcoming project you can share? Anything exclusive no one knows yet!? Lol!

I may or may not be planning my second book! 🙂

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Rice Pudding
Cinnamon Rice Pudding – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

More about her Book!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Book Vegan Reset
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Vegan Reset: The 28-Day Plan to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle is a 28-day plan for new vegans or anyone looking to get their diet back on track, from the wildly popular creator of Best of Vegan!

No matter what diet you practice, a reset is a way to jump-start or refocus healthy habits and get your body to a state of optimum health. Here, NYC-based blogger and Instagrammer Kim-Julie Hansen of Best of Vegan offers a practical and easy-to-follow program, laid out day by day with meal plans, prep, shopping lists, recipes, and personal tips and inspiration.

If you want to become a vegan and don’t know where to start, this is the ultimate guide. But it’s also invaluable for anyone (vegan or not) looking to kick-start healthier habits, whether to lose weight, become fitter, or simply cultivate a more balanced lifestyle.

Kim-Julie introduces you to the benefits of a reset; guides you through the 28-day meal plan; and finishes with additional recipes to carry you beyond the reset—all brought to life with her gorgeous photography throughout. With its emphasis on satisfying plant-based foods and its achievable 28-day plan, this program is a great way to meet your goals of health and well-being.

Buy book here!


Thank you Kim, my dear friend, for sharing your amazing story with everyone and congratulations on all that you have built during these amazing years in New York City!

I’ve had the opportunity of seeing it from close and I couldn’t be more proud of you!

Plus, I can’t wait to see more of your work and continue trying out all of your food (yes, please continue inviting me over for dinner, lol!) and following your tips!

And finally, if you want to uncover more Vegan spots in New York, be sure to explore our website!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Best of Vegan LLC and portraits by Edward Gebel
*Last Update on April/2020.*

Spark Pretty: A Fashion Journey Back In Time

Shop Ladies and Gents Spark Pretty Shorts

This store, in the East Village is a must-see! Spark Pretty will take you on a fashion journey back in time! If you’re a colorful vintage lover, this is the place for you!

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Forget about Gucci and Chanel bags. Classic dresses? Not in here. Spark Pretty is not a regular vintage store.

With pink and lilac walls and ceilings filled with hearts and polka dots, you’ll find yourself surrounded with tons of colorful, crazy, shiny products dating back to the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s

Spark Pretty is owned the by artist and stylist Amanda Dolan. She’s got a vast experience in fashion from working as a stylist for Betsey Johnson. Yes, you can find Betsey Johnson dresses here too.

The store “has been a longtime secret weapon for entertainment’s top wardrobe stylists seeking authentic and unique retro looks for their cast.” And, I can tell you it’s really a one of a kind spot.

Do you know that vintage tee with your favorite actors/singers? Or even, an idol from the past? If you’re looking for it, you are in the right place! That’s not your kind of vintage? Well, they also offer leopard prints and polka dots clothing, fringe jackets, sequins…and many neon pieces.

If you want to be dressed like that from head-to-toe, you can also find extravagant spike boots, funky socks, eccentric shades and wigs.

Maybe it’s time for you to feel like Madonna in “Desperately seeking Susan” or even, a modern version of Betty Boop!

Moreover, the decor is also a must-see: bean bags, string lights, a pink TV airing the old blockbuster movies…a perfect match!

Oh! There’s one more thing. The cherry on the cake: They also sell toys! You’ll come across so many troll dolls that you can finally get the chance to complete your collection! Baby Sinclair is also there waiting for you to remember the famous phrase: “not the mama”.

Amanda and her staff are dressed in the same mood to host you! And, if you need, they are ready to help you with personal styling and designer shopping consulting.

So, schedule an appointment with Amanda at contact@sparkpretty.com. Go find your colors and sparks, or purchase online!

Lastly, if you enjoy vintage store, take a look at the Insider’s Guide to 30 vintage and thrift stores in New York, the 3 top vintage stores in Brooklyn and Pippin Vintage for the vintage jewelry lovers!

Location: 333 East 9th Street

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 7pm

www.sparkpretty.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Spark Pretty
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Hudson Yards: The Newest Neighborhood In NYC

Shop Ladies and Gents Hudson Yards The Vessel

I’m an international contributor for Glamour Brazil magazine and I recently wrote a post about the newest neighborhood in Manhattan that has become a must-see spot: Hudson Yards!

You can see the Portuguese version and below, the English version:

During the last couple of years, people who live in New York have seen the daily growth of a mega-development along the Hudson River.

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Hudson Yards, New York’s newest neighborhood, opened on March 15, near Chelsea and is attracting a huge ​​curious crowd of locals and tourists.

The area has become a paradise for shop-a-holics and those looking for a full dining experience. Plus, of course, the opportunity of seeing Manhattan’s for high up! Now, a moment of “awe”: this development had an investment of 25-billion-dollars.

The various towers were divided into residential and commercial developments. The two main towers facing the river are the residential ones. Lucky future residents, right? They will certainly have one of the best views of the city and of the sunset.

Now, anyone who knows New York knows that the city does not have shopping centers. Until recently The Shops at Columbus Circle was the only one in town. But The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards became the newest destination.

With over 100 stores and 20 restaurants, my suggestion is to visit the place with time. There’s plenty to see from delicious shops like Dylan’s Candy Store, Dallas’s Forty Five Ten, the 2-story Greek restaurant Estiatorio Milos and Little Spain Market with several different vendors, the immersive art space called Snark Park, the big fast fashion shops like Zara, H&M, and the  sweethearts of the luxury world like Cartier, Kenzo, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Patek Philippe, amongst others.

And still, you’ll find other stores that are worth visiting like: The Conservatory with an incredible curation of fashion brands, wellness, décor and a delicious tea room, 3den that offers a space to relax, work, have a coffee and even sleep a bit on their famous pods and Atelier Cologne where you can customize your own fragrance!

Phiuf! I can stay here forever telling you all the novelties!

In addition, be sure to visit the spaces with popup art exhibitions, art works by renowned names such as Roy Lichtenstein and Alexander Calder scattered throughout the place and a giant interactive sequin wall where you can play with.

If you would like to find an accommodation in this area, the Equinox Hotel will open in June with 200 rooms, a gym, spa and numerous other amenities.

Finally, to finish in grand style, The Vessel is probably the greatest attraction of the place created by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio.

This hive-shaped steel structure, with 2,500 steps, 154 flights of stairs, and 45 meters of height, became the newest tourist spot of the city that is now registered throughout all social networks.

To walk up, you can get your Vessel ticket online, or risk getting a ticket on spot. You can visit from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 9pm. Oh, and it’s free!

If you want a few other ideas of the top touristy must see spots in New York, take a look at our 1st Cheap NYC Guide, with top 40 attractions, and the 2nd Cheap NYC Guide, with another 30 other spots!

For corporate groups experiences, contact our experts!

Have fun!

Location: 10 Hudson Yards
Subway: 7 line is literally steps away, but the A/C/E or 1/2/3 lines are also walking distance

www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Forbes Massie Heatherwick Studio, Related Oxford and VisualHouse Nelson Byrd-Woltz
*Last Update on March/2020.*

The Beauty Of Forms By Anastasia Komarova

Shop Ladies Forms New York White Bag

A brand you must know about! Forms by Anastasia Komarova gives you a sense of the importance of a little surface detailing. Architectural aesthetics translates into to something wearable, simplifying complex ideas and taking a great care for textures and volumes.

Shop Ladies Forms New York White Bag

As we’ve mentioned before, New York City is really a natural incubator with entrepreneurs from diverse industries and coming from different parts of the globe! We’ve interviewed some, if you want to check them out!

I recently learned more about the talented Anastasia Komarova and her unique and carefully crafted work.

This was our first contact:

“…I went to read further and was touched by your story. As an immigrant itself (I came to NYC in 2016 from Russia) I sincerely understand your feelings and passion. I think it is absolutely great that you have that project. It helps people who just beginning to explore the city as well as one who lives here an entire life. Insider interviews with creative people having a great contribution to the image of the city too.”

And from this message, we started talking and I was impressed with her work and her talent!

So, take a look below at the short interview we did with her and read about her impressive story:


Tell me about you and your background.

I received a Masters from the Moscow Architectural Institute, a scion of the famed Vkhutemas school, which was instrumental in the Russian avant-garde and constructivist movements of the early 20th century. We had a great course of sculpture and painting that helps me a lot for my future projects.

It also helped me develop the sense of proportion and details not only from the technical drawings and constant travels, but from the eye observation while I was working on furniture design.

Shop Ladies Forms New York Anastasia Komarova
Anastasia Komarova

How did you ended up in our beautiful New York City?

New York was never a dream for me while I was living in Russia. I traveled a lot and was fascinated with the Asian ancient culture.

The first time I came to the NYC was because my best friend needed an emotional support at that time. A week after being here, I fell in love with the atmosphere of the city and vowed to stay here.

What inspires you in your work and how is NYC’s architecture translated into your pieces?

New York City itself is my main inspiration. People, architecture and historic buildings, sounds…all work as a creative force while I am working on new designs. I have never aimed to reflect any particular architecture developed or created by myself or other architects.

I am just trying to reflect some fundamental things that architecture is based on. Furthermore, my favorite areas are Tribeca and Financial District. I like to feel the scale of architecture, observe the intricacy of the old facades.

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What is the general style of the women/men that purchases your pieces?

Simply describing it is a smart fashion. People who are inspired by art, curious and enthusiastic I think will find my work compelling.

Tell me about your collections.

Forms gives you a sense of the importance of a little surface detailing. Architectural aesthetics translates into to something wearable, simplifying complex ideas and taking a great care for textures and volumes. Accessories, with their pronounced shapes and sharp lines, invite you to touch them and feel their exceptional structure.

What is the biggest challenge for a startup in NYC?

Biggest challenge for me was setting up, finding the studio. People in NY are generally open for discussion and new ventures in the same way they can be easily distracted by overwhelming number of exiting events. So, that “toughed” me to be more social sensitive and patient.

Shop Ladies Forms New York Grey Tote

Where can people find FORMS?

All collections are available at the brand’s online store f-o-r-m-s.com. Some pieces you can find in The Store at MAD – Museum of Arts and Design and also Henrik Vibskov boutique has some items.

What would you say for those that aspire to start their own brand?

Most importantly is “do what you love”. All the rest will be accumulated around you driven by your passion.

Shop Ladies Forms New York Backpack


Thank you Anastasia for sharing your exciting journey! We’re excited to follow your work and see where New York City will take you!

In addition, if you’re interested in learning more about Russian designers in NY, you might want to check out Julia Seregina and Figura.

www.f-o-r-m-s.com


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Forms
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Sweet Corner Bakeshop: A 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart

I cracked open New York’s most famous 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart at Sweet Corner Bakeshop, in the West Village, and got chocolate all over me. But, then again, it’s Nutella!


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Even before I moved to New York in April of 2015, I already had a favorite spot in the West Village I visited every time I visited to NYC. It’s not only loved by visitors, but also certainly, by locals.

So, today I have a surprise for you, so you might as well continue reading and watch the video above. Why? I cracked open their famous 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart.

The result? I had Nutella all over me. Hahaha!

Before we start, if you love New York, want to be posted and in tune with all the hidden secrets, new spots and the coolest brands, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Located on a street corner in the super trendy West Village, Sweet Corner Bakeshop is known for their Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I don’t need to prove how good it is, because everyone who’s tried it, will agree!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart West Village
Sweet Corner Bakeshop, in the West Village. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

But, in case you’ve never been to Sweet Corner Bakeshop, I want to tell you that it’s even won the title of “Best Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie” in town. It’s hard to properly describe and put into words, but I can guarantee that it’s definitely worth ALL the calories, lol!

Plus, it’s made with 4 kinds of chocolate and Sea Salt directly from France, perfectly balanced per cookie!

To pair the cookie, you might want to order their coffee made with beans from Honduras, Brazil and Columbia. The killer combo for any time of the year.

Oh! And that’s not the only highlight. This neighborhood gem is also known for having countless desserts overflowing with a super delicious and rich Nutella filling, like their red velvet Nutella cookie.

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart Red Velvet
Photo Credit: Courtesy

And, come on, who in the world does not like Nutella?

Sweet Corner’s founder, Rodolfo Gonçalves, is also known for being a spectacular cake designer, with a creativity many other professionals might envy. Since he was a very young boy, he was always drawing and expressing his artistic gift in school.

The result? Well, you might want to pass by sometime and check out their cake boutique window at the store. You’ll certainly be amazed with what he’s been creating with his team of experts. Some cakes can even take up to 2-3 days to be completely finished!

Plus, as we know, every man has a powerful partner beside him, right? In Rodolfo’s case, his wife, Patricia, is his right and left arm. Such a beautiful, kind, smart and determined woman that is responsible for big part of their well-deserved success.

I told Rodolfo that I’d heard him saying that his mom thinks he’s a super star, and I found that adorable! I mean, moms are moms, but I told him…that maybe she’s right! I heard a few rumors of a quite exciting project coming in early 2019 that might prove her statement! I can’t it share now…but do keep your antennas on! This will be pretty amazing!


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Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop Mini Chocolate Nutella Hearts
Mini Chocolate Nutella Hearts. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

I also asked him about a “big dream” he’s always had! Something about a F1 car!?

Well, it appears that, as a huge fan of Formula 1 race car driving, Rodolfo dreams to one day be able to design and bake a life sized replica cake of a Formula 1 race car. And….tchan tchan tchan tchan…this might happen earlier than we expect! So exciting!

Now, straight to the point! I had seen this surreal 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart they were selling during the 2018 Valentine’s Day. Oh, and it’s painted with this super beautiful edible gold paint! It’s went viral on Social Media, especially because only 300 special hearts were produced. Apparently, people were calling and begging to get at least one for them. Quite a commotion! So, I decided to head there, invade their kitchen and help create this huge piece of delicious art. And, of course, crack it open! As Rodolfo said:

“It’s the only heart you can break!”

I was able to do it all, get in action in the kitchen, but I had a bit of a hard time cracking it properly. And, it ends up that I got Nutella all over me and, with the help of Rodolfo, I even had it on my face! But then again, it’s Nutella, so it’s ok!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart Fernanda Paronetto
Fê Paronetto preparing the 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart – or trying. Photo Credit: Black3 Agency for BTSNYC

I’m a chocoholic and I do believe that chocolate is love, and so is Nutella. So, there’s no better gift, in my opinion, regardless of the time of the year. After all, Nutella needs no reason!

Keep your eyes open for the upcoming super star moment and also for the next Valentine’s Day, where they told me, they’ll have another big, viral surprise!

If you need any help to cater your private event, or if you need assistance for a corporate gathering, let your experts help you!

Subscribe You Tube Behind the Scenes NYC

Finally, if you like our video give us some love subscribing to our YouTube channel and be ready to be part of our Behind the Scenes NYC World! Come explore and uncover New York in a different way!

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 8am –7pm
Thursday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 8am – 8pm
Sunday: 8:30am – 8pm

Location: 535 Hudson Street

www.sweetcorner.com


VideographyBlack3 Agency
Photography
: Black3 Agency and ©Behind the Scenes NYC

BeautyLeila Soldeira

Julia Seregina: From Moscow To New York

Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Grey Blazer

Julia Seregina, a Russian fashion designer, moved from Moscow to officially land in New York in 2016. Since then, she’s been creating her journey is a fantastic way!

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New York is an incubator for emerging fashion designers from all over the world. It’s beautiful to see their journey and how they mature along the way.

It’s also quite interesting to see their own particular characteristics, experiences, inspirations and understand why the city of New York was the chosen one to create their roots.

We spoke to the talented and beautiful, Julia Seregina. She’s originally from Moscow and is officially living in New York since 2016. Before that, she was developing her line in Moscow, since 2010.


1. How did your passion for fashion arise?

I was born in Moscow, in a family with multi-national roots. The atmosphere of culture diversity predetermined my creative mindset and originality.

I inherited my passion for drawing and modeling garments from granny, who in that distant time of goods deficit managed to turn rags into stylish wear. My favorite pastime was sketching and the most precious toy was a trunk with pieces of beautiful fabrics, yarn balls and books on sewing, knitting and embroidering. I preferred knitting most of all, and years later that hobby resulted in creation of my own knitwear label.

Luckily, I had chance to travel and live for a while in Europe, and see outfits of elegant European women. This versatile high streets “runway” strengthened my desire to dedicate my talent to fashion, to embody my own vision of a modern woman outfit. Many of my current ideas are inspired by my mother’s wardrobe from ‘80s.

2. You had a NYC experience before actually moving, back in 2010, right? How was that experience?

Years ago, being a passionate knitter and an holding an idea of own line, I first came to New York to participate in the “Vogue Knitting Live” – a big event where knitters gather from all over the world. I instantly fell in love with the City, and was impressed by Americans’ attitude to crafts, and entrepreneurship.

Here, I first learned what sustainable fashion is. The US is the first in everything. I had no doubt I would come again, but could not imagine that after a few more visits as a tourist, I would eventually move here to start my own venture.

3. How did you start your brand and move to NYC?

It was a long journey to become a designer. At first, my passion was not supported by my family. They convinced me the career of economist would ensure stable living in future. I got my MS degree in International Economy and Marketing.

That was not something that I really enjoyed, but years later I realized that having worked in multinational corporations for several years, I learned how to be an entrepreneur. I also honed my understanding of a working woman’s style preferences. Willing to embody my ideas into contemporary modern garments design, I eventually decided to redirect my career towards my childhood dream.

After months of intensive self-education and research I launched my own label in 2012. I did not have enough budget to finance my start up, so I decided to raise funds applying for fashion competitions. I won several awards – Premium Young Designer Award in Berlin, Young Creative Entrepreneur Award by British Counsel, and was shortlisted in a number of contests and events.

Following sustainable fashion values, my collection was selected as “Fashion Innovation” at Source Award arranged by Ethical Fashion Forum. All that provided me opportunities to showcase at fashion weeks in Berlin, Copenhagen, London and Milan. My garments started selling from the very first collection.

In 2015 I applied for O1 (Extraordinary Ability) Visa. And I got it!

In September of 2016 I moved in New York to re-launch my line from scratch under the name JULIA SEREGINA NEW YORK. That was a real challenge! I had no friends or any contacts here. And my first year I spent in Manhattan, searching for suppliers, retailers and anyone who could be interested in collaborating with my venture.

I soon gathered a dream team of professionals who worked with the most prominent brands: pattern-makers, graphic designers, photographers. Our collection of reinvented everyday wear for powerful women is now presented in 2 showrooms in NYC. And there is still a lot of work ahead before I can call my entity a well established business.

Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Portrait
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maria Savelieva

4. Tell us about your collection?

In my collections I blend the elegance of well-made, classic pieces with the artistry of unconventional details, with emphasis on experimental knits. Transforming and reinventing space into new forms through knitting, crafts and fabric manipulations, I aim to create clean, simple and easy to wear silhouettes.

I often hear from my clients that my collection is different, and that my garments are “relaxing for the eyes”. This comment is extremely valuable for me.

5. Which are your biggest inspirations?

Talented people, with their passion, authenticity and free spirit. My collections celebrate creative powerful women. Before approving a new outfit I always imagine when, how and where they would wear JULIA SEREGINA.

As for the shapes and colors, the inspiration comes to me randomly, as a weird blend of simple but very personal things I experienced through my life. The rare art from places I have been to, crafts from my childhood. Plus, I love making surprising blends of classic and avant-garde with arty and sporty notes.

Another important source for of inspiration for me is the eclecticism of New York architecture, and the awesome nature it is surrounded by.

6. Why NYC?

I just love this city: its artistic and cultural vibes, challenges, and multiple opportunities for self expression.

7. What would be your advice for someone staring in the fashion industry in NYC that you’d love to  have known earlier in your career?

Having plenty of opportunities for emerging talents, NYC fashion industry has become quite a competitive field. If you want to start your own line, you should get prepared very well before you begin to invest time, energy and money.

So, learn the industry, the market, your customers, define what you expect to achieve in fashion, and your possible trajectories of how you are going to make it.

Bear your dream in mind, and take small steps to achieve it. For example, if you have limited budget to make a capsule collection, start as a mono brand with your strongest category, like sweaters or skirts or suits, and become really good at it.

Building your own brand is like constructing a multiple rooms house. Each element needs taking care of: product development, marketing, sales and many other things. To succeed in New-York every detail should be done perfectly at the highest level.

And, you cannot do it alone. Gather your dream-team, search for like-minded people who would support you. Also, meet industry professionals, search for advise, ask for help.

Moreover, the good news is that the new opportunities now arise in various aspects of fashion: styling, video production, art direction, content marketing management, etc. I mean, it is not necessary to be a designer to build lucrative career in fashion.

8. Do you have any exciting upcoming projects you can share with us?

Thank you for the question. I am excited to share with you that we are developing a concept of “Identity driven fashion”, representing it through our campaigns. The Heroines of all our lookbooks are women with extraordinary background.

For example, one of the models was an editor from with a ballet background. For our latest shoot we invited a Jazz singer who had recently graduated from the Harvard Astrophysics faculty. Our new collection is coming soon!

9. Where can we find JULIA SEREGINA?

We have been in a relaunch phase till now, and currently starting with a new business partner. So, we reviewed our strategy.

In addition, we plan to open our upgraded online store soon. And, we start selling in boutiques. Please follow our Instagram Page for updates: @JuliaSereginaOfficial.

www.juliaseregina.com


So, as we said, NY truly an incubator for emerging fashion designers from all over the world.

Be sure to read about other amazing New York ladies fashion brands like Scanlan Theodore, Figura and so many others.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Yulia Levit and Maria Savelieva
Art Director: Natasha Mileshina
Make Up Artist: Aisha Campbell
Model: Talea
Stylist: Julia Seregina

*Last Update on March/2020.*

Vinyl Is Back: The Top Record Stores in New York

Shop Specialties Vinyl Record Stores NYC Superior Elevation Fernanda Paronetto Ze Luis Oliveira

Vinyl is back, so come explore with me and with the famous musician and composer, Zé Luis Oliveira, the top record stores in New York! We explored Manhattan and Brooklyn and we’ll tell you everything about these hidden music gems!

Today we have, once again, the super talented musician and composer, Zé Luis Oliveira, with me! Our last video was about the must-see Jazz spots in Harlem – just thought you should know, lol!

I’ve seen that in the last couple of years, vinyl has come back to the lives of people and the desire to collect unique disks, is growing.

So, since Zé Luis is a true expert, I asked him to take me to some of his favorite and top vinyl stores in New York.

We had a great time exploring some of the top record stores in New York, located in Manhattan and Brooklyn. But there are, of course, many other fantastic options!

And before you start reading, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and help us spread the love for this secret New York!


A1 Records

Shop Specialties Vinyl Record Stores NYC A-1 Record Shop
Photo Credit: Courtesy of venue

Located in a very calm street in the East Village, A1 Records is a place you can go and just explore for hours. I love the neighborhood and it always amazing to explore it.

At this store, you’ll be able to buy, sell, or trade vintage vinyl records and just have fun exploring their entire collection. New stuff comes in practically every day!

The store was founded in 1996 and their vinyl curation is fantastic. There are endless options if you’re into Jazz, Soul and Funk. Plus, they have a very reasonable pricing and you can find countless disks for less than $10.

The store isn’t that small, but there is just so much in it, that you’ll probably have an interesting time moving around.

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 1pm – 9pm

Location: 439 East 6th Street

www.facebook.com/A1-Records


Rough Trade

Shop Specialties Vinyl Record Stores NYC Rough Trade Brooklyn
Photo Credit: Courtesy of venue

Rough Trade is one of the best places best places to go in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, if you’re into great music, a fantastic selection of books and magazines, delicious coffee and even live music shows.

And, of course, it’s a great place to shop for vinyl. Amazingly, they opened much more recently than the other stores, in November of 2013, but the team behind it really knows how to surprise music lovers with an outstanding variety and selection of products.

I’m always there and this time, we found some pretty unique disks from renowned Brazilian artists, like Gilberto Gil.

OMG, and did you know you can also find cassette tapes there? Such a nostalgic experience! As we’ve said before, Rough Trade is a music haven, and we do recommend you go explore!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 9pm

Location: 64 North 9th Street, Williamsburg

www.roughtrade.com/us


Superior Elevation Records

Shop Specialties Vinyl Record Stores NYC Superior Elevation
Shop Specialties Vinyl Record Stores NYC Superior Elevation Fernanda Paronetto Ze Luis Oliveira
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Our last stop was in the super cool neighborhood of Bushwick! I love exploring everything there, since it’s known for the being the home to very creative folks.

Superior Elevation Records is tucked away in a remote street, but in a spacious store, a few steps below the ground.

The smell of the place immediately takes you to a journey into the vinyl world and you can stay there for hours listening to all the disks you want to purchase.

They also buy records every day and also have an online store, if you can’t make it to Bushwick all the time!

Hours: Daily, from 12pm – 7pm

Location: 100 White Street, Bushwick

www.superiorelevation.com


Finally, if you enjoyed exploring these top record stores in New York with us, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Let spread the love for music and for New York together!

Do you know any other super cool record store? Please, share with us in the comments below so we can check it out too!


Videographer: Black3 Agency and courtesy of the venues
Photographer
: Black3 Agency
Beauty
Leila Soldeira
Styling
Camilla Adão

Neighborhood Eats Tour: Brownstone Brooklyn

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Neighborhood Eats Tour Brownstone Brooklyn Delicatessen

We love Brooklyn and we love food, so putting them together is the perfect combination! Explore with us the Neighborhood Eats Tour: Brownstone Brooklyn! Come hungry!

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Italian, Middle Eastern, and New American cuisine come together and create New York City’s best neighborhood food.

Discover delicious mom & pop shops and restaurants, and experience how food is the engine of a local eco-system.

Brooklyn’s Smith and Court Streets and surrounding neighborhoods have a vibrant mix of small, locally owned, artisanal food shops (both old and new) unlike almost any other neighborhood in America.

On this tour you will find out how that came to be and what makes it tick!

We will visit both old school haunts and new culinary entrepreneurs to experience an exciting menu of traditional flavors and daring dishes. We’ll stop into Italian and Middle Eastern shops that have long been the staple of the neighborhood, and explore the growing scene of cafes and restaurants specializing in New American cuisine.

While we enjoy their delicacies, we’ll learn about the neighborhood’s rich history and changing character from the local business owners and residents themselves and you’ll find out what makes this neighborhood so special.

Come hungry! Price of ticket includes beer tastings and food, transportation, tour map of the neighborhood, and your tour guide.

BOOK NOW!

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Discover why Brooklyn is now the centre of the NYC food scene
  • Visit family-owned food stores to get the local lowdown on food in Brooklyn
  • Stroll down the beautiful tree-lined streets of Brooklyn with a local
  • Explore the many faces of Brooklyn cuisine, from New American to Italian, the Middle East and beyond!

TOUR DETAILS:

  • Price: $69 / person – includes food & guide
  • Duration: About 3 hours
  • Meeting Point: Stinky Bklyn – 215 Smith Street, Brooklyn
  • Schedule: Every Friday at 11am and every Saturday at noon
  • Advanced purchase required

OTHER INFO:

  • Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, food tastings, and tour map of the neighborhood.
  • Exclusions: Items of a personal nature, tips and gratuities for your guide (highly appreciated, tks!)
  • Your Trip: You will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
  • Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
  • Child Policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed upon booking. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.

BOOK NOW!

In addition, if you enjoyed the Neighborhood Eats Tour: Brownstone Brooklyn, but you prefer to book a private tour, please submit a request. Furthermore, for corporate requests, let our experts help you out.

Don’t forget to explore all our other Tours & Experiences too!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of our partner
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Figura: Shopping Less But Better

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Anna Sergeeva

New York is not only one of the fashion’s capitals of the world, but it’s the birth place of countless innovative brands. Figura clothes will give your close a twist and make you a true New Yorker!

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Anna Sergeeva

It’s super common not only to walk on the streets and see new stores, but it’s easy to find new emerging brands launching their online presence and fighting for their space.

That said, we recently interviewed Elena Zaharova, founder of Figura, a clothes line that enhances the different beauties in women, working with gorgeous, everyday wardrobe pieces.

Take a look at her fantastic journey from west-central Russia to New York!


1. Tell us a bit about you, where you’re from, your background, what you worked with?

I was born in a very small town in west-central Russia. It was remarkably boring, and it took me 10 years of urban life to appreciate my rural childhood — the ability to play outside till dusk, run barefoot, spend most summer camping and hanging out with friends unsupervised.

My mom is very crafty and creative. As far as I remember myself, she’s been sewing, painting, playing with different media and techniques. I was that kid whose parents built ketchup-soda volcano with them and enjoyed it no less.

When I was 17, I moved to Moscow to study journalism. In a big city, I was surrounded by more creative people, and I started questioning myself about what I want to do. Journalism wasn’t that answer, and after two years I left the school.

Eventually, I realized that my passion for art and craft wasn’t as childish and silly as it appeared, and could become a profession and even pay the bill. I started working as a decorator and a window display designer full-time. At 25, I led a chain of 18 stores as a creative director, changed windows seasonally and developed their visual identity.

2. How did Figura start? How did your childhood in Moscow, playing and sewing clothes impact your business?

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Anna Sergeeva Trench Coat

I’ve been sewing and playing with clothes since my early childhood. I joke sometimes that most women from post-soviet countries are born to be a fashion designer. Fashion choice was very limited, and they had to create all their clothes. In my childhood, it was more of a routine to turn an old granny’s t-shirt into a dress than go shopping. I learned how to use a sewing machine when I was about 9, and my first very own piece was a belt bag made out of curtains leftover.

I’ve always designed for myself, but business-wise it wasn’t in the air until 2015. Figura started randomly. There were a few things I couldn’t find at stores, like a bathroom-friendly jumpsuit with no hassle to get it off and on.

One day I put a few pieces together into my first collection. The result overcame my expectations, and, as I see it now, part of the reason was my low-key approach. I noticed that women can relate to non-professional models better. And, if I want a dress to have decent size pockets, so do other women. Since then, I devoted myself to explore the comfort and practicality of women’s wardrobe.

3. Being an outsider entrepreneur, how has your journey in NYC been so far and what are the biggest challenges you find?

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Lloyd Mitchell Women Dancing

I moved to New York 3 years ago, so did my brand. New York is very competitive, but it also makes the atmosphere creative and risk-friendly.

By the moment I started Figura, I’d been blogging for a few years, so most of my audience became my customers.

Moving to New York made me change the way I marketed my brand. I had to learn how to build the audience from scratch. It’s an ongoing process, and I’m still far from saying “Good job!” to myself.

4. How do you see Figura fit into NYC’s fashion scene and into the powerful New Yorker women’s closet?

I think of my customers as very sophisticated women who support the mantra of shopping less but better. As a designer, I’m into creating better quality pieces rather than selling more.

New York apartments can be small, but our closets are big. Let’s be smart to load them with pieces we really need.

5. What are your top 3 styling tips to feel like a true New Yorker?

  • Mix & match. A real New Yorker is like the city itself, diverse and vibrant;
  • Buy less but better;
  • Shop independent designers, at least sometimes. Besides supporting them, it gives your wardrobe that twist.

6. Which item is your bestseller?

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Sergey Korol Black Pants

Wide black pants. They don’t look baggy and have it all: elastic waist and deep pockets. When I sold the first pair, I left the second for myself.

I’ve used this cut for my other models (jumpsuits, for example), but the original wool version is still my best hit.

7. Where can people find Figura, besides online?

Figura attends local markets and pop-up projects. On October 29th, you can spot Figura’s costume at the dancing performance Slice & Dice, as part of our collaboration with The Lovelies, a local group of artists. Get updated by following Figura on Instagram: @FiguraClothes.

8. Is there any upcoming collaboration, collection, or interesting info you’d like to share? How does it currently involve the local community, being an independently owned brand?

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Suxiao Yang Christopher Liong White Dress

For most of my editorials, I feature real women, as opposed to professional models, from different fields and backgrounds, ranging from a barista at a Parisian Cafe to an emerging DJ in Brooklyn. New York taught me how to approach people and share ideas. Beauty only works with passion and collaboration behind it.

My first New York projected was called “All About Us Not Clothing”. The name speaks for itself: the line was presented by my long-time Instagram muses. Six girls from around the world received the clothes and styled them the way they wanted, creating a lookbook for Figura’s new collection.

I’m grateful to Etsy Community and Handmade Collective for the opportunity to shape my vision and blog about Figura’s aesthetic. Raw Artist New York became my first runway. I’m always open to collaboration with local brands. Just recently I had a chance to work with Zunta Shop and Zhuorui Fu Collection.

Recently I’ve teamed up with The Lovelies, a group of local artists, to challenge fashion to the point of being comfortable for dancers. It feels good to see Figura’s clothes fit easily everywhere, from a red carpet walk to a dance performance.

Figura’s last collection was dedicated to New York’s ubiquitous corner store delis. Delis are as visually noisy and as busy as urban life, and Figura’s minimal designs are sure to help one find balance in the city. Right now I’m working on my new collection, inspired by natural textures of volcanic Iceland. Being in contrast with the urban story, it keeps exploring the meaning of clothing and serving the practicality.

Shop Online!

Shop Ladies Figura Clothes Sergey Korol Red Top


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Anna Sergeeva, Gustė Sakalauskaitė, Lloyd Mitchell, Sergey Korol, Suxiao Yang & Christopher Liong and Jenia Filatova.
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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