Tag Archives: Design

Open House New York Weekend: Exploring NYC’s Best Secrets

Events Up Coming Open House New York Weekend Brooklyn Army Terminal by Nicolas Lemery Nantel

Open House New York Weekend is just a few days away! You’ll be able to explore NYC’s best secrets in a weekend filled with excitement and access to out of bound spots!

Events Up Coming Open House New York Weekend Ford Foundation Center by Garrett Rowland Gensler
Ford Foundation Center – Photo Credit: Garrett Rowland, Gensler

By now, you guys probably have noticed that we are all about uncovering NYC’s best secrets and sharing it with you! So, today we will tell you a bit more about the Open House New York Weekend!

There is just so much history and hidden gems in the city that it’s almost impossible not to suffer from the dreaded FOMO syndrome (Fear of Missing Out).

Some of the secrets we love the most range from exploring the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal Tour, and attending a VIP tour of the famous Woolworth Building, to entering the out of bound areas of the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital or even walking through the grounds of Green-Wood Cemetery.

There is just SO MUCH to see and these secrets are certainly a big part of why New York is seen as one of the best places in the world to live and visit!

The upcoming weekend of October 18th – 20th, Open House New York Weekend opens up 300+ sites for you to explore, tour, photograph, and visit!

“Open House New York provides broad audiences with unparalleled access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the city.”

During this weekend, you’ll be able to access some of these top city gems!


More about Open House New York:

Open House New York, founded by Scott Lauer in August 2001, engages New Yorkers in the city’s architecture, public space, and the future of urban life.

With the help of a dedicated board and volunteers, OHNY became an important platform for celebrating New York at a critical moment in its history.

Following the events of September 11th, when much of the city was closing itself off through increased security measures, OHNY offered a countervailing force, one that advocated for openness and access as key components of an enlightened and vibrant civic life.

The first Open House New York Weekend in 2003 was part of the city’s first Architecture Week. With the help of three hundred volunteers, that event included 84 sites in all five boroughs.

Events Up Coming Open House New York Weekend Morgan Library Museum by Graham S Haber
Morgan Library Museum – Photo Credit: Graham S. Haber

Since the inaugural year, the event has grown exponentially, increasing its outreach and audience participation; the number of sites, talks and tours; and developing additional thematic and interpretive programming. The 2017 OHNY Weekend had more than 250 participating sites and tours. It’s estimated around 80,000 visitors and more than 1,000 registered volunteers were part of it.

Through its year-round programs and the annual OHNY Weekend, Open House New York celebrates the best examples of design and planning throughout the five boroughs.

From historic to contemporary, it helps foster a more informed conversation about how architecture and urban design sustain New York as a vibrant place to live, work, and learn. Open House New York is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

In addition to OHNY Weekend, Open House New York organizes year-round programs. These extend the conversation that begins during the two days of the Weekend.

Programs include Projects in Planning, an ongoing series of presentations that explore the design and development of major new projects in the early stages of their development.

In addition, Making Place is an annual event that opens a range of architecturally and culturally significant sites in one neighborhood to look at neighborhoods in the midst of change. Lastly, Urban Systems Series, a year-long thematic series, explores important issues in New York City’s built environment, from manufacturing, to food, to waste.

Open House New York’s year-round programs are a significant platform for fostering discussion about how the city might take shape in the years ahead. Plus, it addresses issues including planning, preservation, infrastructure, and contemporary design.


Be sure to book your ticket asap, since many of them sell out in just a few hours! Plus, you can always sign up to their newsletter and stay in the loop of what happens throughout the year!

In addition, if you’d like to support this cause and help them continue their work, see what you can do and how you can be part of their year round events, meet ups, tours and more!

https://ohny.org


Credits: OHNY, Nicolas Lemery Nantel, Garrett Rowland, Gensler and Graham S. Haber

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!

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.

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, 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. My favorite areas are Tribeca and Financial District. I like to feel the scale of architecture, observe the intricacy of the old facades.

Shop Ladies Forms New York White Architecture

What is the general style of the women/men that buy 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. 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!

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


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Forms

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!

Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Grey Trenchcoat
Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Grey Looks
Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Grey Blazer
Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Black Looks
Shop Ladies Julia Seregina Black Dress
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

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 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.

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 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

Exploring The Coolest Spots In Industry City, Sunset Park

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Outdoor Area

Some of New York’s coolest spots are located in Industry City. This area of Brooklyn has been completely transformed from old warehouses, into a fantastic center with thriving local Brooklyn-based businesses!

Back in the 1890’s Sunset Park, in Brooklyn, was full of warehouses and distribution centers.

Industry City was called Bush Terminal and in no time, had over 25,000 daily workers, transforming it into one of the world’s major international seaports.

By the 1960’s businesses started to close down and the area was practically abandoned for over 40 years.

Finally, in 2013, a new group started to renovate and redevelop the area. Today, they’ve created over 2,000 jobs and have leased over 2million square feet to new local businesses that are now thriving!

We came here today to show you a few of the coolest spots to visit, while you in the neighborhood!


Extraction Lab

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Interior
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Macaron
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Coffee
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Recipes
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Pastries
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Barista
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Coffee Machine
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Capuccino
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

This is a very special place for the coffee and tea lovers! I’m certainly part of the list!

Alpha Dominche Extraction Lab is famous for brewing their own coffee and tea, in Brooklyn! You can actually choose your drink based on origin, variety, brand, roaster and other specifications.

They work with 50 world-class roasters and tea producers for all over the world.

Here, you also learn the details of the drink you’re ordering and can even pair them with delicious pastries.

Get ready to explore and uncover their world with me!

Hours: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Location: 51 35th Street

www.adextractionlab.com


Li-Lac Chocolates

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Smores
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Products
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Production
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Drink
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Cubes
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Rolls
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Gift Box
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Historical Shot
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

Hey chocoholics! Li-Lac Chocolates is one of NY’s oldest chocolate houses with a 4 spots in Manhattan and 1 in Brooklyn – where we came to personally explore.

This Brooklyn location is not only a store, but it’s also their factory. The smell is truly indescribably and amazing. As soon as you walk in, you’re wrapped into this fantastic aroma that fills the air.

Some recipes are still the original ones and some production techniques still date back to the 1920’s! Oh! They do offer tasting tours in the factory!

We spoke to Anthony Cirone, Co-Owner and President at Li-Lac Chocolates, so check it out in the video!

Hours: See website for hours based on their different locations.

Locations: 68 35th Street, Brooklyn

And, in Manhattan:
40 8th Avenue, West Village
162 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
43rd Street & Lexington Avenue, Grand Central Market
75 9th Avenue, Chelsea Market

www.li-lacchocolates.com


Avocaderia

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Toast
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Avo Burger
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Colors Avo
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Spices
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Salad
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Salad Tomato
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Salad Olives
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Potato
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Poached Eggs
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia 6 Dishes
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Raspberry Smoothie
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Green Smoothie
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Dessert
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Avocado Scrub
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

This is one of the best ideas ever launched in New York! Why? Well, if you live here, you’re probably a huge fan of avocados too!

Avocaderia has so many variations in how to prepare this unique single-seeded fruit, from savory dishes to sweet ones. They are the first avocado-bar with a menu filled with different toasts, salads and bowls, smoothies, sweets and some special creations, like the Avo Burger.

To kill your curiosity about what an Avo Burger is, here you go: avocado, smoked salmon, arugula, pico de gallo, herb yogurt dressing, everything bagel seasoning, quinoa, watermelon radish and lime citronette, served with baked pita chips. Oh. My. God. Right!? I’m salivating just  writing about it!

Francesco Brachetti, one of the 3 Co-Owners, shared with us which are the best sellers, so be sure to go try it out, asap! Yum!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 4pm
Weekends: 11am – 5pm

Location: 238 36th Street

www.avocaderia.com


Industry City Store by Wanted Design

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Interior
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Corner Details
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Store Corner
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Kids
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Products
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Flasks
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Details
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Ceramics
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

Industry City Store by WantedDesign is another great place to stop by.

They have a fantastic curation of works by several emerging designers, as well as products created by some the best local designers in Industry City.

What you’ll find? Countless accessories, candles, pillows, furniture, books and so much more!

See what it looks like in our video and check out their website to read about their upcoming exhibitions, talks, workshops and other curious happenings that they host.

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 274 36th Street

www.wanteddesignnyc.com


Frying Pan BK

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Façade
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Outside Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Cocktail
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Crab Sandwich
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Sandwich
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Ping Pong
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Cocktail Variation
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Full Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Outdoor Area
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

Have you heard of Frying Pan, a great vessel on the Hudson River, right on 26th Street? It’s open from May through October and is known for being an unusual type of bar that you should certainly explore!

More recently they opened Wheel House by Frying Pan as a great alternative for those that enjoy them, but are based in Brooklyn.

And, wanna know something cool too? You can also order bar service outside and even rent Ping Pong rackets and balls to play a bit and enjoy the day.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 8pm; Kitchen closes 7:45pm; Bar will extend ‘till 10pm when busy
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 9pm; Kitchen closes 8:45pm; Bar will extend ‘till 11pm when busy
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm; Kitchen closes at 5:45pm; Bar will extend 8pm when busy

Location: 51 35th Street

http://fryingpanbk.com


If you enjoy exploring different neighborhoods that are far from the crowded touristy areas, you might also want to check out these amazing restaurants and cocktail spots in Greenpoint; as well as the places where I did a drink and food crawl with a foodie friend!

Have fun!


VideographyRenata Meirelles
Photo Credits: All the venues

ZHU: 100% Handmade And Hand-Stitched In France

Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Wallet

ZHU is a simple and classy style curation. It’s a haute-couture house whose elegant traditions married millennial attitude. They fit bespoke designs 100% handmade and hand-stitched in France.

Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Couple
Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Glenn Bag
Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Brown Bag
Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Wallet
Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Keychain
Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Ciuxu
Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Atelier
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

We talked to Zhuorui Fu, founder of ZHU to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey, her continuously growing collection based on sustainability and her short and long term plans!

Take a look below:


Tell us a bit about you, where you’re from, your back ground, what you worked with? How you ended up in NYC?

My name is Zhu. I am a Chinese girl born and raised in Shenzhen, a young mega metropole of my age and the technological hub of the East, until I was 17. Before that, I exchanged to California, New York, and Finland.

From 17 onwards, I went to school at St. Andrews, which is the alma mater of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Because my Bachelor’s Degree was a joint-degree, I went to William & Mary in Virginia for two years. I got two diplomas from two schools within four years.

After that, I also went to UPenn for a Master’s Program. In between, I studied in France and went travelling, volunteering, studying in many countries for quite a bit.

I technically came to NYC before I went to University. Not the typical obedient student and born an urbanite, I was never into coursework and was always in the mega cities, London, New York, and Paris, when I was in school in Scotland, Virginia, and Philadelphia.

Being an ‘outsider’ entrepreneur, how has your journey in NYC been and what are the biggest challenges you find?

Since I came to NYC a while ago, NYC scenes were not unfamiliar to me. The entirety of my life is spent in the mega cities, so I am used to the fast-pace, sharpness, internationality, pollution, rudeness, in New York. It helped refine my edges and that coolness as a millennial working in a creative environment. Nevertheless, since I studied in Europe and was soaked in an intelligentsia environment, my taste tends to be more diverse.

NYC has been a blessing. In NY, I was always connecting with people I met from my schools, projects, people in the cafés, etc. Not all of my projects work out and many of them died, but whenever I want to work on something, NYC gives me hopes and resources.

The biggest challenge is surely the price. When I was in school, I had family’s supports. That was one of the major reasons I could afford a good education. After school, I had to rely on myself. NYC price is abnormal for a graduate unless he or she is working on a corporate job. For penniless entrepreneur, it is very difficult to afford anything in NY.

Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Keychains

What’s ZHU about? How do you apply sustainability to your brand and your mission?

ZHU is a simple and classy style curation. It’s a haute-couture house whose elegant traditions married millennial attitude. We fit bespoke designs, 100% handmade and hand-stitched in France. It’s haute-couture, with products created by customization and small batches each cycle and never again, using vachette, the calfskin, from Italy.

ZFC is an ethical slow fashion brand. I do not feel comfortable using alligator skin or something. It champions a good style and taste, not necessarily fashion, by doing and having good investment pieces, to create that millennial timeless being.

I am a vegetarian and practice yoga since I was 14. Mother Nature, fair treating to people, are all very important to me and the brand.

Specifically, how ZFC carries out the mission, it came from below pillars.

First, ZFC only uses recyclable and perishable materials, with exceptions of collaborations with Zero Waste Daniel, who has already recycled parts of the synthetic wastes. I am not a big fan of plastics despite transparent plastics have been quite fashionable lately. We use leathers called vachette, which is the calfskin of cattle that is slaughtered as meat. Leather, paper boxes, cottons are the majority of the materials we. They are long-lasting, but they are naturally perishable if buried in soils.

Second, I knew my maker partner Roberto when I was studying French, in Nice. In fact, I lived right above his atelier. He dyed everything with homemade natural coloring. There are no chemical dyes that go into water and contaminate water, like many suppliers do when they make mass-produced garments.

Third, Roberto makes everything and he is well paid.

Lastly, fashion fades, style does not, as Yves Saint Laurent said: “Having a distinctive and cultivated style is already remarkably sustainable”.

Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Lou Bag

How do you see ZFC fit into NYC’s fashion scene?

It fills in the haute-couture for young people, and does not chase the ever-changing trend.

NY’s fashion is very diverse. You can find all range of fashion because this is the ultimate fashion heaven. Nevertheless, NY’s fashion scene came to prominence only after war, when the American apparels gradually took European style to the mass, with the help of big department stores’ orders. In another word, NYC’s fashion can be very modern and street-culture inspired. NYC is a young city with almost 70% of the population under 45.

My line is a classic haute-couture line that calls for multidimensional awareness of style, through reading, traveling, and loving. It is not necessarily luxurious, but it is heavier in value. It fits with NY’s history of high fashion and dense art scene. They are also sustainable pieces that New Yorkers like. It does not fit into the wasteful part, superficial aspect, and the pursuit of forever new, of NYC culture and NYC fashion.

For me, cherishing what we carefully purchased, created, and loved is important. If this goes in another route from the NY mainstream, I am fine to not follow the crowd.

Nevertheless, the line combines my taste, the one of a globally educated millennial, and the Franco-Italian traditions of Roberto. My take on the styling and details of ZFC comes from our current epoch. They are classy and traditional by looks, but inherently cool.

What are your top 3 styling tips for New Yorkers?

Colourful and simple accessories to suit the permanent black garments.

Wear the worldly cultures proudly on ourselves. New Yorkers tend to have history and roots besides NY. Those pieces from elsewhere are great additions to the big NY style and they are what make us different!

Work less, chase less, enjoy life, read a book, listen to music, appreciate arts, cherish the finiteness of life in the material cornucopia. Manners and passions are the ultimate fashion.

Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Details Atelier

Which is your bestseller item?

Val. This is a small cross-body coming in a very irreplaceable cute shape. Female customers like this bag a lot. It can host a book or a water bottle.

Vincent the wallet, Arcobaleno bracelets, and L’Animal, the endangered animals-inspired keychains are also popular for the lower price points, easy look, and cute stories.

Where can people find ZFC, besides online? You mentioned about a few pop-up stores in NY – which/where are they?

We do more among acquaintance circle, for many customers want certain parts to be customized. In addition, we also do online, but definitely trying to do more. We put on events that are, for now, seasonal. For example, we had partnership with Camaraderie in NYC and Persian Women in Tech.

We do high-profile events, which are in talks and will be updated momentarily. We look to do more collaborations and be taken into concept stores, businesses, or even retailers at small batches.

What are your upcoming plans for the brand? Collaborations?

First, I want more people to know about the brand and our sales need to come up. We look to more collaborations with local businesses that have physical stores and great concepts.

Second, I do look to do more lines for the brand. Now we focus on accessories, but ZHU is a millennial curation about elegance and style, not a bag brand. I want to introduce maybe ready-to-wear, maybe contemporary lines, that fit into the pronounced aesthetics and ethical believes. Or books, or classes, or yoga, or something that compliment customers’ taste and make them happy. I may also want to explore more topics that have always perplexed me, life, death, balance, etc.

Third, I would love to have pieces that challenge the status quo. For example, the Made in China image. I have seen great designer and makers in China. Made in China has a bad connotation because many products are massively produced at a high environment cost. However, it does not mean for all the products. I know amazing haute-couture designs that have supplied the emperors or have been handmade the same way for hundreds of years with passions and a supreme quality. I would want to do that.

Lastly, I want to contribute to gender parity. Most of the fashion lines, whether womenswear or menswear, are led and owned by men, while most of the entry jobs in fashion are filled by women. I will be very happy to do menswear and figure out ways to bring sustainability into this.

Can you tell about the collaboration with Zero Waste Daniel? We are huge fans and did a great interview with him a while back.

Yes, Daniel is great. There was a point I lived in Williamsburg right next to Daniel’s store. I walked pass his store multiple times and had always been inspired by the mysteriously awesome designs from the outside. One day I decided to walk in and was immediately greeted by warm reception of the staff beside the sewing machine. Fewer things at a sustainable way have always been a belief of mine. He makes clothes from scraps, which is just a good innovation itself. The pieces look very Brooklyn chic.

I approached him and asked him if he would want to collaborate. We sat down and he told me his story, of how he started at fairs selling a few pieces. He said it was “very hard” at the beginning. After years, he now made it into a beautiful store.

In New York, you can always find overnight success stories of some hotshot designers, but most of the people don’t have their businesses like this. In fact, doing business from scratch when you have limited resources is very difficult. People just don’t really care about you or your products. I was just beginning my business and my business looked very dodgy when I met him. He was very happy to help and designed our brand three exclusively fitted pieces in red, blue, and grey, for the passions, sorrows, and neutrality of a typical start-up story, I guess.

No need to say, Daniel is a super sweetheart and has great smile.


Shop Ladies and Gents ZF Collection Zhu

Zhu is the founder of ZHU a simple and classy style curation based in New York, London, and Paris. ZFC makes bespoke, sustainable, and chic haute-couture pieces 100% handmade in France and USA.

https://zhustudios.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of ZHU

Justin Teodoro: Statue of Liberty Illustration Gone Viral

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Statue of Liberty Illustration

Justin Teodoro is the powerful  and creative name behind the Statue of Liberty’s illustration that went viral a few weeks back! We talked to him about his breathtaking career, his inspirations and discovered his 7 secret spots in NYC.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Statue of Liberty Illustration

A few weeks back, the social media universe went wild with a beautiful illustration created by the NY-based illustrator, Justin Teodoro.

In a powerful response to the first lady, Melania Trump’s Zara jacket, which had “I really don’t care. Do you?”, written on the back, Justin’s creative, powerful and positive reply, moved the world.

The outrageous act that has been moving people to stand up against the zero tolerance policy of family separations at the boarder, led by President Trump, was spread through out the internet.

Even those that chose to be isolated for the political scene, were touched.

Like us, countless other media platforms and Instagram users, reposted Justin’s illustration, supporting the cause.

Our interview below, will show you more about Justin’s story, career, conquests, inspirations, finishing off with 7 of his secret spots in NYC!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Kevin Lamarque Reuters
Photo Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

1. Can you tell me a bit about your background? Where you’re from? What you studied? Where you’ve worked?

I’m from Vancouver, BC Canada – born and raised there. I did my undergrad at University of Toronto and after I graduated in 2003 I moved back to Vancouver to figure out what to do for a career.

I’ve always drawn and loved art, but never knew how to make that happen as a “job”. I was always into fashion but, that seemed so far away to me as a career.

I then found about the Associates Fashion program at Parsons and with the support of my family applied and got in. So, I moved to NYC in 2005 to pursue a career in fashion.

I worked as a womenswear designer for 8 years for brands as Tuleh, Cynthia Steffe and Kenneth Cole, before I made a career change to focus on my own illustrations and art.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Installation

2. Was the Barney’s window in NY your first major fashion project? Tell us a bit about this project! Or, tell us about your first major project that boosted your career.

My first big project as an illustrator was probably working with Lorenzo Martone and his brand Martone Cycling – we met through mutual friends and I began doing illustrations for him.

That led to us working together on a small capsule range of illustrated tees for Martone Cycling, then a pop up in NYC and finally an artwork for a window display when Martone Cycling was sold at Colette in Paris. That was a major first for me.

I’ve worked with Barneys NY a few times – first on their website doing a few illustrations stories. Those projects led me to working with Barneys New York Japan in 2015 for their holiday campaign. Another major milestone in my career – I created artwork for their holiday campaign and was invited to Tokyo for the holiday launch.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Colette Lorenzo Martone3. You’ve done so many amazing works around the world like Colette in Paris, the subways in Tokyo! I believe you obviously enjoyed them all, but is there one that you’re exceptionally proud of and would love to relive it? Why?

I’ve been lucky to have worked on some pretty amazing projects with really great brands, so it is hard to choose.

I guess though I would always cherish the projects that allowed not only my work to travel internationally but me as well!

So, my project with Barneys in Tokyo and recently doing artwork for Six Senses in Kaplankaya, Turkey was amazing. It’s been great to expose yourself and your eyes to what is out there.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Tokyo Subway Barneys New York

4. The entire Social Media universe saw your latest illustration of the Statue of Liberty with the child. We were one of the hundreds of accounts that share it. Can you give us a taste of how the idea can about and how the creation process was? Did you expect this amazing repercussion?

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro

It really came about from me just reacting to all the news that week – I remember it being so hard to hear all the stories of these families being separated and then seeing all those images in the news.

It was hard not to react.

I think I tried to do something that felt true to what I wanted to say, but also to my art and I think I just wanted to put something out there that was perhaps positive, a sense of hope in all of this sadness, anger and messiness.

So, it kind of just came naturally – I don’t remember exactly what the process was but putting the jacket with what I think we all wanted it to say on the statue of Liberty seemed to be my creative reply.

The reaction was pretty amazing to see – definitely all the viral attention was amazing.

But, it was much more amazing to me to have people email/message me to say thank you for doing this artwork, that it gave them a sense of hope and light in all this darkness.

That really touched me and made me realize that the work had taken on a more powerful meaning that I ever anticipated.

5. Is there any exciting upcoming project you can share with us first hand?!

A few projects in work, so stay tuned!

6. Can people find your work in NY and also to purchase online?

I have a few t-shirts/prints available on my site.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Janes Carousel Dumbo

7. What are you +7 top secret spots in NY you love to go with friends, or for work inspiration?

  • Communitea Café – A neighborhood coffee spot in LIC;
  • FIT Museum – For fashion inspiration;
  • Lucky Strike – A classic NYC happy hour in SoHo;
  • Tuffet – A great bar in Brooklyn for cocktails and drinks;
  • McNally Jackson – A great local bookstore/magazines and coffee spot in SoHo;
  • Strand Bookstore – A classic and has an amazing vintage book collection;
  • Blick Arts – I’m a sucker for an art store and am always here getting more paint or pens.

Take a look at a few cultural activities in New York, if you’re into arts, music, museums, etc!


Thank you Justin, for the amazing work, your strong voice and talent, and for sharing with us a bit of your life!

Keep up the amazing work!


Photo Credits: Justin Teodoro and Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The 5 Top Coffee Shops in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

I love coffee and exploring new spots and revisiting old ones is always a thrill! Today I share my 5 top coffee shops in Greenpoint, Brooklyn! If you are also a coffee fan, go check them out!

Yes, everyone that knows me, knows that I’m c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y addicted to coffee (good coffee!) and I drink it throughout my entire day! Being Brazilian, I think it’s just a natural part of me. Ha!

I have friends that tell me that if they drink coffee after lunch time, they can’t sleep at night. And, that just sounds so crazy… I can literally drink a gallon on coffee at night, roll over and sleep like a baby.

That said, I love exploring all the new coffee shops in New York. We also have some pretty amazing traditional ones that are still going strong. Those bigger chains are certainly not up my alley at all. I like the smaller ones, independently owned that roast their own coffee and the smell just fills up the entire place.

We’ve already shared the 5 best bars in Greenpoint I love. So, today I’m sharing my favorite and 5 top coffee shops, also in Greenpoint. After all, I do love everything about that neighborhood.


Maman

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Maman
Photo Credit: @thebrothersbuoy

If you enjoy good coffee and pastries, you’ve probably already heard of Maman.

The name means “mom” in French and the owners were inspired by their childhood memories of their mother’s recipes! They’ve got countless pretty tasty pastries, as well as savory options and healthy salads.

Besides this Greenpoint spot, they have a few other locations in the city, in the neighborhoods of Soho, Tribeca, Nomad and the Meatpacking District.

Each location is a bit different from the other and the one in Tribeca is also one of my favorites, for the have a great restaurant in the back!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 6pm
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Location: 80 Kent Street

www.mamannyc.com


Búdin

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Budin

Búdin was founded back in 2013 and serves not only tasty Scandinavian specialty coffees, but it also has a craft beer and wine bar. The Nordic menu offers sandwiches, salads and delicious Swedish pancakes.

One of the dishes I love is the Portobello + Fennel Sandwich with portobello cap, caramelized onions, fennel, whole grain Dijon mustard on a baguette.

But wait! That’s not all! In the back, they have a small, but pretty awesome design shop and an opened patio! The design shop brings together a curation of Japanese brands selling t-shirts, accessories and even a few jewelry pieces.

NOTE: On June 12th, Búdin sent out a message saying: “Due to an ongoing dispute with our landlord we have been forced to shut down for a while. We thank you for all the good times and hope to have more soon. We are trying to resolve the issue and find a positive solution as quickly as possible, be it reopening at our current location or finding a new home in Brooklyn.”

So, we’ll keep our eyes open to share their new spot!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 7am – 12am
Friday: 7am – 1am
Saturday: 8am – 1am
Sunday: 8am – 12am

Location: New spot to be announced!

www.budin-nyc.com


Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

Probably the first thing you’ll notice while entering Sweetleaf, is the décor. It has beautiful brick walls, original wood beams, as well as a fantastic variety of antique furniture collected from all over the world!

Besides the amazing smell when you walk in, it’s also very laptop friendly if you need to pull it out and work a bit!

They have a few other locations, but this one is the one that actually houses the roastery in the back. Don’t forget to peek inside to see the coffee being done.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 7pm

Location: 159 Freeman Street

http://sweetleafcoffee.com


Homecoming

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Homecoming

Homecoming is certainly a different style coffee shop. Why? Because they have not only a charming flower shop inside, but they also sell accessories from amazing designers.

You’ll find everything from apparel, apothecary, objects for your home, jewelry, notebooks and planners, and even some creative gift cards!

It’s a great place to swing by for coffee and also check out the products if you’re looking for a special gift for a friend or loved one.

They also have a 2nd location in Williamsburg, at 92 Berry Street.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 7pm

Location: 107 Franklin Street

https://home-coming.com


Champion Coffee

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Champion Coffee

Even though Champion Coffee’s first location dates back to 2006, the North Greenpoint spot is kinda new and opened just a few years back in 2016.

You can also take their coffee home. They roast their beans in Maspeth, Queens and have 3 flavors: Decaf, Drip Blend and Espresso. The spot also serves a nice breakfast and lunch with a few options of sandwiches and salads.

They have 2 locations in Brooklyn with a 3rd one that just launched! Where? Inside the North 3rd Street Market, in Williamsburg, that opened a few weeks back and unites 25 fantastic vendors in one spot!

In Manhattan they have 2 locations and the 3rd one is on its way! 

Hours: See website for hours of specific locations

Location: 1107 Manhattan Avenue

www.championcoffee.com


Videography: Renata Meirelles
Photo Credits
: Renata Meirelles, courtesy of thebrothersbuoy and of the venues

Beauty
: Leila Soldeira

Jason Naylor: 7 Best NYC Secret Spots By A Multitalented Artist

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Live Life Colorfully

We interviewed the multitalented artist, Jason Naylor, and learned about his journey, his upcoming projects and also his 7 best NYC secret spots! Check it all out below!

Today we bring you a fantastic interview with Jason Naylor! We’re sure many of you are already huge fans – as we are – and, have seen his work throughout New York City.

But, did you know that Jason is a multitalented artist? He is not only the Creative Director at his design company, but also a brand consultant, an artist, a designer and also, an illustrator. Phiuf!

He told us a bit about his journey:

“Well, I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. My mother is an artist, and so I spent my youth making art and entering art contests.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Ice Cream

I always did well in art class and that evolved into going to Design School and studying Communication & Graphic Design. This sort of led to the designs I now use in my art, which are very typographic and design heavy.

My work ranges from graphic designs and paintings as well as illustration, to video and digital graphics. I currently am in a very colorful kick and love holographic colors and rich blacks.

I just finished a collaboration with COACH, where I used their logo to create a massive, colorful LOVE mural. The bright colors and blacks came together nicely to shape that piece, and the colors really fortify the message of love.

What better to explain love in a piece of art than bright colors, right?

In addition, I have a pretty cool series of projects coming up this spring, where I’ll work with schools to develop messages of empowerment and then paint the messages as murals on the walls of the playgrounds.

This will start to come together hopefully in the next few weeks, so I’m pretty stoked on that!”

Check out his breathtaking work on his website: http://jasonnaylorcreative.com

Now, take a look at his 7 best NYC secret spots:


Best unexpected date spot – LGA Airport

“Watching the planes land at LGA. Ok, if you don’t know about this, its SPECTACULAR.

Across the street from the Enterprise car rental at LGA, there’s a small park that overlooks both the freeway and the runway… and it’s the closest place you can get to the planes landing.

It’s literally like 100ft from where they land, and you can sit on the bench and watch / listen to the planes come in. It’s riveting. Great date spot too!”


Best hotdog – Anchored Inn

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Anchored Inn

The Anchored Inn is in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Little divey metal bar with a great kitchen. Amazing hotdog – a must try. Get the cheese fries too, you won’t be bummed.”

Their menu serves Mexican-American food, the décor is pretty cool, they have a few pool tables (FYI, we LOVE playing pool) and pinball machines.

As they say, it’s “a place to get fed and drunk”.

Who’s in!?

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 12pm – 4am
Saturday & Sunday: 11 am – 4 am

Location: 54 Waterbury Street

www.theanchoredinn.com


Best inspiring lunch – Carthage Must Be Destroyed

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Communal Steading by HeyDavina
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Full Table by SheraStClair
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Fruits
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Details
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

“I am not even going to say anything about Carthage Must Be Destroyed. You just have to go with at most one other person, or maybe just by yourself, and have lunch. It will change your perspective on the word beautiful.

This place doesn’t have a street sign, so pay attention when you’re looking for it. It’s really something! From the outside you’d never expect to see what’s inside.

As Jason said, we’ll let you go and experience it yourself!

Hours: Open 7 days a week and holidays: 9am – 4pm

Location: 222 Bogart Street

http://carthagemustbedestroyed.com


Best place to people watch – SoHo Park

“This is an obvious one, but this a place I like to go to sit and get fashion inspiration. Good place to sit and hang and soak in the beautiful people of SoHo.”

We have to agree! SoHo is one of the best neighborhood in New York City to people watch. You’ll be able to experience every style in only one place.

So, grab your coffee, sit back and enjoy!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 9:30pm

Location: 62 Prince Street


Best dinner – Beco Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Beco Bar

“I always order the Brazilian Steak at Beco, in Greenpoint. Bring cash, for it’s cash-only. Put plenty of salt on your meat and be sure to order their famous Pão de Queijo too!”

We’ve written about them and posted about Beco countless times, and our Founder, , is also literally always there.

They have been chosen by locals as one of the neighborhood’s favorite to-go spots and it can get quite busy! Besides the fantastic food and specialty Brazilian cocktail drinks – like the Caipirinha and the Batida de Coco, they still have awesome live music performances.

One of our favorites bands is Regional de Nova York that plays the traditional Brazilian “Chorinho” music. This happens every other Sunday afternoon!

Hours:
Monday – Friday 8am – 12am
Saturday 10am – 12am
Sunday 10am – 11pm

Location: 45 Richardson Street

www.becobar.com


Best secret place to watch NYC fireworks – Parking lot at Western Beef

“At the edge of Ridgewood there’s a grocery wholesaler called Western Beef. The parking lot sits on a hill and has a view of the entire city.

You can see ALL the fireworks that happen just by parking in the parking lot and hanging by the fence. It’s not the closest view, but you can see them all, as well as the NYC skyline, and it’s pretty quiet.”

Location: 47-05 Metropolitan Avenue


Best Bar – Boobie Trap

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Boobie Trap Nicole Dissier Bedford Bowery
Photo Credit: Nicole Dissier for Bedford + Bowery

“My friend owns this bar called Boobie Trap, and I designed a lot of the stuff in the place including the logo, which has boobs!!! You can also sit in my chair which is covered in art!!!”

Yes, this place is quite something!

Be sure to observe the details around the bar…you’ll certainly have a great time uncovering each one of them!

Have fun!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 4am
Sunday: 12pm – 12am

Location: 308 Bleecker Street

www.boobietrapbrooklyn.com


We also uncovered a few other curiosities about Jason:

Read below to get deeper into Jason’s journey. He shared more about his murals, his inspirations, what he enjoys working on the most, where we can find his murals around New York, which are his favorite artists and still, his passion with tattoos!

***

How did you start working with painting murals and what was the first one you did?

“The first mural I did was in 2013 – a producer friend called me in panic with an event for Microsoft at SXSW and their graphics for the event fell through.

She asked if I could get graphics up on the wall for the space as I had done that a lot before for brands – you know, design graphics to be printed on vinyl and wrapped on to walls.

But there was no time to have them printed so I offered to paint a mural on the wall during the event. I assumed it couldn’t be that hard? Get the right supplies and get to work?

So, I did, and it was a huge success, and they brought be back the next year to do it again! Meanwhile, I was hooked on large scale. Never looked back.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Studio

What are your inspirations to create these fantastic art works? Does your hometown of Salt Lake City have a part in it?

“Well, I’m inspired by anything uplifting. I like a ‘feel good’ vibe, and I like to brighten things with color and positivity. So quotes, motivational speaking, self help… these things inspire me, as well as anything colorful.

My upbringing I’m sure plays a big part, but that is a very long story, LOL. Suffice it say that I am happy about where I came from and happy about where I am now, and I feel inspired by anything that is optimistic or positive.”

You are gifted with so many expertise, from doodles, logos, typography, design, etc…what do you most enjoy doing?

“First of all, thank you! I honestly enjoy the range of things I do. The variety enables me to put all my love into each project, as it keeps things fresh and never feeling tiresome or old.

I think diversity in mediums and tools and projects keeps me on my toes, as well.”

Where can people find your murals around New York?

“On 16th Street with 6th Avenue, 60th Street with 2nd Avenye, Houston with 1st – 2nd  Avenues (in the park), Orchard & Houston (the ice cream shop gate), Bowery & Hester, Suffolk & Delancey,  (collaboration with HekTad).

Also, in Queens, on Queens Blvd with 46th Street and in Brooklyn, across from Kings Plaza.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Live Life Colorfully
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor All You Need Is Love
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Love Comes In Every Color
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

This is tough, but what are some of your favorites works?

“Ohhh. Well. I love Tristan Eaton murals. Insanely cool and well planned. I love the photography of Nick Knight. I love Kaws, so smart and James Jean, his magical illustrations make me swoon.”

How about your tattoos? Are they all your drawings? If not, how do you choose the tattoo artist to be part how these drawing come to life?

“The only tattoo that I drew is the first one. I drew and re drew it 100 times before getting it tattooed.

Now, I’ve learned that you have to enable the tattoo artist some creative liberty, if you want a good tattoo. So, I try to selects artists based on their portfolio, style etc…and talk it through with them.

They know how your ideas will come out on the 3D surface of your body. Sometimes flat art doesn’t translate, and its best to let the artist do his/her thing!”


Jason, we had a great time interviewing you and learning more about your journey, your work, your 7 best NYC secret spots and all the upcoming exciting news!

Keep up this fantastic work and continue leaving your mark throughout our beloved New York City!

If you want to know who else is talking about Jason Naylor, read this interview with the Foodie Influencer, Cheryl Wat. And still, if you’re into street art, check out this tour around Bushwick and last, for the curious ones out there, take a look at a few more city secrets.

 

Video Credits: FreshNewYorkers and Test Truck by NotBeAfraid2Fail
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nicole Dissier for Bedford + Bowery, HeyDavina, SheraStClair and all venues

11 Howard: One Of The Coolest NY Boutique Hotels To Stay

Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel The Blond Bar Feature

The 11 Howard, in SoHo, is one of the coolest NY boutique hotels to stay in New York City. Not long after opening, the place became one of the city’s hot spots to dine, party and sleep.

Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Façade
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Lobby
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Stairs
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel The Library
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel The Blond Bar
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel The Blond
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel The Blond Art
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Single Room
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Room
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Double Room
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Room Overview
Hotels 11 Howard NY Boutique Hotel Bathroom Products
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

We love uncovering some unique, behind the scenes places to stay. Some of them might not be a secret anymore, but they are still relatively new and hosting only a pretty cool crowd. The 11 Howard is one of the coolest NY boutique hotels, located in SoHo.

So, lets start talking about it’s location. The 11 Howard hotel is at one of the best neighborhoods in the city: SoHo. It’s is one of the busiest neighborhoods, but perfect for people that come to New York for shopping, for good dining spots and that enjoy a never ending nightlife.

As soon as you enter the hotel, you can immediately feel the upscale, trendy vibe. The décor is quite minimalistic, but the design elements are all around. As they say: “where Danish minimalism meets New York realism”. We love it!

All around the hotel, you’ll be able to find unique works of art and design furniture that gives it that cool, trendy aspect.

On the first floor, that you can access by going up a black staircase to your left side, as you walk into the hotel, you’ll find two different areas. The first is the coveted bar and lounge, The Blond. Our contributor, Joey Zauzig, wrote about it as soon as it opened.

At The Blond, you’ll probably bump into models, famous actors, famous designers, kids with big last names and a very stylish, high-end crowd. So, be prepared to mingle (or not). The ambience is quite intimate, with dim lights, dark décor and furnishing, red and blue velvet sofas, a beautiful and massive full bar and a mix of wood and golden details.

Right beside The Blond, you’ll see another room called The Library. This social space is actually open all day and is free to the public. They offer free wifi, communal and private tables and a nice menu for bites and drinks. Décor is really great and welcoming. Many people there are working, having business meetings, or just relaxing for a while before hitting the crazy New York streets. The walls are filled with the photographic work by the renowned Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Oh! And every Saturday, from 6pm – 7pm, they offer complimentary wine.

The hotel also boasts itself for housing one of the top New York City restaurants, named Le Coucou. The menu offers a selection of classic French dishes. Simple, but amazing, after all “less is more”. The space is very charming and easy on the eyes. Every corner was thought out with great attention by the renowned NYC-based design studio Roman and Williams. Entrance is on 138 Lafayette Street.

Their infrared spa, HigherDOSE, is certainly something to experience. They explain that:

“DOSE stands for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. These are the feel good chemicals that can get released by your brain when you are inside of an infrared sauna—helping you high off of your own supply. In addition to feeling euphoric, infrared saunas help detox heavy metals from your body, promote healthy sleep cycles, promote a healthy glow for your skin, reduce muscle tension, and help you burn calories.”

Pretty interesting, right?

The Rooms and Suites are fantastic. The decoration is definitely up our alley. You can expect a clean décor, with neutral colors, oak floors, 11-foot ceilings, art works by international sculptures and artists, bamboo details (like the rugs) and custom-made furnitures. In addition, the bathroom is stocked with amazing organic beauty products. You can also create-your-own minibar featuring products from Conscious Commerce and Thrive Market.

And still, there is an additional and maybe the most important element of all, in our point of view!

The hotel works with Conscious Hospitality. What does this mean? They are part of the Global Poverty Project:

“11 Howard is a partner with Global Poverty Project whose mission is a world without extreme poverty by 2030. By Booking your stay directly with us, a portion of your room rate will be donated to GPP to help fight extreme poverty and inequality around the world.”

Lastly, they have a few additional collaborations with companies and organizations like: Oliver Gustav Studio – with a unique curation of modern, design, limited edition pieces and Feed Project – founded in 2007 ‘with the simple idea of creating products that would engage people in the fight against hunger in a tangible way’.

We love it all, so enjoy and be sure to indulge yourself in the entire experience offered at 11 Howard. Certainly one of our recommendations if you’re looking for the top behind the scenes NY boutique hotels.

Hours:
Each area has different functioning hours, so please check online.

Location: 11 Howard Street

www.11howard.com

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of 11 Howard

Journey Into The World Of NYC-Based Illustrator, Thomas Pitilli

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli

Thomas Pitilli, a NYC-based illustrator, in love with Comics, talks about his amazing career, challenges, inspirations and his favorite spots in New York City!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Working

The other day we met Thomas Pitilli, a native New Yorker living in Brooklyn. He works with some of the greatest publications today like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Billboard, Playboy, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post and other big names.

After briefly browsing through his work, we fell in love with it. We are huge fans of illustration and his style certainly called our attention.

If you want to see more details about his work, check out his website and read the interview we did with him below!

www.thomaspitilli.com


1) Tell us a bit about you. Where you were born, what you studied, what you’ve worked with, did your parents incentivize your work, etc.

My name is Thomas Pitilli and I am an illustrator from Brooklyn, NY. I am an actual Brooklyn native, one of the few left nowadays, haha.

I’ve been drawing and making art since as far back as I can remember. When I was 3 or 4, I wanted to be a fireman and when I was 5, I wanted to be Peter Pan. But, from then on, I’ve always aspired to be a professional artist!

Like most kids, I grew up obsessed with cartoons and comic books and it didn’t take me long until I started writing my own stories and making my own “books” made out of stapled sheets of typing paper with my drawings on them.

Both my parents are artistic, so thankfully, my creative imagination was always encouraged at home. An adolescence filled with constant drawing and practice led me the School of Visual Arts, in Manhattan, where I wound up studying illustration and cartooning.

I immediately began pursuing my dream of becoming a professional illustrator upon graduating. I spent several years hustling, trying to get as much freelance work as I could get, while supplementing my income with various odd jobs and part time gigs around the city.

A decade since graduating, I can proudly say I now make my entire living as an illustrator. NYC is not an easy city to ‘make it’ in, but you know what they say, ‘if you can make it here…’

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Metro Internaional Naked

2) Where did the passion for illustration come from? And why Comics?

My passion for illustration came out of my love for comics actually. When I was a little kid, I discovered comic books by rummaging through my older brother’s collections. I quickly became fascinated with the artwork inside and from then on, I was obsessed.

Through comics, I was exposed to a variety of different types of artists and styles, which then led me to explore other art forms outside of comics. I’ve always been drawn to artists that tell stories, whether it be in a comic book or in an oil painting.

The idea of getting a specific idea across through a drawing and making people feel something specific just by looking at it is truly satisfying to me and definitely fuels my passion for the craft.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Hollywood Reporter

3) What are the personalities that inspire you, in the illustration world, but also within other industries?

Confidence is a big one for me. When someone exudes confidence in what they do, no matter what the profession, I’m definitely inspired by that.

I like watching fighting sports, like boxing and MMA. The confidence and conviction that those fighters posses is so inspiring and interesting to watch.

I study that and try to understand how I might be able to apply that kind of attitude to what I do. The quote that always sticks with me is, “competence breeds confidence”, which pretty much means, if you work on your craft hard enough, the confidence you have in that area will likely follow.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Metro International

4) What type of mission and message do you strive to convey through your work?

I don’t really think I have a particular mission or message that I strive to convey in my art. I’m fascinated by people, body language and faces. Those have always been the things that I love to draw, so most of my work focuses on people, either interacting with each other or with themselves.

I have always loved drawing the female form and my work usually has a strong female protagonist within it. I think of my approach to illustrating similar to that of a street photographer.

I’m more concerned with capturing moments than creating any kind of particular statement. Also, the vast majority of my work is client based, so I spend most of my time trying to convey other people’s message or idea. There’s a very satisfying challenge within that as well.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli New York Observer

5) You’ve had works featured in many renowned publications like the Wall Street Journal, Scientific America, Climbing Magazine, Scholastic’s Choices Magazine and The New York Times! Tell a bit about these works and the process behind them.

I really enjoy making editorial illustrations. I get exposed to some pretty interesting articles and topics that I might not otherwise come across on my own.

The process is usually a pretty quick, yet intense one. I normally have less than a week to take the illustration(s) from concept to final. It’s a collaborative process between the art director and I, and at its best, it can be a very fun and rewarding process.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great publications and some great art directors. Some of my favorites are the ones where I felt like I was pushed creatively and was able to stretch new muscles.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli New York Times Giftbag

6) We see a great variation of styles and even colored vs black & white pieces. We love them all! What do you enjoy most doing and what style does your audience resonate more with?

I tend to gravitate towards black and white line drawing. I feel like that’s where my strengths are. That’s also what I have the most fun making as well.

Color has always been a challenge for me, it definitely is the longest part of my process, mainly because there is a lot of reworking and trial and error involved in it for me.

Like I said earlier, storytelling has always been the most appealing aspect of illustration for me. It doesn’t always have to be a literal narrative either, sometimes you can tell a story with a pose or a facial expression, or the capturing of a simple moment.

I feel like that’s the kind of thing my audience responds to. Although there’s no real way to predict what people will like or not like. Ultimately all you can do is make the work that you most enjoy making and hope somebody else likes it.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli New York Times

7) What are the best places to buy comics in New York? Are there any hidden, off-the-beaten-path old book stores or thrift bookstores you love to go check out?

My favorite comic shop in NYC is Forbidden Planet, down by Union Square. They have a pretty extensive collection of both new and old comics, with a super helpful and knowledgeable staff.

The Strand Bookstore is also a great place to find comics. They are more geared towards trade paperbacks and all of their stuff is at a discounted price, which is always a plus!

Speaking of discounted prices, there’s a place in Midtown called Bookoff, and downstairs, they have a used comic section where you can find some really rare, out of print comics, both single issues and trades.

If you’re a nerd like me, this city has definitely got you covered, haha.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Pinup Series

8) Does anything inspire your work when you think about New York City?

So many things inspire me about New York City. I get most of my ideas while riding the subway or walking the streets. I love people watching and random interactions with strangers. Even just the weird things you overhear while riding the train can be inspiring and creatively stimulating.

If it’s a nice day out and I have to come up with an idea for a particular project, I will often times take my sketch book to one of my favorite parks and start brainstorming. Something about the constant hustle of New York generates a kind of rhythm that is very conducive to making art.

I also love sneaking in specific NYC locations into some of my work. I’m lucky enough to work with the iconic characters of the Archie Comics world and when I create covers for them, one of my favorite things to do is place those characters into some of my favorite NYC locations like the fountain at Washington Square Park, or specific subway platforms.

Because I grew up here, my relationship with the city is very personal and deeply embedded in me, therefore it’s embedded in my work as well.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Wall Street Journal

10) What is your biggest ambition when it comes to work? A publication you’d like to be featured in? Someone you admire and would like to meet? A project that you’d love to work on? Anything what would rock your world if you had that opportunity!

I have a lot of ambitions when it comes to my work. I’d definitely like to continue working in the comics field and see where that takes me.

I’d love to work with a variety of different writers and publications in the comics world. I don’t rule out writing and illustrating my own graphic novel one day either. I’m always inspired when I see illustrators or cartoonists working with well-known brands, lending their unique voice to a campaign or advertisement.

Being able to share my work with an audience that goes way beyond comics or illustrating, that’s something I’d love to do. Being an artist whose work is primarily created for print or the web, I’m definitely a stranger to the art gallery world.

I’d like to change that one day by perhaps showing a series of pieces that were specifically created to be viewed in person. Other than those things, I stay open to whatever opportunities present themselves.

One of the exciting things about being a freelance artists is never really knowing what types of projects may be in my future!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Library Journal

11) What are your top 5 local, hidden spots in New York that you love to go? A restaurant, bar, museum, store, coffee place, park, street, etc?

Central Park is definitely one of my favorite places in this city. I’m a big fan of New York summers, I really feel like that’s when the city shines the most. With that being said, Central Park is probably one of my favorite spots on a nice Spring/Summer day. I spent multiple times playing Frisbee over there at the Sheep Meadow this summer and really enjoy the relaxing vibe.

Speaking of summer, I try and make it to the beach whenever I can. People don’t really think of beaches when they think of NYC, but there are some nice locations if you want to trade the concrete for some sand every now and then. I really enjoy hanging out at Rockaway Beach and Coney Island. Much more of a low key, laid back vibe at Rockaway, but Coney Island has that history and energy that can be fun sometimes too.

As far as food goes, there’s a nice little farm-to-table restaurant in my neighborhood called Brooklyn Beet Company. The magic ingredient over there is beets. They have a veggie burger that is made out of a beet and they also have this awesome beet ketchup! Definitely worth checking out, unless you hate beets, haha.

I’m sort of a health nut, so when I’m running around and in need of a healthy lunch, I like to pop into HU Kitchen (See Antonia Grecco’s post on Hu Kitchen) on 14th Street in Manhattan. They use a variety of local ingredients as well. It’s sort of the healthier alternative to something like Chipotle.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Thomas Pitilli Jughead Cover

And still:

As far as neighborhoods go, I’d probably say that the West Village is my favorite. It still has some old cobble stone streets and some of the most quite blocks in all of NYC. Things seem to fall off the typical grid system over there too, so I often get lost whenever I’m around there!

And, probably one of my all-time favorite places in NYC is The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s always been a sort of sanctuary for me, a place where I can spend hours and come out totally inspired. My favorite spot in that museum is the Sackler Wing. There’s this huge window covering the entire room with an awesome view of Central Park, it’s really cool.

That’s more than five, I know! I have a bunch more too. Some runner ups would probably be the Highline and Chelsea Market!

12) And last! Where can people find your work and purchase your illustrations!?

I’m all over Social Media, but I’m most active on Instagram where you can find me .

You can also check out my website at www.thomaspitilli.com.

And, if you’re interested in purchasing some of my artwork as a print, check out my Etsy Store.


Thank you Thomas, for this fantastic journey into your world and keep up your breathtaking work and captivating energy!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Thomas Pitilli

All the images used on this website are the property of BTSNYC or used with proper credit.
Copyright © 2019 Behind the Scenes NYC. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy | Website by Curious Light
css.php
MENU

Pin It on Pinterest