THE FASHION DISH

Category: interviews

Samantha Yanks ~ clues us in on all things summer & more

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(Samantha Yanks with Dylan Lauren and Debra Halpert) 

There’s only one person to go to for the full Hamptons summer scoop. She’s a creative force, a loving mother, and a damn good editor! If you don’t know her, by summer’s end you definitely will. Samantha Yanks is a tour-de-force, recently taking on the role of Executive Fashion Director of Niche Media on top of her jobs as Editor in Chief of the summer favorite, Hamptons Magazine and as Editor at Large of New York’s, Gotham. With the official kickoff of summer this weekend, there was no better time to chat with Yanks and get an earful on all things summer, from how she’s celebrating the 35th anniversary of Hamptons, to what she’s looking forward to doing on the East End this summer. So, dig in!

Haley Sherif: First off Happy 35th Anniversary of Hamptons! It’s a big one. Can you believe it’s been thirty-five seasons?

Samantha Yanks: It’s a great honor to be the Editor in Chief at the helm of Hamptons Magazine. The brand is celebrating its 35th anniversary this season which, as you said, is a major milestone. We have been using the hashtag #Hamptons35 pre-season to begin the celebration, but this weekend, as tradition, over Memorial Day Weekend our issue finally hits! Anniversaries are a time for celebration to look back with retrospectives and look ahead to see where we are taking this great magazine.

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(Yanks with Kelly Bensimon & Debra Halpert)

Haley Sherif: How has the magazine evolved since you first started as Editor-in-Chief?

Samantha Yanks: I’ve been the Editor in Chief of Hamptons Magazine for three years, but involved with the title for nearly a decade. The wonderful part about magazines is that the soul can remain the same but the magazine itself can morph and change with the times. In anticipation of our 35th anniversary I spent quite a bit of time in our archives and what the common thread amongst the 500 plus issues I went through is that they are similar to a time capsule. You can really imagine what the Hamptons was like in 1978, the year it launched  to today. Being able to put my imprint on that is a great honor. There are some cornerstone moments for the magazine that have been there for years such as The List and our event coverage (readers flip right to those photos), but there are aspects that change and new sections that get introduced. A magazine like Hanptons has to keep pace with what is happening in the community. Real estate coverage has expanded over the years because the buying and selling and building of homes has our focus on the culinary scene and local vineyards has been expanded. So too has our focus on fitness. We are a magazine that celebrates community and  there is no better way to report on that than celebrating those that are philanthropically minded. When I look ahead at the content for this summer I’m quite proud of where the brand is going.

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(Yanks with Donny Detusch, Star Jones, Rosanno Scotto, and Matt Lauer) 

HS: How are you celebrating?

SY: This summer will be full of celebration for our 35th anniversary. We’ll kick off with our Annual Memorial Day Party, this year with Brooke Shields who is on the cover. The issue has a spectacular retrospective of the last 35 years. A few weeks later we have a very special 35th anniversary issue that I think will become a true collectivle. I can’t reveal too much but we’ll have an exclusive dinner and event at which we’re auctioning off for charity several bicycles designed by East End Luminaries. You will see special touches throughout the summer to honor this anniversary in our editorial and our events. Right before the season kicks off on hamptons-magazine.com I featured a list of my personal 35 Hamptons must haves for the season.

SOUTHAMPTON FRESH AIR HOME 25th Annual American Picnic With Fireworks By GRUCCI

(Yanks with husband David and daughter Sadie

HS: Hamptons season kicked off this weekend! What can we expect from our favorite summer time read in the next few months?

SY: The season is filled with the bold face names from those that appear on the cover to a host of new writers in our table, With twelve issues across the summer we really are able to showcase the diversity in our subjects. We have some of the world’s most celebrated athletes, chefs, actors, interior designers, and activists on the cover and the fact that they all live in our community is what makes it unlike any place in the world.

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(check out Sam’s Memorial Day Weekend plan on Soludus)

HS: On a more personal note, there’s cause for celebration in your own life – you’ve become Executive Fashion Director for such Niche Media magazines as Miami’s Ocean Drive, Los Angeles’s Confidential and several others! How has that changed your day to day?

SY: In addition being the Editor in Chief of Hamptons and the Editor at Large for Gotham as you mentioned I’ve taken on the role of Executive Fashion Director of Niche Media which means overseeing all of our fashion content across the titles across the country. I’ve worked so closely with the editors in all of our cities over the years and my background is in fashion so the move has been a very organic one. While we have one corporate mission as Niche Media it’s critical that our magazines have hyper local fashion. The way women and men dress in Boston versus Los Angeles is quite different and the way they buy accessories in Las Vegas differs greatly from the way they shop in Washington DC or New York. They might all be buying Chanel but what pieces they are buying differs greatly from city to city. So, I work closely with the editors, retailers, and buyers to understand those nuances. That is critical for our business. I am truly doing what I love. I’m writing this on the plane on the way back from where we shot a fashion story and everything was 100% locally sourced.

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HS: What are you looking forward to most about this Hamptons season?

SY: Hamptons season means summertime! Working on a high content, high energy, highly demanding weekly magazine is exhilarating. Plus our daughter Sadie loves nothing more than summer in the Hamptons.

HS: Thanks Samantha for another #spyluxe chat! Here’s to an amazing summer season! Cheers! 

For more #spyluxe treats follow Samantha on twitter & instagram @SamanthaYanks

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Haley interviews Veronica Miele Beard & Veronica Swanson Beard of Veronica Beard

VSB & VMB_hi-res portrait

Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard

Veronica Beard is the brainchild of sister-in-laws Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard. The American sportswear label was created in 2010. all. With a combined seven children between the two of them, the Veronica’s are an ideal example of women who manage to have it Below they share the story behind the label, how they define “the uniform”, and more! 

Haley Sherif: How would you describe your style?

Veronica Swanson Beard: I really live by the philosophy of The Uniform.  I am always inspired by the way American women in the 70’s and 80’s dressed so my style is more classic American.  I love the play of classic prep and boho.  A t-shirt or denim button own, jeans, a blazer, stilettos and a great old belt with a fabulous buckle is my go -to look.  I also love accessories.  I collect vintage clutches and jewelry.  The bigger earrings, pendants and bangles the better!

Veronica Miele Beard: My style is unexpected and eclectic. i love trying new things and sometimes take an occasional fashion risk. Generally speaking, I love wearing a classic and edging it up with a little rock & roll for instance, a moto jkt over an evening gown or a fur vest over a blinged army jacket.

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magenta tux blazer

HS: You’re both juggling kids, social lives, and work. What’s your secret for doing it all?

VSB: We both have a good sense of priorities and family is always first.  We rely on each other in almost everything- business, husbands, in-laws, kids.  People can’t believe that we’re sister-in-laws and actually get along!  We realize we are exceptionally lucky to have one another and it doesn’t hurt that when we need to we can be in two places at one time because we have the same name!!

VMB: I think our secret is that we have each other. Veronica understands my situation and I get hers. We are always covering for each other and helping out.  It’s also easy that we are family so we can double team the in-laws!

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white long and lean with zip off sleeves

HS: What are a few of your wardrobe essentials?

VSB: Denim shirts, J Brand jeans, Manolo Blahnik BBs, anything from Zara, Vintage bags and jewelry.  I love all of our VB jackets- my Spring favorites are the long and lean with zip off sleeves and the denim safari jacket.  I can’t wait for my Fall leather over vest- it was the thing that i wore throughout market and it’s just such cool statement piece and so versatile!

VMB: Classic VB jacket with different dickies for any time of year, leather balenciaga motorcycle jacket (by nicolas ghesquiere), vb peasant dress for the beach, a perfect fitting tux jacket, VB trek pants for casual or fancy occasions.

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zinc tile print pant

HS: Tell me about the story behind Veronica Beard.

VMB: The story is that Veronica and I have the same name but are extremely different. In this, “we are our customer” and try to design pieces that we would want in our own closets.  We both love the same pieces, especially when we began with a line of only jackets with dickeys. The secret sauce to owning our individual style is how differently we wear and style the same pieces.

HS: Where does your inspiration come from?

VMB: We are inspired by icons through history and by what makes certain pieces classics and/or so memorable? We’re also inspired by the great women of today and how these iconic ideas can work into the girl’s daily life. What is she really wearing?

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chambray safari jacket 

HS: Did you ever think you would be as successful as you are now?

VSB: That is the nicest compliment!  We really measure our success by the women we meet who are VB fans and tell us that we’ve really nailed it in terms of need and fit.

VMB: We’re successful and popular?

HS: Define “The Uniform”.

VMB: “The uniform” refers to all the pieces that we wear over and over day after day. They are the pieces you can’t live without and they make you feel comfortable and gorgeous. Uniform pieces are not too precious and are investment pieces.

HS: Name a few all-time favorites from the line.

VMB: My silk army jacket from our first spring line, (we have a better army jacket this Spring in case you missed the first), and the navy tux jacket that I wore with bell bottom jeans to the Stones concert! I felt the vibe of Mick that night.

HS: What woman does VB represent?

VMB: VB represents a woman who wants to feel as gorgeous as she looks effortlessly. She’s got some edge and is confident tackling every aspect of her day.

HS: Summer is on the horizon! What are your plans?

VMB: Plans are to travel a bit and visit as many stores as we can where we sell VB. The only way to truly understand our customer is to go to the stores and meet them. It’s fascinating to see and hear what women in different cities and countries are wearing and what they are looking for. We will be taking a trip this summer to Matches of London where VB will be carried exclusively for Fall ’13. We’re thrilled!

HS: Finally, do you have any exciting projects in the works?

VMB: We’re working on plans for a new showroom. It will be exciting to decorate and portray the brand from a new location closer to our office.

Haley interviews Samantha Yanks

Though the holidays are over, I still love to indulge in a treat whether it be in the form of a favorite friend, food, or interviewee! I adore Samantha Yanks, editor in chief of both Gotham and Hamptons Magzines. I’ve interviewed her several times before and every time I learn something new about the city I call home. This time around Yanks shares a peak at her seasonal wish list, talks to us about New York’s hottest new restaurants, and lets us in on some new projects she has in the works.

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HS: How do you fight the winter blues?

SY: It’s funny, with a child you rarely have time for the winter blues because you have to  think of alternate ways to have fun in the city no matter how chilly it gets.  Who knew that going to Doodle Doo’s for Sadie’s haircut could be so fabulous or bowling at Lucky Strike would turn into a heated family competition (Sadie is quite good),  The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) in Tribeca is a brilliant space for kids and the new IMAX film “Flight of the Butterflies” at the Natural History Museum is a must see.  When you mix these activities up with some nice brunches at Rosemary’s who has time to have the blues?

HS: What are a few of your favorite seasonal hotspots in New York?

SY: One of my favorite new restaurants is Willow Road in Chelsea.  I went for a private preview tasting before it opened and the Vermont burrata with crisp corn and basil is a sublime bite.  The deep fried “unreal” candy bar is also pretty decadent and delicious.  I love the coziness of Perla on a crisp winter evening.  It’s by far my favorite new restaurant.  I can’t say it enough, my go-to restaurants are always part of Keith McNally’s empire.  I eat at either Pastis, Balthazar Minetta Tavern or Morandi a few times a week.


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HS: How does the Hamptons transform during the off-season?

SY: Oh, the Hamptons is simply beautiful in the winter time!  It’s slower and quieter and we all say the same thing; there is considerably less traffic which is always welcome after the summer season. In the past few years more restaurants and shops stay open all year round.  The long anticipated Topping Rose House from Tom Colicchio opened this Fall in Bridgehamtpon.  He’s on our holiday issue of the magazine.  The inn designed by Alexandra Champalimaud is gorgeous and Tom’s food is beyond divine. There is a private barn to throw parties at which will be the impossible to get reservation next season.
HS: What’s on your wish list this month?

SY: I adore Aerin’s new site Aerin.com for all things home decor. There is a lilac Tom Ford bag I am lusting after that is custom order so we’ll have to see.  My friend Jennifer Fisher is a brilliant jewelry designer and she’s making me a #SPYLUXE bracelet.  I put together pinterest boards of basically everything that is on my mind.  Right now I am obsessing over a coral faced vintage gold Rolex watch.

HS: It’s the season of coats – how do keep it chic, but layer up?

SY: Oh, my coat closet!  My husband would like to have further discussions about this.  I love, love, love coats.  Whenever I leave the house I ask “what is the proper topper?”  The great thing about coats are that, particularly on the weekends, your outfit can be casual for running around but you can look pulled together with the right coat on top.  I usually wear a black belted shearling on the weekend.  During the week I tend to wear a ladylike cut.  Right now I am equally in love with a Lisa Perry navy jacket and a Anya Hindmarch black coat with jazzy buttons.

HS: Tell us about some of the projects you have in the works.

SY: I’m designing my third collection of jewelry for Jennifer Miller which reflects my love of vintage pieces, my passion for interior design has led me to a few small projects with friends, Sadie (our five year old daughter) and I are working on a children’s book series and I have a lot of great television segments on the docket including a really smart project with my friend Amy Palmer for PowerwomenTV.  The main focus is always the magazines though.  Hamptons is embarking on it’s 35th season and Gotham has a stellar cover lineup.  I’m extraordinarily proud to be the Editor in Chief of both.

I have a weekly segment on Weekend Today on NBC New York called “The Scoop with Samantha”.  We talk about some of the amazing experiences I have with celebrities and at parties.  It’s an inside look.  Of course I also give a first look at Gotham and Hamptons Magazines and interesting tid bits about our cover stars.

Uma-Thurman

HS: What was your favorite part about shooting this month’s Gotham cover with Uma Thurman?

SY: I love so many aspects of this story.  Uma discuss what it is like to have a child at a later stage in her life and how different that is from the children she had when she was younger.  She’ a strong woman with a point of view and I respect that.  Her choices are not for everyone but they are right for her.  The commitment she has made to the  Room to Grow organization is one I have a lot of respect for. Finally, how can you not love the fact that we asked her friend and designer Zac Posen to interview her?

HS: What do you think of the recent news that Alexander Wang as the new designer for Balenciaga?

SY: Balenciaga is a storied French fashion house and to have it in the hands of a young American designer is a huge coup.  Wang’s aesthetic is similar to that of Balenciaga.  He will take the brand to a new generation.  Very little will hold him back and that is when great fashion is made.

Thanks as always Samantha and we’ll meet again to give us a preview of Hamptons Magazine’s 35th season! 

Haley interviews Heather Thomson

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Real Housewife turned house hold name courtesy of her fashion forward and functional shapewear collection Yummie Tummie, Heather Thomson dishes on her style, her secrets to success, and more!

HS: How would you describe your style?

HT: I always like to mix it up and experiment with new looks, but my style is generally pretty rock-n-roll with a mix of my favorite designers like Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, and Ann Demeulemeester. I also love accessorizing everything.

HS: What is the story behind your brand Yummie Tummie?

HT: Yummie by Heather Thomson was born out of a selfish initiative and an A-ha moment. After giving birth, like so many others, I struggled with losing the baby weight. So, I went to the shapewear department to help boost my confidence during the arduous process of weight loss, but I was horrified wit what I found there. I felt as if the department was frozen in time, I was looking at my grandmother’s girdle! I leaned back on years of design experience and my desire for something different and pulled out my sewing machine. From there I developed my signature, patented 3-panel tank. I knew that if I needed a different kind of shapewear that other women needed it too, and Yummie Tummie was born. Today my brand is an innovative and modern solution for foundation pieces. It is about empowering women and it continues to grow!

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HS: What challenges you about the business?

HT: My products are always so well received, so to see others imitating my designs within weeks of introducing them is very difficult. They take an innovative idea and instantaneously cheapen it. As an inventor, I need to protect my intellectual property. As a designer I want to stand for innovation.

HS: How do you balance both motherhood and work?

HT: I’ve learned to compartmentalize when balancing my family and my business. When I’m at work, I’m at work, and when I’m with my family, my attention is one hundred percent on them.

HS: What accessories can you not live without?

HT: My Persol sunglasses, my Rachel Brown Kabbalah cuff, and my Good Charma python bag. My newest obsession is collecting C-Wonder reading glasses, I already have six pairs!

HS: What Yummie product is your favorite? Any exciting new Yummie additions you can share with us?

HT: My favorite go-to slip is the Chris from my Sheer & Smooth collection. My staple at the gym is my Rhiannon Ribbed Leggings. What is really exciting right now is my new denim! We offer fits to flatter any body type. It’s fashionable and functional – it slims, lifts, and supports in just the right places, and we incorporate a stretch fabric so that it doesn’t lose its shape after being worn a few times.

HS: What was the experience of being on reality television like? Would you ever do it again?

HT: It’s been a great experience and I’ve learned so much on so many levels. It’s also an amazing platform for me to promote my brand and the charitable causes that I’m most passionate about.

HS: What is your secret to success?

HT: Drive, go for it, make mistakes and learn from them, be yourself and be true to that, realize that when you do fail at something you have the strength to get back up again. I have so many, and am constantly learning from them!

Haley interviews Samantha Yanks

Though the holidays are over, I still love to indulge in a treat whether it be in the form of a favorite friend, food, or interviewee! I adore Samantha Yanks, editor in chief of both Gotham and Hamptons Magzines. I’ve interviewed her several times before and every time I learn something new about the city I call home. This time around Yanks shares a peak at her seasonal wish list, talks to us about New York’s hottest new restaurants, and lets us in on some new projects she has in the works.

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HS: How do you fight the winter blues?

SY: It’s funny, with a child you rarely have time for the winter blues because you have to  think of alternate ways to have fun in the city no matter how chilly it gets.  Who knew that going to Doodle Doo’s for Sadie’s haircut could be so fabulous or bowling at Lucky Strike would turn into a heated family competition (Sadie is quite good),  The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) in Tribeca is a brilliant space for kids and the new IMAX film “Flight of the Butterflies” at the Natural History Museum is a must see.  When you mix these activities up with some nice brunches at Rosemary’s who has time to have the blues?

HS: What are a few of your favorite seasonal hotspots in New York?

SY: One of my favorite new restaurants is Willow Road in Chelsea.  I went for a private preview tasting before it opened and the Vermont burrata with crisp corn and basil is a sublime bite.  The deep fried “unreal” candy bar is also pretty decadent and delicious.  I love the coziness of Perla on a crisp winter evening.  It’s by far my favorite new restaurant.  I can’t say it enough, my go-to restaurants are always part of Keith McNally’s empire.  I eat at either Pastis, Balthazar Minetta Tavern or Morandi a few times a week.


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HS: How does the Hamptons transform during the off-season?

SY: Oh, the Hamptons is simply beautiful in the winter time!  It’s slower and quieter and we all say the same thing; there is considerably less traffic which is always welcome after the summer season. In the past few years more restaurants and shops stay open all year round.  The long anticipated Topping Rose House from Tom Colicchio opened this Fall in Bridgehamtpon.  He’s on our holiday issue of the magazine.  The inn designed by Alexandra Champalimaud is gorgeous and Tom’s food is beyond divine. There is a private barn to throw parties at which will be the impossible to get reservation next season.
HS: What’s on your wish list this month?

SY: I adore Aerin’s new site Aerin.com for all things home decor. There is a lilac Tom Ford bag I am lusting after that is custom order so we’ll have to see.  My friend Jennifer Fisher is a brilliant jewelry designer and she’s making me a #SPYLUXE bracelet.  I put together pinterest boards of basically everything that is on my mind.  Right now I am obsessing over a coral faced vintage gold Rolex watch.

HS: It’s the season of coats – how do keep it chic, but layer up?

SY: Oh, my coat closet!  My husband would like to have further discussions about this.  I love, love, love coats.  Whenever I leave the house I ask “what is the proper topper?”  The great thing about coats are that, particularly on the weekends, your outfit can be casual for running around but you can look pulled together with the right coat on top.  I usually wear a black belted shearling on the weekend.  During the week I tend to wear a ladylike cut.  Right now I am equally in love with a Lisa Perry navy jacket and a Anya Hindmarch black coat with jazzy buttons.

HS: Tell us about some of the projects you have in the works.

SY: I’m designing my third collection of jewelry for Jennifer Miller which reflects my love of vintage pieces, my passion for interior design has led me to a few small projects with friends, Sadie (our five year old daughter) and I are working on a children’s book series and I have a lot of great television segments on the docket including a really smart project with my friend Amy Palmer for PowerwomenTV.  The main focus is always the magazines though.  Hamptons is embarking on it’s 35th season and Gotham has a stellar cover lineup.  I’m extraordinarily proud to be the Editor in Chief of both.

I have a weekly segment on Weekend Today on NBC New York called “The Scoop with Samantha”.  We talk about some of the amazing experiences I have with celebrities and at parties.  It’s an inside look.  Of course I also give a first look at Gotham and Hamptons Magazines and interesting tid bits about our cover stars.

Uma-Thurman

HS: What was your favorite part about shooting this month’s Gotham cover with Uma Thurman?

SY: I love so many aspects of this story.  Uma discuss what it is like to have a child at a later stage in her life and how different that is from the children she had when she was younger.  She’ a strong woman with a point of view and I respect that.  Her choices are not for everyone but they are right for her.  The commitment she has made to the  Room to Grow organization is one I have a lot of respect for. Finally, how can you not love the fact that we asked her friend and designer Zac Posen to interview her?

HS: What do you think of the recent news that Alexander Wang as the new designer for Balenciaga?

SY: Balenciaga is a storied French fashion house and to have it in the hands of a young American designer is a huge coup.  Wang’s aesthetic is similar to that of Balenciaga.  He will take the brand to a new generation.  Very little will hold him back and that is when great fashion is made.

Thanks as always Samantha and we’ll meet again to give us a preview of Hamptons Magazine’s 35th season! 

the stories behind the stones

“I meet a person, and in my mind I’m saying three minutes; I give you three minutes to show me the spark.” Amy Hempel wrote those prolific words in her short story collection The Collected Stories. I only happen to know those words because my friend, Taylor Templeton, recommended Hempel to me. Taylor has clearly shown me her spark – I have known her for over eight years now. She has always been one of those friends who knows exactly what you need to hear, who never forgets to call you back, and who is always willing to meet you for a coffee, (though that might have to do more with her voracious love for coffee).

It’s funny, often times we see the same person everyday wearing the same pieces of jewelry, but only on occasion do we ask for the story, the significance. One very cold day last week Taylor and I sat warming ourselves with tea and oatmeal and I finally asked her to tell me their stories, to tell me where each came from. I learned that the four rings she wore everyday without fail all had significance, that the necklace she wore was more than a number, that her watch held familial meaning, that none of it was solely stuff. When she was done, she said something I’ve been considering since, “all the jewelry you wear should have meaning, it’s silly otherwise.”

The ring on the furthest left, an infinity sign, is an engraved ring that both Taylor and her friend wear. The diamond band underneath the red stone is a present from her mother, while the red stone previously belonged to her mother.

This necklace’s charm, which hangs on a long brass chain – the number eight – is an old room number for the Plaza prior to its renovation. It also happens to be Taylor’s lucky number.

The watch was a gift from her dad while the ring was a graduation present from her mother – her mother has the same ring, and will give one to Taylor’s younger sister when she graduates too.

five questions for Allure’s editor in chief Linda Wells

I’m immediately awe struck by Linda Wells, Editor in Chief of Allure magazine, the first time I bump into her while having dinner at a favorite local sushi hotspot. I read Allure every month, paying close attention to her popular “Letter From the Editor” which always comes filled with good advice from dressing insecurities to her thoughts on the latest easy aging fix. Linda is a stunning blonde woman, tall but not too tall, blonde but not too blonde. She’s chicly dressed, but of course, not overly dressed. She is the perfect example of modern day elegance. Also a mother of two young boys, Linda evokes a working woman who balances attending fashion shows all over the world, but makes the time to have dinner with her sons and attend their school functions. In this brand new series, I interviewed Linda via email asking her five questions. Linda dishes on everything from why she doesn’t like to define her style to her favorite fall traditions!

HS: How do you define your style?

LW: I try not to describe my style–maybe because it’s so basic. I guess minimalist would be a kind way to put it (and boring, predictable, zzzz might be an unkind way). I like dresses, a skirt and shirt, high heels and one piece of big jewelry.

(Linda Wells on the right at Derek Lam’s show at New York Fashion Week last September)

HS: What are your favorite fall traditions?

LW: I love the changing of the leaves, going to Union Square Green Market and getting apples, decorating for Halloween and painting anyone’s face who’ll let me, cooking and making vegetables, spending days making Thanksgiving dinner. I love it all. In terms of fashion, I love wearing a sweater for the first time on a chilly night, love going to the fashion shows, especially in Paris, love buying a new coat. I love getting a pedicure even if no one sees it.

HS: What items are you coveting this season?

LW: I saw a black turtleneck sweater embroidered with a celtic cross at the Versace store opening party last week, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. And I have my eye on a Givenchy military coat.

HS: What are your wardrobe “must haves”?

LW: I wear such basics that they’re all sort of must haves – a great day dress in black, navy, and a couple in colors (by Derek Lam, Michael Kors, and Martin Grant) that are good for tv, a form-fitting cocktail dress, (my current favorite is by Givenchy), a tuxedo, platform heels by Louboutin and Prada, ankle boots by Saint Laurent, a Balenciaga skirt, and a satin tie top by the Row or Celine.

HS: What would you tell someone who wanted to break into the magazine business?

LW: To break into the magazine business, write as much as you can for whatever magazine or website that will publish your work. Take any assignment for a city magazine, a local blog – just try to get published in something respectable. Then offer to contribute blog posts about something you know to a magazine website. If you’d like to be a fashion editor, volunteer to assist on shoots. Or work for a fashion PR firm like KCD or PR Consulting. Don’t give up! Offer to do any work they need and don’t expect significant money or recognition right away. It will come.

Haley interviews Charlotte Ronson

It was a privilege to attend New York Fashion Week earlier this month, but it was dream come true to be second row at Charlotte Ronson’s show along with such well known faces as Russell Simmons and Rachel Zoe. I’ve admired Charlotte’s beautiful collection for awhile. All of her designs tell a story, she’s an artist who takes nothing for granted, who celebrates the talent around her whether it be in her family or out. Most recently she collaborated with Sephora on her makeup line called, Charlotte Ronson Beauty. Charlotte dishes on her latest collection, five things she can’t live without, and her advice for the up and coming.

HS: How would you describe your style?

CR: Feminine, but a little tomboyish.

HS: Tell me the back story behind Charlotte Ronson. Why did you create the collection?

CR: I come from a creative family and it exposed me to lots of different areas from music, to art and fashion. I felt most like myself and a sense of freedom in fashion. I started off creating custom vintage tee’s for friends and haven’t looked back since.

HS: Did you always think you would want to be a clothing designer?

CR: My mother used to tell me when I was younger that I should find something I love and go for it.  I’ve always been interested in the arts and fashion.


Samantha Ronson, Charlotte Ronson, and Annabelle Dexter

HS: You’ve shown at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week for several seasons now. What do you love about it?

CR: Seeing everything you’ve been working for come to life on the runway in front of the editors and your friends and family and the intensity of backstage. Behind the scenes before the show, is such an adrenaline rush!

HS: Did you ever think you would have such success with your brand?

CR: From the outside fashion is all glamour and fun, but to be successful, you must put in the hours and work extremely hard. I have been fortunate to have the support of  friends and family, but in the end it always comes down to how passionate you are, and how much your willing to put into your dream.

HS: How would you describe your Spring/Summer 2013 collection? 

CR: This season I find inspiration in the elements of water. It’s lightness and strength and purity. I have kept the silhouettes clean, simple & modern with fluid lines and  curves that are reminiscent of the waves. Colours explore shades of ocean blues and greens, sunny yellows that set a perfect afternoon seascape. There is a tranquility and refined quality to this collection that I have been working towards the past few seasons and feel that I have finally found the perfect balance. It’s sophisticated and sexy but it focuses on all those great areas on a women’s body that are subtly sexy. Her shoulders, the sides of her back, her shoulder blades, the hint of skin at the side above your waist. It’s all about modern pieces that you will love and will become staples in your wardrobe.

HS: Where do you look for inspiration?

CR: I find inspiration from my travels, I go to shows, galleries & movies and I love photography and most importantly I make sure to keep my eyes wide open and pay attention to what’s going on around me.  You never know when you will be inspired!

HS: Why did you decide to launch your makeup line with Sephora, Charlotte Ronson Beauty?

CR: We have been partnering with Sephora for my runway show for the past few seasons and they have always done an impeccable job translating the look of my girl on the runway. So it was a natural progression to work with them to create a beauty line together. They are one of the world’s leading beauty brands and I feel so lucky and honored to work with such a driving force in the beauty industry.

HS: What five things can you not live without?

CR: My dog, Oliver, my Mogu pillow, my iPhone, skim lattes, and my twin sister, Samantha.

HS: What other designers do you love?

CR: Stella McCartney, Prozena Schouler, Phoebe Philo, Karl Lagerfeld, The Row, Charlotte Olymipa, Isabel Marant, Erdem, Celine, and Chloe.

HS: What advice would you give to up and coming designers?

CR: Be prepared to work hard, no-one will teach you everything you need to learn, so you have to be like a sponge and just take everything in.

Haley interviews Stacy Igel

With New York Fashion Week officially kicking off in just a few days it’s never felt more appropriate to feature an interview with a designer. Stacy Igel though isn’t just any designer, she’s the founder of the popular brand Boy Meets Girl. Her work has been featured in numerous renowned publications such as WWD, InStyle, and Seventeen, as well as on such television shows as Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries. She is also the producer and host of Behind the Seams with Stacy Igel on Lockerz.com. Stacy will show her collection at Style 360 Fashion Week. Stacy Igel lent us a bit of time to dish on all things fashion, from her brand to her tips on how to dress for success.

HS: Describe your day to day style.

SI: I like to think its eclectic, edgy, and demure all rolled into one neat little package.

HS: What inspires the work you do everyday?

SI: I draw inspiration from a variety of eclectic influences: vintage clothing, the vibrant New York art and music scenes, Hollywood glamourati, etc. Right now my special Boy/Girl muses for my upcoming NYFW collection are Joan Baez & Bob Dylan. More to come September 12th!

HS: How did you get into the designing business?

SI: Well, I told my Mom at the age of 4 that I would only wear dresses to nursery school. I dressed my Pre–K classmates and staged fashion shows from my school cafeteria.  My mom was an entrepreneur and I definitely inherited that from her — its in my blood. My education contributed to where I am today. I was lucky to incorporate all facets of the business into my college education. I took a one/one junior/senior design thesis class with the head of the design program of UofW. I took fashion show classes where we created our own fashion shows from A-Z. I took small business classes that gave me a background of how to run a small business. The teachers and friends I met shaped my college life are pivotal to who I am today.

HS: What is the story behind Boy Meets Girl?

SI: The first time I met my husband’s parents was for dinner at their apartment.  While they were giving me the tour, I noticed a picture frame containing silhouettes of their three children from when they were younger. My parents had a similar picture of my sister and I from when we were about the same age.  I thought about us and how we still both had these young, playful, carefree versions of ourselves inside of us and I knew right then and there my brand would be called Boy Meets Girl and that I’d use our silhouettes for the logo.  The logo driven product came first and we have been growing the collection organically from there.

HS: What is your favorite part of New York Fashion Week?

SI: Everything.

HS: What are your tips for dressing for success? 

SI: You should make sure the fit of a garment compliments your body. Never compromise on fit to follow a trend. Also, I love a little height I think it shapes your legs. Here are three tips for looking your best.

1. If you’re a shorty like me (holla!), wear platforms or heels with shorts, dresses or skirts. They make your legs look longer.
2. Spanx.  If you don’t know, now you know. Get the black biker shorts kind that work with everything.
3. Don’t try too hard — less is more.

HS: How about breaking into the design business?

SI:
1. Be prepared to work like you’ve never worked before.
2.Being a talented designer is not enough. You need to learn how to be an effective marketer, networker, salesperson, service provider, writer, stylist, merchandiser and psychiatrist too.
3.Work with multiple vendors and never stop sourcing potential new ones.  It gives you leverage and protects you from catastrophes.
4.Last, but not least… BELIEVE! I quickly learned the importance of hard work and customer service.  There are a lot of amazingly talented people in this world.  While you may not always be the most creative, charming or brilliant person in the room, you can be the hardest working and most dedicated — that is something that is totally within your own control.  By working hard, my bosses took notice at my earlier jobs and my employees take notice now.  Its leadership by example and I think it fosters loyalty and camaraderie.

HS: What’s next?
SI: NYFW September 12th at 7pm!

Haley interviews Aviva Drescher

Aviva Drescher is one of three new housewives on the hit Bravo series Real Housewives of New York. Born and raised in New York Aviva is a confident, cool, and collected mother of four. When she was just six years old she suffered a horrific accident, where she lost one of her legs. While most women might be self conscious Aviva makes it her mission to not let herself become the center of attention, but instead use her experience to help others. She works as the National Spokesperson for One Step Ahead, an organization for amputees. On her way out to Watermill to spend the weekend with her kids and husband, Aviva dished on her fall wardrobe, her secrets to success, and more!

HS: How would you describe your style?

AD: Classic, elegant with a modern twist. I try to show my assets in an age appropriate manner.

HS: What are your must have items for fall?

AD: My Helmut Lang black blazer with leather sleeves, boots, jeans, and chunky sweaters. My usual go-tos. To be honest I don’t look at magazines and trends and buy new things every season. I do not have the time and often prefer what is in my closet.


HS: How do you juggle it all and still remain so chic?

AD: Thank you! I try to keep it all simple. As far as “chic” is concerned I tend to go with minimal accessories, muted colors and simple clean lines. That way, when I am in a rush (which is always) no matter what I grab to wear, it looks pulled together.

HS: What’s the secret for dressing for success?

AD: It is individual. (1) Pick a look that is figure flattering and compliments your hair and makeup. (2) Always dress appropriately for the event which you are attending. (3) Choose colors that flatter your hair color and skin tone. I really prefer all neutral colors.  (4) You can never be overdressed. (5) You can never be too elegant, classic, or understated. When is doubt, leave off the jewelry and accessories.

HS: This was your first season of Real Housewives of New York. Did a lot go into making sure you never recycled the same outfit twice?

AD: I had to come up with about 160 outfits. Most of which you will never see. I got creative!

HS: What are your go to beauty and hair products?

AD: Fred Brandt skin products, Yarok Hair products (organic), and Biologie Recherche P50 astringent.

HS: You went through a horrible accident as a child, but you’ve turned your experiences into something good for others. Why is it important for you to give back?

AD: I have lived 35 years wearing a prosthetic limb. It came easy to me and I don’t know life any differently. I feel a tremendous responsibility to help others given my experience and ease. It is so important to have well made prosthetics that fit well and look good. For those who cannot afford them, I have made it my mission to raise money. It is tough enough being an amputee . People should not be without the basics which are well fitting and  self esteem boosting limbs. Especially children and teens who are in their formative years. The show has given me a terrific platform to help out on a larger scale.

HS: You have four children. Do they have their own style yet?

AD: That is a great question! When the children are under 5 years old, they have to wear what I choose which is traditional clothing. (Brooks Brothers for boys and smocked dresses and bows for girs). After 5 years old, I allow the children room for self expression with their clothing choices. My two older children like to dress very casually and grungy. They look homeless half the time. Of course, when we have formal occasions, I decide what gets worn!

HS: Any fun plans for the rest of the summer?

AD: The whole family will be vacationing in watermill together in the Hamptons. I am in the car right now.  So excited!