Photography by Eric Isaac; By Bailey Calfee

Adam Lippes


| Greenwich Village

How wonderful it must feel to know that you’ve realized not one, but two dreamy clothing labels in your name—such is the case for fashion designer Adam Lippes. The New York native (his roots are back in Buffalo) came from a professional family, and first followed in the footsteps of said bankers, lawyers and business owners by attending Cornell University for psychology. But alas, after studying abroad in Paris for a year, the City of Lights did to Lippes what it’s done to so many of us: set his sights on fashion (we’d like to think there were croissants, carafes and skinny jeans involved too, non?) His first eponymous label, Adam + Eve launched in 2004 after years of clocking in at Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta, and though successful, the designer would go on to take  a “gap year” to travel and clear his mind, before dreaming up what we’ve grown to know and love as Adam Lippes, his eponymous label. Drawing inspiration from his travels and home (his being a gorgeous townhouse right on Washington Square Park FYI), Lippes’ designs are sleek and subtly elegant, albeit wearable. Clearly we aren’t the only ones who think so: AL threads have been spotted on everyone from Blake Lively to Kerry Washington to Cheryl Cole. Here, he sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I circle between three restaurants for the most part and they’re probably not new ones to the fashion world: Sant Ambroeus in the West Village (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and The Waverly Inn (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) are two of them. They both treat me like I’m at home when I’m there so I’m probably at each of those at least one meal a week (I love the vitello tomate from Sant Ambroeus). I’ve also recently added Claudette (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) to the rotation— the food is great. I like simple food so I usually start with that; then, I like the places that really treat you well, the ones that once they know you, they really take care of you.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee. I am a dedicated Starbucks (MAP IT) drinker: soy mistos. I don’t care what any fancy coffee people say.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: La Grenouille (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or Bouley in Tribeca (*Location now closed).

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A glass of Macallan scotch, neat; pretty much anywhere can serve that!

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: There’s a bar that I like to go to to hide out which is inside The Washington Square Hotel (MAP IT, x). It’s an unassuming hotel next door to me, but they have this really cool, hidden bar in the back where you feel like you’re in Cincinnati or something… you’re just not in New York. It’s super special.

POWER LUNCH: I just moved offices, but my first studio was in the West Village so Sant Ambroeus was my go-to; I was there every day for lunch. Now, I’m in NoMad so there is a restaurant called La Pecora Bianca (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) that’s great. There’s also a really tiny little sushi restaurant that rivals the fish at Blue Ribbon called Izakaya NoMad (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I go to Blue Ribbon Sushi (MAP IT, x) and Blue Ribbon Bakery (*Location now closed) often (they’re two of my favorites), but Izakaya NoMad is a great find— it’s not fancy, but super fresh (they’ll only serve what is fresh from the market every day) and so good.

MUSIC PICK: You know, it’s weird— I don’t listen to music when I work. I love music, anything from Fleetwood Mac to the Philharmonic to the Opera, but I’m not a big music “goer.”

BEST BRUNCH: The SoHo House (MAP IT, x) has a great brunch. It can be a bit of a nightmare getting a table, but they have this great buffet brunch— it’s so good that sometimes I just have to brave it and go!

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The East Village and the Lower East Side. I think it has a really cool mix of kids who have a fresh sense of style. It doesn’t feel fancy (which I like) or too contrived (like some parts of Brooklyn can feel now), but it doesn’t feel “uptown” either. There’s this cross section of beautiful girls, gays, old people; it feels really fresh to me.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Izakaya NoMad or Sweetgreen (MAP IT, x) at my desk (you have to order online!).

GUILTY PLEASURE: I really love sweets so if I can get a vanilla cupcake from Magnolia Bakery (MAP IT, x), it makes me really, really happy. Momofuku Milkbar (MAP IT, x) has the most amazing cookies I’ve ever had in my life— like extraordinary. I love the cornflake one. And if I’m near Greenberg’s (MAP IT, x), I’ll have a slice of cake; they’re the best cakes in the city. The bakery is old-school New York and they have a cake called the candy cake (or something like that) that’s chocolate filled with all kinds of delicious treats!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: I’d have to say the bar inside The Washington Square Hotel!


DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Home, for sure. Caviar is my personal chef in New York City and it’s made dining in so much better. When I’m upstate (I have a house in the Berkshires), I cook constantly… usually anything that I can roast in a huge pot!

REGULAR AT: Indochine (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). If I’m in New York City on a Friday night, I’m at Indochine.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Caviar. I order from The Odeon (MAP IT, BOOK IT, ORDER IT, x) (which, FYI, delivers amazing pints of ice cream that they make in-house; especially the mint chocolate flake flavor), and Sushi Dojo (MAP IT, ORDER IT, x).

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Indochine and The Waverly Inn.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: My farm upstate; I’ve had it for 13 years. I go every weekend if I can (work permitting).

CLOSET CHECK: I think there’s no better menswear selection than Bergdorf Goodman Men (MAP IT, x). I am a really simple, yet luxurious dresser. I like clothes that are beautifully-made and well-fit. I don’t buy men’s “fashion.” My favorite brands are Brunello Cucinelli, Saint Laurent for a bit of fun and John Lobb for shoes.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: My interior style is eclectic. I shop for interiors all over the world. I do a lot of online buying through auctions and wherever I travel, I will visit the local flea markets. In New York, one of the best places for objets is de Vera in SoHo (MAP IT, x); everything is beautiful and inspiring. I was just in San Francisco and there was this amazing woman who sells grand tour objets (back in the day, if you were rich, you would take a “grand tour” around Europe and come back with these elegant little souvenirs). The souvenirs of yesterday are today’s art and she has one of the biggest collections of these grand tour souvenirs anywhere; it’s quite extraordinary.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: de Vera. But, if I have time, I like to have linen napkins embroidered with the hostess’s or host’s name on them or I make tee shirts with their initials on them for something a bit more personal. I try not to show up with a bottle of champagne.

GROOMING BLACK BOOK: The best haircut is done by Rita Hazan (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I’ve been going to her since before she had her own salon when she was at Oribe (since 1996) and she is the best. She also has the best shampoo in the world which just launched…

FIT PICK: It’s a bit pathetic: I do yoga at home once a week with a great instructor named Nadia Zaki (x). It’s really hard work, but very centered and focused; she’s sort of like a rock. I try to get to Equinox (MAP IT, x) two more times a week. I don’t go to a trainer because the last thing I want is more appointments, but I try to keep my heart rate up and move around. I also play squash; my friend has a private court so I get to play there which makes me very lucky!

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: When a taxi ran over a 70-year-old lady in the middle of the street, then proceeded to yell at her. He broke HER leg on HER right of way and yet, yells. Only in New York. CP

Adam’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Clothing by Adam Lippes; Drink from Sant Ambroeus; Smoked Salmon from Bouley; Objects from de Vera. Second Row: Blue Ribbon Sushi; Cookies from Milkbar; Washington Square Hotel; Mandolin at Soho House.

From L to R: First Row: Clothing by Adam Lippes; Drink from Sant Ambroeus; Smoked Salmon from Bouley; Objects from de Vera. Second Row: Blue Ribbon Sushi; Cookies from Milkbar; Washington Square Hotel; Mandolin at Soho House.


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