Photography by Mike Webb

Lele Sadoughi

Jewelry Designer

| Greenwich Village

Ask any girl to sum up J. Crew and chances are she’ll mention “great jewelry” as often as she will “wardrobe basics” or “easy workwear.” In fact, the lifestyle brand’s on-point costume jewelry tends to be the first thing to catch our eye whenever we visit, though this certainly wasn’t always the case. Appointed the brand’s first Jewelry Design Director in 2006 (a title she held for five years), it was Lele Sadoughi who stepped up J. Crew’s gem game. After moving on to hold a similar position at Tory Burch, Sadoughi ultimately left to launch her own namesake collection (making a noteworthy debut on Lauren Santo Domingo’s Moda Operandi). Chock-full of her signature geometric, but sleek pieces, Sadoughi’s designs are as powerful as they are playful. Here, she sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Carbone (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for a night out with my husband or a double date. I also love Navy (*Location now closed), The Dutch (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and 12 Chairs (MAP IT, x) for lunch.

COFFEE OR TEA: Neither! I stopped drinking coffee when I had my kids and I don’t miss it at all.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Bar Pitti (MAP IT, x). I love spending a summer lunch on the sunny patio and watching passersby on the street. The plates are always super fresh and you can’t get more charming than that hand-written chalkboard menu. I always order the Spaghetti Pomodoro— it’s simple and excellent.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: My new favorite place is Gato (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). It has a beautiful wraparound bar that’s perfect for after-work drinks. The “Sanchez” is my favorite— made with Heradura Reposado, Aperol, Lustau, Cream Sherry and citrus, it’s the perfect blend of spicy and sour.

BEST BRUNCH: The Spotted Pig (MAP IT, x)! I love a burger and a Bloody Mary on Sunday.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: I stroll around SoHo in the mornings before the tourists descend and watch all my stylish neighbors dashing off to work.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Melvin’s Juice Box (MAP IT, x) for empanadas and a green juice (I get the “Body Good” green juice with extra ginger for spice).

GUILTY PLEASURE: Snack Taverna (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for a lamb sandwich!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: On Friday and Saturday evenings, the Met (MAP IT, x) hosts the most lovely string quartet performances. You can sip wine at the café tables overlooking the Great Hall and enjoy the most gorgeous music— it’s like being transported to another era.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The energy of people on the sidewalks.

REGULAR AT: I’m at Tenoverten (MAP IT, x) weekly for a manicure— an absolute “must” for any jewelry designer!

KID-FRIENDLY STANDBY: We go to Bareburger in Greenwich Village (MAP IT, x) because I love the huge salads and organic burgers. It’s in a recessed lot surrounded by grass and trees so it feels like a little escape from the concrete cityscape.

CLOSET CHECK: I love color! A dress and heels makes me feel the best. I find vintage shopping the most fun because you can find real treasures like this amazing Alaïa leopard knit corset bodysuit I bought at the Chelsea Flea Market (MAP IT, x) a few years ago.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: The library at Omar’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for a post-dinner cocktail.

TO BE ANONYMOUS: The Rose Reading Room on the third floor of the New York Public Library in Bryant Park (MAP IT). I am always finding inspiration there and never see anyone I know.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Barneys New York Chelsea Passage (9th floor) (MAP IT, x).

FOR THE KIDS: Piccolini NYC (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Facials at Skin by Mamie on Fifth Avenue (MAP IT, x).

FIT PICK: I am lucky to live near SoulCycle NoHo (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and Physique 57 (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Running into friends wherever I happen to be and ending up spending the day together! CP

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