Photography by Colby Blount

Reed Krakoff

Designer

| Upper East Side

On a recent visit to Reed Krakoff’s newly-opened Greene Street boutique, we momentarily lost sight of where we were. Sure, there were RK40 handbags in every color and strappy heels galore, but what about the larger-than-life Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec cloud mural rendered in Krakoff’s signature felt or Nick Allman’s lighting installation purposely fashioned to appear to be ripping through the drywall? Two MoMA-worthy works pieces tucked inside the SoHo women’s boutique. Such is the Krakoff way— designer, photographer, art collector and interior enthusiast, he may be the most genuine aesthete we’ve ever known. Sartorially speaking, he has led the design teams of Tommy Hilfiger and Coach (he grew the latter from a 500 million-dollar industry into one worth 4 billion!), taken home the CFDA Award for Accessory Designer of the Year not once but three times, and now, oversees his eponymous women’s wear collection. Whether a new season brings fur-trimmed high heels or pencil skirts in woven leather, the luxe line-up is never short on detail because, like we said, Krakoff and design (be it fashion, art or interior) go together like PB&J, MK&A, Kim & Kanye… you get the picture. Here, Krakoff sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I am often seen at The Mark (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), whether it’s for a breakfast meeting or for Sunday lunch with my wife and three kids (it has become somewhat of a tradition for us). I love their coconut soup and the crispy sushi.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee, but I am not a snob nor a connoisseur. Anything dark and bitter goes.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: For special occasions, Le Bernardin (MAP ITBOOK IT) hands-down (especially for their scallop with dashi). Otherwise, I’ve been a fan of Bondst (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) since they opened 15 years ago— the tuna tart is amazing.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: I don’t really drink much, especially cocktails, but I like a draft beer with a friend at the Carlyle (MAP IT, x).

BEST BRUNCH: Balthazar (MAP IT, BOOK ITx), still.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: The Frick (MAP IT, x), the Strand (MAP IT, x), the Mall in Central Park (MAP IT, x) and a boxing match at Madison Square Garden (MAP IT, x).

HEALTHY STAPLE: I love City Bakery on 18th Street (MAP IT, x). The choices change daily, but there are always great vegetables that I would never otherwise try.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Pizza at Otto (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), macarons at Ladurée (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), a hot dog at a Rangers game with my boy.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The possibility to do, eat or see anything at any time.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: We try to see at least one play a month. Most recently, we went to Constellations. A movie at Angelika (MAP IT, x) is another favorite too.

KID-FRIENDLY STAPLE: The sushi bar at Bondst.

DELIVERY GO-TO: My wife, Delphine cooks most nights when we’re not eating out, but if stranded in the city by myself, I would get the lamb vindaloo from Dawat (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or Peking duck from Philippe (MAP IT, BOOK IT) (even though neither are really take-out places and they always take forever…).

TO GET INSPIRED: The galleries in Chelsea always help me through a creative rough patch. My favorites include the Paul Kasmin Gallery for Lalanne (MAP IT, x), the Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis and Frank Stella exhibition at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery (MAP IT, x), the Bortolami Gallery for Daniel Buren (MAP IT, x), Suzanne Demisch (MAP IT, x) for a fresh take on French design, and Friedman Benda (MAP IT, x) for the best in contemporary design (like Joris LaarmanRon Arad, and Shiro Kuramata).

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: To see, the annual Met ball (MAP IT) always delivers an amazing mix of bold faced names from fashion, art, Hollywood and entertainment. That being said, being “seen” there can be more complicated. I remember walking into the event one year after Tom Hanks and before David Bowie. Needless to say, it was more than humbling!

CLOSET CHECK: I wear the same uniform every day: APC jeans, a bespoke Turnbull & Asser button-down shirt (always blue), John Lobb lace-ups (always black) and Saville Row Anderson Sheppard suits (always grey).

BEST HOME DÉCOR: Design is integral to my life. My style is constantly evolving and as I have been collecting decorative arts for 30 years, it’s thoroughly personal too. Some of my favorite galleries in the city are Friedman Benda, Salon 94 (MAP IT, x) and Wyeth (MAP IT, x). Of course, I constantly visit the previews at the major auction houses like Sotheby’s (MAP IT, x), Christie’s (MAP IT, x) and Phillips (MAP IT, x), as well as the lesser known ones such as Swann Galleries (MAP IT, x) and Doyle (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: I have always given books as gifts. Everybody loves an Assouline (x) book from the publisher’s boutique at the Plaza (MAP IT).


ULTIMATE NY MOMENT:
When I won my first CFDA award in 2001, I was so elated that I decided to walk home from Lincoln Center with Delphine (then my girlfriend). We decided to stop at Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, who has a been a friend for many years, to have one each of every single choice on the dessert menu. We were having the best time until we realized that neither of us had brought a wallet to the event… until Daniel himself walked in the dining room, Delphine jumped to say hello and told him about my award that night. Being such a good friend, he comp’d our bill and we walked away without having to talk our way out of this predicament. I don’t think Daniel knows about this, but I want to take this opportunity to thank him again for saving the day! CP

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