Photography by Trevor Smith

Eleanor Strauss

Fashion Director, Shopbop

| Carroll Gardens

These days, who doesn’t have pages of fashion essentials minimized at the office (we like to think of it as productive procrastination), but remember what happened the first time you heard about e-commerce— “You mean, I’m supposed to buy this without trying it on?!” The horror. We were skeptical, stubborn and maybe a little defiant (“It’s not for us/We need to feel the product/We’re not good with change…”) that is, until we discovered Shopbop. For the first time, we could shop a mix of established and emerging brands side-by-side, peruse outfit ideas and get styling and trend advice all in one place (sans the crowds of weekend shoppers and ill-lit dressing rooms might we add)— we saw the e-comm light. Now behind the site’s gorgeous editorials and trend stories is Eleanor “Elle” Strauss, a British-born blonde whose fashion sense happens to be right on the money (think ’70’s-inspired leisure suits or minimalist ’90’s culottes). Unsurprisingly, she comes from a background in print and styling— she’s the former Senior Fashion Editor of Lucky, not to mention calls Heidi Klum and John Legend past clients. Toss in an unbelievably sweet family (including Strauss’ husband, photographer James Dimmock and their daughter, Honor) and she’s the closest thing we’ve seen to having your cake— err, Manolos and eating them too. Here, Strauss sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Frankie’s (MAP IT, x) — best pasta ever. My favorite is the gnocchi marinara with fresh ricotta; my husbands loves the meatballs. We love it so much we held our wedding reception there. 

COFFEE OR TEA: Being English, I have to say tea, but that’s at home. In the neighborhood, Smith Canteen (MAP IT, x) makes a perfect cappuccino (plus they have a lovely selection of muffins!)

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Minetta Tavern (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— that burger.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: I’m not really a cocktail girl. I prefer a nice glass of dry white!

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: The bar inside ABC Kitchen (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

LADIES LUNCH: Cookshop (MAP IT, BOOK ITx).

BEST BRUNCH: We love to stay local so we regularly head to Colonie in Brooklyn Heights (MAP IT, x). They have this amazing “Basket o’ Doughnuts” which I try to avoid, but inevitably end up ordering. Otherwise, we’ll head to Five Leaves in Greenpoint (MAP IT, x)— their egg sandwich is mouth-watering.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: SoHo House (MAP IT, x).

HEALTHY STAPLE: Dean & DeLuca (MAP IT, x) for a salad.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Schnipper’s (MAP IT, x)! I get a cheeseburger and a strawberry milkshake. Times Square is definitely wonderful for fast food.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Lovely Day (MAP IT, x). They have the best Thai food and they do an English fry-up on the weekends. Also, after eight years of living here, I just discovered a gem of a shop that sells English candy on Orchard Street. For any Brit, this is an epic discovery! It doesn’t have a name but it’s between Rivington and Delancey.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The buzz— it’s nice to get away from it, but you can’t beat it.

REGULAR AT: Definitely Smith Canteen— for coffee and snacks. It’s such a pretty spot and it’s right by our apartment and the park for my little girl, Honor.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Tamarind (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). English people love Indian food and this is one of the best in NYC. Also, Extra Virgin in the West Village (MAP IT, x)— you must order the fries with the cheese dip!

KID-FRIENDLY STAPLE: We always head to Watty and Meg on Court St. (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). We’ve been taking Honor there since she was a baby. Their mac n’ cheese is delicious, and for me, their wine list is always top notch! Also, Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain (MAP IT, x)— it’s an old school soda shop and it’s so cute.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Whenever we have a big get together, we head to Indochine (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). The food is delicious and we always have a fun night. They also make delicious cocktails and you’re pretty much guaranteed a celeb sighting or two!

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: Upstate. We’re lucky enough to have a house near Hudson so any chance we get, we pop up there. We love Swoon Kitchenbar (MAP IT, x) for dinner or lunch and Grazin’ (MAP IT, x) for brunch.

CLOSET CHECK: I would describe my style as feminine chic (I hope) with a hint of rock n’ roll. I shop at SHOPBOP! I love to head to What Goes Around Comes Around (MAP IT, x) for fabulous, one-of-a-kind pieces too— you never know what hidden gems you’ll find there. We’re also lucky enough to carry the brand on our site.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: I would describe my interior style as English country. I love to hunt for one-off pieces in Hudson’s vintage shops on Main Street, but I also love to wander around ABC Carpet & Home (MAP IT, x). I love, love John Derian (MAP IT, x) and would love to fill my house with all of the treasures from that shop.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: John Derian and Diptyque (MAP IT, x)— who doesn’t like their Figuier candle?

FOR THE KIDS: I love Sweet William (MAP IT, x) for clothing and gifts. For toys, Acorn on Atlantic Avenue (MAP IT, x) is one of the best.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Colorist Aura Friedman (x) at Sally Hershberger (MAP IT, x) has been coloring my hair since I arrived in NYC. She is THE best.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I think seeing the naked cowboy still performing during the snow blizzard earlier this year— that is commitment! CP

Eleanor’s New York

From L to R: Cocktail at Colonie; Gnocchi from Frankie’s; Salad at Dean & Deluca; Inside Colonie. Second Row: Vintage at What Comes Around Goes Around; Smith Canteen cappuccino; Lunch at Cookshop; Minetta Tavern.

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