Photography by Eric Isaac; By Bailey Calfee

Elizabeth Kennedy

Designer

| Midtown West

A Parsons interview from 2007 with then-student Elizabeth Kennedy revealed that, in ten years, she hoped to be designing her own label—we bet she’d be happy to know that it only took seven. But then again, the creation of her eponymous label isn’t her only noteworthy feat in the past decade. Her post-grad positions jump from one celebrated fashion house to another including her first gig: head designer for Isaac Mizrahi at only 22. She moved on to create one-of-a-kind red carpet dresses for Donna Karan, then played a critical role in the launch of Donna Karan Atelier. Putting leg work in like this, there isn’t much place else to go but up—suffice it to say, the designer debuted her own label in 2014 and it’s turning modern dressing on its head. Regularly churning out stunning collections of Oscar-ready gowns, Kennedy’s designs redefine what “modern luxury” means. They strike the balance between old Hollywood and contemporary glam, conjuring up images of Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman as much as they do the stars of today: Malin Akerman, Mindy Kaling and Laverne Cox (all of whom have been spotted wearing them). In fact, we’ve never met another gown that’s had us craving a worthy party/gala/Saturday night so badly… we’re pretty sure you haven’t either. Here, Kennedy sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Mercato (MAP IT, x)– an adorable little Italian place around the corner. The Spezzatino di Manzo (braised beef stew) takes you to that warm fuzzy place.

COFFEE OR TEA: Nespresso– I make it at home every morning; it is part of my morning ritual.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: The Grill (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). The service is from a different era and, sadly, doesn’t exist anymore beyond this establishment. The space was designed by Mies Van der Rohe and Phillip Johnson and it’s so inspiring; the food is really incredible too. I hosted my wedding there in 2013, and then recently, my first NYFW presentation– it is truly a special place for me. A close second (if I am craving Italian (which is always)) is dell’anima (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x); they seriously have the best bolognese.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: I am more of a wine drinker, but if I’m in the mood for a cocktail, it’s usually a gin and tonic.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: Girls night in! I love having friends over, making dinner and drinking wine on the couch! I recently re-decorated my apartment and love my new couch and dining furniture from Design Within Reach (MAP IT, x).

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: The Baccarat Bar (MAP IT, x) is so beautiful; you feel like you are transported [outside of the city]. I also love The NoMad Bar (MAP IT, x).

MUSIC PICK: It varies so I love Spotify. At work, I listen to blues and jazz like Charles Aznavour or Billie Holiday, but sometimes I like to switch it up and sketch to ’90s hip-hop.

BEST BRUNCH: Morandi (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is my absolute favorite. I love their ricotta bruschetta with honey and hazelnuts or the fagottini con prosciutto (baked crepes with ham and fontina). However, I recently tried Sadelle’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for the first time and I have to say their french toast was sort of life changing… and that bagel tower with lox…

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Thursday night in Chelsea from 6-8 pm is the best time for gallery hopping [and people watching]. On warmer summer nights, the streets are packed with all different characters checking out art and getting free wine!

HEALTHY STAPLE: If I’m going out to dinner and want something guilt-free, I generally go for sushi. 15 East (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and Neta (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) are two of my favorites. For takeout, I love Hu Kitchen (MAP IT, x), a relatively new, paleo deli in the Village– I particularly love the kale and goji berry salad, the chicken fingers and the yummy chocolate bars– the almond butter and puffed quinoa is the best!

GUILTY PLEASURE: Lady M (MAP IT, x)– the mille crêpes cakes are insane. Also, the chocolate chip cookies at Foragers Market Chelsea (MAP IT, x) are my favorite– a hint of sea salt and perfectly gooey.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: The Paris Theatre (MAP IT, x) is such a special spot in NYC.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My husband!

REGULAR AT: Bergdorf Goodman (MAP IT, x) and JFK.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Blue Ribbon Brasserie on Sullivan Street (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). They’re open and bustling until 4 am, plus their shrimp ravioli is delicious.

DELIVERY GO-TO: We recently started using Kitchensurfing (*Service now closed) and it’s AMAZING. Every night they have a selection of meals to choose from upon which a chef comes to your apartment, equipped with all cooking supplies and ingredients, and prepares and serves you the meal in your own kitchen. It’s around $30 per person (which is certainly cheaper than dining out). For a homebody like me, it can’t get much better than that!

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: Visiting The Cloisters (MAP IT, x), then walking along the Hudson River all the way down to Battery Park.

GO-TO GETAWAY: I love the Gulf Coast of Florida. I have been going down to Naples with my family since I was a baby; it’s just so calm and peaceful. You really can relax and it reminds me of my grandparents. My new go-to getaway is Montnegro- my husband is from there and we have a little house on the coast (it is spotted with small medieval towns). It’s absolutely stunning and full of culture, food and music.

CLOSET CHECK: My personal style has always been pretty diverse. I tend to get either really dressed up or dress down. I do a lot of browsing online, but I still like to go and try things on so Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys (MAP IT, x) are my favorites.  I also love The Line (MAP IT, x), both the online shop and the brick-and-mortar in SoHo; it’s just a perfectly curated selection of both clothing and interior pieces.

ACCESSORIES PICK: Céline (MAP IT, x) for handbags.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: I have always loved interior design and furniture, but it has really become a minor obsession over the last five years (particularly since moving into my current apartment). Even though my style is pretty modern, I love to mix old and new, and love shopping on 1st Dibs (x). I also believe in investing in furniture that is unique and special so I’ve collaborated with some interior design friends to make some of my furniture: my walnut and brass end tables, a pony hair and brass ottoman, and my walnut wall unit were all designed and made by friends. Other favorite pieces I’ve collected include a pair of Scandinavian teak chairs I bought on Ebay, then recovered in shearling from Moore & Giles (x). Our Italian mid-century bar cart is from Rearview Modern. My husband is an artist so we have his beautiful art all over the walls. Also, I am obsessed with Alma Allen Pearce sculptures and own a few of his brass objects too.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Serge Normant (MAP ITx) for haircuts. I’m also a fan of Great Jones Spa (MAP IT, x) for facials.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Le Labo (MAP IT, x) candles (which you can personalize) or a nice bottle of wine from Astor Wines (MAP IT, x).

FIT PICK: I really love walking- sometimes along the Hudson, but also just through the streets. If I’m going to a class, I love the core fusion yoga classes at Exhale (MAP IT, x). And, if I really need to sweat, I go to SoulCycle (MAP IT, x).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Walking down Fifth Avenue and seeing my first window display at Bergdorf Goodman on the corner! You really can accomplish anything you want in this amazing city. CP

Elizabeth’s New York

From L to R; First Row; The Paris Theatre; Bolognese from Dell'amina; French toast at Sadelle's; The Cloisters Second Row; Billie Holiday album cover; The Apartment by the Line; Lady M; Baccarat Bar

From L to R: First Row: The Paris Theatre; Bolognese from Dell’Anima; French toast at Sadelle’s; The Cloisters. Second Row: Billie Holiday; The Apartment by the Line; Confections from Lady M; Baccarat Bar.

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