Photography by Eric Isaac

Nicole Hanley Mellon

Designer, HANLEY

| Midtown East

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Nicole Hanley Mellon loves a good classic— whether it be a glass of bubbly at Bemelman’s or a morning croissant from Sant Ambroeus— but, lest we remind you, classics are classic for a reason: they’re generally pretty darn good. Of course, in Mellon’s case, her taste for the tried-and-true extends well beyond food; after earning her fashion stripes at power houses like Ralph Lauren and Intermix, she turned her eye to designing a line of her own, HANLEY. A mash-up of trim, tulip dresses, silk blousons and tailored knitwear, the collection combines Mellon’s eye for timeless design with her love of travel. Each season is grounded by a new destination— most recently, it was Havana, Cuba that inspired a mash-up of pocketed culottes, swing tops and calf-length vests in rich patterns and textures. The brand’s appeal spans savvy nomad to polished Pierre Hotel city dweller (where Mellon, herself resides), making it- you guessed it- deliciously classic. Here, Mellon sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee from Sant Ambroeus on 61st Street (MAP IT, x) because it is close to my home and they make a perfect latte and superb croissant! It’s been a neighborhood game-changer.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: It’s usually about a dish at a favorite place— all of the places I go to regularly make you feel like you are part of the family: Harry Cipriani (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for the veal piccatine al limone, Bilboquet (MAP IT, x) for a Cobb salad for lunch, Amaranth (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for salmon, Altesi (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for agnolotti, Chat Noir (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for macaroni and cheese, Sirio (*Location now closed) for pasta or steak, and now, I am looking forward to seeing what Charles and Heiko open up at The Lowell (MAP IT, x)!

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Champagne or mint tea. I’m not much of a bar person, but 2E at The Pierre Hotel (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is a lovely place for tea or a drink.

LADIES LUNCH: Bilboquet or Amaranth for lunch during the week (though a lunch away from the office is rare). The Baccarat’s 2nd floor (MAP IT, x) is a beautiful place for a drink, and when Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle (MAP IT, x) has a piano player, it’s heaven!

BEST BRUNCH: We take the children to Serafina (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— the food is as delicious for adults as it is for children!

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Just keeping your eyes and senses open to everything around you.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Mangia (MAP IT, x) or Juice Press (MAP IT, x) for a kale Caesar and a “Clean Green” protein shake (banana, almond milk, almond butter, kale, chia seed, coconut nectar, spinach and hemp protein).

GUILTY PLEASURE: Caviar or a great steak! Splurging is at Caviar Russe (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or a burger at PJ Clarke’s (MAP ITx)!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: The early morning (ONLY after a good night of sleep). Get up before the rest of the city— just at dawn when the light is peering down the streets— to pick up a coffee and meditate in the early morning quietness. For a few moments, the city becomes just yours to take in.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My home. I love being in my home.

REGULAR AT: I am very regular about my spotsSant Ambroeus every morning for a skim latte and chocolate croissant.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: It is so easy to fall into neighborhood routines that miss out on the other wonderful places that NYC has to offer. A great date could include the theater, anything at Lincoln Center (MAP IT, x) or even just stepping outside the neighborhood you live in to enjoy something else this incredible city has going on.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Juice Press!

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: Wander into and through any wing of the great museums; bring a notebook and purchase a few postcards of your favorite works.

CLOSET CHECK: In a word, edited. I don’t discriminate between old and new, expensive and inexpensive, but I am incredibly particular about my choices and as such don’t shop for the sake of shopping. My style hasn’t changed much over the years; I still mix it all up and have always had clear ideas about what I like and don’t like, but as I get older the balance between what works and what doesn’t changes.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: Mecox Gardens (MAP IT, x), 1st Dibs (x), John Rosselli Antiques (MAP IT, x) and Design within Reach (MAP IT, x). My style is personal and, perhaps to some, eclectic.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Creel and Gow (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Edison Repuesto (x) at Valery Joseph at Barneys (MAP IT, x) for anything hair-related.

FIT PICK: I don’t work out much… I run a mile when I feel motivated and I LOVE Tracy Anderson’s mat videos and Ballet Beautiful’s 15-minute streamed work-outs.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: To have finally found my “stride” in the wild current of this city. Once you find your stroke, this city can be graceful, steady and balanced. CP

Nicole’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Coffee at Sant Ambroeus; Hanley Mellon; Home accents by Design Within Reach; PJ Clarke’s. Second Row: Caviar Russe; Décor at Creel & Gow; Dessert at Harry Cipriani; Hanley womenswear.

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