Photography by Eric Isaac

Sandy Liang

Designer

| L.E.S.

We already knew we liked Sandy Liang— rest assured, her namesake brand’s “It” factor stems from her own personal cool— but when she named “Prada and Juice Press” as her guilty pleasures, we knew she was a girl after our own hearts (cheeky, yet spot-on, no?). A New York native, Liang grew up in the city, went to Parsons, logged a few major internships (do Jason Wu and Phillip Lim sound familiar?) and voilà, by age 23, she’s showing her third collection at MADE Fashion Week. Her eponymous label is gritty, fresh, spunky and light; it’s for the girl who makes her own rules, then breaks those too— naturally, street style star/stylist/fellow CITIPHILE Kate Foley was an early supporter (she’s even styled the brand’s past few look books). We like to think that underneath all of those shaggy, pastel furs and funky outerwear is a lesson to be learned: fashion, like life, should be fun. Here, Liang sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I have way too many to pick just one go-to spot: Lovely Day (MAP IT, x), Café Mogador (MAP IT, x), Whole Foods on Bowery (MAP IT), Siggy’s (MAP IT, x), Forgtmenot (MAP IT, x), Dimes (MAP IT, x), The Fat Radish (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and Congee Village (MAP IT, x). I stay around the L.E.S., Nolita and the East Village most of the time.

COFFEE OR TEA: Roasting Plant on Orchard Street (MAP IT, x) because it’s down the street from my apartment, it’s strong as f*** and they have almond milk from Califa Farms!

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Congee Village! It’s my dad’s restaurant and it’s the Cantonese food I grew up with.  I always have a great time with friends sharing the dishes family-style, especially when it’s cold out. I still haven’t tried them (which is very strange), but I’ve heard that the lychee martinis are bomb.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Coconut water and gin from Mr. Fong’s (MAP IT, x) or the Basil-aide from Lovely Day. My favorite bars include Mr. Fong’s, Attaboy (MAP IT, x), Forgtmenot and The Standard East (MAP IT, x) for awesome Moscow mules.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Dudley’s (MAP IT, x)… which is conveniently [located] around the corner from my studio.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: Mr. Fong’s.

MUSIC PICK: My favorite music is always changing, but currently I’m super into Honne, Drake (always) and Chet Faker. Songs I never get sick of: Ceremony by New Order, Aston Martin Music by Rick Ross and Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division.

BEST BRUNCH: You can find me almost every Sunday at Café Mogador with my friend, Anne. We work out at Nicole Winhoffer (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and then get eggs at “Moggies.” 

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The corner of Orchard and Broome St. where you can sit outside at Dudley’s.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Whole Foods or Sweetgreen (MAP IT, x) for a custom salad or lots of snacks/fruits to nibble on all day. 

GUILTY PLEASURE: Juice Press (MAP IT, x) and Prada (MAP IT).

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: All the best places are below 14th Street! (Most of the time anyways…)

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: Good coffee, the sounds and the 24-hour everything.

REGULAR AT: I go to Roasting Plant down the street from my apartment first thing every morning no matter what my schedule is looking like. It’s warm and cozy and like I mentioned, they serve almond milk. I get the medium “supercharged” (their more caffeinated version of coffee) in a large cup, filled to the brim with almond milk. They’re also dog-friendly and, on the weekends, there is always a hoard of dogs outside the café which is an awesome thing to encounter on your way to morning coffee.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Café Select (MAP IT, x), Attaboy and Lovely Day are great. Café Select is better for the summer when it’s warm and you can sit outside; the drinks are mega-strong! Attaboy is great for something more intimate. Lovely Day is fun. They’re all small and sweet.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Siggy’s or Remedy Diner (MAP IT, x).

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Rin Tin Tin (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: Battery Park, which was where we went after school every Friday in high school. I also love going to McNally Jackson (MAP IT, x) and curling up in their café with a stack of magazines and good books.

CLOSET CHECK: I have phases where I wear something over and over again. Then, I’ll get tired of it and do the same thing with something else. My staples are always good shoes, Le Labo perfume (MAP IT, x), messy hair and a sweet coat. I don’t know if I have a favorite store; it’s more about what I’m looking for.

ACCESSORIES PICK: I never take off my jewelry otherwise I would lose everything! I have an aquamarine ring and necklace with a tiny floating diamond pendant I got for my sixteenth birthday. I also have a bunch of piercings on both my ears that are filled up with tiny gold hoops from Love Adorned (MAP IT, x) and diamond earrings that my mom gave me. I never leave my house without Le Labo on. I do a little Gaiac (Tokyo exclusive) and Santal mixed together.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: I keep it pretty simple! I just try to make it comfy for when I have friends over. I don’t know if I have a favorite place to shop for home accents, but I have a bunch of plants from The Sill (MAP IT, x)!

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: The Sill, Aesop (MAP IT, x) (post-poo drops are adorable) or a bottle of wine. 

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: For the best manicure, ask for Raymond at Season Spa in Chinatown (MAP IT, x). I’ve referred so many of my friends that I now have a hard time booking an appointment with him! 

FIT PICK: Nicole Winhoffer! She has this amazing energy and blasts great music. It’s the only class where I can totally zone out, not think and just sweat a ton; it’s a good ass-kicking after a night out with too much tequila. I also do yoga at Sky Ting (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) from time to time.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I’ve been here all my life and the best style I’ve seen is in Chinatown. CP

Sandy’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Plants from The Sill; Floral arrangement at Dimes; Tiny earrings from Love Adorned; Brunch at Dudley’s. Second Row: Café Mogador; Sandy Liang womenswear; Inside Lovely Day; Prada womenswear.

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