Photography by Trevor Smith

Tanya Taylor

Designer

| Greenwich Village

Bright hues, bold prints and a girlish flair, Tanya Taylor is clearly onto something. The Canadian-born designer launched her eponymous women’s wear collection at just 25 years old, and in three short years, she’s seen her designs decorate the storied walls of Bergdorf Goodman, outfit our ever-stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama, and qualify her as a finalist for the sought-after CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (Sure, we’ll see your business plan… and raise you a T.T. one-two punch). Going against the grain seems to be Taylor’s MO: she makes all of her clothing in New York, she’s hosted two fashion shows inside of the MoMA (making her the first designer ever to use the venue) and most recently, she turned the ubiquitous seasonal lookbook into something entirely different when she enlisted the help of artist and Instagram sensation Kalen Holloman (Holloman took paper cut-outs of Taylor-clad girls to the streets, pairing each with various NYC backdrops in his signature collage-like style). If Taylor has taught us anything, it’s go big or go bigger. Here she sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: My favorite neighborhood spot is Café Cluny (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). Every weekend, I like to go for brunch and have their short rib hash (with béarnaise sauce on the side) and an iced soy latte. I read the NY Times, people watch and steal fries off of my husband’s breakfast club sandwich order.

COFFEE OR TEA: Definitely coffee (and usually iced). The best cup is at La Colombe (MAP IT, x) because it has a kick that keep me going all day. You can also find me with a chai latte from Balthazar (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) or a soy latte from Starbucks (MAP IT).

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: My all-time favorite restaurant is La Grenouille (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). It is a magical mix of old school Paris meets New York: it’s pure romance (and it happens to be where my husband and I celebrated our engagement). My dish of choice is the dover sole with a side of haricots verts and the white chocolate soufflé for dessert.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: The drinks at the Library at the NoMad (MAP IT) are pretty incredible- I like the V.O.C. (Genever gin, New Western gin, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon and lemon). My favorite refuge for drinks is The Greenwich Hotel (MAP IT, x); I love a glass of Sancerre in their courtyard.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: I am often at the office late so I opt for Café Select (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) which is right around the corner from work. I like to hide out in the back bar with a glass of wine and a side order of the Swiss rôti potatoes.

MUSIC PICK: I enjoy all types of music, but nothing beats live concerts in NYC. I go to Rockwood Music Hall (MAP IT, x) to see new talent, Mercury Lounge (MAP IT, x) to see friends perform and Up & Down (MAP IT, x) to dance until the morning. I grew up going to Barbados (my family lives there) so a summer reggae concert in the park is my dream day.

BEST BRUNCH: My favorite weekend brunch spots are Aurora in Williamsburg (MAP IT, x), Sant Ambroeus on Lafayette Street (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), The Crosby Street Hotel (MAP ITx) and Cafe Cluny. Brunch for me is about a comfy couch, strong coffee and fresh air in the summer.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Washington Square Park. I love to head there on weekends, post up and listen to the live music.

HEALTHY STAPLE: My daily default lunch spot is The Smile To Go (MAP ITx)— it’s just down the street from our SoHo studio. I order the lamb meatballs with a side of brussel sprouts and a lemonade.

GUILTY PLEASURE: One thing makes me very happy: a baked potato with broccoli and cheese. Washington Square Diner (MAP IT, x) makes a mean one, but I am also a closet Wendy’s baked potato fan and will periodically order one as a side to my spicy chicken burger. Other guilty pleasures include white chocolate, popcorn and cookie dough ice cream.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Citarella’s (MAP IT) prepared sliced zucchini; it’s perfect with tomatoes and a sprinkle of parmesan.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The energy of the city.

REGULAR AT: Every day I go to Oatmeals on W. 3rd Street (MAP IT, x)— it’s the coolest oatmeal bar in the city for breakfast to-go. (My insider tip is to get the Baby Bear oatmeal with pumpkin purée, cherries, peaches and almond milk.) For lunch, I head to The Smile To Go, then later, I stop by Citarella for my daily snack of pomegranate seeds.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: For date night, my husband and I head to Claudette (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), specifically to the flamingo wallpapered downstairs bar. It is our favorite new neighborhood restaurant and it immediately transports you to Provence. We order the roasted cauliflower, lamb tagine and le pain tunisien.

DELIVERY GO-TO: I order weekly from Westville (MAP IT, x) and Otto (MAP IT, BOOK IT, ORDER IT, x), but what makes me happiest is cooking at home for friends.

TO GET INSPIRED: On the weekends, I love to gallery hop; an afternoon spent at The MoMA (MAP IT, x) or any of the galleries in Chelsea is always a good option.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: The Polo Bar (MAP IT, BOOK ITx)— it never disappoints for good people watching.

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: A picnic at Storm King (MAP IT, x), a swim at Shibui Spa (MAP IT, x) or a weekend at Bedford Post Inn (MAP IT, x).

CLOSET CHECK: My style is feminine, experimental and full of color and print. I am a big Net-a-Porter and Bergdorf Goodman (MAP IT, x) shopper, but I always find my treasures at New York Vintage (MAP IT, x), INA (MAP IT, x), Resurrection (MAP IT, x) or 1st Dibs. Nothing makes me happier than vintage.

ACCESSORIES PICK: My favorite place for jewelry is Dover Street Market (MAP IT, x). I always wear Delfina Delettrez‘s bumble bee earrings or her single lip earring. I am a huge shoe freak too (so much so that I built a gallery wall in my apartment dedicated to my favorite kicks); I love Tabitha Simmons, Céline (MAP IT), and recently, I found an amazing pair of rubberized Pollini heels at Opening Ceremony (MAP IT, x).

S/S ’15 PICK: I can’t wait for New York to warm up so I can wear the Crawford Spur dress from our S/S ’15 collection. The print and silhouette are flirtatious, playful and perfect for a summer night cocktail party.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: My interior style is modern eclectic. I like furniture with texture and personality. I am a “leg” snob and obsess over the shape of chair and couch legs— I like wood tapered and not too thick. I shop on Ebay and 1stDibs, or at ABC Carpet & Home (MAP IT, x) and drool over anything BDDW (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: The MoMA Store (MAP IT, x) or Greenwich Letterpress (MAP IT, x) have unique gifts. I’m a big knick-knack person so I like to give thoughtful gifts with a whimsical twist.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: To treat myself, I’ll opt for an oxygen facial at Shibui Spa. Also, my secret facialist/make-up artist is Kimara Ahnert on the Upper East Side (MAP IT, x). I wear little make-up, but I always use Kimara’s BB cream foundation.

FIT PICK: A SoulCycle (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) class or yoga session is the best way for me to let off steam and clear my mind. I do yoga two or three times a week and  recently bought a rowing machine (mainly because of the Underwoods in House of Cards); it is incredibly satisfying.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: The night of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund announcement at 1 WTC was a surreal NY moment for me. The building was a construction site at the time and I was given a CFDA branded construction helmet to wear. I met Diane Von Furstenburg and Anna Wintour for the first time and I felt like I was living a dream. CP

Tanya’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Cocktail at The NoMad; Smile To Go salad; Oatmeals breakfast bowl; The NoMad Hotel. Second Row: Pasta from Otto; Taylor with a donut; La Colombe coffee; Details by Tanya Taylor.

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