Photography by Eric Isaac

Zanna Roberts Rassi

Editor, Stylist, Host

| Chelsea

There are a handful of things we wanted as kids: to have long mermaid hair, to perpetually be clad in clashing prints and to have a name that started with a “Z” (yes, we took the whole “dare to be different” campaign to heart) so you can imagine that when Zanna Roberts Rassi— the real life embodiment of our childhood trifecta— invited us over, we were more than a little delighted (OK, confession: we never really outgrew the dream). Not that it’s all pastels and plumage for Rassi (though we’d bet she’s a fan of both)— as the Senior Fashion Editor of Marie Claire, she’s constantly masterminding fashion editorials and cover stories. Then, of course, there’s her work for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Target when she’s wearing her styling cap, contributions to networks like E! and series such as Project Runway All Stars when acting as TV host/live reporter/fashion mentor, and beauty testing when co-creating now-newish cosmetics line, Milk Makeup— a venture she launched with her husband and Milk Studios co-founder, Mazdack Rassi, plus Creative Director Georgie Greville and COO Diana Ruth. Alongside their beautiful twins, Rumi and Juno, the couple shares a Chelsea home filled with art, treasures and the occasional teepee (Rumi and Juno’s addition)… As it turns out, our fantasy is Rassi’s reality. Here, she sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: The Standard Grill (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for the “Million Dollar Chicken for Two.” We sit on a red leather banquet inside or outside under the pergola (when the weather permits) and devour that roast chicken, washed down with a good cab sauv! It’s consistently good.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee from Blue Bottle (MAP IT, x)— their New Orleans blend is nutty and crazy and powerful… and it’s on my way into work (Milk Studios).

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: The Waverly Inn (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). It’s cozy and the food is exceptional—especially the dover sole which is perfectly moist and served with green beans and a dollop of hollandaise. The murals on the wall by Edward Sorel epitomize the NYC crowd which is super eclectic, but always fabulous! You can bump into anyone— from Micheal Kane to Cara Delevingne. It works for date night or for business dinners or birthday parties!

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A spicy margarita. I like Goodnight Sonny (MAP IT, x) for their “Sunny Orchard” margarita— it has jalapeño marmalade and fresh pressed apple juice in it (it’s juiced to order) which makes it healthier, right?! Plus, their bartenders are all the same: always cocktail geniuses.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: Lucien (MAP IT, x).

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: A table at Boom Boom Room (MAP IT, x) is an elegant way to relax after a crazy day. Sink a drink and watch the city and the Hudson River turn from day to night (and then back again in the odd occasion)!

MUSIC PICK: Berlin in the East Village (MAP IT, x)— always a good time! Tucked underground on Avenue A, it feels like a hole-in-the-wall with just the right amount of grunge.

BEST BRUNCH: Brunch is an alien concept to a Brit, but one that is synonymous with NYC. It’s the most “social me” meal of the week! Morandi (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is one of my favorite spots– it feels SO NYC: friends catching up on the previous night’s shenanigans, ordering Bloody Marys, gaggles of girlfriends sipping mimosas pre-shopping and families trying to grab precious family time— all good times.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The West Side Highway– most are keeping fit. It’s the great equalizer! You see everyone in their real, raw form!

GUILTY PLEASURE: Katz’s Deli (MAP IT, x)— pastrami sandwiches as big as my head!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Secret or not: The Botanical Gardens (MAP IT, x) to escape the concrete jungle for the day!

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The efficiency, the street style and the rudeness to some extent.

REGULAR AT: Routines are something I find hard to stick to in my bonkers life.

KID-FRIENDLY STAPLE: The Central Park Zoo (MAP IT, x)! It’s awesome.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: The bar at The Bowery Hotel (MAP IT, x).

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: Central Park… Obvs.

GO-TO GETAWAY: We have a home in Middletown, New Jersey– it’s one of the oldest houses in the state. We lovingly restored it to an oasis for our family.

CLOSET CHECK: I’m a tomboy at heart— even the prettiest of dresses, I will pair with sneaks. For shopping, I’m an Acne (MAP IT, x) addict! I also love Story (MAP IT, x) — it’s a curated collection of pieces that rotates every four to eight weeks. Vintage Twin (MAP IT, x) is great for denim (a pop-up store).

ACCESSORIES PICK: I love Broken English (MAP IT, x) for jewelry. For shoes, you can’t beat Barneys (MAP IT, x) … especially at sale time!

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: John Derian (MAP IT, x) or Smythson (MAP IT, x).

FOR THE CHILDREN: Lucky Wang (MAP IT, x) for kids clothing! Kidding Around (MAP IT, x) for toys and fun bits.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Sean Gallagher (x) at Serge Normant at John Frieda (MAP IT, xfor color, cut, comfort!

FIT PICK: I spoil myself with a private pilates lesson once a week with Annie (x) at Le Petite Studio (MAP IT, x). She has helped ease aches and pains post-birthing twins and keeps me on track! I’m desperate to try SLT (MAP IT, x), but haven’t gotten around to it yet!

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I’m lucky to spend much of my time at Milk Studios. It’s the downtown hub at the crossroads of art, fashion, film and music. You can be in an elevator with Karlie Kloss, A$AP or a skateboarding tattoo artist. The melting pot represents NYC to me. A major NY moment happened there when we celebrated the launch of Milk Makeup: we threw an epic rager in the gallery for the MILK family– supermodels, celebs, artists, photographers, actors, musicians, writers, editors, artists, influencers— the coolest crowd you can imagine in one room jumping around excitedly to Salt and Pepper and Santigold. As I stood back with my husband to take it all in, we both said “Only in New York City.” CP

Zanna’s New York

Zanna Roberts Rassi

From L to R: First row: Avocado toast from The Standard Grill; Reworked denim from The Vintage Twin; Pieces from John Derian; Salad from The Standard Grill. Second row: Sunglasses from Acne Studios; The Boom Boom Room; Milk Makeup; Blue Bottle Coffee.

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