Photography by Michael Granaki

Katia Kuethe

Creative Director, Lucky

| Chelsea

You know the age-old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, given our current Instagram-crazed world, so too are a brand’s image and overall aesthetic meaning Creative Directors like Lucky’s Katia Kuethe are the industry’s imaginative linchpins. Right-hand lady to Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen, Kuethe is the woman behind the shopping mag’s elevated re-design, overseeing all things visual including layouts, shoots and cover stories. Her artistic direction goes beyond the stylized pages of Lucky though— with past, like-minded positions at Teen VOGUE and Kate Spade, Kuethe’s design chops speak for themselves. Here, she sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I love Le Grainne on 9th Avenue and 21st Street (MAP IT, x). It offers consistently good, classic French food and since I love escargots (and rarely get them elsewhere), I often order them there. They also serve all variations of bread and cheese which I love— add a small glass of wine and done!

COFFEE OR TEA: I’m not a huge coffee connoisseur, but I like Café Gitane (MAP IT, x) for a cappuccino, Blue Bottle (MAP IT, x) for their New Orleans iced coffee and Café Grumpy (MAP IT, x) for a cortado.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: I would have to say Wallsé  in the West Village (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). It has such a chic and artsy 80’s ambiance (there are amazing paintings hanging on the walls) and I’d give all of the Austrian dishes and wines an A+. My favorite dish is the Tafelspitz (boiled beef in a broth with horseradish) because it reminds me of my childhood in Germany; the horseradish that comes with it has to be so spicy that you almost tear up… at least, that’s my rule.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Any margarita will do. If I go out for drinks in my neighborhood, I go to Hotel Americano (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— the drinks are great and I love how clean it looks. How German of me…

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: I actually rely on my guests for them to show me “their NY!” Last year, I went on the Staten Island ferry for the first time in my twelve years of living here. For very beloved guests, I schedule a foot massage at Fishion Herb Center (MAP IT, x) in Chinatown. That way, they can start out their tourist routine relaxed.

BEST BRUNCH: Hotel Americano. The green juice or smoothie is such a good way to compliment the kind of fattening (and probably unhealthy) breakfast I like. I also go to Dudley’s (MAP IT, x) with my friend and Lucky stylist, Grace Koo— it’s an amazing Australian place, which I guess is why we always end up having one drink too many!

HEALTHY STAPLE: Unfortunately, I don’t do healthy very well. I love food best when it’s heavy, salty and fattening, though I am good with portion control so I’ve been able to somewhat get away with it until now… at least we are out of that Gehry-designed Condé Nast cafeteria where I would eat cake every day (in addition to lunch). If, for some odd reason, I’m feeling healthy, I’ll have a salad Niçoise.

GUILTY PLEASURE: All sugar. I live across the street from La Bergamote (MAP IT, x), a very good French bakery and patisserie— I cannot say, “no.” My goal for 2016 is to cut back on sugar significantly… my addiction is so deeply rooted that I have to give myself lead time!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Tell me! Nobody has told me…

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My son, Paz and the almost always blue sky. I love the color palette of NY— primary and bright.

REGULAR AT: I have a weekly appointment with my trainer, Denise Harris (x) at Studio 26 (MAP IT, x). She does half-hour drills and cardio with me (burpees, mountain climbers, planks of any shape and form, weights, etc.), followed by a half-hour of Pilates to finish it off. Aside from my son and work, It’s what makes me THE happiest.

KID-FRIENDLY STANDBY: Seal Park (x). It’s the most gorgeous playground in Chelsea. I will often take Paz there to make him happy (and to get precious social media time for myself while he plays).

DREAM SHOOT LOCATION: Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo (MAP IT); the MoMA (MAP IT, x); Wall Street.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: In the summer, I take the train or bus to Montauk. I do the “Birkenstock-and-juice” Montauk however, not the “over-the-knee-boots-and-tequila” Montauk— it’s gotten ghastly! I just love going to Joni’s (MAP IT, x) so much, and of course, appreciate eavesdropping on the “morning after” conversations of hard-partying weekenders.

CLOSET CHECK: I am a recovering shopaholic so less is certainly more for me at this point. I love iconic vintage pieces mixed with easy staples— I’d say my look is very “minimalist Annie Hall.” I rarely go to a store to shop, but I love browsing at vintage shops like Stella Dallas in Williamsburg (MAP IT, x). Every once in a while, I’ll take a look at INA (MAP IT, x), Trade-mark (MAP IT, x), COS (MAP IT, x), Zara and J. Crew. I do love eBay too, although my shopping frequency has slowed down dramatically.

FOR THE KIDS: I hate to say it, but I’m not a big fan of expensive kids’ stuff. My son wears Old Navy, some J. Crew and a piece here or there from My Little Sunshine (MAP IT, x), where he also gets his hair cut.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: I adore Nachi Glick of Mist Beauty (MAP IT, x)— she does THE most cleansing facial I know of at a great price. I can’t deal with big spas that give you a base price and then offer a ton of expensive add-ons… worrying about finances does more damage than the treatment does good! For massages, I go to Fishion Herb Center. If a foot massage doesn’t pleasantly hurt, it’s no good in my book. Wes Sharpton at Hairstory Studio (MAP IT, x) cuts my hair— he’s done wonders for me. Once a year, I have Roxie (from Hairstory) do my color. I only use their products too. Since I switched from regular shampoo to Purely Perfect, their cleansing cream, my hair is much more shiny, glossy and healthy.

For a girl from Germany, growing up with the “Supers,” seeing Linda Evangelista casually shop at Whole Foods or Carolyne Murphy walking her dogs is always an inspiration. It’s the little things! Viktor Demarchelier and Arthur Elgort have taken the most beautiful portraits of my son… to me, those are perfect New York moments too. CP

Katia’s New York

From L to R: First Row: View from Le Grainne; Inside Blue Bottle; Ceramics at La Bergamote; Dudley’s. Second Row: Cocktail at Dudley’s; Hotel Americano; Salmon at Wallsé; Café Gitane.


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