Photography by Adam Cantor

Kevin Kollenda

CEO, Two Hustlers

| West Village

With wall-to-wall original artwork and a reflective silver sculpture dangling from the ceiling, Two Hustlers’ Tribeca headquarters has the trappings of a present-day Warholian Factory— a melting pot of thinkers who hold creativity as the greatest currency. Founded by Nicola Formichetti (Artistic Director of Diesel and frequent Lady Gaga collaborator) and Kevin Kollenda, the company is known for its’ forward-thinking campaigns like their #DieselReboot project, an interactive, Tumblr-driven campaign where everyone is invited to post ideas, inspiration and artwork for the brand. In the city, the pair just announced the winners of their first “Art Grant” as well— a program dedicated to supporting young artists discovered via social media. “We work with the best of the best,” says Kollenda while touring us around his office recently, “the best graphic designers, the best set designers, the best artists and the best writers to create something entirely new…” We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure he’s onto something. Here, Kollenda sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Sant Ambroeus (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I could easily move in and live there, surviving on a diet of the centocolori salad and spaghetti carbonara.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee at La Colombe (MAP IT, x). They only make coffee with whole milk and won’t even consider making a “mocha frappucino” or “skinny, flat mint-y” whatever. I’m a big believer in being a master of something— they rule the coffee world.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Indochine (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— how Jean Marc and his team have kept that place being the most wonderfully sexy, delicious and consistently superb restaurant in town for 25 years is the secret that every restaurant owner would kill to know. I always order an Indochine martini and I don’t think I could survive without their spicy chicken breast (and a few more martinis).

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A rye Manhattan, stirred, with brandied cherries of course. The Waverly Inn (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) has one of my favorite bars (and right up there as one of the top three restaurants in NYC)… again, consistency, superb service and a charming (and often sexy) staff. For really adventurous cocktails, there is the one and only Mulberry Project (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) which is a must-visit. Stay at the bar and order insane bar food; the mixologists there are epic.

MUSIC PICK: ’80’s, rock and new wave, ideally dominated by Chic, Grandmaster Flash, Journey, and Echo and the Bunnymen. Dirty French (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) plays them all and then knocks you out with just as inspiring cooking. It all begins with that crazy warm bread and cheese they start you with…

BEST BRUNCH: SoHo House (MAP IT, x). Full stop. There is no other buffet like it. Period. Global. The end.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Bar Pitti (MAP IT, x) in spring, summer and fall. They have the best chalkboard menu ever (…is the hyperbole becoming excessive?!).

HEALTHY STAPLE: Sweetgreen (MAP IT, x) for the bok choy, chicken and lentil stew. Beyond.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Russ and Daughters (MAP IT, x) for caviar, smoked salmon, blinis, crème fraiche. Repeat.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: The West Side Highway parks and piers where I meditate every morning (weather-permitting). They’re a reminder of how extraordinary this city can be at creating parks and space in surprising and unassuming places.


REGULAR AT: ABC Home (MAP IT, x) and ABC Kitchen (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). Honestly, I could happily live in that building with fresh sheets, great beds, beauty products, smelly candles, sound and video, best rug floor on the planet and Jean-Georges’ food for breakfast, lunch and supper. I wonder if anyone does live there secretly!

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Bottino (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), hands-down. I love the staff, the food is always good, they make a perfect martini and they have one of the best desserts on earth: a dark chocolate pudding almost like the Jello-O pudding my mom used to make, but with dark Belgian chocolate, real milk and dark chocolate shavings… I could eat it every night. (The garden is perfect for a romantic date moment too.)

DELIVERY GO-TO: Hotel Americano’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) kale salad and fish tacos.

TO GET INSPIRED: The gallery district in Chelsea. Go alone, put the headphones on, keep your eyes and heart open and discover. It costs you nothing… unless you buy!

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: Central Park for an early morning with the pug.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is low-key and comfortable, but hopefully still a bit sexy! I love Opening Ceremony (MAP IT, x)— probably not age appropriate, but I always find something there and they have such a great staff. I like Comme des Garçons in Chelsea (MAP IT, x) too— never get out of there without spending!

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Aedes de Venustas on Christopher Street (MAP IT, x).

GROOMING BLACK BOOK: Keisy (MAP IT, x) on E. 9th Street— best value massage in the city.

FIT PICK: My trainer, Bryan Winston beats me up and keeps me smiling. Jivamukti Yoga (MAP IT, x) keeps me balanced.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: It must have been at least 15 or 16 years ago when I was living in London and working a lot in NYC. It was an epic and very naughty evening starting in an Indochine booth filled with a top fashion designer, supermodel, famous actor, etc. and way too much to drink. I ended up with said group in taxis to one of the craziest clubs I’ve ever been to called Cake on Avenue B (which wasn’t a place to be hanging out back then). We walked in to Zeppelin playing, a topless girl dancing on the bar with a gay cowboy in a thong and boots, and a mixed crowd of boy and girls— a.k.a. heaven. Downstairs with the supermodel and actor (and one too many drug dealers asking us what we needed), we were dancing our heads off when the supermodel pulls a small curtain back to find two dudes unclothed (and having quite a graphic moment). I thought I had died and gone to purgatory! CP

Kevin’s New York

From L to R: First Row: ABC Carpet & Home rug; Inside Russ & Daughters; La Colombe cold brew; Kollenda’s pug, Frankie. Second Row: Pasta at Bottino; The backyard at Mulberry Project; Opening Ceremony men’s footwear; Dirty French.


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