Photography by Trevor Smith

Steven Alan and Samantha Smith

Designer and Showroom Director, Steven Alan

| Flatbush | West Village

Opening Ceremony, Colette, Intermix, Fivestory… today, there are a ton of hyper-curated, multi-brand retailers we’ve come to know and love, but before any of them, there was Steven Alan. Founded in the mid-90’s by New York native Steven Alan, the eponymous boutique was the first of its kind— dedicating its floor space to a mix of up-and-coming designers that Alan believed in, rather than one major fashion house or label. Now, with nearly two dozen outposts around the country, its vision for stocking smaller, superlative brands is still intact, including Alan’s own collection of men’s, women’s and home goods. Likewise, Alan’s downtown Tribeca showroom is similarly curated by Samantha Smith (who happens to have an incredible eye for young talent). As Showroom Director, Smith hand-selects emerging brands like Clare V., Marissa Webb and Grace Lee Designs to fill the airy, hyper-curated space. Here, Alan and Smith sit down with CITIPHILE to reveal their little black books on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: SA: One of my favorites is EN Brasserie in the West Village (MAP ITBOOK IT, x). I like it because it’s always seasonal and their choice of ingredients is amazing. It’s not really about one big dish for me, but rather having lots of little dishes of amazing vegetables and fish that I really enjoy there.
SS: I would say dell’anima (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or The Waverly Inn (MAP IT, BOOK ITx). You can’t go wrong with any of the pastas at dell’anima, and the Inn has the best chicken pot pie around. It’s also nice to sit in the back room with the fireplace in the winter.

COFFEE OR TEA: SA: Matcha tea is my favorite and one of the best places to get it is at Cha-An in the East Village (MAP IT, x).
SS: Chai tea from Bonsignour on Jane Street (MAP IT, x) or Billy’s Bakery in Tribeca (MAP IT, x) because it is hard to find a place that prepares it super hot with almond milk.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: SS: Red Farm on Hudson Street (MAP IT, x) is up there— pretty much all of their dim sum is great, but specifically, I recommend their soup dumplings (which I order every time).

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: SA: I love the bar at the Mexican restaurant Barrio Chino in the L.E.S. (MAP IT, x). I get Don Julio 1942, neat.
SS: The Eastern Standard from SoHo House (MAP IT, x)— it has vodka, lime, mint and cucumber; it’s just perfectly balanced. You also can’t go wrong with the drinks at Employees Only (MAP IT, x); I have been going since they opened and all the bartenders are true professionals.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: SA: Puffy’s Tavern in Tribeca (MAP IT, x). We have a happy hour there once every other Thursday and it’s conveniently just a few steps from our office.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: SA: I like taking them to the L.E.S. and inner Brooklyn (Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, etc.).
SS: The galleries in Chelsea, The MoMA (MAP IT, x) and Central Park, and if we are with kids, we always hit Bleecker Park (x).

BEST BRUNCH: SA: In my neighborhood, there’s a place called The Farm on Adderley (MAP IT, x) that I like.
SS: Barbuto on Washington Street (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) has a great breakfast pizza and it’s particularly nice to have a meal there in the summer when they open the garage doors.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: SA: The L train is pretty good.

HEALTHY STAPLE: SA: Dimes (MAP IT, x) for an acai bowl.
SS: Mulberry & Vine (MAP IT, x).

GUILTY PLEASURE: SA: I love Korean spas. King Sauna (MAP IT, x) and Spa Castle (MAP IT, x) are my favorites.
SS: Chocolate chip cookies from Levain (MAP IT, x).

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: SS: Paul’s Baby Grand (MAP IT, x).

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: SS: The food, fashion, art and my friends.

REGULAR AT: SA: Arcade Bakery (MAP IT, x) has become my go-to spot for all things baked.
SS: SoHo House. We go just about every weekend. They have the most impressive brunch and it is super kid-friendly. We can spend the whole day there reading, watching movies, listening to music, playing games and people watching!

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: SS: My husband and I usually go to The NoMad bar (MAP IT, x). The cocktails are great and it’s a cool after-work scene.

KID-FRIENDLY STANDBY: SA: We have been going ice skating a lot in Prospect Park. My daughter and oldest son have lots of fun doing that.

DELIVERY GO-TO: SA: Lately, I’ve been ordering Uzbek cuisine from a place called Nargis Café in Brooklyn (MAP IT, x). I also order a lot of groceries from Whole Foods via Instacart.
SS: My Belly’s Playlist (MAP IT, x). It’s a hidden, secret spot in Tribeca (they only do delivery, there is no storefront). The Rancher is my favorite sandwich!

CLOSET CHECK: SA: I would describe my personal style as classically messy with a mix of great items thrown together. My favorite brands are Common ProjectsACNE and Nanamica, a Japanese brand.
SS: I would call my style polished-downtown-preppy. Steven Alan (MAP IT, x), Otte (MAP IT, x), Intermix (MAP IT, x) and the SA showroom (x) are my favorite places to shop. At the showroom, we work with so many fantastic designers like Clare V and Marissa Webb so I have the luxury of shopping directly with them. I also love Warm on Mott Street (MAP IT, x)— such a cool vibe in there.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: SA: An eclectic mix from ornate to modern. Our product in Steven Alan Home Shop (MAP IT, x) is great; we did a collaboration with West Elm.


SS: I love to travel and go to new places. Most recently, we were in France on an island called Il De Re.

SS: ABC Carpet & Home (MAP IT, x) or Steven Alan Home. Each has so many beautifully curated unique and local artisans products.

GROOMING BLACK BOOK: SA: Ayla Yavin (MAP IT, x) (actually an acupuncturist) is the best massage therapist around!

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: SS: I have gone to the most amazing facialist for nearly 10 years and I couldn’t live without her. She is based in Los Angeles and only comes to NYC one week per month so I always plan ahead— Dayle Breault a.k.a. The Goddess Of Skin (x).

FIT PICK: SA: I try to run or bike 3-4 times a week. I recently got a Peloton bike which has been a great work-out as well (especially during the winter months).
SS: When I have time, I love to go to pilates with Anthony Phillips at his private studio, Smush Studio in Union Square (MAP IT, x). He is so fantastic and at the end of the workout, he gives the best mini-massage. I always feel so refreshed after.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: SA: Two Christmases ago, I was in line at Russ & Daughters when I was aggressively accused of cutting someone in line (which was not the case). Only in NY would people fight over smoked fish on Christmas day!
SS: A quintessential “New York” moment is when worlds collide— like riding the subway next to drag queens and Drew Barrymore, or nights out with new and old friends that end with a burlesque show in the back of a coffee shop (Bathtub Gin). CP

Steven & Samantha’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Breakfast pizza at Barbuto; Nanamica menswear; Warhol at MoMA; Curry cod at Dimes. Second Row: Steven Alan womenswear; Branzino at dell’anima; Levain chocolate chip cookie; Womenswear at Steven Alan.


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