Photography by Trevor Smith

Alison Chemla

Jewelry Designer, Alison Lou

| Greenwich Village

It’s Friday night and you’re in the mood to get down = red dress salsa girl; you just took a life-changing SoulCycle class and you’re feeling alive = phosphorescent prayer hands; you’re jet-setting to Vegas to elope with a recent fling = tilted airplane + playing cards symbols + veiled bride + beating pink heart— sure, we could use our words, but really, doesn’t an emoji say it all? New York City native Alison Chemla is on the same page; she goes as far as to wear her emojis on her sleeve… or, rather her fingers, wrists and neck. The jewelry designer behind Alison Lou, Chemla gussies up our favorite electronic icons into diamond-bedecked stunners like ampersand studs, “<3 U” bracelets and little s*&! rings. All made in New York, her tongue-in-cheek pieces are delicate in appearance, but big in personality. In fact, they’re much like Chemla herself. Here, she sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Bar Pitti (MAP IT, x); I go at least once a week and I’ve never had a bad meal. I love the sautéed spinach and Rigatoni Pitti. 

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee at Café Grumpy (MAP IT, x) because it’s around the corner from my office and I’m not a coffee snob, just a convenience snob.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Le Bernardin (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for anything and everything.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Tequila on the rocks with a splash of soda and lime. I can go anywhere for a tequila, but my favorite place for an interesting and fun drink would be ZZ’s Clam Bar (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— not only are all the drinks amazing, but the presentation is on point.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: The Marlton (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x); it’s a block from my apartment and it has a great atmosphere.

LADIES LUNCH: If I’m really going to go for it, I’ll go to Il Gattopardo (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), I think it’s one of the best Italian restaurants in New York and it’s nice and quiet for the Midtown area.

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: ABC Cocina (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— the plates are great for sharing and it has a nice vibe.

BEST BRUNCH: SoHo House (MAP IT, x)— they have the most decadent buffet and if you get a good spot you could sit there for hours with friends. Otherwise, I would say Russ and Daughters Cafe (MAP IT, x) for brunch at any time of the day (the best time to go is in the evening or mid-week).

HEALTHY STAPLE: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and order the Beverly Hills chopped salad (shocking, I know).

GUILTY PLEASURE: Sushi Seki (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) in Chelsea; it’s my favorite sushi in NYC.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: All the massage places on 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues— you can walk in and get a hot stone massage for $30/hour and it’s one of the best you’ll ever get… if you like massages where they break your back like I do.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My family and friends.

REGULAR AT: I-Plaza in Tribeca (MAP IT, x); I go at least once a week for a manicure and/or pedicure. It’s kind of out of the way for me, but my girlfriends and I like to sit there for hours— they have amazing massages and pedicures so it’s kind of a one-stop-shop for a chill Sunday.

DATE NIGHT STANBY: This one is usually not up to me, but if he doesn’t have to work for it, I’d say either Bar Pitti or Sushi Seki.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Dirty Bird to-Go (MAP IT, ORDER IT, x).

CLOSET CHECK: Comfort first, then accessorize. I love to wear as much jewelry as possible and keep the rest simple and classic. Mantiques Modern (MAP IT, x) is a great place to go and find interesting pieces for your home or jewelry collection.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: My parents recently moved so I shopped a lot of their hand-me-downs. I love to look at Wyeth (MAP IT, x) for inspiration and then I’ll try and find a cheaper alternative at auctions or vintage stores.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: It really depends on the person. I like to keep my gifts very personal and personalized… I could get lost in an Etsy hole.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Aida Bicaj (MAP IT, x): for facials, Sophia, for eyebrows, Aneta, and for medical pedicures, Juan. My face and eyebrows have never looked better and my feet are like baby’s feet!

FIT PICKIt changes every week. Right now, I’m really into Body By Simone (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) and 305 Fitness (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x); I can’t tell you what I’ll be into next week though.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Every moment is a real New York moment; there’s no city like it in the world! CP

Alison’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Espresso at Café Grumpy; ZZ’s Clam Bar; Russ & Daughters smoked fish; 305 Fitness. Second Row: Inside The Marlton Hotel; Le Bernardin; Home décor at Wyeth; Alison Lou design.


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