Photography by Eric Isaac

Dion Lee


| Williamsburg

From models Jessica Hart and Rose Smith to the guys behind TOME, some of our favorite contributors have come from the land down under, and Aussie designer Dion Lee is no exception. A wunderkind of Australian fashion, Lee debuted his first runway collection at the age of 23; twelve months later, he scored the cover of Australian Vogue (yes, really). He’s known for his attention to detail and innovative fabrics– if the textile doesn’t exist, he’ll make it. Case in point: his lattice lace, a triple-ply jersey he weaves to resemble chain mail, and his “glass” fabric, a bevy of Swarovski crystals fastened together using a traditional crochet technique. Indeed, “impossible” doesn’t seem to be part of Lee’s vocabulary; the designer was also the first to stage a runway presentation at the iconic Sydney Opera House (Ever.). His sculptural silhouettes and tailored lines have made loyal fans out of It-gals like Emma Watson, Cara Delevingne, Miranda Kerr and Chrissy Teigen, but if you asked the designer about it, he’d probably say, “it’s NBD…” just like his friendship with Kanye West, right? (FYI, the pop artist has designed shoes for two of Lee’s collections). So, who says you can’t have your avocado toast and eat it too? Here, he sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I always end up eating around Chinatown or the Lower East Side since my office is nearby. I love eating at The Fat Radish (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) whenever I can— it is intimate, comfortable and they serve the type of food that I want to eat all the time.

COFFEE OR TEA: A cortado from Happy Bones on Broome Street (MAP IT, x) or Northerly Coffee in Williamsburg (MAP IT, x).


COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A negroni from Hotel Delmano (MAP IT, x). Also, I am looking forward to the rooftop bar at the soon-to-be-open Public Hotel on Chrystie Street (MAP IT, x).


POWER LUNCH: Dimes on Canal Street (MAP IT, x).

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: A bike ride from downtown Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge and up through Williamsburg.

MUSIC PICK: The Lot Radio in Williamsburg (MAP IT, x)— I stream it while in the office; however, they also broadcast live from a public space on Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn.

BEST BRUNCH: Lalito (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— delicious food and great people.


HEALTHY STAPLE: Two Hands (MAP IT, x) for a brassicas bowl.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Kiki’s in Chinatown (MAP IT, x) or Scarr’s Pizza on Orchard Street (MAP IT, x).

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: Access to everything, 24-hrs a day.

REGULAR AT: The Smile To Go on Howard Street (MAP ITx)— it’s my take-away breakfast and lunch, most days of the week.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Souen (MAP IT, x) or Mooncake Foods (MAP IT, x) when working late.

TO GET INSPIRED: Exploring a bookstore. My favorites include Dashwood Books (MAP IT, x) and Mast Books (MAP IT, x). Also, a day walking through the smaller galleries of Chelsea allows for endless inspiration.

QUOTIDIAN KEEPER: FlyCleaners, a laundry delivery service app (x)— pick-up and drop-off!

GO-TO GETAWAY: I have a place we have been regularly been visiting upstate in Germantown. It is a beautiful spot by the river— perfect for summer and winter weekends away.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is athletic or tailored. For new things, I love Dover Street Market (MAP IT, x). I also like buying vintage workwear and military surplus; there are a few good places scattered around the city like Kaufman’s near Times Square (MAP IT, x) and The Quality Mending Co. in Williamsburg (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOME DÉCOR: I would describe my style as fairly minimal and intuitive. I have never really “shopped” for homewares; instead, I prefer to collect items when traveling or purchasing pieces from friends.

GROOMING BLACK BOOK: Grand Nature for a massage (MAP IT, x)– ask for Charlie. Also, Aire Ancient Baths in Tribeca (MAP IT, x).

FIT PICK: As I travel so frequently, it can be really hard to get into a routine. I find running something I can take anywhere and it also allows me to explore wherever I am when traveling. I have started running over the bridge into the office— it beats catching the subway and it takes the same amount of time! I go to Modo Yoga (MAP IT, x) in Williamsburg and Sky Ting Yoga in Tribeca (MAP IT, x), near my office. Sneaking in a lunchtime class is the perfect way to break up an extremely long day.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Every day I have a New York moment; this city is filled with memorable moments! CP

Dion’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Inside Public Hotel; Books at Mast Bookstore; Bites at The Fat Radish; Inside Dover Street Market. Second Row: Kiki’s Greek Food; Inside Sky Ting Yoga; Vintage tags from Kaufman’s Navy; Inside Northerly Coffee.


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