Photography by Jonathan Kozowyk

Elana Nathan

CEO, Peter Som, Inc.

| Chelsea

A pre-war Chelsea townhouse, a serious art collection (we’re talking original Yves Klein, Keith Haring and Richard Serra) and being the boss lady of a top fashion house pretty much rounds out our list of major life goals. It also happens to paint a near-perfect picture of New York native Elana Nathan, the “yin” to designer Peter Som’s “yang,” so to speak. With Som from the almost-beginning (she joined the company after its second collection), Nathan has steered the brand’s development for 12 years and counting— think securing leading retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, creating partnerships with VIPs like M.Obama and initiating collaborations with the likes of Bill Blass, Tommy Hilfiger and Anthropologie— all in size 6 Louboutins and a bevy of power blazers no less. Part-business, part-pleasure, her life in New York is just the same: behind those museum visits, champagne coups and book shopping, there’s a vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles with her name on it. What. A. Boss. Here, Nathan sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Juban (MAP IT, x)— love the spicy cucumber– or Omai (MAP IT, x) for crispy tofu.

COFFEE OR TEA: Tea, green with honey at home. My husband usually makes it for me.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: The Grill (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I think it’s so beautiful!

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Champagne at The Top of The Standard (MAP IT, x). It’s so pretty and somehow champagne tastes better when served in their old fashioned glasses.

LADIES LUNCH: Café Clover (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or The Marlton (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

MUSIC PICK: I like Brazilian and French music. I usually give my iPod to the DJ at Sunset Beach (MAP IT, x) to download his playlist every summer. The piano bar at the Bemelmans Bar (MAP IT, x) is great for live music.

BEST BRUNCH: If we aren’t in Sag Harbor where we spend most of our weekends, we go to SoHo House (MAP ITx) with the kids; they like the movies downstairs, the crêpes and the candy bar.


HEALTHY STAPLE: One Lucky Duck (*Location now closed) or Juice Press (MAP IT, x) for a green juice. At OLD, I’ll also get the S&M salad (greens, avocado, hemp seeds, dulse, rosemary crackers and pumpkin seed lemon dressing); at JP, it’s the kale salad.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Any Mister Softee truck for a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles— just like my kids!

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: I’m not sure there are any more of those, but I really love the little bookstores that are still around: Idlewild Books (MAP IT, x) is not far from my house and it is inspiring; the Sketchbook Project at the Artist Library in Brooklyn (MAP IT, x) is also pretty interesting.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My kids (if they aren’t with me), the rhythm of the city, the skyline and the fact that everything can be delivered.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: If we don’t go somewhere for sushi like 15 East (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or Juban (x), we head to Milos (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for the fresh seafood. It’s not convenient or romantic, but it’s delicious.


TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Sant Ambroeus on Lafayette Street (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: I love getting lost in the new Whitney (MAP IT, x) and the art galleries around my neighborhood.

SUMMER GETAWAY: We go to our home in Sag Harbor. We love Sunset Beach on Shelter Island (x) and recently enjoyed the new restaurant at Baron’s Cove (MAP ITx).

CLOSET CHECK: My personal style is classic with a punch (a little more than a twist). I love Dover Street Market (MAP IT, x), La Garçonne in Tribeca (MAP IT, x), Opening Ceremony in SoHo (MAP IT, x) and for a local fix, Steven Alan (MAP IT, x) and Comme des Garçons in Chelsea (MAP IT, x) .

BEST HOME DÉCOR: My favorite place to shop for my home is Artware Editions (x)– that’s where I got my Klein tables and the cute Keith Haring chair in my son’s room. I am still depressed that MOSS closed. I also like Vitra (MAP IT, x) for kitchen goods, napkins, etc.

FOR HIM: This summer, I’ve been buying my husband items at S.K.U. (Save Khaki United) (MAP IT, x). I love the MoMA Design Store (MAP IT, x) too— I purchased the Man Ray chess set this year as a birthday gift for my husband and everyone in the family has been using it. I always buy socks and small gifts at Paul Smith (MAP IT) and love taking a peek at their book and housewares selection.

FOR THE KIDS: My Little Sunshine (MAP IT, x), MoMA Design Store (x), the LEGO Store in Madison Square (MAP IT) and Kidding Around (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: I tend to buy beautiful coffee table books from the bookstore on 21st Street and 10th Avenue called 192 Books (MAP IT, x). A pretty candle or a set of napkins from Canvas Home (MAP IT, x) is nice too.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Dr. Frank Lipman (MAP IT, x)— feeling good is the best beauty treatment!

FIT PICK: I try to walk everywhere I can and I spin three times a week.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Nearly everyday I see something that could only happen in NY! That’s why I love living here so much. I’ve lived downtown through 9/11, two blackouts and a hurricane. I love how everyone sticks together during those kinds of experiences. CP

Elana’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Snacks at Juban; Books from Idlewild; Sunset Beach; Café Clover. Second Row: The Grill; Shades from Steven Alan; Canvas home décor; Chair by Vitra.


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