Photography by Trevor Smith

Zac Posen


| Sutton Place

Between his tender head of curls and chiseled bone structure, the handsome Zac Posen could quite easily pass for an Adonis incarnate— an impeccably dressed version of the mythological figure, mind you. When we meet in person, Posen is clad in a tailored evergreen suit, and as he bobs between striking a pose, scheduling his calendar and picking out holiday gift arrangements (we’re shooting inside his favorite Upper East Side flower shop, Zeze), we get the sense that the fashion designer’s never not firing on all cylinders. Granted, it must be mere par for the course for a native New Yorker who juggles running a major fashion brand with a judicial seat on Project Runway, a cookbook deal and ancillary creative direction (ahem, has Brooks Brothers ever looked so good?!). Born and raised in SoHo, Posen’s fascination with design began early— after a high school internship with Nicole Miller, he apprenticed under famed curator, Richard Martin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and by 19, he was studying womenswear at London’s Central Saint Martins. Pair a pedigree like that with a penchant for drama and when Posen debuted his namesake label in 2001, he didn’t just give us a collection of red-carpet-ready clothing, he handed us a road map to what we now think of as, “modern glamour.” Indeed, a potpourri of hourglass seams and waist-whittling shapes, Posen’s line reads like a love letter to today’s woman— she’s strong, but sexy; independent, but romantic; she’s Glenn Close, Naomi Campbell and Rihanna at once (all personal ZP fans). Naturally then, when it came time to tap a contrib to end this year with a bang, we knew we knew a guy… Here, Posen sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Mr. Chow (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for green shrimp and crispy beef.

COFFEE OR TEA: Tea; the best cup is at Tea & Sympathy (MAP IT, x) because it’s British.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: I have to be honest… my kitchen. I love entertaining and cooking for people. As for recommendations, everything… maybe I’m bias though.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A Bloody Mary at The St. Regis (MAP IT, x)— they claim to be the inventors of the drink and I believe it.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Well, I can tell you that I am excited to go to the soon-to-be, new Grill and Pool restaurants in the Seagram Building (MAP IT, x)

DINNER WITH FRIENDS: The tatami rooms at EN Japanese Brasserie (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: I grew up in SoHo on Spring Street so I always love to bring out-of-towners around there. Balthazar (MAP IT, x) is such a classic spot for food in SoHo. I also like to take people to my friend’s gallery, Vito Schnabel (MAP IT, x).

MUSIC PICK: Little Branch in the West Village (MAP IT, x). It’s a really quaint speakeasy and they occasionally have live music.

BEST BRUNCH: Sant Ambroeus (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) and Via Quadronno (MAP IT, x).


HEALTHY STAPLE: Juice Press (MAP IT, x) for a “Ginger Fireball” (ginger, orange, lemon, cayenne and oregano).

GUILTY PLEASURE: P.J. Clark’s (MAP IT, x) for a burger.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Caviar at Russ & Daughters (MAP IT, x) and the whitefish salad from Barneys Greengrass (MAP IT, x).


REGULAR AT: Union Square Greenmarket (MAP IT, x), Murray’s Cheese (MAP IT, x) and Faicco’s (MAP IT, x).

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Omen Azen (MAP IT, x)— it’s healthy, but so good.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Bar Pitti (MAP IT, x) downtown; Michael’s uptown (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: What do you mean, “unwind?” We live in NYC!

GO-TO GETAWAY: I love London. I lived there for three and a half years and I went to University there so, in some ways, the city feels like a second home. I always take a trip back to Claridge’s (MAP IT, x) for afternoon tea when I am there for a visit.

CLOSET CHECK: I wear suits every day and I specifically love my custom suits from Brooks Brothers. It’s important for me to make or design everything I wear from head-to-toe!

BEST HOME DÉCOR: D. Porthault (MAP IT, x) for towels; The Armory Show (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Tiffany’s (MAP IT), Kentshire (MAP IT, x) and Bergdorf Goodman (MAP IT, x).

GROOMING BLACK BOOK: Green Star Wellness (MAP IT, x).

FIT PICK: I don’t really go to the gym, but I never stop— I don’t sit down— and Heidi keeps me on my toes and always on the go when we are filming Project Runway.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Honestly, every day of my life. I am born, raised and proud to be a New Yorker. CP

Zac’s New York

 From L to R: Zeze's, Zac Posen, Brooks Brothers, Sant Ambreous. Second Row: Tiffany and Co.; Afternoon Tea at Claridge's; EN Japanese Brasserie

From L to R. First Row: Flowers from Zeze; Dress by Zac Posen; Look from Brooks Brothers; Brunch at Sant Ambroeus. Second Row: Tiffany and Co.; Afternoon tea at Claridge’s; Bites at EN Japanese Brasserie.


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