NYC-Based Designers & New York Fashion Week

fashion ave
Photo courtesy of WWD

For nearly a century, New York’s Garment District/Fashion Center was the driving force in the global fashion industry. With the big names of the fashion world calling the city home, and an unparalleled means of production in the city’s garment workers, New York became the nation’s leading producer of clothing and the setting for a series of revolutions in style. Add to this the vibrant culture of the city itself and it’s not hard to understand why New York was rivaled only by Paris and Milan in fashion dominance.

While New York City continues to be a global destination for design students and fashionistas, The Big Apple’s grip on fashion supremacy has loosened considerably in recent years as rising rents and production costs (while production costs elsewhere have decreased) have prompted many of the industry’s most well-known designers to manufacture their lines overseas. Despite a 1987 change in zoning laws aimed at keeping garment manufacturers in the city, designers continued to leave, and production continued to decline. With the continued exodus of big-name fashion houses has come the inevitable shrinking of the city’s garment industry. Most of the businesses currently operating in the area these days are not fashion or clothing related.

The situation looks bad, but the city has pledged to provide $15M in funding to Manhattan-based designers and manufacturers through the Made In NY program. There are an estimated 200+ factories that continue to operate in the district, as well as about 2,500 fabric, apparel and accessory shops, according to The Garment District Alliance. According to Mayor de Blasio, the city’s fashion industry employs 180,000 people. And in the absence of the big names, a small group of tenacious sample and development studios and a bunch of young designers eager to make a name for themselves in New York have emerged. While production in the Garment District has decreased by almost 90% since its heyday in the mid-1960s, the partnerships between designers and development studios (to create lines that will, for the most part, eventually be produced overseas), are driving New York fashion and appear to be the new normal in the city’s fashion center. Still, organizations like Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Made In NY continue to be instrumental in giving young designers the opportunity to thrive in New York and manufacture their clothes in the Garment District. As Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of CFDA said, “The future of the Garment District is not what it was, but what it can be.”

New York’s place in the fashion world has evolved, and so has its semi-annual coming out party, New York Fashion Week (formerly Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week). Fashion Week began as a scattered collection of small shows in clubs, galleries and boutiques around the city. In the mid-90s, it morphed into a star-studded spectacle, with dozens of designers showcasing their creations in one place, first at Bryant Park, and later at Lincoln Center. Now that most  of the old icons have set sail for cheaper pastures and the battle to maintain the level of manufacturing in the district is largely over, fashion’s young hawks are ruling the roost, the atmosphere is a bit more freewheeling, and Fashion Week has returned to its roots as a city-spanning affair. From February 10th through the 18th, designers will showcase their Fall/Winter collections at locations around the city. Here are a few fresh designers based in New York to look out for this year.

Chromat Featuring Intel Collaboration - Backstage - Spring 2016 MADE Fashion Week
Photo by Daniel C Sims/Getty Images for Chromat


A mix of futuristic design elements influenced by architecture and real world tech, Chromat’s sci-fi duds were a hit at last fall’s Fashion Week and are manufactured in New York. 3D printed dresses, space-age materials, and a rock and roll aesthetic have become the hallmark of designer Becca McCharen’s label. Watch out for more “structural experiments for the human body” this February.

Photo courtesy of

Ohne Titel

Ohne Titel, founded by designers Alexa Adams and Flora Gill, has made a name for itself by using technology to create unique fabrics and textures, pairing elegant draping and intricate detail with subtle architectural elements. Ohne Titel is a member of the Made In NY initiative.

Photo courtesy of Forbes

Prabal Gurung

Born in Singapore and raised in Nepal, Prabal Gurung moved to New York to study at Parsons School of Design before landing a post as design director for Bill Blass. He launched his own label in 2010 and hasn’t looked back. His ultra-luxurious and modern looks have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, and recently his collections have showcased a bit of flare from his homeland, displaying the soft orange and saffron tones and flowing lines of Nepal. Prabal Gurung is a member of the Made In NY Initiative and CFDA.

tim coppens
Photo courtesy of Tim Coppens

Tim Coppens

Belgian-born designer Tim Coppens has been known in the past for his architectural/geometric design sensibility. Last fall, he presented a collection that was a lot different, showcasing loose-fitting men’s wear and blob patterns set against bold solid colors. Let’s see what he brings to the runway this February. Mathieu_Mirano_Spring_2014_04-1024x1024Tim Copppens is a member of the Made In NY initiative.

Photo courtesy of Self-Portrait


London-based designer Brandon Chong’s imprint Self-Portrait made waves when he moved his operation to New York last year, successfully infusing his young, subtly-detailed, classic, and unapologetically feminine attire with a colorful splash of city spirit. His reasonably priced runway styles have been spotted on celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, to name just a couple, and the label has recently inked deals with Net-A-Porter and Bergdorf Goodman.

public school
Photo courtesy of Barneys

Public School

Founders Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne both grew up in New York and their lines are inspired by the urban lifestyle. Gritty, futuristic, sleek, and elegant, the duo’s men’s and women’s lines have been generating buzz for some time now, and are manufactured in New York City.

“We both grew up in New York, attended public schools, and share a deep connection with this city. Our brand, Public School, is an ode to our childhood here and a reflection of what New York demands of you- having to stand out, to be authentic, to make a name for yourself.”

Mathieu Mirano RTW Spring 2016
Photo credit: John Aquino/WWD

Mathieu Mirano

A vocal advocate for the rebirth of manufacturing in the Garment District, and one of Lady Gaga’s favorite designers, Mathieu Mirano has long been on the forefront of ultramodern design with architectural influences. His hard, angular style has evolved recently, as elements of nature have found their place beside the futuristic, often in the same piece of clothing.

New Sales Listing: 2112 Broadway #7/8G


Occupying the top two floors of the pre-war, landmarked Apple Bank building on the Upper West Side, this palatial duplex offers two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a huge terrace and four walk-in closets. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a large dining foyer that leads into the grand, 350-square-foot living area. The entire sunlit apartment is paved with flawless, gleaming hardwood flooring, and the comfortable atmosphere is maintained with central air. The size of these rooms must be seen to be believed; the large scale of the current tenant’s furnishings creates a diminishing effect.

There is one bedroom on each of the two floors of this home, for optimal privacy. The master bedroom includes three walk-in closets, enormous master bath with separate shower and soaking tub, and a private entrance to the nearly 325-square-foot terrace, which offers a tranquil retreat for entertaining or morning coffee and crossword puzzles. The second bedroom is on the lower level with a private bathroom and convenient access to the powder room and included washer and dryer.

The chef’s-dream kitchen is fully equipped with a Viking range and hood, plus complimenting stainless steel appliances, including microwave and dishwasher. The sprawling counter space is bedecked with flecked granite and subway tile backsplash.

Built in 1928 and converted in 2006, the Apple Bank Building residents have a private entrance at 2112 Broadway, conveniently located between 73rd and 74th Streets. The first-class amenities include an attended lobby, concierge and exercise room. This unbeatable location puts you within a moment’s travel of the fabled Beacon Theater, Trader Joe’s, SoulCycle and all of the Upper West Side’s countless coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants. Central Park awaits your morning stroll, just two avenue blocks away. The express 2 and 3 trains as well as the local 1 all outside your door, along with the crosstown M72 bus.

For more information about this listing, please click here and call me at 917-854-5069.






Comfort Food: NYC Restaurants to Visit this Winter

There is something about finding a warm and cozy restaurant where both the food and the decor are comforting. Now that it has started to snow and actually feels like winter, here are a few places worth braving the cold for. As always, please let me know what your favorite spots around NYC in winter are.

Image courtesy of Yelp / Sara S.
Image courtesy of Yelp / Sara S.

Heidi’s House | By the Side of the Road
308 East 78th Street, Manhattan

I came upon this restaurant while working with a client on the Upper East Side. The waitress told us there is normally a long wait but we were lucky enough to get there just as they were opening so we were seated right away. Some call it a tapas restaurant while others a comfort food spot.The mac and cheese is freshly made and requires 25 minutes for preparation, with an option to add lobster, bacon, or truffles. We tried it because everyone else was ordering it- delicious. They also serve a very fresh tuna tartare, the pasta is homemade daily, and they serve a paella with generous portions of seafood. The wine and beer list is extensive and the burger, though I haven’t tried it yet, has a great reputation. They are open 7 days a week at 5 PM; get there early to avoid waiting for a table.

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

Sao Mai
203 First Avenue, Manhattan

Sao Mai (Vietnamese for “morning star”) is one of those easy-to-miss places that serves some of the most authentic Vietnamese in the city. My choice of comfort food at Sao Mai is the pho, where 7 options will meet whatever you are in the mood for. Their ingredients are among the freshest in the city and their Bánh mì is a great choice if you want something heavier.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Martha Washington Hotel
29 East 29th Street, Manhattan

Located on the lobby level of the historic Martha Washington Hotel, Marta is a pizza joint headed up by restaurateur Danny Meyer, the mind behind Shack Shack, and Nick Anderer, the chef behind Maialino. Known for its wafer-thin artisanal pizzas and fine Italian cuisine, I recommend sitting at the bar where you can enjoy the glow and heat from one of the wood burning pizza ovens or the $40K open fire grill. They are open 7 days a week starting at 7 AM.

Photo courtesy of Moderate Indulgence

Jeepney Filipino Gastropub
201 First Avenue, Manhattan

If you’re craving a taste of the tropics, Jeepney Filipino Gastropub is a great place to head with a large group. Island decor adorns the warmly lit interior and Filipino rock and roll plays from the speakers as the servers deliver great food such as the Bicol Express, braised short ribs, or the Chori Burger which I highly recommend.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, plates and silverware are done away with altogether, in favor of a family-style feast served on banana leaves, Kamayan style (Tagalog for “with hands”). Reservations for Kamayan Night should be made well in advance. If you are feeling adventurous, try the balut and let me know what you think.

Photo courtesy of

Tamarind Tribeca
99 Hudson Street, Manhattan

This upscale Indian restaurant showcases the distinct flavors and cooking methods of a variety of regions in India. Set in an art deco building with 18 foot tall limestone columns, floor to ceiling windows, and teak and marble floors, this is a fine dining establishment whose luxe decor compliments the cuisine. For something different, check out the Tamarind’s Lotus Room, a room dedicated to India’s national flower. Every dish on the menu in the Lotus Room is prepared using the lotus flower.

Photo courtesy of BrisketTown

359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

BrisketTown, located on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, is one of the best places around to get slow-cooked Texas barbecue this winter. Whether you’re craving pulled pork, a juicy smoked rib, a larger cut, or all of the above (recommended), BrisketTown will leave you more than satisfied. The quality of meat is excellent, which should come as no surprise, considering that the restaurant is the brainchild of filmmaker-turned-gourmet meat purveyor-turned-restaurateur and bbq pit master Daniel Delaney. Try the brisket and ask for a fatty one.


Photo courtesy of Tiny’s

135 West Broadway, Manhattan

Tiny’s is a tiny place tucked away in a landmarked 1810 townhouse on West Broadway in Tribeca. The rustic decor and fireplace-lit ambience are warm and welcoming on a cold winter night. If you’re going for dinner, try the coq au vin with truffled potato puree or the butternut squash ravioli with whipped ricotta and charred onion. The burrata with roasted pears is a must-try from the brunch menu.


Clover Club
210 Smith Street, Brooklyn

If you like craft cocktails while warming up by the fire, you will love Clover Club and their menu of high-end drinks served atop a 120 year old mahogany bar. Owned by cocktail icon Julie Reiner of Flatiron Lounge and Pegu Club, the food at this cozy Brooklyn restaurant ranges from bacon tastings during brunch to oysters on the half shell during dinner. For brunch try the baked eggs with truffle and leeks or with chorizo and manchego. For dinner try the fried chicken entree or the wild mushroom risotto. The bread pudding served with a bourbon caramel sauce and currants is a great way to finish the meal. Call ahead to plan your visit on a night when they are playing live jazz.

Home Prices and Luxury Sales in Brooklyn at New Peaks in 2015/

Some interesting stats released about market conditions including these by Roxana Baiceanu of Property Shark:

Brooklyn 2015 real estate market report highlights:

  • Brooklyn median home sale price hit an all time high in 2015, reaching $560,000.
  • The luxury market registered a record number of sales in 2015: 570 (up by 16% year-over-year)
  • DUMBO was the most expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn: median home sale price: $1.4M
  • Prospect Lefferts Gardens registered the biggest home price increase year-over-year: 72% (from $408,000 to $700,000)
  • The most expensive property sold: a $15.5 million brownstone in Cobble Hill
  • The most expensive condo sold: a $5.3 million pad in Brooklyn Heights

Read the full article here.