Where to Eat, Stay & Play This NYFW
Consider this your insider's guide to navigating New York City this season.
As NYFW overtakes New York City for what, ultimately, feels like the entire month of September, there always seems to be a handful of people who have their finger on the pulse of the New York social scene. Whether that means knowing when to invest in a chauffeur service like Blacklane, sneaking off in-between shows for a glass of wine at Dimes Square’s Le Dive, indulging in a meal at Zou Zou’s when your schedule takes you to the west side, or securing a room at a downtown hotel like The Roxy or The Beekman where you can unwind and grab a drink, there’s undoubtedly a science to navigating this busy time of year.
Ahead, friends of Cov are unlocking their secrets to the city and sharing their recommendations on where to eat, stay, and play this NYFW.
Now that in-person shows are back in full force, NYFW is a whirlwind of runway shows, market appointments, and some business lunches and dinners in-between. Everyone seems to be showing downtown this season which makes things a bit easier. For lunch/dinner around there, Altro Paradiso, Frenchette, and Casa Carmen (a delicious new Mexican spot) are my favorites. Fuel (read: coffee) is always Blue Bottle and I can’t survive the week without my Byredo Suede hand sanitizer, Apple AirPods and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray to keep my makeup in place when I'm on the go.
I get my daily caffeine fix at Culture Espresso on 38th Street, near my Garment Center studio. After work, I'm always excited about a dirty martini at Casa Cipriani downtown and always have the most fun dinners at Indochine. For my Spring '23 collection, I was inspired by the bustling night scene at Indochine—which is why I am staging my show there. I live in Manhattan, but if I was coming from out of town, I would stay at the Chelsea Hotel. After reading Patti Smith's Just Kids, I've always wished those walls could talk...My current wardrobe is my Cassie shirt, size XL, with my nylon Valentin pants—both from AKNVAS. Regarding beauty, I use Dr. Barbara Sturm hyaluronic acid and Augustinus Bader face cream; however, I always say 'remember your hands. They need exfoliation and sunblock, too'!
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I'd say my "go-to" locations during fashion week are Pastis, American Bar, Blank Street Coffee, Lure Fishbar, and Temple Bar. Always love stopping into any of these locations for a quick bite, coffee, or drink in between shows. Love that each of them is chic in its own way. The Boom Boom Room is a staple during NYFW and I know that when a party is being hosted there, it's going to be an amazing event. The Edge is also such a beautiful location, and I love parties with a gorgeous NYC view.
My biggest beauty staple is powder, powder, powder! It's always hot when running around from show to show and it's a key essential to keep my makeup looking flawless. My recent wardrobe staple is a tight top and baggy-pant combo, but I'll always be a fan of a formal outfit with a casual shoe. It keeps people guessing "Who is he? Where is he going? And why?"
New York Fashion Week itself is a beast, but the prep leading up is usually packed with errands and appointments. To get ready for the week-long events I always start with a visit to my lash tech, Julian Dean of See Her Eyes for a fill, and a low-impact workout class—this season it happens to be a 45-minute session at New York Pilates' SoHo location.
Once the shows actually start, rather than go all the way back home, I like to pop into my favorite lowkey cafe, Kaigo Coffee Room to get some work done on especially long days. I'm sure to carry a bag large enough to fit my iPad (because a laptop is too heavy for running around), a daily ginger shot for my immune system, Bed Head's Hair Stick to fight off flyaways, a charger because very few things are worse than a dead phone while out and about, and a claw clip for when I'm ready to put my hair up altogether at the end of the day.
Towards the end of the week, I rely heavily on the viral Peter Roth Instant Firmx Eye Cream for the inevitable under eye bags. This season, I'm especially excited for all the Black-owned brands on the roster, like ASHYA and Luar to name a few. In terms of parties, LA-based brand Lionne founder and designer Latoia Fitzgerald is shutting down the new Soho venue, The Palace which is on track to being the It-venue of fashion week after a packed R13 event last September. As cliche as it sounds, I've learned that the biggest trick to getting through unscathed is remembering that it's a marathon not a sprint and I can't truly enjoy it if I try to do everything.
I like to kick off my fashion week days at the greatest cafe in the Lower East Side, Ludlow Coffee Supply, with an Iced Oat Latte. The energy in that place and diversity is truly magical. When I am breaking in between shows and need to fuel up, I either hit up Sweet Chick with the most flavorful food in town for their crispy fish sandwich and say "Peace King" to my brother John or Regina's Grocery for their Uncle Phil sandwich which holds me over. This fashion week, Kiki’s and Bongos are my go-to restaurants for great food, wine, and vibes.
My essential pieces for this fashion week are obviously my obnoxious loafer collection, Lacoste socks inspired by Louise Trotter and a white oxford is always essential with 27's in the pocket for accessibility. It's how you maneuver in the simple things for me, and then I will most likely end the nights at Lil Frankie’s or Paul’s Casablanca.
Fashion week moves at a pretty quick pace, so I usually try to stick with my go-to spots so as not to overcomplicate things. I love to start my mornings at Sant Ambroeus with friends. The aesthetics are as good as the cappuccinos. After the final show or party of the evening, there’s a good chance you can spot me at Katz’s Deli for latkes and matzo ball soup, fashion week pomp and circumstance be damned.I always try to spend a few nights at a hotel to escape my tiny apartment, which turns into a wardrobe explosion when I start digging through my clothes for fashion week ensembles. This year, the Four Seasons Downtown is the place to be—the rooms are luxurious, the location is convenient and they’ve got a great immersive pop-up going on in partnership with Christian Siriano, one of NYFW’s top designers.
This season feels like a slam dunk back to reality, so I’m trying to be cautious of what’s humanly possible. No cloning machine (yet) = a slow but necessary realization that I can’t be in two places at once! The subway is proving to be on my side, thankfully as traffic is stupid right now. On repeat I’ve got Blank Street coffee, LMNT electrolyte sachets, a fridge full of Sakara, a Spotify playlist brimming with Aretha Franklin and deep house, stress acne-fighting Azelaic Acid from my derm, and I’ll squeeze in a Tracy Anderson class whenever I can so I don’t lose my mind. I’m buzzing for my first Carolina Herrera show at The Plaza, our star-studded Fashion Media Awards at the Rainbow Room, and to see Victor Glemaud’s gals take to the roller rink in Central Park. I might have to borrow their skates for the rest of the week!