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Fashion Insiders on Where to Eat, Drink, Shop, and Sleep in New York City

Visiting New York Fashion Week insiders share their Big Apple musts for surviving the sartorial storm.

Since its inception in 1943, New York Fashion Week has drawn a crowd of fashionistas from far and wide who brave the inclement weather each February and sweltering temperatures every September to track the latest trends on both the catwalk and sidewalk (and maybe catch a glance of Kanye or Sarah Jessica Parker in the process). Some let their packed schedules and frenetic energy deliciously envelop them, while others break away every chance they get to avoid having a glamour overdose. Nine fashion plates divulge their go-to spots for embracing or escaping the week’s fray.

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Harriet Charity Verney
Senior Editor, Love Magazine
London, England

1. Favorite home-away-from-home New York hotel: Lafayette House because you can smoke on the balconies and it has fireplaces. 

2. Best fashion week hot spot: The Bowery Hotel is so scene-y; I can only manage one drink.

3. Guilty-pleasure tourist attraction: Times Square, of course!

4. I like New York Fashion week because . . . I like seeing my fellow Brits abroad. 

5. One thing that’s important to pack when coming to New York: Marmite and gloves  

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Chris Horan
Stylist
Los Angeles, California

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: I love the 11 Howard because it’s right in Soho. The rooms look expensive but are simple, and the staff always remembers you by the end of the first day. They also have the best minibar snacks.

2. Best fashion week hot spot: Dancing to DJ Lina Bradford’s set at Gilded Lily was probably one of the most fun nights I’ve ever had.

3. Coolest nonfashion going-out spot: Renting bikes in Brooklyn and going to Roberta’s in Bushwick for lunch.

4. Must-visit restaurant: The vodka sauce pizza at Rubirosa is something I dream about here in L.A.!

5. Favorite workout: I am obsessed with 305 Fitness. There is a DJ and you copy the instructo’s dance moves. It’s like a night out with friends—minus the vices and regrets.

6. Retail therapy: Saturdays and Gucci

7. The one important to pack when visiting: A new playlist and Glossier Balm Dotcom 

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Adrian Salvador Candela
Creative Director for Spanish fashion brands Savage and OneSixOne
Valencia, Spain

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: Le Parker Meridien because they have the best burger in town in a hidden burger joint in their lobby and a beautiful swimming pool with Central Park views.

2. Best fashion week hot spot: Mr. Chow is always a fun scene during fashion week and has a sexy throwback vibe.

3. Best spot to escape the scene: I like going to my friend artist Vicky Uslé’s apartment in Soho!

4. Must-visit restaurant: I can’t visit Manhattan without eating Mexican street corn with cotija cheese at Cafe Habana or a carnitas taco at Tacombi in Nolita. Also, eating a burger while watching a performer like Maia Vidal at Joe’s Pub is a great experience.

5. Favorite spa: If I need to chill and have a swim, I go to the spa at Kiki Sarasola’s Room Mate Hotel.

6. Retail therapy: Maryam Nassir Zadeh in the Lower East Side is the best shop to find really special clothes and accessories that are wonderfully curated. For the perfect cool gift from New York, I go to Love Adorned. They have great artisan Navajo objects.

The secret burger joint in Le Meridien's lobby
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Georgia Graham
Model, writer
Sydney, Australia

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: The Bowery Hotel because of the cozy fireplace. 

2. Best fashion week hot spot: Any party thrown by Marc Jacobs, but I prefer dive bars. I can't reveal any names, though, in case they become scene-y.

3. Favorite workout: Running to castings is the best workout! 

4. Retail therapy: Malin Landaeus vintage on Bedford Avenue or Opening Ceremony for the best, most unique designer pieces. 

5. One thing that’s important to pack when visiting: A sense of humor!

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Nancy Won
Style writer
Toronto, Canada

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: Between the High Line and the East Village locations, the Standard Hotel has my two vibes covered. During fashion week, the Standard High Line is my go-to (it’s super close to most show locations, plus Blue Bottle coffee and all the Chelsea galleries). When I’m in town outside of fashion week, you’ll find me in the East Village location (vintage shops, cheap eats, awesome dive bars).

2. Best nonscene-y going-out spot: For a very chill, nonfashiony meal out, I love Spicy Village in Chinatown for a giant bowl of lamb noodles or Ten Bells in the Lower East Side for oyster happy hour.

3. Favorite spot to catch some art: The best way to escape the fashion week madness is to pop into a great gallery for an art break. Both the Gagosian and David Zwirner Galleries are close to The Standard High Line and, of course, there’s always The Whitney Museum. If I’m in Soho, I love Team Gallery.

4. Guilty-pleasure tourist attraction: I go to Katz’s every time I’m in NYC. It’s so touristy, but I love everything about it—the old-school deli counter, the surly staff, the rules that make no sense, the mile-high corned beef sandwiches (always with a cherry cola), and even the T-shirts are perfectly tacky.

5. Must-visit restaurant: I’m obsessed with Han Dynasty on Third Avenue right now. We don’t have Sichuan cuisine this legit in Toronto, so I can’t go to New York without eating there at least once.

6. Retail therapy: I’m a vintage girl, so East Village vintage shops like Ladies and Gentlemen, Metropolis, and Search & Destroy get a lot of my business.

7. I like New York Fashion Week because . . . The city is teeming with energy, creativity, attitude and style at all times. It’s an inspiring city and, at its heart, fashion week is about celebrating that. 

 

Central Park
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Hayley Hasselhoff
Model, designer, Marie Claire UK Contributor
Los Angeles and London

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: I love the bathrooms at the Baccarat Hotel, after a long day on set. There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot bath overlooking the city. 

2. Best fashion week hot spot: The Ludlow Hotel Bar is relaxed and great for people watching. 

3. Guilty-pleasure tourist attraction: Central Park! When I was 9 years old we lived in New York when my father was in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Broadway. We lived right by Central Park and used to have weekly family picnics. It's a sentimental tradition for me that I like to continue.  

4. Must-visit restaurant: I’m in love with the carne cruda with lemon thyme aioli and fett’unta at La Serina.

5. Favorite spa: Great Jones Spa is one of my favorites in town. It’s the one place I can tune out the noise for a second and enjoy.

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Vanessa Lee
Model
London, England

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: I love The NoMad Hotel because it’s pure endless chill and has a great low-key and central location. 

2. Best fashion week hot spot: I genuinely try to avoid hot spots, but The BlondeCafé Select, and Cha Cha Matcha are the places to be seen if you’re into that. 

3. Best spot to escape the scene: There is a store called Saturdays in Soho that has a secret backyard. It’s a cute spot for getting work done and there’s always cute guys there.

4. Guilty-pleasure tourist attraction: I love sneaking into high-rise buildings and checking out the view. There is always a way!

5. Must-visit restaurant: Mimi Cheng’s, Luke’s Lobster, or Nix

6. Favorite workout: I used to be a fencer and competed in small national competitions, so I love boxing. It’s a great workout and stress-reliever. However, I also love a good yoga class with an instructor called Samantha Martins. It’s half meditation, half yoga. I leave so Zen and ready to get screamed at by New Yorkers.

7. One thing it’s important to pack when visiting: Disposable hand-warmers—trust me.  

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Christina Economou
Designer
Athens, Greece

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: I always stay at the Soho Grand because of its location. It also has a great lounge area to host appointments.

2. Best fashion week hot spot: Paul’s Casablanca is my favorite place to go for dancing and have cocktails. It always has an eclectic crowd.

3. Coolest nonfashion week hangout: El Parador is the oldest Mexican restaurant in the city and the food and margaritas are delicious.

4. Guilty-pleasure tourist attraction: Even though it is packed with tourists, I love going to Broadway to see the latest shows or, of course, Carrie Bradshaw’s steps!

5. Must-visit restaurant: Blue Ribbon Sushi or The Polo Bar.

6. Retail therapy: The newly opened Wolf & Badger from the U.K. has landed on Grand Street and features a rotating roster of emerging designer brands. 

7. One thing that’s important to pack when visiting: Chic but comfortable shoes!

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Jing Zhang
Fashion Editor, South China Morning Post
Hong Kong and Shanghai

1. Favorite home-away-from-home hotel: I usually stay with old friends in Hell’s Kitchen, but I do have a soft spot for The Mark Hotel in the Upper East Side. 

2. Best fashion week hot spot: For scene-y places, my friends take me to Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side.    

3. Coolest nonfashion going-out spot: For a non-scene-y place, I love this adorable, cozy, family-style Italian place called Tavola between 37th Street and 38th Street on Ninth Avenue, in Hell’s Kitchen. 

4. Best spot to escape the scene: If it’s sunny, I like to cycle on a Citibike down the Westside Highway and play mini golf on the pier. Super cheesy, I know—but a complete escape from the fashion world. 

5. Guilty-pleasure tourist attraction: I’ve always wanted to go up the Empire State Building and take a boat around the Statue of Liberty, but have never made it to either. I can always make time for the Metropolitan Museum and The Frick, and I strangely like the dinosaur fossils at the American Museum of Natural History.  

6. Must-visit restaurant: ABC Kitchen is great—designer Vivienne Tam first took me first there several years ago.

7. One thing it’s important to pack when visiting: One amazing, badass, black leather jacket. 

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