Ramy Brook Is Your New Favorite New York Brand

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Ramy Brook just wants to make women feel beautiful – and that’s exactly how it feels to wear her clothes. “Sexy, sophisticated and timeless,” the New York-based mother of three started her eponymous label after a never-ending quest for the perfect going out top. Of course, she couldn’t find one that wasn’t either cheesy or completely unaffordable, so she started making them herself. A ton of tops – and seven years – later, Ramy Brook has become one of the city’s most exciting lifestyle brands. From a recent collaboration with supermodel Martha Hunt, to an expanding range of dresses, jackets and eventually, accessories, the label only continues to grow.

It’s just the tip of the iceberg for us,” says Brook. “My end goal is to have Ramy Brook fulfill every need — full outfitting for women.”
Below, the designer sounds off on her creative process and outfitting mother/daughter duo, Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber.

Tell me about the brand. Why did you decide to start it?

In the beginning of 2010, I found myself shopping a lot and looking for a sexy, simple, solid top that I could wear with all of my jeans — really make it my own — but I could never find any. So, I decided I was going to learn how to do it myself and start my own business. I basically asked anyone I knew who was involved in fashion for advice and help, and within 6-10 months, I developed 6 sexy tops and one very short dress, then started having trunk shows — pretty much anywhere I had a friend, we had a show. Finally, a buyer from Bergdorf’s saw some of my designs and bought a bunch of them. So, I really jumped right into and had to learn everything quickly.

Did you have any sort of design background?

Not at all. But growing up, my mother used to make all of our clothes. She was a teacher, but she loved fashion, and a lot of our weekends were spent shopping for different patterns and fabrics. So, it’s something I’ve always been super passionate about. I just love getting dressed up and thinking about what I’m going to wear. So, I guess you could say I’ve had a lifetime of training — but definitely nothing formal.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I always use three words to describe the brand: it’s sexy, sophisticated and timeless. Whenever I would look for sexy tops, so many of them would be so cheesy. So, I always want to make sure my tops are sexy, but still sophisticated. Being timeless is important to me, too, because when I would go through my closet, I’d constantly be getting rid of clothes that were trendy, but not well-made. So, I wanted to make sure that whatever I made would be able to stick around for a couple of seasons and fit really well, with great quality.

Walk me through your design process. How do you go from inspiration to a finished piece?

First, the design team puts all of our inspiration photos into a folder. Then I really start to think about, ‘Where am I going? What do I want to wear? What’s appropriate? If I’m going to a school function what do I want to wear that could also look good when I go out to dinner? If I’m going to work, what can I wear so that I can also meet my friends at happy hour?’ In my head, Ramy Brook is really a lifestyle brand — we make clothes for women to wear all of the time.

 

You recently did a collaboration with Martha Hunt. How does she represent the Ramy Brook girl?

The beauty of Martha is that she really is happy, sexy and strong, and she’s really comfortable with who she is. That’s the Ramy Brook girl.

What do you want women to take away from wearing your clothes?

The biggest thing for me is for women to feel good about themselves. No matter what you look like or what size you wear, it’s really important that when you wake up, you feel confident and good about yourself — that’s what I want women to feel when they wear my clothes. Whether it’s just walking around the street, or going to a party; whether it’s a date night or just simply going to your kids soccer game — happiness is the end goal for me and the clothes can help you get there.

If you could pick one woman to wear Ramy Brook, who would it be?

That’s a loaded question! But it’s funny because I walked into my store today with my daughter and Cindy Crawford was there. She’s great,and a big fan of the brand. So, what would be really fun for me would be to have her and her daughter wearing it together. I just love that mother daughter connection, and it shows how all women, no matter their age can feel beautiful in Ramy Brook.

What do you see for the brand going forward?

It’s really just the beginning for us. Right now, we’re truly an emerging company. What started as a few sexy shirts for myself because I couldn’t find any, has moved into a full brand. I just want to continue building that.

 

Photography by Sebastian Faena & Lloyd Stevie

 

BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Watch Guards Take On The Apocalypse In ‘Destroyer’

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Photo by Emilee Barnouin

 

Trump’s in office, Veep is in its final season – the world is definitely coming to an end. But don’t worry, Guards has you covered. The Los Angeles-based band has the perfect track to bring you into the apocalypse. And if the “Destroyer” music video, premiering here, is in any indication, that might be happening all too soon. Directed by singer Richie James Follin, “Destroyer” is a bloody ode to chaos and destruction. Think: Independence Day meets Apocalypse Now. But the track itself is a catchy ’80s pop ballad that’ll never get out of your head.

Like Follin says: “What better time than now to face the end of the world?” Seriously.

Watch the BlackBook premiere of “Destroyer,” below.

(N.B. If you’re in L.A., catch Guards at The Bootleg Theater tomorrow night. Buy tickets, here.)

 

 

Sick Of Swiping Left? Join The Inner Circle This Summer

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You need a date, but you’re tired of all that hustle just to end up with someone who’s idea of a romantic night is The Lion King. Seriously, you need an algorithm that works for you as seamlessly as your Spotify. A first date should be like a perfect playlist that takes you on a journey of discovery and familiarity. You know this tune well, and you need to put it on repeat.

Enter The Inner Circle. Thanks to a meticulous selection process, the exclusive dating app offers only the best – and most eligible – singles. With an easy-to-use interface that matches people based on common interests, The Inner Circle provides a safe and simple way to find your soulmate – without having to kiss a ton of frogs along the way.

Unlike other applications, The Inner Circle thoroughly vets each member before giving users the ability to chat with each other directly, so you can see if you have a real connection before taking the next step. Members can filter options through proximity, availability and interests, creating an environment where you can find real potential partners, instead of wasting your time continuously swiping left. With The Inner Circle, you don’t have to click through thousands of profiles – it’s a curated selection of only the best picks.

 

 

In addition to its unique approach to matching singles online, The Inner Circle also makes it easier to find love in person. By throwing chic monthly parties, the app gives its members even more chances to make connections in cool and comfortable spaces. While other apps have made dating a drag, The Inner Circle brings class back to dating – both online and IRL.

With The Inner Circle, there’s no need to spend summer waiting for love. It can come to you. You’ve got a beach bod to show off, and the days aren’t getting longer any more. Wedding season may be winding down, but who knows who might be getting married this time next year?

 

Sign up for The Inner Circle, here.

 

Prema Is Absolutely Your New Favorite NYC Salon

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Lower East Side mainstay and BlackBook favorite Prema has a new couple in charge. Hair and makeup gurus-turned-married couple Nick and Gregg Lennon Jr. have taken over Prema’s Lower East Side location, with the goal of turning the space into a haven for all of the city’s coolest creatives.

Launched in 2004 by Francesco Ruggerino with its first location in Bondi, Australia, Prema has been a radical force in the industry for over a decade. With two locations in Australia (Bondi and Surry Hills), the salon set up shop on Stanton Street in 2014. Walking through the neighborhood, there’s no shortage of quirky hair salons; but there’s none like Prema anywhere in the city.

To celebrate their appointment last month, Gregg and Nick threw a “Paint It Black” party in which the space got its ’80s goth makeover. With all black everything and a giant painting of Edward Scissorhands, it’s no wonder Prema is the go-to salon for some of NYC’s freaks, influencers and artists.

 

But it’s not just the top of the line stylists and unforgettable vibe that make Prema our new staple. As part of the queer community, Gregg and Nick are dedicated to making the salon an all-inclusive and safe space rooted in community activism. The duo plans to initiate “salon nights” at the salon, in which members of the community can come together for events and to engage in creative conversations. In the future, the partners also plan to produce events in which proceeds will benefit different LGBTQ charities.

 

Since its opening in 2004, Prema has developed a reputation for creating cutting edge looks with unique products, including Ruggerino’s own line, ANTI, (which is sold at the salon) and an innovative aesthetic. The owner has brought the same ethos to the Lower East Side, with the help of Gregg, Nick, and their team of leading stylists.

 

Prema is located at 101 Stanton Street in the Lower East Side. The salon is open Tuesday through Friday from 11AM to 9PM, and until 7PM on Saturday and Sunday.

Support This! ‘Feed the Kids’ Campaign is Raising Money to Feed Detained, Separated Immigrant Children

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Above image from the HBO documentary Which Way Home

 

Despite Trump’s executive order (signed obviously under grudging pressure), far too much damage has already been done by separating scared, confused immigrant children from their families at the U.S. border. Thousands of kids and parents have been traumatized by the callousness of these actions – and months of legal entanglements yet lay ahead.

But people are taking grassroots action in response. To wit, a new GoFundMe just popped up, titled simply ‘Feed the Kids,’ and it’s on a mission to get home-cooked meals to those same children. Especially as most detention centers serve nothing more than bagged chips and packaged, processed foods from large corporations with the best contract deals.

Children, surely, should never be made to feel like prisoners; and a meal is not a replacement for the comfort of a mother’s hug. But they can be reminded that they are not being forgotten. Starting in the Bronx and then branching out to detention centers in Texas, Arizona and San Diego, Feed the Kids says it will coordinate to bring familiar, nutritious foods to the little ones. And through the combined effort of local restaurants, government officials and chefs, they will ensure that these donations go directly to where they need to.

Send a message to the children: that someone is here, ready to help them in some small way.

Donate here.

Fratelli Rossetti is Transforming Footwear

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When you think of shoes, the first thing that pops into your mind isn’t usually carpet. That is, unless you’ve seen Fratelli Rossetti‘s new striped loafers. The Italian footwear brand has teamed up with handmade rug creators CC-Tapis to debut a line of striped shoes that are equal parts classic and contemporary.

Founded just outside of Milan in 1953, Fratelli Rossetti has become one of the leading names in Italian footwear. With a focus on both craftmanship and comfortability, the brand creates stylish shoes for every season. CC-Tapis, a Milan-based brand, produces eco-friendly rugs that are handmade in Tibet and Nepal.

 

 

For their collaboration, Frattelli Rossetti and CC-Tapis created two pairs of multicolored shoes that exemplify both brands’ focus on fashion, function and sustainability. Using white, mauve, pink and black to create a signature striped effect on the soles, the “Stripes Under Your Feet” capsule is a bold, yet understated statement. And in line with both brands’ disdain for mass production, the shoes are limited edition.

So, be the best dressed of your friends and buy them while you can. We have already.

 

Photos courtesy of Fratelli Rossetti

 

alexa BlackBook: California Girl: Drew Barrymore — Who’s Starring on Netflix’s ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ and in a New Campaign for Crocs — Shares Her Sunny Design Finds

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For the latest issue of alexa BlackBook, actress and star of the hit Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet Drew Barrymore rounded up her go-to picks for stylishly gearing up for spring.

 

“Admittedly, I’m a hat lady. This sun hat provides true UV protection while still looking super stylish.”


Beach hat with UPF 50+, $49.50 at Coolibar.com

 

“Yellow is the new pink! I love this sweatshirt because it is easy to wear but still whimsical and happy.”


Sweatshirt, $125 at ClareV.com

 

“I love to change up my shoe look by adding an ankle sock. These socks are a perfect mixture of silly and chic.”


“Liza” sparkle ankle socks, $18 at HappySocks.com

 

“Nothing beats a day at the pool with the kids. This is the perfect accessory to liven things up.”

 

 

Fred Segal x CB2 “Love One Another” pool float, $80 at CB2.com

 

“When in doubt, put a rainbow on it! That was my thought when designing an everyday tote that I didn’t want to be a typical everyday basic.”


Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore “Rainbow” vegan-leather tote, $95 at Amazon.com

 

“I own these in several colors. I love them because you can change out your color with your current mood. Current mood: Tangerine Dream.”


SunglassLA rimless sunglasses, $13 at Walmart.com

 

“These are my current go-to jeans. They combine comfort and style with a megadose of ’90s nostalgia.”

 


Levi’s “Wedgie” high-rise jeans, $98 at UrbanOutfitters.com

 

“Wearing Crocs’ iconic ‘Classic Clog’ is about more than making a comfort statement. It’s about being comfortable in all that you do and not being afraid to poke holes — no pun intended — in conversation.”


“Classic Clog” shoes in “Tropical Teal,” $38 at Crocs.com

 

“My go-to carry-on for 
last-minute weekend getaways. Not only is it functional, it’s also fun to look at.”

 


Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore “Take Me 
With You” carry-on suitcase, $125 at Amazon.com

 

“Move over dresses, it’s time to suit up for spring. Lately, all I want to wear is a suit. I love this one because it takes a typical fall silhouette and lightens it up for spring.”

 


Double-breasted blazer, $119, at Zara.com

 

“I love statement earrings because they can transform your look in seconds and make an LBD way more interesting.”

 

Bianca Mavrick “Otis” drop earrings, $108 at Anthropologie.com

 

Photos Courtesy of the Designers.

 

Lexus Debuts Their New UX Luxury Compact Crossover with Bold Art Installation in NYC

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On any given night in New York City there are probably a million events happening, only a few of which are actually cool. So, you know if we’re going to actually leave the house, it has to be worth it — and on Tuesday night, it was.

To kick off the annual New York International Auto Show, Lexus threw a banger, and debuted their new UX compact luxury crossover. And you know, because all the best parties also include a really great collab, the brand teamed up with NYC non-profit RxArt to premiere a custom urban-landscape art installation by artist Daniel Heidkamp, which will later be placed in a New York City Pediatric Cancer Center. The piece was a life-size Manhattan skyline in bold neon Pop Art colors — the perfect backdrop for Lexus’  chic new ride.

 

 

Of course, they also gave us tote bags. But don’t worry, you can get one, too — we don’t want you to feel left out. It’s not as great as the Lexus UX, which is not only the brand’s first luxury compact crossover, but also introduces an “all new platform built for exceptional handling, an ultra-efficient powertrain and innovative luxury features,” made for young, cool, city-slickers just like you. And hey, if the L train’s going to close next year, what better option is there?

The Lexus UX (in hybrid and gas models) arrives in December 2018.

Photos by Daniel Byrne

 

BlackBook Urbanologie: Four London Members Clubs Coming to NYC and LA

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The Groucho Club

 

It all started back in 1995 when Nick Jones’ Soho House opened on Dean Street in London. Since then, a new generation of members clubs has multiplied across the globe to the point of there now being virtually far too many to count.

Still, no one does them like the Brits – and four of their most high-profile clubs will be coming to New York and Los Angeles sooner than later. Our partners at Urbanologie have the lowdown.

 

The Groucho Club

New York

Soho’s best-known members-only establishment and watering hole famed for its celebrity hedonsim, is to open its second outpost in New York – in Lower Manhattan. The Groucho Club New York will have a similar offering to the London Club, with versatile event spaces, club bedrooms, bars and restaurants and a large outdoor terrace for dining and drinking and is expected to open in the second half of next year.  The renowend arts and media club was founded in 1985 on Dean Street – and is named after Groucho Marx, who famously said: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

 

5 Hertford Street

New York

London’s most sought after private members’ club, a place to see and be seen – is expanding to New York and is to take over a space near Union Square in Manhattan. Apparently the club will be “along the lines of 5 Hertford Street” but with “some bedrooms for members”. Details are still sketchy so check back for additional information. Behind an unmarked maroon door of an 18th Century tonhouse, in the midst of London’s Shepherd’s Market (formerly nortorious brothel, Tiddy Dols), lies a haven of exclusivity. 5 Hertford Street boasts two beautiful restaurants, three great bars, a cinema room and the glamorous and notorious nightclub LouLou’s – (since it’s opening, the club has become a coveted nightspot and has been frequented by royals, business tycoons and A-list celebrities). The décor is the work of Eighties fashion designer Rifat Ozbek (think swirly black walls, shards of mirror glass, velvety fabrics).

 

 

The Arts Club

Los Angeles

The landmark Hustler Hollywood store on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles is to be bulldozed to make way for an upscale new nightclub and lounge backed by Hollywood actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow. Together, with London-based property developer, Gary Landesberg they are intending to build a West Coast outpost of Mayfair’s Arts Club. The 132,000-square-foot nine-storey building (designed by architectural firm Gensler) will host a creative office space and a gallery on its first four floors, with the remaining upper floors devoted to the club. The fifth floor will contain a dining terrace, screening room and a gym; the sixth floor would house 15 guest rooms for members; the seventh floor would host an eatery, another terrace, and a lounge for members. On the eighth floor, there will be a “Japanese/Latino” restaurant. The club will also feature a glamorous rooftop, with a pool and another terrace for events and even a private helipad. It will also offer an underground parking garage with room for 220 cars, which can be accessed from Hilldale Avenue.

 

 

The Hospital Club

Los Angeles

The Hospital Club is expanding overseas with the opening of a second site in Los Angeles in 2018. Located on the iconic corner of Hollywood and Vine, h.Club LA (taking over the Redbury hotel) encompasses five floors of spaces designed to host and showcase creativity – inspired by the Modern Grand Tour of Europe. Three different areas for dining feature sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. An elegant rooftop restaurant will have views across Hollywood and lead onto a desert garden inspired by the English gardens of the late film maker Derek Jarman. Additional amenities include an outdoor pool deck, relaxing tea room, stylish bars, gym and wellness facilities, creative co-working spaces, music studio, screening room and live performance spaces and 36 bedrooms.  Founded in 2004 by philanthropist and entrepreneur, Paul G. Allen in London, in what was once a derelict hospital and is popular hub for the creative industries.

 

 

Urbanologie has been described as “the must have VIP lifestyle app,” designed to keep members in the know with up-to-the-minute insider news and exclusive content on the most anticipated restaurant, bar, club and hotel openings.