Gift List: 17 Designers Share the Presents That Have Meant the Most to Them

Is this a gift guide? Not really. A trip down memory lane? Sorta. But it’s mostly just a chance for us to survey a whole bunch of designers who we’ve worked with—who happen to have standout taste. And if you get warm-fuzzies or come up with a present idea as a result, WELL, amen to that. —erica


Allison Sires of Thomas Sires“The best gift I ever got was a blue, plastic teepee from my dad. He had been traveling for work and picked up the teepee along the way. When my brother and I got home from school the day my dad was back, the teepee was set up in the living room, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. We played with that teepee until it was made up of more duct tape from all the repair jobs than of the original plastic. Although not blue or plastic, we sell a teepee in our store—partly because of nostalgia, but also because teepees ARE the coolest thing in the world.”

Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada: “My artist friend Gail Stoicheff painted a portrait of my dog Pow Wow. She’s an amazing painter. It’s one of my favorite things.”

Melissa Coker of Wren: “My mom gave me a Chanel bag for my 30th birthday. I love it for the obvious reasons—but also because it is so classic, and I’ll use it forever and think of her.”


Lauren Wood of Wax + Cruz: “A white Gretsch Electromatic guitar from my lovely fiancé. It is so retro and stylish, and it fills our home with echo-y tunes.”

Lina Rennell: “Last Christmas, I got a Vitamix blender from my two daughters. I can make so much more with it than my old blender—like thick peanut butter-banana smoothies.”

Isabel Halley: “The best gift I ever received was a pink lace Betsy Johnson slip dress from my mom on my 16th birthday.”

Kathleen Whitaker: “My grandmother’s charm bracelet. We shared the same birthday and name, so with a big Libra charm and monogrammed pieces, I was the fortunate and logical recipient. She gave it to me on my 16th birthday with the idea that she wanted to see me enjoy it. It is spectacular.”

Christine Marcelino of Materials + Process: “A Mexican Peso for Christmas with a note on it to pack my passport!”

Maryanne Mathias of Osei-Duro: “When I was about seven and was obsessed with the Laura and Mary Ingalls books, my mom made me a hoop skirt for Christmas. She used white chiffon and three tiers of boning. I wore it to every birthday party and hoedown I could get to for several years.”


Jaclyn Mayer of Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer: “Most recently, my husband gave me a Peter Doig print for our first wedding anniversary. I love it! And it’s fitting because you are supposed to give paper for your first anniversary.”

Larry Paul of GREI.: “Years ago, I moved to the city to pursue a photo career, and collecting books is my way of staying close to photography. About 10 years back, I was given a book documenting one of my favorite photographer’s careers—Karl Heinz Weinberger: Photos 1954-1995.”

Lia Cinquegrano of Thomas IV: “My close friend is really into experiential gifts, and as a birthday surprise, she took me to Spa Castle for a day of bathing followed by dim sum! Mmmm!”


Kathryn Fortunato of Lizzie Fortunato: “I love the Electric Love dreamcatcher my boyfriend bought me for my birthday a few years ago. It hangs in my room and is the perfect combo of Western inspiration, art, beautiful craftwork, and, of course, functional dreamcatcher. Also, our mom just got Lizzie and me an Illy Espresso Machine since we always spent so much money on lattes. It is amazing.”

Nikki Chasin: “When I moved to NYC for college, my dad let me have his watch that I’d had my eye on. It’s cool because he recently got his father’s watch fixed up, so there’s a little tradition started.”

Collette Ishiyama“My boyfriend made a painting for me of James Brown and of Sean Young from Blade Runner (two of my favorites). He gave it to me for my birthday before we were dating, and now that we live together, it’s hanging in our bedroom.”  


Ilana Kohn: “The best gift I’ve ever gotten is also the most recent: I strong-armed the BF into getting me a pretty, blingy new Wwake ring from her new collection that I am in LOVE with. My first piece of serious big-girl jewelry.”

Nicole Sutton of Workhorse Jewelry: “One of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten was an amazing perfume from my BFF, Zoe. As part of a super-fun girls’ day of festivities, she brought me to the Scent Bar in L.A. as she knew I was on the hunt for my signature fragrance. After trying what seemed like hundreds of scents, I fell in love with Peau de Peche by Keiko Mecheri. When I spray it every morning, I think of her lovely gift and how very special that day was!”

On a serious gift hunt? We’ve got some Pinterest boards for the girls and boys on your list.

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Of a Kind

Domino Tote by Collina Strada for Of a Kind

BUY / 40 of a kind / $220

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Weather Vain: Williamsburg, Brooklyn - 77 With a Chance of T-Storms


Today is totally one of those what-do-I-wear?! days for the L train contingent. It’s warm but not hot. And how much is it going to rain? Here, our prescription. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ A lightweight, breathable Raquel Allegra tee that won’t get too sweaty on the Lorimer platform.

+ A kick-ass Mociun ring—the jewelry phenom’s store is one of the best in the ‘hood!

+ A borderline-genius short-sleeve rain jacket from Boy by Band of Outsiders.

+ K/LLER earrings—ready for a night on the Wythe Hotel roof should the clouds part.

+ A super-hard-working clutch made by equally industrious local designer Collina Strada.

+ Some of the sleekest rain boots around, by Loeffler Randall.

+ A Christopher Kon wallet, to match the BBQ at BrisketTown.

+ Mother jeans that will hold up JUST FINE if they get splashed by a black car on Bedford.

Looking for more “Weather Vain” action? Have at it.

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Weather Vain: Prague, Czech Republic - 50 With Scattered Clouds


The perfect get-up to say, “Dobrý den, Praha!” —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ A Cut25 leather jacket that will look at home at the Museum of Czech Cubism.

+ A stack of Iosselliani rings—jazzy enough for dinner at Coda.

+ Vic Italy boots that are ready for a moonlit stroll across the Charles Bridge.

+ A wispy M.Patmos scarf—to keep you warm if a pivo or four doesn’t cut it.

+ A Collina Strada tote, with room for a Czech crystal souvenir.

+ A Joseph cream dress, suited to roaming castles.

+ Collette Ishiyama earrings as slick as the design at Lokal.

Want more “Weather Vain?” You got it.

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Next Level: Circle Bags


Can there be such a thing as a purse up-and-comer? A Hailee Steinfeld of the bag world? Well, if so, this is it. Here, four majorly cool versions as round as the coins you keep in them. —erica

LEVEL I: Wendy Nichol knows how to keep things just-interesting, with army leather, braided details, and that fun-loving tassel.

LEVEL II: The fur on this little guy would be a lot much if Carven wasn’t so damn good at keepin’ things simple.

LEVEL III: The way the canvas on this Collina Strada bag peeks through makes it completely special, but it’s hardly loud.

LEVEL IV: What could you possibly carry in this Jasmin Shokrian creation while maintaining its pancake-flatness? WHO KNOWS. But dare you to try.

There is so much “Next Level” to be had! Do it!

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It Takes Two: Jiayi & Erica Reach for Our Collina Strada Purse

Go on—lighten your load. Here’s how Jiayi Ying, talented, tenured Of a Kind intern, and I would work our supa-cool, back-saving Collina Strada edition. —erica

The Key Piece: Tryst Bag by Collina Strada

Jiayi’s Take: Dusen Dusen sweater, Neuw dress, New Kid boots.

Erica’s Take: 10 Crosby Derek Lam sweater jacket, MHL by Margaret Howell dress, Jenni Kayne mules.

There’re more of this! Here!

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To Recap: Our 5 Favorite Home Tours (and How to Put Them to Use)

We’re taking the week off from new releases to say “HAPPY BIRFDAY, AMERICA!”—and give you 25% off until 11:59p on 7/8 with the code JULY4THEWIN. We also figured this was a great opportunity to round up some of our favorites stories that you may have missed—you’re busy! We know! Today, five house/apt. tours (that happen to be loaded with home improvement ideas should you be hangin’ around for the holiday). —erica

1) Collina Strada’s Williamsburg Apt.

Tip: Those vintage crates make for some killer shelving. Wine ones are a great size—dig them up on eBay or Etsy or score them in bulk here.

2) Kathryn Bentley’s Craftman-Style Apt. in Silverlake

Tip: Stools at nightstands? Love. Ing. It. These barnwood ones nail the vibe.

3) Fay Andrada’s Brooklyn Undertaking

Tip: That grid on the wall? Old-school Architectural Forum covers hung to pack a punch. As a frame alternative, use clipboards like this—that way you can also switch out the art on the reg. 

4) Annie Larson’s New NYC Pad

Tip: Annie is very (very!) serious about her hangers. Word is that the Container Store stocks the sorts of crazy hues that she loves.

5) Yuka Izutsu’s So Sunny Pasadena Casa

Tip: Embrace air plants. If you wanna go all crazy with ‘em, pick up a few Mudpuppy hanging planters, that display them *upside-down*.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our week-long, 25%-off special! The code: JULY4THEWIN

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Of a Kind

We got to see Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada the other day—her latest edition here!—and she had this T by Alexander Wang dress on in navy. You know, for taking her dog Powwow on a neighborhood stroll. CHIC. —erica

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Weather Vain: Burlington, Vermont - 61 With Rain Showers

We are on the verge of road-trip season. If we were hitting the highway today, we’d be heading due north to Vermont—and we wouldn’t even complain about the rain. Here’s what we’d wear. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ Though the bag that Collina Strada made for us is mad sophisticated, it would get love from the staff at The Hempest, too.

+ These teeny Mociun earrings (for Of a Kind!) are never too dressy or too casual for any occasion.

+ While these Ilse Jacobsen rain boots add a dose of ruggedness to a city getup, they’d also manage some easy terrain at Camel’s Hump.

+ To cut through the gray-weather gloom, pull on these coral Notify pants.

+ If you get stuck in a downpour on St. Paul, you won’t even care in this MHL by Margaret Howell jacket.

+ This Charles Anastase top: Chill enough for a lazy afternoon and festive enough for a gut-busting meal at Pistou.

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Alumni Sunday: Tryst Bag by Collina Strada

Collina Strada might work in straightforward materials, but what she does with them is hardly standard. For this way-rad bag, for instance, she printed canvas with a custom design and then layered folds of leather on top in a style that’s become her trademark—and one that will no doubt cause people to stop you on the street (but, you know, hopefully not reach for your purse). —erica

BUY / 20 of a kind / $240

Read more about Hillary Taymour, the mastermind behind the line:

+ On how riding horses taught her about running a business.

+ On her badass home-renovation projects.

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