Weather Vain: Long Island City, New York - 28 and Clear

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s officially winter—at least in and around NYC. Here’s how to bundle up and look good in LIC. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ The kind of bag—from Thomas IV—that won’t fall off the shoulder of an overstuffed down coat.

+ Ilse Jacobsen boots that are ready to attack snowy icy streets.

+ Gloves from Saturday that’ll warm up your paws faster than a ginormous coffee from Sweetleaf.

+ A 3.1 Phillip Lim sweater that’s alllll about protecting your neck.

+ Easy but cool—this Lizzie Fortunato necklace wants to have dinner (mussels! crepes!) at Cafe Triskell.

+ Some leatha for your legs, from Vince—to help deal with any windiness on the walk to the Q train.

+ Stripes! Because those are good for ANY weather. Care of Jonathan Simkhai.

Way more “Weather Vain” if you click this way.

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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

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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.”

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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.”

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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!”

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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.”  

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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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Weather Vain: Marfa, Texas - 53 and Clear

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Yah know, I’ve never been to Marfa, but it just seems like one of those magical places—the sort of spot that you want to pick up your life and move to after spending a day there. Here’s how to go if that day’s today. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ A Thomas IV clutch, as cool and chill as the Thunderbird Hotel.

+ K/LLER earrings, minimalist in a way Donald Judd could appreciate.

+ A To Be Adored leather skirt suited for some small plates—or, ok, shrimp and grits—at Miniature Rooster.

+ A shirt-jacket situation from Ace & Jig that’s ready for a cool desert night.

+ This 10 Crosby linen tee plus a Marfalafel from Food Shark equal low-key afternoon.

+ A Maniamania ring that’s bizarre and weirdly enticing—kinda like the Marfa Lights.

+ Acne boots itching to catch a show at Padres.

Get all the “Weather Vain” you can handle.

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Of a Kind

Nairobi Jacquard TPC Clutch by Thomas IV for Of a Kind

BUY / 50 of a kind / $182

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Inspirationale: Lia Cinquegrano Learns From Brooklyn’s Finest

Lia Cinquegrano of Thomas IV is the kind of gal who solved the problem of finding the perfect bag by developing her own line—so it makes total sense that she’d turn to fellow hustler and Brooklynite Jay-Z to fuel her creative fire. More on that below. —keely thomas-menter 

“Jay-Z has been an inspiration to me since I rented my first studio. I would go there at night to work on my bags and play only Jay-Z. His lyrics motivate me. One of my favorites: “Far from a Harvard student / Just had the balls to do it.” I say that in my head a lot. My most recent moment of Jay-Z inspiration came from reading Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office by Zack O’Malley Greenburg. It links together many people and events that helped Jay-Z become a lifestyle brand—a man who describes himself not as a businessman, but as a business, man!” —lia cinquegrano

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Come Sale Away: Ilana Kohn, Dusen Dusen, Fay Andrada, Cold Picnic, Thomas IV, and Fischer Wanna Make Your Holidays Happy

Whatcha doing tomorrow night? Oh, sitting on your couch watching Homeland? WELL! If you’re in NYC, get your rear over to the Textile Arts Center to shop/drink Brooklyn Lager with some of our all-star local designers: Cold Picnic! Dusen Dusen! Thomas IV! Fischer! Ilana Kohn! Fay Andrada! RSVP right over here. —erica

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Alumni Sunday: Joanie Mini Bag by Thomas IV

Thomas IV makes some of the sickest bags on the block, and when these two guys showed up at our office, we would not shut up about them—there was lots of gasping and SHUT UP-ing spewing from our mouths, I’m telling you. Is it bad that we all really want both of them, the blue-and-brown take to bring a little sophistication to the most preppy getups and the neon wonder to deliver major ‘tude to, well, everything else? —erica

BUY / 20 of a kind / $240

Read more about Lia Cinquegrano, the lady behind Thomas IV:

+ On making the sort of bags she could never find.

+ On the six people who give her the best advice.

+ On the first purses she ever made.

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Next Level: Souped-Up Totes

If you don’t have the luxury of a car’s backseat to store your gym gear, reading materials, and shoe changes, a tote is (sad to say) your next best thing. Instead of carrying around the mucked-up freebies lying all over your apartment, invest in a bag that actually adds to your look, like these four winners. —erica

LEVEL I: Simple and clean, this apricot leather creation could be Céline but is actually Baggu.

LEVEL II: The top of this Chester Wallace bag folds over so you can sling that red strap across your body and carry the thing like a messenger if you so desire.

LEVEL III: With its black leather handles and graphic, hand-dyed design, the tote Cook & Gates made just for Of a Kind adds legit oomph to any get-up.

LEVEL IV: If you worry about losing track of your stuff in a bottomless pit of a bag, this appealingly loud version from Thomas IV is like a 2-for-1: The black leather pocket is like a tote all its own.

Get your “Next Level” fix right over here… 

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Filtered: That’s a Wrap

It’s barely been scarf weather in NYC (well, until today), but yesterday I busted out our Symmetry Goods edition—and shocked myself with how much I liked it with a faux fur jacket from Thomas Sires. I mean, who knew. The rest of the get-up: J.Crew baseball tee, Vince pants, Thomas IV bag (for Of a Kind), and Gap boots that are as comfy as sneakers. —erica

For more Instagrammed nonsense, head this way.

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Filtered: Couch Potatoes

Claire Mazur is not one to let an Instagram opportunity slip by. Waiting for a meeting on a bright orange lobby couch the other day, she snapped this sucker, and it’s crazy how well the colors work together. There’s the blue of the lining of Claire’s bag by Of a Kind designer Rachel Nasvik and of her skirt (she shame spirals about the fact that it’s Zara on the reg). There’s the way the sofa picks up the warm hues of my Thomas IV bag. And then the grays of the concrete floor, Claire’s Belle by Sigerson Morrison boots, and my tweedy Benetton coat round things out. Ok, that’s all. —erica

Head over here for more Instagram action.

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