WORDS BY JADE BROCK
There’s a certain energy in New York City that sets it apart from anywhere else. The bright lights, the buzzy restaurant openings, its slew of the world’s best stores. The entrancing capital serves as a constant source of inspiration for fashion, from the best streetwear style to iconic New York Fashion Week runways. Of course, there’s also the empowering feeling that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere — we’ll take that, Frank Sinatra.
The only thing more captivating than the city that never sleeps are the stylish people that inhabit it. There’s a distinct confidence and natural sophistication that seamlessly oscillates into the way they dress, leaving the rest of us with just one thought — what is this magical formula New Yorkers use to get dressed every day? We’ve tapped Erica Choi to get the low-down on New York City style, how to keep up with the city’s relentless pace and which essential staples make up an effortlessly put-together NYC closet.
Please tell us why you chose the FARFETCH piece you are wearing. What do you like about this brand?
Proenza Schouler is an iconic New York-based brand that I have loved for years. Its minimal pieces are timeless yet modern. I love wearing white all year round, and this faux-leather piece is perfect for this time of year as I can wear it belted as a top or loose as a jacket. I love how Proenza Schouler White Label is composed of easy-to-wear everyday pieces with the same amount of attention to detail as its main collection.
Please summarise the New York City style. How does the city influence your personal style?
NYC style is quintessentially a delicate balance of expression, effortless styling and dressing for comfort. Although the weather often dictates it, it really is about dressing for yourself, depending on your mood. I usually run around the city, so I like to wear comfortable shoes like sneakers, block or slide sandals, and flat or low-heeled boots. In addition, I love a mini bag and tote bag pairing, combining style with function. In terms of clothing, I wear layers because I can go through a range of temperatures in a single day. For example, it could be incredibly warm in the subway, yet freezing inside an office building or restaurant.
What do you love most about living in NYC? Considering all of its iconic landmarks, please tell us why you chose this city feature?
I love all the life, the energy and the substance New York City has to offer. No matter what you want to do, there’s always someone you can meet or somewhere you can go to find, learn, or experience that particular subject.
Little Island is a new unique project the city has executed amid the pandemic. It’s a sort of a refuge where both city dwellers and visitors can get some fresh air, enjoy a concert or spend time with friends near the water.
Where do you shop for fashion in New York City?
I love visiting different kinds of stores as they offer such a diverse assortment. Larger department stores are great as one-stop destinations, while smaller specialty boutiques and individual brand stores provide a tighter curation and exclusive product offerings. Uptown is where many of the luxury mono-brand stores are located like Bottega Veneta, HERMÈS and Prada. Not only is the fashion beautiful to browse, but so are the stores’ exquisite interiors.
The larger department stores are mostly in midtown. Then you can venture down to the Nomad area, where you can find a great range of contemporary and avant-garde labels. Heading downtown, both the westside and eastside have their own selection of great shops that fit the vibes of their particular neighborhoods. There are new boutiques in the Meatpacking District and Tribeca with wonderful edits. Maryam Nassir Zadeh and The Frankie Shop make lovely visits. I can easily spend the entire day walking around the West Village or Soho, popping in and out of stores to discover what’s new. I always leave inspired.
What’s your favorite season to dress for in NYC and why?
I love spring and fall because I love light layers and a good color story. Winter is a bit more complicated because it gets icy-cold here at the end of the year and due to my petite frame, bulky winter coats tend to swallow me. Traveling in the snow gets very inconvenient too. I feel I can express myself more adequately in the ‘perfect temperature’ months.
Which wardrobe staples make up the foundations of a typical NYC closet?
I would say essential pieces are a leather jacket, an oversized blazer, and combat boots. The foundation of a NYC wardrobe would be a long wool or cashmere coat, a puffer jacket and comfy trainers. All of these pieces are very versatile, can be styled up or down, and fit individual tastes and personalities. New Yorkers are all about multi-tasking and fitting as much as possible into a day. The ideal outfit would be something that can take you from a morning breakfast meeting to a pilates class, to the office, to a coffee date, then to dinner and drinks in the evening.
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