How did you end up in New York and what was your first impression of the city?
“I lived in Gothenburg and flew over to New York to visit a friend who had enrolled on a course at ICP [International Center of Photography]. I found the energy and ambition of New York irresistible. A few days into my stay I knew this city was for me, it felt like home. I had no choice but to go back home after my two weeks were up. But my mind was made up – I was going to return. I worked like crazy and saved enough money to last me six months. I had a clear goal in mind: to settle down here. I didn’t worry too much about the practicalities, like getting a work visa and a place to live. I just threw myself into it.”
You run W29 Showroom and work as an agent for a number of young and hot brands. You’re also a partner at a retail store. What’s it like to be a Swedish entrepreneur in the US?
“Compared to a smaller society, New York lacks organisation and structure and that can be a challenge. It takes time to build a reliable network and your pool of go-to people changes more frequently. The dynamic nature of the city has its ups and downs. The good thing is the constant opportunities for change and improvement.”
What’s your view on New York’s fashion climate?
“Right now the focus is on e-commerce and luxury. Loud fashion appeals to consumers who have it all, and it also looks good on paper. Another trend is mono-brand stores. Lots of companies rely on flagship stores to share their stories and emphasise the brand.”
In which district do you live?
“East Village. Although it’s been cleaned up, downtown is still quite gritty and rock’n’roll. I like that. There’s lots of restaurants and I’m also not far from other nice areas such as Greenwich Village and Williamsburg.”
What are the fashion must-dos when visiting New York?
“Iosselliani’s [on 4 West 29th Street] jewellery is creatively untraditional yet timeless. They have established stores in Rome, Tokyo and Osaka and have now opened in New York’s up-and-coming district Nomad. The same block is also home to the perfumery Le Labo, Maison Kitsuné and Opening Ceremony. Fivestory [18 E 69th Street, editor’s note] makes it easy for shoppers to support independent boutiques. There’s luxury for the whole family, including the little ones. Saint Laurent [80 Green Street, editor’s note] is tastefully decorated. Bergdorf Goodman [754 5th Avenue, editor’s note] is worth a visit, particularly the shoe salon which should be followed by lunch in the restaurant where you can enjoy views of Central Park. Selima Salaun [59 Wooster Street, editor’s note] designs bold glasses that will enhance your personality.”
Which is your favourite New York hotel?
“Gramercy Park Hotel – I love the rooftop for a slow breakfast. The Browery Hotel [335 Browery] is good too. The small bar is perfect when a drink is all you want. Just head into the lounge if you long for some company.”
Where do you go for a hot drink?
“High tea is my favourite. Try Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon [56 Irving Place], Bosie Tea Parlor [10 Morton Street], or Tea Sympathy [108 Greenwich Avenue].”
“It’s so hard to pick just one since there are so many good restaurants here. Indochine [430 Lafayette Street] is certainly one of my favourites, not least during New York Fashion Week. Great Vietnamese food and ideal for people-watching. Acme [9 Great Jones Street] serves excellent food and boasts and intriguing menu. Visiting Mary’s Fish Camp [64 Charles Street] is like a mini-holiday with its unpretentious beach-shack atmosphere. Don’t leave without trying the sundae. Momofuku Ssäm [207 2nd Avenue] opened seven years ago and is still a safe card if you’re after a fun meal full of flavour. They offer an unexpected blend of ingredients and delicious house cocktails. Continue across the street for one of Momofuku Milk Bar’s addictive sweets. Hearth [403 E 12th Street] is a laid-back neighbourhood bar that totally lacks scene. Their simple yet delicious Italian seasonal food wont disappoint.”
Where are the best gigs?
“To Mccarren Park Pool [776 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn] for outdoor concerts.”
Which is the best park in New York?
“The High Line – a long, straight park built on elevated train tracks. You can easily pop into Chelsea’s art galleries, shops and restaurants when walking along here.”
How do you curb homesickness?
“I head to Sockerbit [89 Christopher Street]. I love Swedish pickand-mix candy in NYC. They deliver too...”
“New York is more dynamic than other cities and offers constant opportunities for change and improvement.”
Susanne runs the W29 Showroom in New York.
Fivestory – luxury for the whole family.