“Still gritty”

Plaza Magazine US & International - - OUT GUIDE -

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].”

And restau­rants?

“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.

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