Snow days are for sipping coffee, snuggling up with a book, catching up on personal projects, watching movies, and having hot soup for every meal.
December 20, 2014
December 12, 2014
A couple of weeks ago Justin Chung welcomed me into his home to shoot a story for Cereal Magazine featuring his new book, Faculty Department. The Cereal story features an interview with Justin and discusses the book, so I won’t touch on that here (head on over here to read all about his book and to see some extra images!). What I would love to touch on here is how impeccably curated Justin’s apartment is. The space is beautifully minimal with subtle details like perfectly placed plants, tidy stacks of books, custom made pieces and lovely ceramic tableware. I am now inspired to completely declutter! I also do not think this post would be complete without me mentioning that I fell utterly head-over-heels in love with his three dachshunds.
December 1, 2014
Although I’m not quite made for cold weather, I feel quite inspired by subdued winter light, dark blues, grays and ceramics. I am starting to build a small collection of ceramics in my favorite color palate. The pieces pictured here are either from Heath Ceramics or local thrift stores.
Here are a couple of images and outtakes from a shoot that I did of Dana Tanamachi-Williams for Trouvé Magazine (Vol. 02 is out now!) over the summer. Isn’t Dana’s workspace to die for!? More images and Dana’s words of wisdom, as well as some talk about her new book, are found in the current issue of Trouvé.
November 4, 2014
Sunday is a day for lingering over a long meal with family and friends, a glass or two of wine and maybe an extra cup of coffee, sharing creative ideas and laughs, and wanting the day to last forever.
October 20, 2014
My top 5 favorites about the Philip Johnson Glass House:
1. Wanting to curl up with a book in a Mies chair
2. Breathtaking view from any corner of the house
3. Becoming completely enveloped in fog (via the Fujiko Nakaya: Veil exhibition)
4. The feeling of being completely exposed yet completely isolated
5. Sense of serenity
October 4, 2014
This past weekend I was in Chicago and got to spend some much needed time with my dear friends. Despite the freezing temperature, we made it to the Art Institute of Chicago. The light, beautiful space, and the Magritte exhibit were definitely highlights of the visit.
September 5, 2014
Wendy and LaRae Kangas are the sister-team behind duo, a beautifully curated boutique featuring vintage and modern goods, located in the East Village. I met Wendy and LaRae through my friend and Still House owner, Urte, who thought we would all get along and suggested that we meet over coffee. The rest is history!
I recently visited Wendy and LaRae at their shop and got to know more about their store, their inspiration, and what it’s like working together as sisters.
How did you decide to go into business together and when did duo open its doors?
We are from Minnesota and moved to NYC in 2006 and then opened duo in 2008. We both have a background working in retail, and experience working in vintage, home goods and with local NYC designers. Through working with independent designers and makers, and incorporating our love of vintage pieces, we developed our own vision for a shop and decided to take the leap and open a boutique of our own.
duo sells a unique selection of goods, from the work of local designers and makers to a vintage collection. Can you give us a glimpse into the shop’s sourcing and curating process?
We carefully curate our store by looking for unique, emerging designers via outlets such as blogs and other social media. One reason why we love carrying local designers is that we are able to find other talented designers via their referrals and word of mouth. We are fortunate to be in a city with so much talent!
Our vintage selection is also carefully curated and sourced from around the country. We remain true to our taste and only buy pieces that we personally love and would wear. We are also selective in the fabrics we choose and in the quality of the items we purchase. We prefer natural fibers that become better with wear, such as silk, denim, linen, wool and rayon. We especially love traveling to the Midwest to find winter pieces. Our home state of Minnesota has great coats, sweaters and denim (think- work wear, hunting and snowmobiling-inspired!).
From where do you draw inspiration for the store’s aesthetic?
The designers with whom we work constantly inspire us. It is mind-blowing to see the work that they create each season. For example, Dusen Dusen is a great inspiration since she even designs her own prints. Her textiles are so full of life!
As for the store’s aesthetic, we tend towards clean lines with a cozy and warm atmosphere. We like to be minimal but not bare. Being from northern Minnesota, we seem to have brought a bit of a Scandinavian vibe to the shop without even realizing it.
The store was always meant to feel like your friend’s closet: come by, find a new outfit, hang out for a bit, and leave feeling a little happier. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we think that’s important!
What is the best part about working with your sister? Had you ever worked together before opening duo?
Wendy: The best part about working with my sister is that we are always in synch. We never have to explain to each other what we are thinking, which makes working together smooth and natural. There is a lot of hard work involved when running a small business, but we know how to have a blast while getting it all done.
LaRae: We’ve always worked together in some way. Before we opened duo, we had an eBay store…since I am the younger sister, I got stuck with being the “model” for our items in that store!
duo, 337 E. 9th St, New York, NY. 10003
August 28, 2014
On my perfect beach day, the grey from the ocean fades into a lighter grey sky. Sunglasses and sunscreen are not required, rather a sweatshirt and a hair tie to find comfort in a gentle wind. The lifeguard chairs are empty, the air smells of salt and the ocean is just cool enough for wading and watching my feet sink into the wet sand.
August 24, 2014
I met shoe designer, Ariana Bohling, at an event at duo earlier in the year. We talked for a bit in the store and I became fascinated by her story. Shortly thereafter, she left for Peru to oversee production of her shoes; I eagerly awaited her return for over 4 months so that I could spend a moment with her to hear more about her process and travels, and to shoot her beautiful shoes. Ariana and her shoes were definitely worth the wait!
When we met at duo, it really inspired me when you explained that you made shoes in your apartment, by hand, until you physically could no longer make the shoes (wow!). How long were you making shoes at home and when was your breakthrough moment when you knew you had to expand?
Ariana: I was making handmade shoes out of my apartment while I still had a full-time job. I would come home from work and make shoes until 12 or 1am, go to bed and then do it all over again the next day. Since I was working so many hours, my weekends were shot!
Here’s a funny story – One February, I had grand jury duty for about a month. After we got released from jury duty each day, at around 3pm, I would go directly home and continue making my spring sandal order, which involved braiding shoes by hand. Had it not been for jury duty, it hit me that I might not have fulfilled my spring order in time! That was a pretty defining moment!
Shortly after we met at duo, you left for Peru for a few months to oversee production. Why did you choose Peru and how does being so closely involved in the production influence your work?
Ariana: It was important to me to find a country with a strong background in making handmade shoes, since that was my background as well. We chose to work with small workshops that follow fair trade practices, paying their employees above minimum wage for the high quality work that they do. It was also important to have thorough communication with the workshop owners to ensure that their values matched ours. We also choose to pay well for good quality.
When you are in Peru, what is your favorite non-work related thing to do/eat/see?
Ariana: I like exploring the outdoors when I’m not in Lima. If I can take a few days off, I like to travel, go to the jungle, go on hikes to waterfalls and to the beach. I still have a lot more exploring to do in Peru! There are a lot of amazing foods in Peru and it is a big foodie destination. You have to love the ceviche, but the tiraditos de pescado is also delicious as well as jugo de maracuya.
Aside from Peru and work, what are some of your hobbies?
Ariana: Yoga, bicycling, reading in Spanish, reading the NY Times online until I run out of the allotted 10 free articles, listening to WNYC religiously, going to farmers markets and cooking
Who are some artists that influence you?
Ariana: I could go on forever! Here are a few artists I like: Frida Kahlo, Elliot Tupac, Kathleen Hanna, Vincent Van Gough, Leonardo da Vinci, Tego Calderon, Manu Chao, India Arie, Haider Ackermann and Jil Sander
August 17, 2014
Fall is quickly approaching and, although I love summer, I find myself becoming eager to wear more layers, less sandals and to carry around my new Petra Market bag (thank you to the generous team at Everlane!). It has that perfect feeling of supple and sturdy and is large enough to fit everything I need to carry around NYC (which is typically a lot!).