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Just in Time for a Rebooted Broadway
The bar at Civilian.Credit…Johnny Miller
By Michaela Trimble
Having long since populated downtown New York with Sixty SoHo and Sixty LES, hotelier Jason Pomeranc heads above 14th Street with his latest venture, Civilian. Situated in a 27-story building on a West 48th Street block equidistant from Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and the theater district, Civilian is that rarest of birds, a midtown hotel that’s both stylish — it was built by starchitect David Rockwell’s Rockwell Group — and affordable. Inside, theater-world flourishes predominate: a lobby threshold entered via Broadway stage doors, a vestibule decorated with black-and-white backstage photographs and 203 cozy guest rooms with costume-trunk-inspired closets. A ground-floor bistro will open early next year; in the meantime, the bar offers one of the city’s largest vermouth selections. Grand-opening rates from $149, civilianhotel.com.
A Product Perfectionist
By Caitie Kelly
Hair stylist Takamichi Saeki, who’s known for his curation of minimalist beauty aids at his store Takamichi Beauty Room in New York, will now have his own line, known as Ichi.1 (ichi being the Japanese word for “one”). The “simple, streamlined, timeless” products — a shampoo, conditioner, body soap and lotion — have been “carefully considered down to the smallest details,” according to Saeki, and are made from wild-crafted extracts developed by a family factory in Parma, Italy (the soap was made in France). The shampoo and conditioner are suitable for all hair types and feature strengthening camellia oil; the glycerin soap is moisturizing; and the argan-oil-rich body lotion sinks deep into the skin. All four feature a discreet scent, created by Takasago International Corporation, Japan’s oldest fragrance house, that’s somehow both musky and green. And the minimally designed packaging completes the meticulously edited effect. From $35, takamichibeautyroom.com.
A Fashionable Blend of Form and Function
By Monica Mendal
“Most people I know have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear,” says Alissa Zachary, a former merchandising director for the Row. In an effort to redress this all-too-common imbalance between chic and utility, she created her own stretch knitwear brand High Sport, which launches this month. Rooted in classic American fashion — which Zachary defines as “an effortless union of form and function” — but made in Italy from the highest-quality cotton, her collection comprises colorful wardrobe essentials like tops, bottoms, dresses and outerwear. Intended for active women in search of comfortable, uncomplicated clothing, High Sport is proof that the post-pandemic premium on comfort needn’t involve a deficit of style. “I set out to create something entirely new and wearable, infused with vibrancy and fun.” From $500, high-sport.com.
When Life Gives You Olives
By Eleonore Condo
Shortly after leaving his position as CEO of Tod’s in 2018 and settling on the outskirts of Perugia in Umbria, Claudio Castiglioni founded a new venture: Beauty Thinkers, a skin-care line inspired by the often centuries-old olive trees of the neighboring Castello Monte Vibiano. He’d learned that when the estate’s olives are pressed to make some of Italy’s finest olive oil, the water extruded as a by-product is exceptionally high in antioxidants. And so, with help from a lab affiliated with the local university and a “horizontal collective” of agronomists, chemists and assorted skin-care enthusiasts, Castiglioni channeled this discovery into the creation of the Antioxidant Boost, a lightweight, non-greasy facial oil, and Antioxidant Cream, a gentle, ultra-hydrating lotion. Both are plant-based with minimal ingredients and fragrance-free, and come in refillable bottles with a sophisticated, non-gendered design. Come the New Year, Beauty Thinkers will release a series of hydrators and sun creams as part of the same line. From $78, beautythinkers.com.
The Art of the Quotidian
By Natalia Rachlin
When Ksenia Kagner and Nicko Elliott, the wife-and-husband team behind the New York-based architecture and interiors studio Civilian, would travel abroad for projects, they’d invariably return home with a suitcase full of practical household items that appealed to their finely honed design sense: soup ladles, tape dispensers, notebooks. As of last month, the couple have made a selection of these items available with the launch of Civilian Objects, an online retail platform that offers an array of beautiful everyday objects, from double-pronged brass hooks by the Roman hardware workshop Poignee (discovered while Kagner and Elliott were renovating a palazzo) to a set of nesting pine kitchen bowls made by a fifth-generation Portuguese family business. From Nov. 18 to 23, Civilian Objects debuts offline with a pop-up shop at Oliver coffee shop in New York’s Chinatown. “The possibility of being able to nerd out with others about the patina of raw brass,” says Kagner, “how could we ask for anything more?” From $15, civilianobjects.com.
Recapturing Perfume’s Elemental Roots
By Aimee Farrell
Siblings Emily Cameron and Owen Mears grew up surrounded by scents in a village in Somerset, England, where wafts of apples and fresh-cut hay would mingle with a cocktail of cumin, cinnamon and cloves from a local herb farm. “It was only when I left home and moved to the city that I realized how much fragrance had been a part of our lives,” says Mears. To recapture this intoxicating landscape, the pair launched Ffern, a small-batch organic-scent subscription service, created with fourth-generation perfumer François Robert. Quarterly releases, each evoking a particular place and timed either to the solstice or the equinox, are mailed to a “ledger” of clients whose number is kept low in order to ensure the integrity of the artisanal production process. This winter’s fragrance summons the English seaside town of Lyme Regis via a heady blend of mimosa, sweet orange, bergamot, vetiver and marjoram. From $129, ffern.co to register for waiting list (customers will receive an invitation to join the client ledger via text shortly thereafter).
An Antiquarian’s Parisian Homecoming