10 stylish things to do in New York
After studying and working in Paris for iconic fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent, Rinat Brodach started her own label in New York. She told us all about the hidden gems of the cosmopolitan metropolis where she likes to go and find some inspiration.
Rinat is one of those passionate and low-key fashion designers who hasn’t lost her true self in the swirl of New York’s fashion scene. During her stints at Yves Saint Laurent and Steffie Christiaens she has learned what it’s like to work for days and nights in a row for a memorable Paris Fashion Week runway show. The designer told us more about what inspires her, how she started her business and what are her favorite things to do in New York.
Tell us three things people don’t know about you…
I am very spiritual.
I have a shy side that most people don’t often realize is there.
I am obsessed with the show “Finding Big Foot”.
You have launched your first collection last year, but you have been in the fashion business for some time. Have you worked for other brands? Share your experience with us…
After graduating from Academy of Art University in 2010, I received a scholarship that allowed me to attend École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne in Paris. This is where I received first-hand experience in the fashion world interning for labels such as Yves Saint Laurent and Steffie Christiaens. My interning experience was much more than what people expect when thinking of a fashion intern (Devil Wears Prada coffee-run girl). I was fortunate enough to intern in places that allowed me to do important work and perfect skills that I still use today.
My most memorable experience was being up for an entire week before Paris Fashion Week and having an actual place in creating one-of-a-kind pieces that are actually works of art. For example, a dress made completely out of plexiglass for Steffie Christiaens. We made the prototype out of superglued drinking straws.
What is the most important lesson you have learned about fashion so far?
I learned the importance of patience. Nothing happens over night. As long as you are dedicated to your talent, there will be a great outcome. I believe once people enter the fashion world, they are consumed with the glitz and glamour which causes them to lose their drive. Schmoozing is important, but not as much as creating. That needs to be the focus.
Starting your own line involves so much more than just learning design skills. You must have an understanding of everything from business, to accounting, to marketing.
Describe the woman you design for.
The Rinat Brodach woman knows what she wants. She has a strong identity of self and knows where she is heading in life. She loves to get dressed up, but also believes less is more. Her philosophy is that the woman makes the clothes and not vice versa. I want my clothing to help boost a woman’s self-esteem, but not define it. My pieces are here to help you be brave enough to go out into the world and climb any obstacles.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
My inspiration comes from multiple outlets. Music, art and current events are three major ones. For example, my last collection was inspired by my battle with being more vulnerable and open to people which brought on my line called “How to Expose the Heart”.
Who are your favorite designers and why?
Rick Owens – His beautiful drapings that are beautiful and intercut is one of the main reasons why I am such a huge fan. I also appreciate how his pieces are androgynous. They look just as amazing on men as on women.
Margiela – The “original” Margiela, the designer, is one of my absolute favorites. I appreciate that he took classic garments such as the blazer and the trench coat and gave them a twist so that they looked simple, but actually weren’t.
How come you specialized in draping? Why do you like this technique?
I originally became interested in draping when I was introduced to it by my professor/mentor in college, Rob Curry, who was Vienne Westwood’s right hand. He taught me how to break fashion barriers and create a style of my own.
Draping is an outlet and form of meditation for me. I feel like I can zone out and express my feelings and who I am through various drapings. It is an art form.
What are the most important things one should know when starting his/her own business in fashion?
One should know it is not an easy or a quick process. There will be a lot of people who will question your passion. You have to move forward and have faith in your craft. Another thing that you should also keep in mind is that starting your own line involves so much more than just learning design skills. You must have an understanding of everything from business, to accounting, to marketing. Educate yourself in a little bit of all three to prevent being taken advantage of. Express will fill the void.
The challenges vary, but one major issue is not having enough experience. Prepare yourself through internships and studies. Remember you have to think fast and find creative solutions to overcome obstacles.
You once said that your biggest dream is presenting at Paris Fashion Week. Is this still your biggest goal?
Yes, this is a huge accomplishment I hope to one day achieve. A lot of my favorite designers have shown there so it would be an honor to have my name listed together with the traditional houses.
New York is…
New York is crowded, loud, fast-paced and tough. This city represents strength and power to me. All dreams are possible here. It just takes hard work and perseverance. I truly believe if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
What are your favorite designer stores in the city?
Rick Owens, Lanvin, Ann Demeulemeester, Givenchy, Margiela and Damir Doma.
What is your personal style? What do you like to wear?
My style is very eclectic. I like to intertwine a combination of femininity and masculinity into my own style.
Where do you usually go shopping?
Being a designer, I am very particular about the pieces I buy, especially the construction and the materiala. Vintage stores are usually my go-to shops, since there are so many one-of-a-kind pieces there. I am also a firm believer in Zara’s basics and when in Europe, in COS. During major sales, you can also find me in Barneys.
10 stylish things to do in New York
1. Dudley’s Restaurant located in the Lower East Side – It is a cute corner café-restaurant with amazing food and cocktails. The best location to hang out with a friend and watch people .
2. Employees Only – A cute bar-restaurant that has a very well mixed crowd in the West Village. A hidden gem filled with locals. Palm Readings are also offered there on Sundays and Mondays.
3. Ace Hotel – A dark and cool atmosphere full of a young hip New York crowd. I love going there when I feel like being on the scene.
4. Billy Marks – A local dive bar in my neighborhood with super cheap drinks. They’re not known for their customer service, but I believe that adds to the vibe.
5. Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market– They have the best gems. I love to go there for inspiration and finding vintage pieces to take apart and study their construction.
6.Chelsea Galleries – Thursdays are a great day to gallery hop in Chelsea NY. They have most of their opening nights that day, which makes it the perfect day to submerge yourself in art.
7. Sivanda Yoga Vedanta Center – Where you can find me on most days, especially the stressful ones. With $12 Yoga classes for an hour and half, you can’t go wrong.
8.Amazing Brows – I religiously go here for all my eyebrow and henna needs. Affordable and with the best service. Stop by if you’re ever in town and if you are obsessed with good eyebrows.
9. Le Grainne – When I’m missing Paris I come here to get a piece of the culture. One of the best and affordable French restaurants I’ve found in NYC.
10. Le Bain – When I’m ready to dance I head to Le Bain for the music and the view. Everyone visiting NY should stop by to visit the amazing rooftop.
If you liked Rinat’s story and her suggestions for the most stylish things to do in New York, than you should definitely have a look over her insider guide for the city. If you know some other great places to see in New York or any other city, make sure to sign up and create your very own guide.