With a host of holiday happenings and a flood of festive fêtes, this time of year can get to be a bit overwhelming when it comes to one’s social calendar. All the more reason to carve out a day for a little me-time, which is why we turned to designer Joseph Altuzarra and asked him to compile his ideal New York holiday outing. From the Financial District to the Upper East Side, he’s crafted the perfect jaunt to take in all the sights of the season. And because you’re taking yourself out for a day on the town, feel free to spruce up with his Pre-Spring ’17 collection, which we took for a spin while test-driving Joseph’s itinerary with model Amanda Googe.
“This season the Altuzarra woman is a little edgier and a bit more tapped into the quote-unquote ‘downtown’ of New York, which played a role in picking these places,” he tells us. “In a way, it was a very New York collection. There are a lot more elements of what you might traditionally think of as cool—leather mixed with lace; plaids that have been over-dyed and bleached; drippy, disintegrated prints. There’s a lot of textile play that draws from Americana and rock-n-roll, but with a twist it. In a sense, it’s less polished than some of my previous collections have been.”
Scroll on to see where Joseph’s plan for the day took Amanda, then head to Barneys to check out the new collection that inspired this festive excursion.
To get in the holiday spirit, Joseph recommends kicking off the day with a visit to The Beekman, downtown’s beautiful new hotel. “We just moved into our new offices in the Woolworth Building, and The Beekman is right next-door, so it’s sort of become a de facto hangout for us,” he tells us. “It’s very cozy around Christmas and beautifully decorated.”
In speaking about the Pre-Spring ’17 collection, Joseph confesses that he drew inspiration from an unusual source: a late-’80s film called Frantic that stars Harrison Ford and Emmanuelle Seigner. “The movie itself is not a masterpiece by any means,” he jokes, “but what was interesting was its style—the wardrobe is very late-‘80s French girl rock-n-roll, but influenced by America. It’s the U.S. seen through the eyes of a French girl, which resonated with me since I’m bicultural and a lot of the brand’s natural codes are both American and French.”
UNION SQUARE HOLIDAY MARKET
“The Christmas market in Union Square is just quintessential New York,” Joseph says. “It’s so fun to do my Christmas shopping there and find trinkets and stocking stuffers for everyone on my list.”
While doing a bit of holiday shopping may already be on your list, Joseph explains that for him, it’s actually the very best part of the season. “I love gift-giving, so I spend a lot of timing looking for the perfect gifts. I don’t go to the tree-lighting or many other New York happenings. A lot of it for me is just trying to find amazing gifts for people.”
From Union Square, it’s just a short walk westward to arrive at the newest Barneys outpost, our Downtown Flagship on 7th Avenue. “Barneys is my home away from home!” Joseph gushes. “I live literally across the street from this new store and am here every single weekend without fail.” While shopping, he makes sure to stop on the third floor for a quick pick-me-up at Freds.
“I love books for myself and also love to gift books, so when it comes to shopping for them, there’s no place better than Rizzoli—without a doubt, it’s the most beautiful bookstore in New York. When designing my collections, a huge portion of my inspiration always comes from books.”
BARNEYS MADISON AVENUE
“Since I’m always looking for that perfect gift, I do spend a lot of time at both the new Barneys downtown and the Madison Avenue flagship. It’s almost an addiction!”
While crossing people off your holiday list, be sure to treat yourself as well. There’s no better place to do so than at Freds Downtown, especially since we’ve just launched Fry Days at Freds. Every day—even weekends!—stop into Freds at our Chelsea flagship between 4:00 and 7:00PM to sample one of our specialty cocktails or wines for only $10 and receive a complimentary order of our famous signature Belgian Pommes Frites. Now every day can be Fry Day!