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Fivestory store owner Claire Distenfeld proves she is one of our most stylish New Yorkers by modeling her balanced ensembles. She favors high-end fashion designers such as Jason Wu, Thakoon and Jonathan Saunders, and shops at NYC stores Creel and Gow, Perez Sanz and Edon Manor.
RECOMMENDED: Most stylish New Yorkers
Claire Distenfeld, 27, Greenwich Village; owner and buyer at Fivestory (18 E 69th St between Fifth and Madison Aves; 212-288-1338, fivestoryny.com)
Her personal style: “Balanced, smart and witty. It’s never too feminine or too masculine, never too serious or too playful.”
Her inspirations: “History influences my style, as does my passion for art. I love the Abstract Expressionist era of the ’50s and marrying its macho, minimal feel with an era like the ’20s, which is all magical and decadent.”
About her shop: “Fivestory is a place to discover new things, sounds, smells and experiences. It has a very broad range of brands—from designers such as Balmain, Versace and Peter Pilotto to streetwear T-shirts and more contemporary labels like Acne—and aesthetics, but all are unified by my view on the world.”
Favorite stores: “Creel and Gow (131 E 70th St at Lexington Ave; 212-327-4281, creelandgow.com) is a place full of mystery and wonder—I love its taxidermy. Perez Sanz (20 E 69th St between Fifth and Madison Aves; 212-249-5151, perezsanz.com) is an Argentinean company that makes unbelievable, one-of-a-kind accessories, handbags and housewares using the most interesting materials. Edon Manor (391 Greenwich St between Beach and North Moore Sts; 212-431-3890, edonmanor.com) is an amazing shoe store. It was designed by Ryan Korban (ryankorban.com), who also did the interiors for Fivestory. He creates such amazing stories through his spaces, and this one is very special. It also has the best shoes!”
Favorite salons: “Chris Lospalluto at Sally Hershberger (17 E 71st St between Fifth and Madison Aves, 212-535-3519 • 425 W 14th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves, 212-206-8700 • sallyhershberger.com) is a hair whisperer. He doesn’t ask too many questions, and cuts a shape and length that makes your hair look its best and healthiest without being boring. I’ve been going to Kimara Ahnert Makeup Studio (1113 Madison Ave between 83rd and 84th Sts; 212-452-4252, kimara.com) for makeup applications, eyebrow shaping, waxing and facials since I was a [teenager] and really love it there. It’s very nostalgic; I’m a creature of habit and I like to go to the same place forever.”
Her style motto: “Never be too much of anything.”
Favorite NYC designers: “I like how Thakoon (thakoon.com) bridges the gap between sexy and cool, feminine and masculine. I also think his patterns, colors and cuts are always very interesting and unique. I find that Jason Wu’s (jasonwustudio.com) clothing makes women feel very powerful. [The garments] are cut to make you feel like a lady but also have a very strong presence. Each Erickson Beamon (ericksonbeamon.com) piece is handmade in its NYC offices. There is such care and detail in everything they do, making the collections feel intimate and one-of-a-kind. Lizzie Fortunato’s (lizziefortunatojewels.com) jewelry is extremely unique, yet fun and very easy to wear. You can really match her pieces with anything.”
Her New York style icon: “If I could blend Woody Allen’s personality and charm with Peggy Guggenheim’s style and Iris Apfel’s pizzazz, that would be my [idea of] perfection.”
How her style has evolved: “I think I’ve really simplified my style while never, ever letting it be boring. I’ve homed in on the simple things that make me feel good—the colors, the cuts, the movement and the message—and really tried to stay consistent.”
How she describes New York style: “Brave, smart and always a step ahead.”
Follow Cristina Velocci on Twitter: @cvelocci