At our global headquarters in New York City, our offices overlook Bryant Park, a Parisian-inspired green oasis tucked behind the fabled New York Public Library. Once home to New York Fashion Week, the park today is an everyday catwalk, with fashionistas taking lunch underneath the trees—and providing endless inspiration for our designers.
As an ongoing series, “The View from our Window,” we’re asking members of the DUFFY team and friends of the brand to reveal their favorite spots in cities around the world: the view from their own windows where they collect creative sparks and enjoy cozy comfort.
Here Nicole Rettig, Senior Designer, talks about how living in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan inspires her creativity.
Tell us about the West Village—how long you've live there, why you love it.
I have lived in the West Village for over 10 years now…wow, time flies! I love the WV because it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and yet it has managed to maintain its bohemian charm because so many of its buildings are protected historic landmarks. It feels like a quiet oasis nestled amongst all the frenetic energy of the rest of city.
What would be a perfect Saturday in your neighborhood?
First and foremost – I love sleeping in! For me, there is nothing better than being able wake up without an alarm clock or any commitments and do whatever strikes my fancy. After a morning of leisure, I love to head out and grab a Latte at any of the many little independent coffee shops in my neighborhood such as Ad Hoc Collective on historic Christopher Street or The Elk on Charles Street a few blocks from my apartment. (I will admit it—I am a caffeine junkie.)
Beverage in hand, I would then meet up with a few friends and head over to the Westside Highway for a bit of a stroll and people watching.
After that we would work our way up to the Whitney Museum located on the border of the WV and Meatpacking District to take in a few of the exhibits. (I am an even bigger art junkie.) We would then wander over to the Barneys downtown for a bit of shopping at one of my favorite NYC destinations. After that we would make our way down to the world-famous Joe’s Pizza for a slice or if we are in a more languorous mood, we could head to Rosemary’s or Morandi and share plates of delicious Italian food. I would wrap the day up at The Marlton Hotel or Casa Apicii for a drink or catch some live Jazz at The Village Vanguard or Smalls….the list could go on and on…
What creative inspiration do you draw from the West Village?
The WV always has an endless supply of inspiration, which is an amazing bonus of living there.
From its landmark architecture to its unique little parks and cobbled streets with red brick sidewalks it is an endless source of eye candy to get the creative juices flowing. Not to mention all the cool restaurants and old school bars such as The White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street, which was a hangout for literary greats Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac as well as artists Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning to name a few.
I really love all the independent boutiques and longstanding shops such as Three Lives Bookstore, which I like to visit weekly to discover new literature, and of course, the Jefferson Market Library offers a creative escape if I am feeling particularly in need for immersing myself in research. I highly recommend spending some time in that library’s reference room in the basement as it feels like you have been transported back in time and has these amazing arches made out of brick.
Choose a piece from the current collection that seems most representative of your neighborhood and tell us why.
This is tough—can I pick two pieces? I would have to say the V-Neck Tunic with Split Back Sweater in Agate Heather/Ivory and the Cashmere Trench Coat in Black/Medium Heather Grey.
The tunic sweater is a classic V-neck pullover but with what we like to call a “DUFFY twist” – due to the unexpected thermal texture blocking and our signature double cuffs detail and unexpected back slit in a shot of contrast color.
The Cashmere Trench Coat is again our take on a cool classic, but we made ours in luxe woven cashmere double knit and was designed to be reversible so it offers more ways of styling it but it looks fresh and modern because it features different colors.
I feel that both these DUFFY styles exemplify the WV vibe in the sense that a classic shape can be both timeless and modern simultaneously, and can be kept forever and passed on to future generations if you take good care of it. I feel that personifies the West Village nicely.