Read the May Issue of Athleisure Mag and see The Nine List in mag.
Earlier this month, we had the honor of sitting down with one of our culinary faves at NYC's The Kitchen Table in NoLita with Gail Simmons. In addition to her role at Food & Wine Magazine, she is also known as a judge on BRAVO's Top Chef. We talked with Gail about her journey in food journalism, the importance of working throughout the food industry to gain invaluable knowledge of professional kitchens, Top Chef history, food diversity, how she maintains calm when planning for guest arrivals for food celebrations, key ingredients in her kitchen this Spring, where we can find her shopping in Brooklyn and more!
ATHLEISURE MAG: So tell us about your background and how you came to work in food journalism?
GAIL SIMMONS: It’s sort of a long story and I have always started with a love for food. I graduated from college and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career and everyone else seemed to know what they wanted to do with their degree out of college. All I knew was that I loved to cook and I loved to write. But back then, that wasn’t necessarily a one plus one equals two situation. People were just starting to cover the food world. The term food media back then just meant writing for a handful of magazines or a couple pages of newspapers and there wasn’t the kinds of opportunities that they are now. But I knew that cooking was my passion and so I got a job first as an intern in a magazine and as an Editorial Assistant in a newspaper as sort of a lifestyle food and travel section. I realized that in working everyday around all of these different subjects that food is really what I am more interested in. Then I was given this really great piece of advice that anyone can write as you can practice on your own and that’s what you have editors for, but if you want to differentiate yourself and really make a mark in the food world then you really need to understand the professional kitchen and learn to cook.
So I picked up, packed up and moved to NYC and went to culinary school and from there I worked in a few really tough, but incredible professional kitchens as a line cook and always with an agenda that I wanted to write about it and knowing that I never wanted to be a chef in a kitchen full time. When the time was right and I had a lot of experience and felt that I really understood how to cook well properly with a good foundation, I moved back into writing first with Vogue Magazine as an Assistant to the Food Writer and then for a chef doing events, marketing and PR all sort of learning around the events of the restaurant industry in every different aspect of what it takes to work in the food industry. About 15 years ago, I landed at Food and Wine Magazine and I’ve sort of been there ever since.
AM: That is a journey and what was the moment while you were on this food journalism track that you realized that you wanted to enhance your brand and make that jump into TV as well?
GS: I didn’t actually. I never ever consciously thought, I want to enhance my brand as a personality – the word brand, was never in my language or in my purview. I never thought about going on to television it was always about writing and publishing for me back then – 14 years ago. I did a little bit of food television in my early days on behalf of Food & Wine because often morning shows would need someone to talk about recipes, wine trends from the magazine or what we were doing for our spring issue ,so I was the one that would often go on because I had the cooking and marketing background to go on and be able to do cooking demos and to talk with the anchors and the hosts. So that sort of became what I did for the magazine and about a year into my job at Food & Wine, BRAVO came to Food & Wine with this idea of a reality show about the lives of professional chefs and they wanted to call it Top Chef and they wanted to partner with Food & Wine to teach them about the world of food and cooking and in exchange, they would put one of their editors on the judges panel and so they screen tested me and asked me to do it and I have been doing it ever since. I never meant to do it, I never sought it out, but we also certainly never knew that it was going to be a hit show and that it would last this long. We’re going into our 17th season and it doesn’t seem like it is going to be slowing down.
AM: We love your authenticity and in doing the research to chat with you, it was amazing to see how many areas of this industry that you have touched to immerse yourself in this space. Clearly this is why you can speak about so many aspects of it due to your knowledge.
GS: For me, everything I did up until now, and what I continue to do, feeds into my experience and my knowledge. I don’t think that I could have ever gotten the job on television had I not done all of those things. I think that being able to speak to the real life of professional kitchens, which is what our show is about – we want to speak fairly and honestly in a constructive way and understand the work that chefs do. I think that you need to have a working knowledge of that to come across to your audience not only as authentic, but in a way that the audience of a show can identify with you because the audience can’t taste the food. You really become the taste buds for your viewers and I think that all of the work that I have done and before leading up to Top Chef helped prepare me.
AM: What led to you creating cookbooks and what is that process like for you when you’re making them?
GS: I think that these days, cookbooks for me was a very natural offshoot for everything that I do and finding a place where all of my favorite recipes could live that shaped me and make me who I am and recipes that I have learned and brought home from my travels that have become staples in my household and I wanted to just share those with everybody because I am asked for them so often. It was a great opportunity to put them in one place.
The process was rigorous. It took me 2 years to write my most recent book. 2 years is sort of par for the course and sometimes it can take many, many more. From conception to publication, so it was an all encompassing process. It was so much work in every aspect – testing, developing, testing, rewriting the recipes, editing etc. Writing all the head notes, the introduction, making sure that they are accurate having someone else retest for that accuracy. I really wanted to make sure that every recipe in the book not only sounded delicious, but was absolutely attainable for everyone to make at home.
AM: That’s intense. Going back to Top Chef, we have had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Brooke Williamson and Chef Richard Blais previously in Athleisure Mag as well as on Athleisure Studio’s podcast network show – Athleisure Kitchen. What is it like for you as a judge to be on Top Chef? What is the process like for you and how do you get yourself prepared for those moments that are taking place?
GS: I mean we have been making this show for so long that we have gotten it down to a science. It’s a great process though as we have a great crew that has worked with us for so many years and everyone really understands what every episode takes. So we’re a pretty fine tuned machine. I would say that the most important part of what I do is balancing - being constructive and fair with the challenge that is being presented every episode and making sure that I am speaking to that challenge and what all the different chefs that are doing. The great thing about the show is that we travel to a different city every single season so I always do a little research about the place because the location is going to inform so much about the cooking, the ingredients and the history. You know, the history of Charleston is going to be different then the history of Boston which is going to be very different than the history of Kentucky or California. I think it really plays a role and is what differentiates our show from all others.
AM: It’s also so inclusive to food diversity from a geographical standpoint. This season’s Top Chef was in Kentucky and one of our Co-Founders is from Indiana and many of the recipes that were made this season were also indicative of areas she grew up in and which allows audiences to connect from that standpoint as well.
GS: Exactly there is a lot of food overlap and that is what makes our show so fun. You don’t have to be a great cook to identify with loving food or understanding the history of this country. Food plays such a great role in that and in our families in the way that we eat, the way that we go out, the way that we celebrate and we try to stay true to the locations that we go to.
AM: How would you define, your style of cooking?
GS: I think my cooking is spontaneous and changes with a season. I’m a mom and I think my food has changed a lot since I became a mother. I want flavor and I want it to be healthy and easy to make because I don’t want to give people recipes that will take them 3 days in the kitchen and I certainly don’t have time to dedicate that. So my style really calls from all of my travel experience and my childhood which has a lot of influences. People always ask me, “what’s your favorite thing to cook?” I never have one favorite thing, it always depends on the time of year, where I traveled to last, the ingredients that I am most excited about and then ways that I go about organizing them and being the most efficient in the kitchen to get the most flavor by doing the least to the great quality of food that I have.
AM: Because you have done so much in the food industry, are there other projects that you would love to be a part of that you have yet to tackle – but would want to?
GS: I think there are so many things. There is so much travel that I want to do and I think that giving back to the community that helped me for so long is really important to me and there are so many ways to do that right now. Cooking is such a life skill, so not only does it nourish people, but it teaches people to translate that skill into a job anywhere where they are. Certainly, there are so many things where food applies to our lives, whether it’s politics or math and science. Teaching my child to cook, you become some conscious of that and so just teaching is always in the background for me, whether it’s through books or in television championing my industry, and giving back to my community through all of these different channels is always top of mind and there are always more things to be done.
AM: With Spring being here finally as we see the leaves on the trees – there are so many Spring holidays coming up and reasons to just come together just because. What are some trends taking place in the kitchen that we can incorporate right now into our dishes just to change things up?
GS: I think that Spring is just the most exciting moment in the year because we have all just been in hibernation for so long and I got real cozy with lots of soups and stews over the winter but I am ready for bright new ingredients. I am really excited about bringing all of those fresh herbs, fresh flavors, different fruits and vegetables into my diet that I haven’t been able to get all winter long. But I also want to be efficient with what I am cooking and because there are holidays in the Spring where you are cooking for a crowd often of all ages with family and friends with Easter and Passover – you really want to optimize your time in the kitchen. My entertaining strategies are always about finding recipes that you can be organized with and prepare as much as possible with in advance, so that when guests do arrive you’re just doing the minimal to get food on the table so that you can spend time with them.
AM: People come by unexpectedly sometimes. What do you suggest that we should always have in our fridges so that we can ensure that we are always ready as sometimes you never know when Auntie May comes by!
GS: Yes and there’s nothing to eat – it’s true! I mean I think with a few simple ingredients, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are ways to use them so that you’re picking ingredients that are versatile. A few products that I love are having lots of fresh herbs in my fridge and lots of citrus as they can be added to lots of things from pasta to cottage cheese. They can be turned into so many things in so many different ways. Or even eggs that they can go on top of. I love keeping good quality dairy products as they are always in my fridge. As I said, herbs and citrus, cheese, eggs, and then as much fresh ingredients as possible. So if you have salad greens or you have a few key bowls of berries, you can make 100 different things. Breakfast for example, is a time where I feel that people run out of ideas. There are a ton of things going on in the morning or if you’re entertaining in the morning there is a lot you have to do so quickly. If you have people over for brunch for Easter for example, if you can think a little ahead of time – you can make a really beautiful statement with minimal work. One thing that I always advocate is big batch cooking. I love making granola for example and I make it a week in advance in a big batch that I can eat throughout the week and I can have it as my go-to to put on top of things in the morning. Or just eat it as a handful to grab and go as a snack. When you have granola and some fresh berries, granola in the fridge and cottage cheese, then there you have the perfect protein packed, versatile and easy breakfast parfait that looks great and beautiful for everyone.
AM: When you are planning for 8-10 people that you know are coming for a dinner party, people get overwhelmed with the idea of tackling this – what do you do?
GS: I always make sure that I make my list and be organized. I can never underestimate how important that, is especially when you have guests arriving. Try not to do too many things and remember that you can ask for help. I think that people forget to do that. If I’m having people over, I want to think 2 days out about what I can do and then 1 day out, what I can do. Sometimes that feels daunting – no one has 3 days to make a meal, but I’m not talking about major cooking. Just marinating your meat in the morning so that 8 hours later when you cook it, it has all that flavor that is already done. That’s just 20 minutes in the morning and then you’re ready to cook as soon as guests arrive and it’s the same when you’re making your dressings in advance if you’re making a salad. I love making bowls – grain bowls for example, so doing things like making the dressing in advance, washing the lettuce, if I’m using quinoa or another grain like that – cooking it in advance really takes 15 minutes and then it’s cooled and ready to go and it’s in your fridge and all you’re doing is really assembly.
AM: What are 3 ingredients that you always have in your kitchen that are really good for versatile dishes?
GS: I would say that right now it’s fresh herbs, lemons because I use every part of the lemon from the juice to the zest and Hood Cottage Cheese because I feel it is the most versatile dairy product that I have that everyone loves and you can do so many things with it.
AM: Do you have some recipes for those of us that are busy and running around that are easy to satisfy and easy to make as well?
GS: One recipe that is my go to because it’s great for lunch, it’s great for a snack and it can feed a crowd and it’s easy to batch it up for 10 people or to just have a personal bowl of when I need something that is healthy and really satisfying – I make a really delicious Mango Avocado Salsa. Lots of lemons, lots of lime juice and lime zest and fresh cilantro tossed with fresh mango and avocado and I put it on a base of Hood Cottage Cheese with Black Pepper in a bowl. My little trick is I always make a little well in the center of the cottage cheese using the back of my spoon and I pile all the salsa right in the middle so that when you’re dipping you’re getting a little of both and you’re not searching for one ingredient or the other. I find that it’s a great after school snack for my kids, it’s a great appetizer for a dinner party or the perfect quick lunch for me on the go and it really doesn’t require many ingredients.
I talked with you about the grain bowl which is another one to make in advance and then the granola that I make all the time for breakfast for parfaits. Because if you have some fresh wash berries in the fridge, you can have your granola that you made before and all you have to do is layer it on together.
AM: Are there other ways that cottage cheese can be used beyond what someone would think is their “traditional” use?
GS: I think that cottage cheese is having this renaissance moment because people are rediscovering it from their childhood. First of all, it’s packed with protein which is a bonus, it can be used the same way that you use other dairy products. I love it in smoothies, I can use it in place of ricotta for pasta and lasagna. My kids love it and my little baby loves it for breakfast in the morning. It has texture and a rich creaminess and it's a great item to have around.
AM: You’re based here in NYC, where can we find you working out, grabbing a meal/cocktail and shopping?
GS: In NY the options are endless and I live in Brooklyn – I love my neighborhood. It’s a quiet treelined neighborhood in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of great places to eat nowadays. I’m really obsessed with eating at a lot of places with fresh little small plates and a glass of wine so there’s a great wine bar close to me called June that I love and another wine bar with great food called Frank’s Wine Bar. When I’m in downtown NY, where we are today in NoLita – I love eating at a little Middle Eastern spot that has really fresh fast casual food called In the Dez, it’s delicious and right up the street. That’s where you can see me grabbing food.
Working out - now that the nice weather is out, I can pick up running again. I love running, but I don’t like running indoors so winter is kind of out for me and I take a break from running. But I live near the Brooklyn Promenade so running from my house to the Brooklyn Bridge is sort of my go to run when the weather is nice. If not, then I’m a spinner so you can catch me at SoulCycle.
And shopping – what kind of shopping?
AM: Well whatever, whether it’s for clothes or food – it’s so open!
GS: I mean, that’s a tough one! Shopping – I’m shopping for lots of things all the time! Let’s see, I love Veronica Beard for clothes, she’s a great designer that I wear a lot from these days. For food, what I love about my Brooklyn neighborhood is that it’s so old school in that instead of going to big huge grocery stores, there are small shops so I have my local butcher that I love, there is an amazing Middle Eastern store that I get all of my spices and things like pita and fresh bread and things like that. I’m at the regular grocery store buying all of my pantry items too.
AM: Your makeup is always great and you have great skin. As someone who travels a lot, what are 3 skincare products that you use?
GS: I have really dry skin so traveling definitely takes a toll. But I am also someone that doesn’t use 50 products a day because I’m someone that has to get up and go and I am always in a rush. So 3 products that I love my under eye I believe in helping as much as possible because tired is real. I’m a big fan of Drunk Elephant Vitamin C under eye cream that I use all of the time. There is a really beautiful store here in NYC and there is another in Boston and in a few other locations possible in DC, and It’s called Follain that has the most non toxic products from body to face to make up and hair products that are not only good for the planet, but with ingredients that are pure and all natural – so I use a lot of their products. I love Naturopathica skin care. I use a bunch of their products – I love their Daily Moisturizer and there’s this Body Balm that I absolutely love OSEA. They carry it at Follain so I get it there, but I initially got it as a gift and I’m obsessed with it. I love the smell, it’s rich and luxurious and really a great natural and beautiful skincare product for your whole body.
AM: You’re very busy. How do you take time for yourself to just recharge and disconnect?
GS: It’s a hard thing to do and it requires actual carve out time on the calendar for sure. Working out and clearing my brain is really important. I have to force myself to do it, but for me, it’s not about losing weight as obviously staying healthy is important. It’s about clearing my head and destressing because I know I will feel better at the end of the day if I can. I love that I live in NYC and I don’t have a car and that I can walk everywhere as I find that therapeutic. Cooking is also something that lets me relax at the end of the day. There is nothing that I like more than anything at the end of the day, relaxing with friends where I can sit around the table and I can cook for them and destress and really connect with the people that I love the most and that to me is taking a great time for myself. Once or twice a year, I like a really good massage and date night with my husband is also nice every once in awhile! We forget to do it, but when we do it’s always important.
You can hear this interview with Gail Simmons May 3rd on our show, Athleisure Kitchen, which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast shows.
Each year brings with it fashion trends, decorating trends, and beauty trends.
The latter covers everything from nails, haircare, makeup and skincare. With the ubiquity of social media, beauty users now can pick up popular trends from anywhere across the world and follow them. Skincare is the biggest segment in the beauty industry with global sales that hover around $130 billion in 2019. There is so much for consumers to digest and decide on. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and skin care expert. He takes a microscope to some of the hottest trends in 2019 to give you insight into what’s worth your hard- earned dollars.
CBD In Skincare
Much like it did in 2018, CBD is taking off in the new year. In fact, CBD (short for cannabidiol) has no plans of easing up its reign on the skin-care world in 2019. As a case in point, there are at least two MAJOR skin care brands that now include CBD in their skincare, not to mention the indie companies who have created CBD skincare. Dr. Shah’s take: “As far as it being good for skin, it acts as both an anti-inflammatory agent and an oil reduction agent. Theoretically, its addition to skin care products, especially those tasked to fight acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, is probably legitimate. It is also a good antioxidant that can help protect against free radical damage to skin cells. CBD can be made from hemp which helps skincare companies get around the federal ban on marijuana. Side effects of unregulated use include: Nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.”
Some beauty editors and bloggers swear by pimple patches. According to experts, those patches are about to get even more advanced by way of a ton of tiny microneedles (or "microstructures").The logic is that you can out put a smaller amount of acne-fighting ingredients into these tiny little cones and apply it to the skin, it's a better, more effective delivery system.
Here's how they are purported to work: The small band-aid-like sticker has spikes coated with hyaluronic acid that are thinner than a hair follicle. Through these teeny painless pricks in the skin, the patch drives the active ingredients deep in to the skin. Dr. Shah’s take:
“There is plenty of good medical literature on the validity of these small patches that are impregnated with various chemicals. The patch gets worn and the needles (either metallic or made out of absorbable polymer) penetrate the skin delivering the chemical treatment. Their design takes advantage of the concept of transcutaneous delivery of drugs. Patches can be custom made to fit various areas of the face and deliver anti-aging or other chemicals while a patient sleeps. The efficiency of delivery is better through the tiny skin punctures than if you only put the chemical directly on the intact skin. In theory, aesthetic practitioners can make custom topical treatments and place them on the patches to deliver customized at home skin treatments for their patients.”
Is a Cryotherapy Facial Is the Best Way to Brighter, Tighter Skin?
Cryotherapy has gained popularity in recent years with spa treatments exposing clients to subzero temperatures to help relieve pain and improve their health. This wellness treatment has recently undergone another adaptation with the cryotherapy facial treatment. The Cryo Facial is a cryogenic treatment that is performed by what is considered a "cryo probe," which beams vaporized liquid nitrogen across the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Different from the cryotherapy chambers that can be used for pain relief, the facial targets helping the face look younger. Dr. Shah’s take: “This may be more suspect. There isn't a great deal of study-based evidence that cryotherapy facials actually do what they claim. Typically, cryotherapy uses extremely cold liquid nitrogen to freeze exposed skin cells to kill them, like a wart. The facials use the same liquid nitrogen as a spray, but the aesthetician doesn't stay in one area too long to avoid frostbite to the skin. Some level of cold injury occurs, probably to a very superficial level of the skin, so there may be some exfoliation. But there are safer ways to get exfoliation without risking frostbite or hyperpigmentation.”
ANTI-POLLUTION SKIN CARE
Your skin is exposed to environmental aggressors on a regular basis. Although unseen, these pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin, the fibers that give skin its bounce. To help reduce these unwanted side effects, anti-pollution skin care products are continuing to gain favorability among consumers. Just as SPF is now de rigor in skin care, this seems to be the case with anti-pollution ingredient. Dr. Shah’s take: “I think that this is a new name for old tech. In brief, our skin is exposed to environmental contaminants that create inflammatory conditions. These conditions lead to build up of free radicals in the skin. The ingredients in antipollution skin care are basically strong antioxidants that protect against the free radicals. But the skin is assaulted by more than chemicals. It experiences dehydration, UV exposure, temperature changes, etc. True antipollution skincare should guard against all this. Typical protective and reparative ingredients include vitamin E, vitamin C, retinoids, hyaluronic acid, zinc oxide, vitamin B3, and bisabolol.”
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
We know that some of our readers may be battling the remnants of snow, while others have enjoyed amazing weather. No matter where you're based, we're thinking one thing - swimwear. Pretty soon, all of us will be able to rock our favorite suits and with so many days of summer coming on the horizon - we had to talk with Monica Hansen of Monica Hansen Beachwear. This swimwear model, Miss Norway 1997, reality show star and host launched a line that has been a cult favorite and opened FUNKSHION's Miami Swim show last year. We talked with her about her passion for swimwear, how she goes about creating her collection, her upcoming show for Miami Swim and where we can find her hanging in Las Vegas where she is based!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to creating your swim line, tell us about what you are up to previously as we know you modeled and were Miss Norway 1997!
MONICA HANSEN: I started modeling when I was 14, so it was a long time. I started out as a model and I used to do a lot of swimwear modeling, everything from runway to then getting into TV, hosting, some reality shows. Some people when they want to become models, they want to do it so that they can become famous or to become an actress – for me I was really into fashion photography and things behind the camera as opposed to being in front of the camera haha! Believe it or not, I am actually camera shy! I can’t take selfies unless I’m really drunk. I’m fine when it is a professional camera or it’s in my mind that I am going to be on TV to host, I’m fine and I’m on it. But when a friend or someone close to me wants to take a family or a group picture, I become shy and I just can’t do it – but I made a living doing it this way! It’s always been out of my comfort zone. When I’m modeling, I’m thinking that I creating art – professional work and so I know that it makes sense that I will be a part of this art. It’s really strange, I don’t know why I am like that, but it’s just the way that it has always been for me!
My passion is that I really do love photography and I do love art! I love creating and I have always been a business woman – even when I was modeling, in order to get work, you have to manage yourself like a business as there is a lot of marketing. Many people think that just because you have an agent, you’re set – but you really have to take charge to put yourself out there. Since I have always been an artist at heart, creating bathing suits was a natural transition for me from a design standpoint as well as other parts of this business. I really do enjoy doing this even more then modeling!
AM: What was the moment that you told yourself that you were going to create your own swim line?
MH: I guess that I always wanted to – it was just a matter of time. The timing was right because I was starting to get some recognition in my home country because I did a lot of TV and I thought, I should probably get some product out there. Previously, I had done a lot of swimwear and had worked for a line that is very well known now and one time the owner told me that she didn’t have a sales rep, but that she knew that I had worked with her for so long that I knew the line by heart. She had an emergency as she had buyers coming and didn’t have the sales rep so I ended up being the sales rep and I got to see all of the numbers and I was like, “I’m in the wrong business!”
I started with swimwear not because it’s the easiest – it’s actually complicated. You have to understand the bodies, the fit and the stretch and how it changes with different cuts of fabric with your patterns. I never went to design school, but I make all of the paper patterns myself.
MH: Yeah because I can draw and I had a mentor that would help me and a designer girlfriend of mine. She taught me how to do the paper patterns, I was able to pick it up and now I am able to do them myself. I do the whole collection myself, I run the business myself as well! We’re a small business so I’m the CEO, but I still manage everyone as well as doing the designing. It’s a lot, but with swimwear, it’s cheaper production in general although all of my fabrics are 100% Italian and I wanted to create something that I could produce and not have to worry about a larger production where I would have to worry about investors. Hopefully we will expand into more beachwear, but right now we’re focused on swimwear.
AM: Who would you say is the Monica Hansen Beachwear girl?
MH: It’s interesting because our target market is that we are trendy so we focus on a younger girl, but believe it or not, we have a 95 year old woman wearing our line and sending me pictures! It used to be that you could say that a number of swimwear designers were focused on younger generations, but now I feel like more people are wearing it and it’s more acceptable to wear it out even outside of the beach. I mean we had Christie Brinkley just wear it in Sports Illustrated and she was just in my bathing suit and she looked amazing! I would say that any confident woman that is all ages. What I did with my swimwear is that we have a lot of mix and match so I have like 7 bottoms that can go with a top. So the good thing about that is that you can buy 2 tops with 2 or 3 bottoms and every time you pair them together, it looks like a different suit. Also, everybody’s body is different. I purposely did it like that because sometimes you will go somewhere and say I love the top, but I don’t love the bottom with it – and that happens with every woman! Were all so different and we cater to everyone. I have suits for everybody in every shape. Some of our suits are a little more sexy and more revealing, but I feel that every woman in any shape wants to feel sexy and hot no matter what you are. Regardless of your shape, you’re not saying, “I want to wear this big diaper.”
AM: That is what has drawn us to your line the versatility, recognizing that that there are a number of shapes out there and the quality construction and fabrication!
MH: When I first started, I began with small, medium and large. Now, we have XS and XL and actually, the grading is a lot tighter. I made them as opposed to a whole size up – doing a half size up.! Because when you do 3 sizes, you’re missing the in-between and the grading becomes a bigger gap. So when you add the XS and XL, you’re bridging the gap where someone would say that it is a little too small or a little too big. Because of the fabrics that have stretch, you’re even luckier due to the 4 way stretch which makes it fit just right.
I used to have 100s of bathing suits and yet I would only wear 2 that were my favorite. They were the most comfortable, they didn’t have metals on them, etc. So when I design, I think of something that’s classic, great style and colors that go well with the skin tone. It’s also about having fabrics that feel good because you don’t want something that feels tight sitting on top of you and that makes marks. I’m trying to focus on fabrics that give you that hold and stretch but when you wear it, it doesn’t feel like you have anything on. My focus was keeping it fashionable and also being inspired by the 90s as I love that time period because it’s kind of my generation also! These suits are a higher cut because it gives women a longer look and it compliments every woman’s body. It’s more of a minimalist approach.
AM: We couldn’t agree more. When we looked through your Instagram, we know you have a number of the 90s supermodels on your page. But even when you don’t see them, the suits do give off the 90s “It Girl” vibe which is so classic and timeless juxtaposed against the Bardot elements of the line. It’s fun and has core pieces that you can truly wear over and over.
MH: Absolutely, I mean think about leopard that is a classic print that someone can wear as it will always come back and never fade. All of my colors are custom made and I’m very particular. When I first got into this because I didn’t go to fashion school or anything, I would look at these suits that just came with these stock colors and I would look at this bright orange and say, “Oh my God how do you wear this?” As it’s something that my grandmother would wear.” What sets us a part is that even though everyone can copy and try to do the same thing, people will copy you and that is part of what happens when something becomes part of the trend they make similar items. There is no copyright unless you make a print. It’s a compliment when I have seen some of the big brands copy us – it means that you’re in fashion and it will become trendy and there is a market for what you make.
What I have noticed is that when you have custom colors it makes it harder to do that as you’re mixing colors. It’s about the tones of the suit. We try to get colors that work on every skin tone as well.
AM: We can appreciate this because you have a gold tone on your website and it’s not brassy or more of an ancient, tone it’s just a great gold hue that we can see whether you’re fair, caramel complexion or olive in tone – it will work for you.
MH: I’m particular, I custom make every color except for black and white. Everything is made in Italy and I am proud of the fact that everything is Italian made! We have that stamp that says that we are 100% Italian made because from start to finish that is what we did. It wasn’t initially the plan to go that way, but when I started sourcing I consistently kept picking Italian fabrics. Our prices are in keeping with our competitors pricing but the difference is that when you buy their suits it’s not these quality fabrics manufactured in Italy, but our pricing is the same. I wanted to have quality.
AM: When you’re creating each season, what is this process like for you when you’re seeking inspiration and what is this process like for you when you’re deciding on your styles and cuts?
MH: Well that is the difficult thing. You have to be almost two years ahead when you’re designing. Because I have been in the fashion industry for so long and I was so tuned into it by looking at the editorials, photography, models and more – you can’t really go to school for that. It’s all about going into cycles were certain things are trendy and the predictions are difficult because it can be a bit hit or miss. All year around I pay attention to all of these factors and I see where the trend is going. The process is constant. I take tearsheets, screenshots and more and I have them in a folder where I put them together and label what that inspiration is. Then I start sourcing the fabrics. Right about now, the vendors have their 2020 selections available, so I sit down to then design. The process is that I get the idea and I do the sketches, the flat drawings and the paper patterns. Of course, the paper patterns – when they come in, there is a lot of back and forth between Italy which means a lot of late nights. There are a lot of video calls and more. It goes back and forth and then we get the final product – some works and some doesn’t. It’s a lot easier now because I have my classics that I do season to season and I can change the fabrics/colors or the trend idea. I also do runway pieces as well to have a little difference and we build them around the core collection. It’s a long process and it’s a difficult one. Being creative is not logical – when you’re creative, you can’t just always do it on demand. Some days you’re more that way and other times you’re not. So when you are pressured by time and a deadline, it’s not easy. Creating for yourself is great because you know what you like, but there are more elements involved when it’s for a range of women so it’s like being locked in a box and still being creative!
AM: Will Monica Hansen Beachwear be heading to Miami Swim this year?
MH: YES! We opened their Fashion Week last year and that was the first year to do a big show with the FUNKSHION platform. It was a big show and we had 30 models along with a full house. It was amazing we has Sports Illustrated, Elle Magazine. It was overwhelming and a lot of pressure because we knew that some people didn’t know who we were as we’re still a growing brand. People had heard enough that they were curious. More then just opening Miami Swim it was also my first show to do. I wanted it to be a big brand and I learned a lot from last year and we will do it even bigger this year!
There are a lot of brands that don’t have to do the fashion shows but where we are, we’re in that phase where we need to do that. We do 3 big events there that include the stores, the influencers, and it’s becoming such a big deal with that show and it’s like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and it cost a fortune too!
AM: How would you describe your line for 2019?
MH: Definitely 90s influenced, retro and the main piece of our line is called Bardot. The reason that we called it that is because we did that shoot in St Tropez and our model looked like her! That particular suit that she is wearing is actually from the 70s and so it’s a little like a spin off of that, but is inspired by that time. We have the animal print, there are colors that are more earthy tones and a bit of a safari/military aesthetic because we have the olive green. The summer/spring will still have the leopard which started last summer and trended into the winter so it will be there through the summer.
AM: So when you’re sitting poolside or at the beach, what are your 3 must hav3s that you love having?
MH: Obviously one of my bathing suits that I have made! There is a sunscreen that I like with a doctor friend of mine, Dr. Garth Fisher MD – Doc Block, that it’s the only medical sunscreen that you can actually wear makeup over and it’s healthy for the skin. It is clinically approved and I swear by it! I also bring a spray bottle with water and I like to bring virgin coconut oil for my hair. Coconut is also a natural sunscreen and is really good for you! I’m a huge fan of natural products and hydration.
AM: So you’re based in Vegas, we’d love to know where you enjoy going out for a meal/cocktail, where we could find you working out and of course where you like to shop!
MH: Oh boy! So I do Mega Pilates and it’s not like your grandma’s pilates. It’s called Mega Pilates and it has a reformer and it’s called Studio Remixx. It’s one of the toughest things that you can do and I have done everything because I’m a fitness fanatic. I do that 4 times a week. My favorite place to go out to for dining is Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I love the Apex Social Club at the Palms Casino Resort – which is more loungey. I love to shop at the Fashion Show Mall, but I also like the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace as they have the high end shops like La Perla! It’s always so packed with people but it’s one of the most beautiful malls.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Monica Hansen
Read the March Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | Get Your Swimwear Ready in mag.
We happened to be on our IG feed and saw Sol De Janeiro’s most excited video! We have been fans of all the products for years and we religiously use their Bum Bum Cream which makes your skin feel so soft, has a bit of shimmer and of course, the smell is amazing with the mixture of Cupuacu, Acai and Coconut Oil. We’re obsessed with the scents of Pistachio and Salted Caramel which just a yummie combination.
The large Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream that we have come to love has just gotten better with their newest size and limited edition - dropping today, you can get the supersize version for $75 which is 500/ml. It’s kind of like Christmas coming early and your skin will thank you for it!
This month we chatted with the Cabin Crew of Emirates Airlines to find out some tips to keep in mind from packing to being active onboard. Their tips are worth noting when flying first class domestically and internationally.
Keep a Goodie Bag
No matter where you're headed, there are essentials you will always need. While airlines offer great onboard amenities, keep a ziploc bag at the ready and simply replenish the small bottles as needed. They suggest the recently updated The Urban Travellers collection, which is comprised of different pouches in a variety of sizes, styles and colors.
Assemble a Capsule Collection
Create outfits and pieces that are easily coordinated to create different looks. Think basics: black pants, white jeans, neutral t-shirts, jean jacket. Wear your bulkiest items on the plane to free up space in your luggage and keep you warm during travel.
Don't Forget Statement Jewelry
Bring a pair of statement earrings and bangles to add that pop of color.
Roll or Lay Flat?
The great debate! Roll your clothes to maximize space, or lay them flat to minimize creases. Fill suitcase gaps with socks, belts, intimates and hair tools to create a flat surface before laying down clothing.
Prepare for the Plane
Your brain and body will always thank you for a carefully constructed carry-on.
The Emirates' Cabin Crew recommends a few hydrating tools (lip balm, body lotion and moisture spray) to keep you feeling fresh while you're flying the friendly skies.
STAY ACTIVE ONBOARD
The crew suggests a few exercises that you can do while you're traveling so that you can stay loose.
Circle your feet at the ankles.
>> 20 times each foot.
Lift one buttock off the seat, tightening the muscles on that side. Hold to the count of 5.
>> Repeat each side 5 times.
Press the knees and thighs together and tighten buttock muscles. Hold to the count of 5.
>> Repeat 5 times.
Lift heels and press toes into the floor, then lift your toes and press heels into the floor.
>> Do this 10 times for each foot.
Read more from the July Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | Navigating First Class in mag.
Choosing beauty products is tricky enough without having to translate all the ingredients and scientific lingo on product labels. But knowing what we put on our bodies (hello, rose gold highlighter) is just as important as knowing what we put in them, so we recruited beauty expert, founder and CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc. Gabriel De Santino to school us on some label-reading basics.
When it comes to understanding beauty ingredient labels, knowledge is definitely power. Even though it takes up your precious time to learn how to decipher everything that’s listed on your favorite product, in the end your skin (and your body!) will be better for it. Not only will you be able to confirm that the product you’re using is free of harmful add-ins, but you’ll also be able to better understand how it stacks up to others on the market. Plus, you’ll be certain that you’re choosing earth conscious and ethical items—how extra woke of you.
Want to ensure that the products you’re spending your hard-earned cash on are cruelty-free and made with clean ingredients? When perusing the aisles of your favorite store, the easiest way to spot a cruelty-free brand is through one of three certifications that appear right on the packaging—Leaping Bunny, PETA’s cruelty-free logo, and the Choose Cruelty-Free logo.
Familiarize yourself with these symbols and it will make shopping a breeze. If you’re filling up your cart online with time to kill, take a few minutes to check out each of the certification sites mentioned above for a list of cruelty-free brands so you can purchase from companies with like-minded val ues that you can trust. And always remember—if you see an ingredient listed that you can’t pronounce, Google it! Sometimes a complex-sounding word is a totally harmless additive, and sometimes it's as dirty as dirty gets.
Other tips to keep in mind: the higher up on the ingredient list something is = the higher the concentration, paraben-free is always the way to be, and the term “fragrance” can be used to mask unclean ingredients so be wary of brands that use it.
It’s also important to note that just because a product is formulated vegan that doesn’t mean it’s cruelty-free and vice versa. Vegan beauty products are made without animal ingredients or by-products, while cruelty-free refers to products and ingredients that aren't tested on animals --- however, this doesn't necessarily means the products are vegan. Why choose makeup and skincare (like our own Gabriel Cosmetics) that's vegan and cruelty-free? The answer is simple—they advocate healthy living and sustainable practices for both you and the environment.
Congratulations, you’re now significantly more label-savvy and well on the way to living a cleaner and greener life.
Gabriel De Santino is the founder and CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc., a global natural beauty empire starting in 1992, whose brands include Gabriel, Clean Kids Naturally and ZuZu Luxe.
Gabriel Cosmetic's Inc.'s prestige and diverse brand portfolio was created out of one man's vision of clearly defining natural beauty and being able to provide affordable and accessible vegan beauty products to consumers worldwide. Gabriel Cosmetics Inc. stared with a vision of natural beauty and has evolved with the philosophy of sustainable individual natural beauty while continuing to advocate healthy living.
Read more from the June Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | The 411 On Reading Ethical Beauty Labels.
Your skin should be your top priority and Celebrity Makeup Artist, Claire Doyle shares her top 5 Summer tips to healthy glowing skin! Keep in mind that a number of SPF products that we use are actually toxic and dehydrating to skin and lips.
1. Cool your skin after a day of fun in the sun with a cool shower or bath to take down inflammation, remove salt water and the toxic chemicals that come with most SPF sunscreens.
2. An aloe vera based after sun body gel is great for cooling the skin and taking out the sting of over exposured skin. A fresh aloe vera plant also does the trick!
3. Drink up! Keep your body hydrated from the inside out with lots of water to offset those poolside cocktails. I like to flavor my water with fresh fruit and mint leaves in the warmer months.
4. Keep your body hydrated with a great moisturizer and reapply often to sooth skin and prevent peeling.
5. Don't forget about your lips! Apply a moisturizing lip balm to keep lips hydrated post fun in the sun. I love argan oil-based Moroccan Magic. It feels instantly moisturizing and doesn't feel waxy on the lips. Most people don't realize how de-hydrating SPF skincare and lip care can be. Make sure you apply a heavier layer before bedtime for overnight protection and renewal!
We always love our covers and it's always fun to have the opportunity to work with someone that we have previously worked with before. We're excited to have Danielle Moinet as this month's celebrity cover and our first person to grace two covers for Athleisure Mag! We enjoyed our photoshoot with Danielle and we sat down to catch up on what she's up to since we last spoke to her. We talked about her life as an athlete, about her road to the WWE, new projects that she's excited to be apart of, running the Chicago Bears out of Soldier Field, the importance of empowering women and girls in and out of sports and her love for the fans that she continues to see on her many trips as she is always on the go!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your athletic journey as we know you have played a number of sports!
DANIELLE MOINET: For me I always played sports. I was an athlete growing up - I ran track, jumped hurdles and played tennis. In college and when I got out of it and moved to Chicago, that's when I joined the Lingerie Football League, the LFL, and I played for the Chicago Bliss and I played Corner Back and I loved it. I played 3 years and it's full contact 7 on 7 football - very aggressive.
Then I went on to wrestle and a lot of the girls that hadn't wrestled before in WWE had some form of an athletic background. Health and fitness has always been a big thing for me and getting to the gym, so I think that people that work out a lot too are athletic as well and being in a women's sport is very important.
AM: Specifically, tell us about your journey into wrestling, WWE and what you are currently doing.
DM: I was working a Comic Con in Chicago, and WWE was there and it was a dream of mine to get in. There was not an application process setup like there is now when I first started, so I ran over to their booth and told them that I was interested and that I had been wanting to do this for years. I decided to play football for another year and then that's when I went down to WWE to have my tryout and 6 weeks later I was down there training and working out and I got my contract. So it was really a great place in time. There were only 6 girls training at the time. I was the 6th girl and now there is something like 20 or 30 girls training. WWE was amazing - I wrestled there for 6 years and I was on the main roster on Mon. Night RAW, Tues. Night Smackdown for 4.5 years and got to live out my dream.
As of Nov, I left WWE to spread my wings to other avenues and to be able to enjoy life and live it through new eyes. It's bittersweet as I miss my fans and the people I worked with, but I see my fans more often because I do so many appearances where I get to travel the world to meet them.
AM: We caught up with you when you were in the midst of a media tour - can you tell us what you were promoting?
DM: During my time in NY when I did my photoshoot, I was doing a lot of things! I was taking meetings, doing photoshoots with a number of modeling agencies and then I was also there for my first non WWE appearance that was in Manhattan and so I was able to go onto CBS Radio and talk to them about women in sports and the importance of women having a presence in athletics and for young girls to have role models to look up to - being athletic and knowing that strong is beautiful. Body positivity is something that is very import ant to me and I think it's great to be able to speak out to that! It was so much fun and I love everyone in NY!
AM: On set, everyone loved your hair, what products do you use and what tips do you have for healthy hair?
DM: My hair! I'm very fortunate that my mom is a hairdresser and growing up, she never let me dye it crazy purple or orange and crazy colors. I had actually never even dyed it until my mid twenties. I am super blonde naturally and I was always in the sun as a kid by the pool. I always used great products like Biolage or Matrix. One thing that was really amazing that I started to use the last couple of years is a wet brush. The wet brush helps with the breakage in your hair and having bangs, I have really noticed the difference using the wet brush because my hair doesn't break as much and it's able to stay long and healthy - that is something I absolutely swear by and love. And also, good Moroccan Oil and having good oil everytime you blow dry your hair - it's very important.
AM: We know from your IG that you're constantly on the go, what are 3 beauty products that keep you looking fresh and dewy and are a must in your routine?
DM: I am always on the go so beauty products that I love - I always have a spray tan, I do not go in the sun a lot so I always try to protect my skin as far as sun exposure goes, so it's all about wearing SPF. I do not go into the tanning bed so I can keep a wrinkle free life. I love love love and swear by Skin Medica - they're TMS Serum is something that I really do love. I completely see a difference in my skin when I use that. Their eye cream - amazing - it's expensive and I have tried alternate routes and dfferent things and I just see such a difference with them and that's something that's just great. Another thing I love - my lips don't get too chapped too much because I'm always on the go in airplanes - I love the Lip Slip by Sara Happ. It's a lip balm and it's so thick and potent and it lasts you forever - I got it from Nordstrom and I love it. My lips never crack, never peel and I love it.
AM: What's your personal style - what do you work out in, what do you go out in for a night out and what is your beach style?
DM: My personal style is super super different - I look very girly, but I am actually super tomboy! I love my Jordans, I love my Jays, I've become a big sneaker person since living in LA so really ideally, if I could live my life I'd do it in workout clothes and athleisure vibe and tennis shoes. That's how you could catch me everyday wearing. If you catch me in jeans or everyday pants it's because I have to because I am going somewhere. What I actually work out in is - I'm very cute on Instagram with matching outfits, but that is not how I am. In real life, I'm not like that I don't think. I get a lot of workout clothes sent to me from different brands and people that I work with so I can never find anything that matches when it is time to work out. I am not that girl who matches in the gym - I'm getting in there with a hat the majorty of the time with no makeup. I hate wearing makeup - I love getting glammed up, but I don't like makeup. I am usually in a hat, with it pulled down super low and getting my workout done because I don't want anyone talking to me and workout time is not playtime for me.
For going out, now that I live in LA, I have a very different west coast vibe. I love everything that is oversized and I love a great Tor Merch long sleeve shirt 2 sizes 2 big with baggy pants and a cute heel. If I'm going out, you can catch me in jeans, boots, a body suit or tank top. That's my vibe and I rarely wear a dress - again unless I have to or if I'm in Vegas or a place that's dressy. LA is just not that dressy and NY isn't really either. I have very different vibes - sometimes it's Bohemian or Urban - I like to change up my style.
Style and music are very all over the place for me as there are tons of genres of music I like and tons of styles that I like to dress in.
Beach style is bikini, flip flops and a cover up. Nothing special - no makeup maybe a little chapstick - that's all - very low maintenance.
AM: What are 3 of your favorite foods that are your go to for energy to assist in working out and do you have splurge foods that you enjoy as a treat every now and then?
DM: I'm a big fan of black coffee before working out. I try to stay lately from pre-workouts that have artificial sugars in them and I am trying to go back to that coffee route or just getting enough sleep as that is very good. Protein is a must for my diets and if I don't have a protein shake, I see a huge difference in my legs and body as far as my abs and cellulite go. I can see a negative difference without them and I need my protein high up. I also need some nuts before the gym - healthy fats are good. I don't like to be super full when I go to the gym because when I am full, I want to take a nap. Cheat foods that I love, pizza! I am obsessed with pizza, Mexican food, I love Queso and chips. My friends make fun of me because I eat a whole tub of queso - it's just really ridiculous as I need to be nowhere near that and then cookie dough. Cookie dough is my downfall! I went through a phase where I was obsessed with cookie dough for like 4 months and my friends and I joke that that’s where my butt came from the four months that I ate it. So we call it my cookie dough butt! I still have it but now I am just training it in the gym!
AM: We saw that you did something pretty amazing with the Chicago Bears last fall, can you share with our readers?
DM: Chicago Bears – so in the fall, ran the Bears out of the tunnel and was the first women to ever run them out of the tunnel! They said it had something to do with the fact that the flag is really heavy and then at Soldier Field, the lake wind effect off of the lake is so strong that it just moves the pole around and it’s crazy heavy! They usually don’t have guests running people out of the tunnel BUT I knew someone that knew someone and they reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do it. I was kind of unsure if I could and then they said that a woman had never done it before and that’s when I said, “well of course then – I have to be the first at everything that I do”. Don’t put me up to a challenge and I will never say no, especially if it is the first woman. It was amazing and fun. The players were super confused as to why I was down there haha! I’m a huge Bears fan so I loved it!
AM: What travel plans are you looking forward to this summer?
DM: This summer I am very fortunate that I am traveling all over. I have so many bookings for appearances to see so many of my wrestling fans. I’m a little west coast, a little east coast. I may have a few things that are Canada and then I am really really really excited about something that we haven’t announced yet which we can’t announce yet but it’s overseas and it is taking me to one of my places on my bucketlist – so I’m very excited about that!
As far as trips go, I look forward to taking my girls trip which we are going to Mykonos, Greece and I have never been there. We are just going to have a great time and I am looking forward to that because I have a great group of girlfriends.
AM: In LA what is your favorite place to shop, a workout studio that you attend as well as where you love to grab cocktails and a meal?
DM: Living in LA, obviously we have great killer stores. All the stores on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Grove the Mall – that’s really good and we have large stores with all the name brands. Some of the places that I really love to shop and that are fun that I tell my friends to go to when they’re in town – hidden gems on Melrose that are kind of really trendy and inexpensive and I love them – one is called Eden Sky and the other one is Style Delivered and I get really cute fun sunglasses, earrings and bandanas. I got my stuff from Coachella there and it’s good finds that are inexpensive so when you pair them with other really good pieces, that’s great. And of course, we have things like Revolve out here and Pretty Little Things and House of CB, Mistress Rocks – LA’s great we have some really good shopping. As far as food goes, I love Urth Café, it’s one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure that I brought my mom and dad there, friends from back home in North Carolina. You just sit outside and have bubble tea – which is amazing and all different kinds of food which is really good. We actually just got a Joe & the Juice which they have in NY and I’m obsessed with so I am really happy about that being there. I love all the healthy food options we have out here the salad places and everything like that which is really good. And then we have great trendy workouts. I love SoulCycle – I swear by SoulCycle as it’s fun and it makes me feel amazing to just get out there and sweat – so I really love that. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with an ankle injury for the past 3 months so I have kind of been having to deal with that and it’s driving me nuts. But I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things soon.
AM: Are there any projects that you're working on that you want to let our readers know about?
DM: I’m just really excited to be working with so many brands right now! I have two clothing companies that I am working with and I will be able to get my own line out and then I have one kind of beauty thing I am working on. I’m taking meetings with other people as far as my appearances go and doing things overseas so it’s all in the beginning baby stages. I have only just started to be able to do this stuff as I wasn’t able to do this with WWE and am looking forward to spreading my wings. My sister’s charity is back home in North Carolina – The Dean Thomas Moinet Foundation - love working with them when I go back home and am looking forward to doing a special project with them when I am back home to raise money in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area for the charity!
We shot Danielle Moinet in Manhattan's Lower East Side at Hotel Indigo LES which is filled with a number of great hitoric sites. Christopher White, the properties' Director of Sales and Marketing talked with us about the hotel and how it connects with the community.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Are there different personalities that Hotel Indigo represents on the city/community?
CHRISTOPHER WHITE: Hotel Indigo’s ethos is design, art, music and embracing the neighborhood that we are in - so every hotel will represent those qualities in different way depending on the location.
AM: Specifically, tell us about Hotel Indigo LES - when did it open, what is the atmosphere and the amenities that are offered for guests.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES opened in the heart of the Lower East Side in November 2015. Reflecting the community, the hotel is an urban oasis that features spacious accommodations and breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline. Hotel Indigo LES is equipped with everything needed for the modern traveler - think a rooftop bar and pool, a gym, package handling, parking and we even provide amenities for your furry friends because we know kittens and pups are important too.
AM: Tell us about the lounges and pool.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is the perfect spot to visit day or night - with stunning views of Manhattan from every place you look, the view is unbeatable - especially now that Summer is right around the corner! The 14th-floor lobby is decked out with floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around almost the entire room, spacious L-shaped couches, coffee tables and a cafe. Not to mention the ceiling is covered in a mural by the famous Lower East Side graffiti artist, Lee Quiñones.
Beyond the lobby, guests are invited to checkout the heated plunge pool and bar, Mr. Purple, both located on the 15th floor rooftop. The space offers summer drink menus for guests to enjoy, while taking in amazing views of Lower Manhattan.
AM: Is the pool for guests only?
CW: We prefer to keep the pool exclusive to hotel guests – if locals are looking for a pool break we recommend booking a staycation at the hotel.
AM: What do locals have the ability to enjoy whether they are staying as guests or just wish to stop by?
CW:The lobby, cafe, and of course Mr. Purple - come relax, get some work done, or have a drink - locals and guests can do it all at Hotel Indigo LES!
AM: What Spring/Summer packages do you guys have coming up?
CW: Yes! Our Mother’s Day and Royal Wedding packages are can’t miss. Check them out and more on the Hotel Indigo LES website.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that surrounds Hotel Indigo LES.
CW: Located right in the heart of the Lower East Side, there is nothing you can’t find around Hotel Indigo LES! Tons of art galleries of all different styles, music halls, bars and restaurants all surround the hotel. Think hotspots like the famous Beauty & Essex and Katz Delicatessen, Rockwood Music Hall and more.
AM: Tell us about Mr Purple!
CW: Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, the space completely captures the vibrant and artistic spirit of the LES. Boasting a 360 degree view of downtown Manhattan from the two outdoor terraces and a beautiful interior, the venue recreates a hip, artist-loft ambiance. The larger terrace includes its own swimming pool (enough said) and outdoor bar, a perfect setting for yummy bites and signature sips against the backdrop of NYC.
AM: Does the Hotel Indigo LES have activities that they participate within that are local to the community?
CW: We sure do! Our goal is to hire all of our line staff from the community which is part of our ethos and culture. We participate in LESSEN which is part of the Henry Street Settlement in the Lower East Side and 30% of our line staff from pre-opening was hired from there. We also volunteer quarterly for Manny Cantor Center, Bowery Mission and am always working to always give back to the community that we are in.
AM: Please feel free to share anything that we may not have asked you but that you would like to share?
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is all about the art. From the moment you walk, to the sleeping rooms and lobby area, the spaces all reflect the art that can be seen all over the LES. With artwork featured from the likes of Mr. Brainwash and Lee Quiñones, guests can see the spirit of the LES at every turn.
Skin is always an essential no matter the season, and this time of year makes us think even more so about soft, smooth and hair free skin. We chatted with Carrie LaMarca, Celebrity MUA and Skincare Expert who has worked with a number of celebrities from Ashley Graham, Bethenny Frankel, Emily Ratajkowski, Marcus Samulesson, Millie Bobby Brown, Olivia Culpo, Wolf Blitzer and Ronda Rousey. We wanted to know what we could do to find out how we can meet our goals in this manner as well as how to get that summer glow with a little help with cosmetics.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Smooth skin is an essential, what are your recommendations for your face to keep the little peach fuzz that we get away?
CARRIE LAMARCA: When I have a new model or celebrity in my chair, one of the first things I do is analyze their skin. If there is any peach fuzz I quickly remove it using my clio beautytrim personal hair trimmer. It is so quick and easy to use and doesn't irritate the skin at all. Removing that excess peach fuzz is key so that skincare and makeup go on smoothly and evenly.
AM: For the face, what are your recommendations for minimal makeup looks that appear as if its makeup-free but give you a sun-kissed glowing look for Spring and Summer?
CL: I love using Glossier's stretch concealer only in the places that need coverage and kind of buff it out to blend with your natural skin. Next, I use a cream bronzer like Benefit Hoola Creme Contour stick. Cremes melt into skin and look more natural, rather than powders, which tend to sit on top of the skin. If you do use a powder, make sure to use a heavy moisturizer or face oil under to help it look more natural. Most importantly though, is that you blend!
AM: As we sleep at night, what moisturizers should we focus on that work on our skin at this time?
CL: Serum is your hero at night! Depending on what you are looking to correct, will help you pick a serum to use. For example, Retinol is great for fine lines, while Vitamin C works for evening skin tone. And then, moisturizer is important to layer on top of the serum. It will seal everything in, while hydrating and plumping your skin as you sleep. One with Hyaluronic Acid is great!
AM: With swimsuits being in our very near future, what is a routine that we can do for our bikini line and legs to ensure soft skin and of course - hair free!
CL: The biggest thing you can do to start getting your bikini line ready is exfoliate! That is step one before hair removal. For a smooth bikini line, I love using the clio bikini trimmer. Because it’s an electric trimmer, it’s so much more gentle on the skin and will help prevent any irritation or ingrown hairs. The best part is that you can use it wet or dry, making it perfect to throw in your beach bag for on-the-go touch-ups!
AM: Post hair removal, what should we add to our routine from apparel, beauty products etc?
CL: Right after shaving your legs and bikini line you just want to make sure to wear breathable cotton clothing and underwear to allow your skin to heal. And always moisturize your skin to prevent any drying out that shaving can cause.
AM: To get a glow all over, what beauty products should we use and how should it be applied?
CL: I absolutely love all of the St. Tropez tanning products. They give such a great natural color and don't have the strange odor that most do. Just make sure to exfoliate and moisturize before applying. And remember that less is more when it comes to self-tanner. Definitely, wait a day or two before applying another layer because the tan usually develops more after 24 hours.
42.13 million Americans went hiking in 2016 alone, proving that recreational activities like hiking are drawing millions of Americans into the outdoors. The fact is, spending time outdoors is inspiring, and is a great way to get away from the usual demands of daily life. Hiking provides you with an opportunity to explore nature and have an adventure of a lifetime. If you’re planning a hiking trip, it’s advisable to prepare early and know what to pack to ensure a successful hiking expedition. Here are some essentials.
The Correct Hiking Gear
Hiking can be anything from taking long walks along park trails to climbing mountains, walking through challenging terrain and boulder jumping. While spending time outdoors has some amazing benefits, the last thing you want to happen on a hike is getting stuck at any point because you chose the wrong footwear or getting drenched because you did not pack your plastic poncho. Buying a trekking pole as support on your trail or to help pitch a tent is helpful. You will also want to wear the right hiking shoes, wear comfortable insulated clothing, pack a headlamp with backup batteries and get some sunglasses to protect your eyes.
A Topographical Map
Lito Tejada-Flores, a renown skiing pro, mentions that while memory recreates experiences, every hiking trip you take is pretty unique in its own way. If you take your backpack and hike around the world, then you already know the importance of a navigation system. However, if you rarely hike, or hike the same trail every year, then you tend to overlook this essential. Ensure you get a topographical map, a functioning compass and some basic navigation skill knowledge. Back your compass and map with a quality GPS tracking system.
A Medicine and Supplies Kit
Unlike a home environment where you can control everything, hiking comes with a whole new set of challenges. Carry at least SPF 15 sunscreen protection with UVA and UVB ray blocking properties, insect repellants, pen and paper, antibacterial ointment and antiseptic wipes. Your first aid kit should include gauze pads, pen medication, adhesive bandages, and blister treatment. Depending on your medical history, you can customize your medical kit further to cater for specific needs. Having the right supplies with you, can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency.
A hiker’s best guide is common sense. If you get hurt, encounter any unforeseen dangers or there is a looming storm, then you should turn back and go home. Your safety should always be a priority. Getting stuck in poor weather without sufficient food, water, illumination, insulation and a navigation system are things that can be avoided. Pack these and other essentials you need for your hike and enjoy the outdoor experience.
Many times, when we ask our friends and those interviewed in our issues, we always hear about them using Perricone MD, which is a line of beauty items that focus on fighting the signs of aging. We're always excited to see what is next with the brand. In addition to skincare, Dr. Nick Perricone has now included hydrogenated water. We're so pleased to share our interview with this innovator.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Many of our readers are familiar with you and your brand, Perricone MD in terms of beauty. Please tell us about how you got into the beauty industry as well as what was
the moment that initiated you creating a skincare line?
DR. NICK PERRICONE: My initial quest to find ways to stop, prevent and reverse the negative effects of inflammation in my dermatology patients led the foundation for Perricone MD. My
scientific studies have resulted in 150+ US and international scientific patents for the treatment of skin and systemic disease, for reversing and preventing damage to skin caused by factors
such as age, the sun, the environment, and hormonal changes. Because my focus is on treating the underlying inflammation as the causative factor, my research focuses on utilizing antioxidants, which act as natural anti-inflammatories from nutritional substances, in topical formulations.
My goal is to treat aging and the signs of aging, including aging skin as a disease— rather than just cover up the problems, because chronic, sub-clinical inflammation (invisible to the eye)
the root of many diseases associated with aging, including aging skin. And so my goal is to reduce inflammation at the cellular level through the creation of a three-tiered anti-inflammatory program consisting of:
1. Anti-inflammatory diet
2. Anti-inflammatory nutritional supplements
3. Anti-inflammatory topicals
Therefore, creating topicals that also act as antioxidants, nature’s natural anti-inflammatories, was and continues to be my inspiration.
AM: Your skincare line includes topical products as well as supplements - why is this an essential mix in terms of taking care of and maintaining your skin?
DR. NP: Supplements and topicals work synergistically and therefore I recommend that we take antioxidants and vitamins as supplements and apply them topically as well.
To receive therapeutic amounts of certain nutrients, such as alpha lipoic acid, supplementation is necessary because it is difficult to get adequate amounts from the foods we eat. Luckily, nutritional supplements have come a long way from the minimal, “one-a-day” multivitamins of past generations.
Now we have highly targeted antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that can do everything from sharpening our brain power, repairing cells, and burning fat to increasing
muscle tone, restoring memory and heightening libido. Many of these super antioxidants penetrate right into the cell where they combat free radicals and decrease inflammation. Because of this, the right supplements can keep us much younger than our chronological years.
Supplements of high quality can (in addition to the anti-inflammatory diet) create beauty from the inside out. Nutrients that possess anti-oxidant properties act as natural anti-inflammatories.
I recommend a variety of nutrients that are designed to work synergistically to enhance the benefits of the anti-inflammatory diet. These nutrients offer anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and fat metabolizing boosting benefits and help prevent and reverse oxidative damage on a cellular level, of critical importance as we age. The same level of repair cannot be achieved through diet or topicals alone.
AM: A number of celebs we have talked to, introduced us to Dr, Perricone Hydration Water - when did you realize that this is an area you wanted to include within your brand?
DR. NP: When I was first introduced to hydrogen as a therapeutic substance more than five years ago, and learned of its powerful antioxidant properties, I recognized an affordable, available and non-toxic solution to many of the chronic, debilitating diseases and accelerated
signs of aging that currently plague both children and adults the world over.
AM: Hydrogen Water has been a trend on the rise and many would assume that this ingredient is already in water, is there more of this element - what makes hydrogen water so different then what we drink at home or purchase in stores?
DR. NP: When hydrogen is infused in water, at measurable therapeutic levels, it provides instantly available benefits, positively affecting gene regulation and gene expression, while silencing negative genes. For the past three decades my life has been devoted to researching the mystery of aging. As a dermatologist, finding therapeutic interventions for aging skin has
been a particular interest and passion. In my first book I wrote about the importance of beauty from the inside out and how low-grade inflammation works nonstop to degrade all organ systems — including the skin. Nothing has excited me more than the discovery of hydrogen and hydrogen-infused water. I have never seen anything that has so much activity, giving us increased physical and mental energy on a cellular level, while providing superior protection from free radicals—a major contributor to wrinkled, sagging skin.
AM: How is Dr Perricone Hydration Water different then other hydrogen offerings in the market?
DR. NP: There are other forms of hydrogen water available - in stick and tablet form, in pouches and other types of containers.
Perricone Hydrogen Water is regularly tested to insure efficacious levels of hydrogen. Cans are specially designed with a polymer coating to contain and protect the hydrogen water ensuring that you receive optimum levels of hydrogen.
AM: Why should someone drink Dr Perricone Hydration Water and what are the benefits of consuming it?
DR. NP: Before now a natural beauty and energy drink which enhances the mood and at the same time make us more awake — without being over-stimulated as is seen when ingesting
caffeinated and sugared drinks, did not exist. Thanks to the discovery of hydrogen water we now have a safe and effective way to increase energy levels and focus, both mental and physical, in a safe and effective manner, while increasing feelings of well-being. And without the jitters or any of the unpleasant side effects found in traditional energy drinks.
• No Calories
• No Sugar
• No Caffeine
• No Artificial or harmful ingredients, coloring or additives of any kind
• Portable, can go anywhere, work, gym, play
• Increases productivity safely
• Instant, convenient no preparation involved
Just pure water infused with molecular hydrogen.
The benefits of hydrogen water include the following:
• Has beneficial effects on all organ systems including the skin
• Natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory
• Increased energy
• Improved athletic performance
• Increased endurance
• Speeds muscle recovery
• Increased sense of well-being
• Enhanced cognitive function
• Reduced travel fatigue
• Protects against the effects of intoxicants
AM: How does this water play well with the family of products that you offer at Perricone MD?
DR. NP: Its powerful antioxidant properties make it the perfect complement to topicals creating beauty from the inside out.
AM: How much Hydrogen Water should be consumed throughout the day/week?
DR. NP: Three 8.3 ounce cans or two 12 ounce cans daily. After a vigorous workout you can follow with another eight or 12 oz can later in the day.
AM: You have always been at the forefront of great skin from product offerings, your patients and as an author. What other products should we keep an eye out from you on as we continue into 2018.
DR. NP: A higher potency Cold Plasma as well as a focus on hydrogen topicals.
AM: If you could create an essential kit of must haves for skin, what would you suggest should be in it?
DR. NP: Hydrogen water, supplements formulated by a reputable company and topicals with antioxidant properties.
AM: With cold temperatures rising, how should we protect our skin from the elements?
DR. NP: Winter often brings us dry skin, which is actually a manifestation of chronic sub clinical (invisible to the eye) inflammation. For optimum resolution, follow the three – tiered anti-inflammatory program, which consists of anti-inflammatory foods, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant supplements and topical anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants. While topicals can do wonders, it is of critical importance to not forget the dietary component which can both cause and make worse all of these conditions. Alpha lipoic acid as a topical is great because it normalizes the skin.
You can counter the causes of dry, flakey skin internally through a healthy diet and by taking nourishing, antioxidant-rich supplements and topicals that contain Alpha lipoic acid. ALA works synergistically with other antioxidants in the skin to reduce the damaging inflammatory
effects of ultraviolet radiation. Its antioxidant properties act as natural anti-inflammatories to counter the dry flaky skin.
Also take essential fatty acids in the form of omega 3 fish oil capsules and make sure to include cold water fish such as salmon, nuts and seeds and coconut oil in your daily diet.
AM: For those of us that travel frequently, what should be in our carry-on to ensure that are skin glows and doesn't have the tired looking effects of long and sometimes delayed travel!
DR. NP: A special note on travel fatigue:
The drinking of hydrogen infused water can have a dramatic effect on people who are travel fatigued and sleep deprived. Drinking 8 to 12 ounces of this water can relieve symptoms in 30 minutes to one hour.
PHOTOS COURTESY | DR. PERRICONE HYDROGEN WATER
It's been quite a winter! Thankfully, March reminds us that our dreams of sunny days and rising temperatures is closer to being a reality. This month's covergirl is one of our new faves, Ashley Busch - US Polo player, Global Brand Ambassador of U.S. Polo Assn, Wilhelmina model and wife of NASCAR's Kurt Busch! Our shoot incorporates Spring's must haves and we get the scoop on playing polo, hanging out with Ashley and seeing what she's up to.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What does it take to be a polo player?
ASHLEY BUSCH: It takes a few things to be a good polo player. Of course, previous riding experience is always an advantage. To me, the most important skill is to have good hand-eye coordination. Also, the skill of the pony is just as important as the skill of the player.
AM: Are there things that people don't realize in terms of coordinating the mallet and riding?
AB: Most people do not realize that when we are riding we are standing up in the stirrups 90% of the time. In order to hit the ball it takes hand eye coordination. How far it goes has a lot to do with timing of where your horse is and where your mallet is in relation to the ball.
AM: What are your favorite plays?
AB: There are not really any set plays or off sides in polo. Any player can go anywhere on the field. Typically, I play number 1 or number 2 and those positions are the ones that do most of the scoring which are my favorite plays of course!
AM: What has been your favorite match that you have played in?
AB: My favorite match was the 12 Goal tournament I won with my dad at the International Polo Club.
AM: How has the Polo season been and what races are you looking forward to this year?
AB: Polo season has been great so far. I played my first tournament in January and we got to the finals where we only lost by one goal. The second tournament I played in February, we won
by 2 goals. So, I would say this season has been a success!
I look forward to all of the races whether I'm there or watching on TV. I get really into each race because each track is different and it’s fun to see how everything transpires. One of my favorite
trips is the west coast swing that we are on right now. From Vegas to Phoenix to LA. Some other tracks that I love are Bristol in Tennessee, Talladega, and Sonoma.
AM: As this month's cover girl of Athleisure Mag for the kickoff to our Spring Issue, what is it about this time of year that you find exciting?
AB: I am someone that has always gravitated towards warm weather. I love that the flowers are starting to bloom and everything is warming up. I look at springtime as an opportunity to do some spring cleaning and really hone in on my goals for the year. It’s a reboot in my opinion!
AM: The Spring is definitely a great time to add new pieces to your closet - what are some of your favorite spring must-haves that you love in your closet or will be adding to soon?
AB: With all the fashion weeks coming to an end, a lot of designers start putting out their spring lines, which I am always excited to see what new prints and styles are featured. I especially enjoy it because I am a designer myself and look forward to seeing what they come up with and what is trending. As far as new pieces, I am a sucker for a good pair of jeans that can be worn from day to night and I am always looking for fun shoes to mix it up!
AM: You do a lot of traveling and with NASCAR season starting back up, how do you juggle your calendar versus your days on the track to support your husband?
AB: The key for us is basically just looking ahead and scheduling everything accordingly. Some races I inevitably miss because I am playing polo. Regardless, though, we are both very supportive of each other and we make it work!
AM: With such a busy schedule, great skincare is essential to ensure that you always look like you have a well-rested glow - what beauty products do you swear by?
AB: I typically do not wear much makeup, mainly because I am always on the go. Some of my go-to products are the La Mer oil-infused lotion to hydrate and smooth my skin. I also love Drunk Elephant's day and night serums to help balance out my skin tone. I use the Elta MD tinted moisturizer almost every day, especially when I have a polo match. It provides nice, even coverage, but more importantly has SPF to prevent wrinkles. When traveling, I always carry the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist! I use it whenever I feel like my skin needs a little boost of hydration.
AM: The last time we chatted with you, you were working on your swim line, how is that going and what can you tell us about it?
AB: We are still in the creative process of my swim line and ironing out all of the details. What I can tell you is that 10% of the proceeds will go to charity, as philanthropy has always been a major part of my life. I will be posting updates on my social media as we progress and am shooting to launch this summer!
AM: When you're not training for your next polo match, designing your line, in a photoshoot or hanging out with Kurt, what can we find you doing when you're taking time for yourself?
AB: In my spare time, I am most likely spending time with friends and family. I also really enjoy being at home just relaxing with my dogs.
AM: When you're home, where can we find you shopping, grabbing cocktails and a drink and do you have a workout studio that you enjoy going to?
AB: My go-to store to shop is Intermix. I also love to check out local boutiques in the area. In Charlotte, Kurt and I enjoy going to Sushi at the Lake for dinner and drinks. In Florida, HMF is a super cool spot. Most of the time, Kurt and I will cook dinner together at the house though.
When I am in Florida, I train at the International Polo Club with polo trainers. In Charlotte, we have a personal trainer who comes to our house to workout. I also like to take aerial silk classes at Air-fit Charlotte.
AM: What charities or philanthropies do you give your time to?
Hotel Brooklyn Bridge which has great views of Manhattan and is in a neighborhood with a number of options to enjoy. We chatted with General Manager, Cornelia Samara to find out why this property is one that you should get to know as we continue into the Spring and Summer.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about 1 Hotels in terms of the family of properties within this group and what one can expect when staying here generally?
CORNELIA SAMARA: We currently have 1 Hotels open in South Beach, Manhattan, and most recently, here in Brooklyn. Soon guests will be able to get closer to nature in Cabo; Sanya, China; West Hollywood and Sunnyvale. While every property is unique in its design and offerings, you can always expect a home away from home, with thoughtful service and personal touches. Every 1 Hotel is designed to celebrate nature and bring touches of the outdoors inside.
AM: Are there different personalities that 1 Hotels represents depending on the city/community?
CS: Definitely. Each 1 Hotels property is directly influenced and inspired by their local surroundings – the natural landmarks it sits on or beside, as well as the community it is part of. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, for example, is inspired by the industrial history of the Brooklyn waterfront, and its design takes cues from the park it sits upon.
AM: Specifically, tell us about 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge - when did it open, what is the atmosphere?
CS: We opened our doors to 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in February 2017, making us just recently 1 Tree Ring year old. The atmosphere at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is first and foremost welcoming, and it has a special balance of energy, liveliness in the midst of tranquility.
AM: What makes the Brooklyn location one that is great for business travel, business meetings, vacations and staycations?
CS: Much like Brooklyn itself, what you can experience at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is very diverse in its offerings. We operate 6 different outlets that can cater to just about every traveler, with a spa providing treatments to relax and re-energize, a rooftop pool & bar that
is calm by day and energetic by night, a lobby lounge and café that are both great for settling in with a good book or hunkering down to get work done, visit The Osprey for an elevated dining experience, or Brooklyn Heights Social club for unparalleled views and an unmatched cocktail list.
AM: What amenities are offered by the hotel and what are the touches that are specific to this hotel?
CS: -Bamford Haybarn Spa
-24 hour Field House fitness center
-Seasonal rooftop bar and pool
-Full Service Restaurant, The Osprey, with seasonal outdoor seating
-Brooklyn Heights Social Club, a bar on the 10th floor with stunning views of NYC skyline
-Neighbors café located in the lobby
-24 hour in-room dining
-Complimentary Tesla electric house car
-Filtered water taps in guest rooms
-Location on Brooklyn Bridge Park
We put a great deal of effort into bringing nature into our public spaces and guest rooms. It’s important that people feel at one with nature even when they aren’t able to actually get outside.
For example, each guest room will have green elements like living green moss, small trees or even hanging gardens.
AM: The public areas are so welcoming, who designed this hotel and what was the thought process behind the design?
CS: The hotel was thoughtfully designed by INC Architecture & Design, guided by a specific vision from our founder, Barry Sternlicht, and our design team. From the beginning, we knew we wanted our guests, community and visitors to feel at home and close to nature. We like
to think of our lobby a place to gather, where you can find locals and guests busy at work or socializing with friends.
AM: We saw that you offer car services to the area - why is this an amenity that was added and tell us more about it?
CS: We do offer a complimentary Tesla house car for our guests, to whisk them away to destinations within 3 miles of the hotel with low-impact (it’s electric!) We chose an electric car to be our house car because it minimizes our contribution to air pollution and also gives our
guests the chance to see that electric vehicles can be true replacements for gasoline powered vehicles. We hope it encourages them to take measure to reduce their own carbon footprints when they head home.
AM: What can we look forward to for the Spring and the Summer that is offered at the Brooklyn Bridge location?
CS: -New seasonal menus items made with market-fresh ingredients throughout our food and beverage outlets and our in-room dining menu
-Our seasonal rooftop bar and pool will reopen in the spring
-Exciting outdoor programming from our partners at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
AM: What do locals have the ability to enjoy whether they are staying as guests or just wish to stop by?
CS: -They can always expect warm and welcoming greeting from our team
-They can always expect amazing cuisine with ingredients locally sourced from their own communities
-Unobstructed views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge
-Locals are always welcome to get comfortable and work from our lobby lounge
-Special offers from the hotel and our outlets, extended specifically to our neighbors and local community
AM: Tell us about your commitment to wellness as we saw the yoga mats in the room and we know you have a gym as well.
CS: It’s important to us to encourage our guests to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. We can only put our best foot forward in taking care of the planet when we also take care of ourselves. We hope the yoga mats remind guests the importance of taking a moment each day to get centered and focused in their mind and spirit. We offer Mind & Movement programming to help create experiences that allow guests to do this.
AM: Two of our favorite places are rooftops and spas and we know you have both, tell us about this.
CS: You are definitely not alone in that! There are few things better than an amazing view or being pampered. While our service definitely sets us apart, there’s no question that our views are taken to the next level on our rooftop. At Bamford Haybarn Spa, the commitment to holistic treatments and organic ingredients is a major differentiator.