Joseph Altuzarra’s New York

The designer launched his eponymous label – lauded for its snappy tailoring with a seductive twist – in 2008, and last year won the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award

Joseph Altuzarra at Montmartre bistro, New York
Joseph Altuzarra at Montmartre bistro, New York | Image: Dorothy Hong

“Weekends are for relaxing and spending time with my husband, Seth – either at home or out and about exploring Chelsea. This is how I spent my weekends growing up in Paris, with family and lots of unstructured time. Unlike many New Yorkers, I don’t have that fear of missing out.

Saturday mornings begin with walking our miniature schnauzer, Bean, to the local Starbucks. We’ll order Venti iced coffees and egg sandwiches, which we’ll have at home reading the papers and attempting The New York Times crossword.

At about 1pm we’ll venture out for brunch at one of our favourite spots. Montmartre is an excellent French-inspired bistro, packed in the evening but usually empty at lunchtime, which I love. I’m also a big diner person and The Rail Line is a fabulous retro classic. At either place I’ll order eggs Benedict but skip the baked goods. I consider myself a croissant connoisseur and find there’s something different about the water and flour in New York; they just don’t taste the same.

Saturday afternoons are for shopping uptown. I might visit Save Khaki, a pared-down, no-nonsense menswear store, great for high-quality khakis, of course, as well as T-shirts and sweaters. I also love the inspirational visual merchandising at Dover Street Market, a space that’s constantly evolving as it introduces new voices and fashion narratives.

I’ll pop into City Bakery for a mid‑ afternoon pick-me-up – ideally, decadent chocolate-chip cookies – before a browse in the independent bookshop 192 Books. The selection isn’t endless but the staff are knowledgeable about everything from current fiction to the Russian Revolution. On the way home I’ll stock up on flowers by Miho Kosuda, a floral genius who sells the white flowers and peonies I love.


Saturday evening is often date night and Da Umberto, a delicious Italian, has a wonderful atmosphere and incredible white truffles. Basta Pasta, a Japanese-influenced Italian, is great for a fun night out with friends, with a bustling open kitchen and good food. Afterwards we might head to a movie – a blockbuster like Interstellar at the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema or an independent film at the Angelika. But I’m just as happy going home to watch an old classic like Belle de Jour.

Sundays are especially sacred – no emailing or work allowed – which stems from my childhood in Paris, when everything was shut and life slowed down. They begin with our favourite television programme, CBS Sunday Morning, followed by a workout with my trainer at the Equinox gym.

The afternoons are often spent at art galleries around Chelsea. I recently discovered Yossi Milo Gallery at Pulse Miami, and have become very interested in the photographers Pieter Hugo and Simen Johan who are represented here. I always enjoy popping into the Gagosian Gallery too, but just to look. More wandering might take in a stop at De Vera, an antiques shop with a great selection of rare jewellery and Venetian glass; the owner, Federico de Vera, has an incredible eye.

Then I like to retreat home for an evening of Japanese take-out and great TV. Sashimi from Hana Sushi is the perfect accompaniment to a good series like Girls, Homeland or The Good Wife. The day ends with a massive email to a co-worker that encapsulates my thoughts  and observations from the weekend. I like to line things up to discuss on Monday morning, and this helps me get excited for the week ahead.”

You might also like Ian Schrager’s or  Zac Posen’s New York.


See also