Photography by Donnell Culver
On this humid day in New York City, we found ourselves in the Nolita section of Manhattan perusing the stores for Fall merchandise. Despite the feeling of a prolonged Summer and a focus on SS14 we had to remind ourselves that it is, in fact, Autumn and that it's time to update our wardrobe for the impending cold weather. We hit Mott Street and made our way to Warm, the welcoming, womenswear specialty shop that houses brands like Aviator Nation, The Elder Statesman, Vanessa Bruno and Bing Bang. Every few months the staff changes the store layout to welcome each season. As we pushed the clothes on the racks and felt the material of sweaters displayed on the tables, we were intrigued by tarot cards and books that were strategically placed to grab our attention. We found gems at every turn and eventually made our way to the outdoor area in the rear of the store where we met and chatted with the fashionable Alyson Eastman, a store associate at Warm. We captured her outfit and got to talking about all things style and what it's like growing up on the west coast.
This interview was recorded on September 19th, 2013.
How does the product at Warm relate to your personal style?
Its pretty much all of my personal style. I love everything here. I think its because its not just clothes, its bath and body products, books home goods, shoes; Its a whole aesthetic and lifestyle
So would you describe the Warm lifestyle?
French surfer girl. Its very laid back. A lot of people say we have a bit of a west coast vibe. We want to make shopping fun, not like just trying to fit in and be trendy. Its supposed to be fun, and were friends with a lot of our clients! Its a fun environment, not just work, and I think it shows a lot to the clients.
You mentioned French surfer girl, have you been to the South of France at all?
I have! I used to live in France for 2 years so I traveled around and when I say [French surfer girl] Im referring to Winnie, the owner. She grew up surfing in Hawaii and spends her Summer with her family in Montauk, but she also has a very French, chic style to her and we carry a lot of French brands.
I always felt like surfing was a guy thing, or rather there are so many guys that wear surfing on their sleeve compared to women, would you consider that a rare thing female surfers?
Im from the west coast so a lot of us surf, I surf, but I didnt know that a lot of people in New York did and a lot of our clients too. Its funny, a lot of them have houses in Montauk or on the coast.
Have you surfed here yet?
In Montauk, I havent surfed for awhile so it wasnt the best *laughs* but it was fine.
How long have you been surfing?
I surfed when I was very young, I used to go to Hawaii and I had a very traumatic accident so I havent surfed since then. It was a real damage on the ego so I just took it easy here. I wasnt very old, I was only 13 so it was traumatic then.
How would you describe the female surfers style? Were so used to the surf guy look, how about the surf girls style?
Well, surf girl style is one thing, I think here we add that French part of it, because theres the girl thats the surfer but during the week she goes to her editor job or her fashion PR company so she does dress up but she wants to be relaxed. The dress Im wearing with a relaxed waist and nice print, its still fashionable but its not what every girl is wearing. Its more laid back, but shes still bringing it and working it.
Is that how you would describe your own style?
Yeah, Id like to think so. I wouldnt say French surfer girl but I would say west coast, laid back, something more structured and simple.
Is there anything from this season that you thought was made for you this season, like the second you saw it you thought you just had to have it?
This dress actually was one of them and theres a jacket and suit as well, one is by Roseanna, two French girls from Paris, and the other is Maison Olga.