Haute Secrets: Fashion Designer Shoshanna Gruss’s New York

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Shoshanna Gruss, founder and creative director of Shoshanna

Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss is a member of that rare breed, a native New Yorker. Raised in Manhattan (and a Nightingale-Bamford alum), Gruss is the founder and creative director of Shoshanna, a fashion label  she founded in 1998, whose fans include Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift and Emma Stone. Her collections are known for their on-trend, well-priced dresses, evening gowns, swimwear, children’s clothes and jewelry.  In addition to building her own successful brand  Gruss was appointed Elizabeth Arden’s first Style Director in 2013. She is active in New York philanthropies, including the Associates of Memorial Sloan Kettering, where she is chair. Here is her New York.

You’re a long-time New Yorker. Are there any parts of the city you never explored?

I honestly never stop exploring the city. I love Uptown, Downtown, Chinatown, Chelsea, you name it I am into it. I have a secret spot in every place…but there is ALWAYS something new to uncover.

Favorite neighborhood:

I am a lifelong Upper East Sider, so that is home and my comfort zone.

Is there another neighborhood you’d consider living in?

I do fantasize about the West Village, maybe one day….I love its coziness and history, and wandering those streets, checking out the architecture. It definitely has a more small town vibe to me than where I am. Less prim and proper, but warm and elegant.

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Favorite restaurant for a business lunch:

I love Fred’s. It’s yummy, convenient for most, and they are so easy nice. All I want in a lunch spot!

For a weekend brunch:

Sant Ambroeus, Jack’s wife Freda, The Dutch…I LOVE brunch!!!

Best French restaurant:

Le Charlot

Best Italian restaurant:

Bar Pitti or Sette Mezzo

Best dessert:

Hmmm, I’m not a dessert person, but maybe bread pudding at Blue Ribbon Bakery? I’m a sucker for bread pudding.

Best spot for cocktails:

I am a cocktails person! So many fun spots! Beauty and Essex, Soho House, Smith and Mills, Walker’s, Tiny’s, Top of the Standard…

If you have out-of-town guests, which hotel would you recommend?

I like the Mandarin and The Bowery Hotel is a lot of fun. Greenwich is great too.

Favorite stores for clothes:

That’s going to be a long list. I love Saks Fifth Avenue, their shoe department, swoon!!! Barney’s is great. Blue Tree is fun for quirky, unique gifts. Intermix has a great selection too.

Favorite one-of-a-kind stores:

I love the E.A.T shop. I always find great gifts that are fun for every age. Things you don’t see everywhere.

Best for furniture and design:

ABC Carpet is my favorite for home furnishings.

Best for shoes:   

The shoe salon at Saks Fifth Avenue has the best selection! It has its own zip code!

Best spot for working out: 

I am an Equinox girl!

Night-on-the-town favorites:

I love the lobby of the Bowery. Bodega Negra has a fun atmosphere, good vibe, great margaritas and Mexican food. 

Best museums:

I honestly love all our museums! The Met, MOMA, the new Whitney, and the Guggenheim. My twins’ favorite is the Museum of Natural History.

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:

The whole city has a great history. I am always uncovering cool new spots.

Favorite “out-of-the way” city spot to relax/reflect:

Central Park is my little escape. I go there when I need to clear my mind.

Favorite charities:

I work with two close to my heart: The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Blue Card that helps Holocaust survivors who live below the poverty level.

Describe New York in three words:

Exciting, energetic and home.

Best aspect of New York

Access to everything you could ever want.

The secret to your success?

I have a great support system and very little fear. Oh, and I like to win :)