I’ve got a new brunch spot for you!
Photographed to the left Sabrina Chapman and Justine McCarthy, founders of Simply Chic Pr, with Derek Warburton [All photos by ZACH HYMAN for PMc]
This past Sunday Simply Chic PR and celebrity stylist Derek Warburton of Derek Loves Shopping hosted a brunch at Room 18. All in the name of fashion and supporting local businesses. During these not-so-fab economic times, what better way to spend your Sunday afternoon? The brunch was a huge success and why wouldn’t it be—imagine a room filled with celebs, fashionistas, yummy Asian-Latin fusion tapas, and Derek’s super-charged energy—it’s bound to cause some sort of stir.
The cause for this awesome event: To bring awareness to local independent boutiques and restaurants that, although having been hit pretty hard by the economic storm, have managed to successfully overcome the challenges presented. In other words, instead of hitting Macy’s or Saks on your next shopping trip, try to visit your local boutiques and family owned restaurants.
The event opened up with a lavender carpet (yes, lavender) where select guests posed for super-snaps by Patrick McMullan. The afternoon then proceeded with attendees buying brunch at family owned Room 18, sipping their signature Shopaholic Sangria made with house wine and soaked with fresh produce from local New York farms and having their style and fashion questions answered by Derek (read our exclusive Q&A with Derek below). The day ended off on a high note with all guests purchasing items from local boutiques in the Nolita area.
From L to R: Francois van Kempen, Simon van Kempen, Derek Warburton, Johan van Kempen, Alex MxCord, Peggy Walker, Tia Walker
Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen from The Real Housewives of New York attended with their boys to announce the opening of Second Time Around (where Alex got her new gig—congrats!), recording artist Alexandra Alexis, fashion writer and stylist Adrien Field (photographed to the left), celebrity stylist Keino Benjamin, Stephanie Newhouse, celebrity & lifestyle blogger Tia Walker, former reality TV star Jen Marden, and many others.
From L to R: Caroline McCarthy, Derek Warburton, Alexandra Alexis, Melanie Moore, Keino Benjamin, Alexandra Alexis
Guests also received gift bags that were donated by Melissa Shea, spa director at Amore Pacific, including samples from AmorePacific, 30 min facial for Fresh, coupon for ABC carpet (who supplied the lavender carpet) and totes from callalilai. Plus, a drawing for a gift package from AmorePacific, worth $800.
Here’s our exclusive interview with celeb stylist Derek Warburton, who’s also the host of the hit internet show Derek Loves Shopping:
What is one fashion staple a lady should not be without this summer?
I think the biggest staples this summer are great dresses....when the economy is tight dresses are 1 piece. Everyone has cardies, blazers and great scarves. Throw on a big belt and you have multiple outfits and can get away with wearing the same dress a few times a month. The dress should be the big investment this summer, buy a beautiful fabric in your signature color.
What item should a trendsetting man grab for the summer?
High top sneakers in a vibrant color. Men globally are letting their fashion guards down in the designer sneaker department. I find men want easy and when your entire wardrobe is made up of t's and jeans the footwear is the big chance to show fashion individuality
NYC has it's share of both department stores and independent boutiques. Which do you feel really sets the fashion tone for New Yorkers?
Unfortunately for boutique owners in a challenging economy it is definitely the department stores. We are all gathered at our brunch to remind people that it should be the other way around. Boutique owners have a difficult time competing with department stores in the sale department. When Saks marks down to 40% when a boutique is still getting their first deliveries on similar merchandise it doesn't make sense for a consumer to buy at boutiques. The individual boutique owner sets the tone of fashion always because it is hand picked, but when it breaks down to pricing the department store is always going to win.
Everyone loves fashion fads....I think even those (like myself) that try to stay away from what I like to call one-hit-wonder-trends, at times can't resist but to fall for some of them. Which do you think is the worst fashion fad going on right now?
I'm such an individualist that i really never have opinions on that...i love when i see people working a look no matter what. Don't get me wrong sometimes i think people look like assholes but I gotta say i love that too!!! ;.)
Which is the most attractive?
I love a good gladiator sandal....
Are there any boutiques in particular that you would recommend to a NY fashionista seeking the most unique clothing and accessories?
One of my personal favorites is in Soho and its called SevenNY. On my website www.dereklovesshopping.com we did a webisode and i didn't feel like i even did this shop justice. Joseph the owner is an AMAZING stylist in his own right and when i acquire a piece there it is a special purchase. Everyone always comments on what I have on no matter how many years old it is....
You have had an incredible, successful career as a fashion stylist and have worked with some amazing celebs. Any favorites?
I always hear nightmare celebrity stories from other artists and I have only had amazing experiences with anyone I have ever worked with. I never have favorites in anything i do. Every experience is unique.
Who or which project was the most challenging?
The biggest challenges for me are when things are very straight forward and I cant put my own spin on someone's personality. I don't have a "look" like many other stylists but i like to mix my clients personality with my own to make something very special.
I love your energy, you seem to be jam-packed with it! What keeps you going? (physically and for motivation)
thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I love what i do and everyday i work on making all my dreams come true. That is my motivation... hooooooooooney you haven't seen nothin' yet, BELIEVE IT DARLING!!!!!
I hope you guys enjoyed! Remember to stop by Room 18 for your Sunday brunch and to support local business this summer while you’re out shopping and manjando!