Welcome back to our new column, Desk Side! Sorry, PRs, we stole your lingo and in this new feature we’ll go to the desks of some of your favorite designers, editors, stylists and assorted industry insiders to see where the magic happens–and then share it with you!
Last week we gave you a glimpse at the pristine offices for Aerin Lauder's new beauty brand. This week we're taking you inside Lucky EIC Brandon Holley's newly-tszuj-ed office, a makeover that comes courtesy of former Domino editor (and current Lucky Life editor) Lili Diallo. Everything, as you'll see, is airy and clean without feeling sterile. There are loads of personal touches and photos. Fashion books are stacked just-so and tea cups (Holley drinks a cup of Mariage Frères tea every day) are placed in perfect vignettes. "I don’t have the time to put together a branch with some shells; I can’t do that," Holley tells me. "So [Diallo] does that so I can look totally together." A full glass wall doesn't hurt the light situation either, even if Holley's office does place her directly across from a blaring billboard of Donald Trump. (She tells me she tries not to look.)
We pressed Holley for more about what goes down in her fancy Conde Nast editor's office (sometimes it's a dressing room, despite the glass wall) and found out why she brings a giant serrated knife to work occasionally. Fashionista: Tell me about what’s on your corkboard right now – does it change? Holley: Well, it’s changed recently because it’s summer, and I stay at the East Deck in Montauk, so we put a lot of pictures from summer. I have a lot of similar photos. When I worked at Yahoo Shine, I worked at home and I spent hours on conference calls so I just started pinning up things up that made me smile while I was on boring conference calls. So that’s that. It’s not necessarily fashion inspiratio;, it’s just what I stare at while I’m on a phone call. They’re just photos that make me happy.
I see your kids up there, who obviously make you smile, but tell me about the other ones. The lighthouse there, Il Faro, is from Portofino. I took a walk there when I was at GQ as a senior editor with the fashion team--so I got this, it was a really nice momento. That Arthur Elgort shot of LaCroix's studio from the late 80s--that was the way I wanted to sell Lucky, very pretty, girly. We had been very boho and I think that’s a great style but I was yearning for something prettier and girlier, so that was the inspiration shot for how we redesigned Lucky. It’s nice to keep up there as a reminder.
Do you ever eat at your desk? Yea, every day, in front of people. I never get to eat alone.
What’s your lunch like? Today I had tomatoes from the garden, with potatoes from last night’s dinner, and some stolen mayonnaise from the café with salt and pepper, which is my grandmother’s amazing recipe – tomatoes, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
So you garden? Yep, we are having a crazy bumper crop of tomatoes and I picked a bunch yesterday, and I’ve been making them for dinner every night. Last night my family--we have my au pair, my four year old son, my husband, and my niece is staying with us for the summer--so, there were five of us at the table, and four of those five, the fifth being me, said “No more tomatoes.” So I brought them in to the staff and sent an email to the staff saying, 'Normally, we have really great giveaways; you know it’s usually beauty or some kind of swag that’s come into the office, today it’s tomatoes.' And people came running in! They were gone! They were gone immediately!
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever found yourself doing in this office? Oh gosh, so strange. Probably with Alexis [Bryan Morgan, Lucky's fashion director]. Alexis is like my girly friend in the office, so she’s usually trying to get me into a gown with various body parts flying all over and she’s zipping me up in a really awkward way.
So just pull the shades, make it a changing room? Oh no, there are no shades.
So everyone sees this? Yeah, it’s me trying to get into a gown for the CFDA that is probably two sizes too small and Alexis in some contorted way trying to get me into it. And I catch the giggles from her all the time. She is so lovely and sophisticated and gorgeous; she’s a concert piano player, but she’s the goofiest person in the world. She just makes me crack up; she just says the silliest things.
That was always Lauren, for me. If we’re in a meeting and she starts giggling, I can’t stop and we have to call off the meeting until I can get it together. And then everybody else gets it too, it just gets goofy. She was saying, “We should think of our motto as fashion Jacuzzi,” and she said it with such earnestness.
What does it mean? We don’t know, but it comes out of her head in this hilarious way, but she has really great ideas. Like, “we’re all in this Jacuzzi together and let’s enjoy shopping.”
What’s the most random thing in your office? I have a steak knife that I brought in today to cut tomatoes. That’s random because I was trying to look for my security pass in the building and I pulled out a knife, which is not good in the lobby of this building.
Photos: Ashley Jahncke