Style

Day In The Life

How a Creative Director’s Travel Schedule Inspires an Entire Collection

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For Emily Smith, inspiration starts when she looks out her window in the morning. “The architecture in New York is totally captivating,” says the creative director, who lives in lower Manhattan and walks to work in SoHo. “The old and new, the clean lines and innovative buildings—it always gets my wheels turning.”

For the last sixteen years, Smith has been at Lafayette 148, an American heritage label known for its smart, easy-to-wear pieces, like double-face coats, statement dresses, and crisp white shirts. It’s a line that is clearly designed with working—and busy—women in mind. Smith herself spends four months a year in Shantou, China, visiting Lafayette 148’s factory, so she knows what she’s talking about when she says that “getting the most out of a garment is really important to us. Whether it’s going from the office to the airport or to an event, we’re designing for a woman who needs to move from one commitment to another without missing a beat.”

  • 6AM

    “I like to say I’m a morning person, but I do hit snooze a couple times. The majority of my emails come from our factory in China, which is thirteen hours ahead, so checking my email first thing helps me get my to-do list in order. I’ll read my emails before I get out of bed. If I don’t do it then, I won’t get to it.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop
  • 7:30AM

    “Once I’m up, I’ll have a water with lemon followed by an espresso—I’m addicted to my Nespresso machine. I’ll make myself eggs most mornings, but my guilty pleasure is a bagel and cream cheese or a babka from Russ & Daughters.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop Russ and Daughters

    8:30AM

  • “Morning time in the studio is the best. The light is fresh—as is my brain—and of course it’s quiet, which gives me space to think. I have an amazing team of eager creatives that I need to keep moving, motivated, and challenged. Having that quiet time in the morning allows me to think about all the things I want to share and collaborate with them on.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop
  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop
  • “The days vary a lot. It depends on where we are in the stages of designing the collection, and often we may be working on two, or sometimes three, collections at once. It’s a lot of switching gears from season to season and from left to right brain.”

A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop

“We have fittings twice a week with our prototypes, and then we’ll brainstorm details, finishing, and shapes. Our fabrics are something we’re known for and an essential part of our designs. I spend a lot of time collaborating with our printers and in-house fabric team.”

    12:30PM

  • Balthazar has the best French onion soup and fries; I’ll order a glass of rosé, too. Then I’ll go by the MoMA shop and pick up some books for my inspiration library.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop Balthazaar
  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop MoMa Shop

    4PM

  • “I’ll drop by the Concept Store or our Broome Street store to see the collection and meet customers. I usually don’t tell them I work there—that way, they’ll be honest. If I have time, I’ll wander around SoHo and do some window-shopping.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop
  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop
  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop

“I love the contrast of beautiful, artistic prints in clean, pared-back shapes—we don’t like things that are busy or over-the-top.”

  • 8PM

    “I’ll work late and then, during the week, have dinner with friends or colleagues. La Mercerie in SoHo is beautiful. I love the Emily Thompson flower arrangements throughout, and the little flower shop she has by the entrance. I always order the egg and truffle dish. They’ve got a great wine list, too.
    At the end of the night, I’ll walk home to turn off the stress of the day.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop La Mercerie SoHo
  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop La Mercerie SoHo

“We think a lot about the travel wardrobe—what folds well, how to do more and pack less, what’s comfortable but still pulled together.”

  • 10:30PM

    “Once I’m home, I don’t like to have too many lights on. I’ll burn a few candles and indulge in a history documentary (Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict or The Crown) or read a book (right now it’s Out of this Century: Confessions of an Art Addict) before going to sleep.”

  • A Day In The Life of Emily Smith Lafayette148 goop
 
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