The TEll// By Thrift & Tell
Welcome to THE TELL//BY THRIFT & TELL: a celebration of fashionable women who dress as smart as they shop.
This week’s guest on THE TELL// is interior designer and freelance writer Ariel Okin. At first glance, when looking at Ariel’s gorgeous interiors and celebrity client list, including Lena Dunham, you might think that she is constantly dressed in head-to-toe designer pieces. Quite the contrary! A woman after my own heart, Ariel believes in mixing highs and lows in her closet, investing where it matters and saving where it does not. Whether it is H&M with The Row or Elderstatesman with Zara, Ariel weaves together pieces to create one cohesive, classic look. When it comes to investment pieces, Ariel is no stranger to the world of consignment and shares her favorite spots to buy and sell below. It is such a pleasure to have Ariel be part of The Tell. When I started this interview series, my goal was to feature women who were smart, entrepreneurial, tasteful, and, of course, embodied the T&T way. When the ultra-chic Ariel reached out to me to collaborate, I was both flattered and thrilled that such an accomplished woman would seek out the opportunity to be part of this series. She has quickly become a friend of T&T and I look forward to more to come with Ariel. (I am currently plotting how many shoes I’ll need to sell to hire her to help me with my apartment refresh!). I hope you enjoy this interview and look forward to many more to come.
//Your style in 3 words: Classic, tailored, understated.
//Staple Outfit: High waisted cropped jeans, fitted shell tank, blazer and loafers.
//Style Icon(s): Lee Radziwill, Aerin Lauder, Tonne Goodman, Tory Burch
//Your First Big Purchase: A navy cashmere coat with white mink trim on the collar and cuffs.
//Do You Still Have It? Yes! It’s my most worn piece in the winter.
//Best Fashion Advice You Ever Received: Become friends with your tailor. (I’m 4’11!)
//Types of clothing you invest in: Special occasion dresses, knits, blazers, shoes and bags.
//Types of clothing you save on: Layering pieces like shells, tanks, etc. I love J.Crew’s shells – particularly the cashmere ones – they fit like a dream!
//Your greatest extravagance: Weekly blowouts. Nothing makes me feel prettier than great hair. I could be wearing workout clothes but if my hair looks good, I feel good! I think Ali Webb from Drybar is a genius for that reason. Also my skincare – I’m a bit of a product collector.
//Favorite High-Low Brands to Mix: My whole closet is a high-low mix!
//Currently Collecting Dust in the Back of your Closet: 90% of my clothes because I am 9 months pregnant!
//Your Closet Tried and Trues: Citizens of Humanity Rocket high waisted cropped jeans, Gucci and Stubbs & Wooton loafers, cashmere and cotton shells, big cozy cashmere wraps for scarves in the winter and lots of knits, Iro blazers.
//Best investment you ever made in your style: Handbags – clothes can be a mix of high and low, but good bags are forever investment pieces. (Shoes, too!)
//Style Choice From Your Past That Haunts You: My hair style the first semester freshman year of college!
//“It seemed like a good idea at the time” a.k.a Purchase you most regret: Fortunately, nothing I can think of.
//Closet From Which You Would Like to Borrow: Lauren Santo Domingo, Gen Sohr.
//Currently Saving Your Pennies For: A Blazé Milano blazer – I have been coveting them!
//A Deal for the History Books/Your T&T Personal Best: A navy and white crepe Valentino dress I bought at a vintage store in Nice when I was 16. I still have it.
//Trend you wish would go way? Crop tops – not my thing!
//Advice to someone looking to define their own style: Wear what you feel your best in – don’t try to copy anyone else!
//You feel great. What are you wearing? A gorgeous, well-tailored coat – I love fall because outerwear is my favorite category to wear!
//Occasions when you splurge: Timeless pieces that will stand the test of time – bags and jewelry that can be passed down, for example.
//Occasions when you save: Fast fashion trends.
//Most prized possession: Two: a black alligator strap gold tank watch my husband gave me on our first wedding anniversary, and a vintage gold watch my parents gave me when I finished graduate school. (Plus my engagement ring and wedding band, of course!)
//Home Decor Style: I’m an interior designer, so my décor style is such an embodiment of who I am and what I do! My aesthetic is definitely rooted in tradition, with a modern twist.
//Go-to for unique items, whether it be clothing, accessories, home or art: Vintage, always.
//Your fashion motto: Stick to the classics – and embrace the most flattering silhouettes.
//Your life motto: Go after what you want, and always be positive!
Fill in the blank:
//A woman should invest in- skincare, handbags and a great tailor. //You’re never too old to— do anything! //A woman can never have too much— whatever makes her happy. // True or False: More is More- It depends on your definition of “more”! //Fashion is- cyclical. //Style is: inherent.
//Music: I’ve been playing a lot of oldies lately – The Temptations, Ella Fitzgerald, The Beach Boys – the good stuff.
//Print: All the shelter mags, all the time.
//Food: I’ve been baking Ina Garten’s cinnamon blueberry bran muffins on repeat for about three weeks now – they are delicious with coffee for an afternoon snack and make my kitchen smell so good. Also all the summer stone fruit!
//Drink: Iced decaf lattes have been in heavy rotation at current.
//Film: I really want to see Good Boys – it looks hysterical.
//TV: I love Hillary Kerr’s podcast Second Life, about women who made interesting career pivots and how they got to where they are. I listen to every episode!
//Instagram Handle: I love watching the progress over at Emily Hertz’s house by my friend Clary Bosbyshell, a talented designer in Atlanta! They are @bornonfifth and @clarybosbyshell. It’s looking so gorgeous!
//Designer: La Ligne. Really excited to get some new threads post baby!
Ariel Okin is the founder of her eponymous firm, Ariel Okin Interiors, where she designs luxury residential and unique commercial properties. Ariel is a contributing writer to Vogue.com, Architectural Digest and Domino Magazine, among other publications.
A graduate of Columbia University and George Washington University, Ariel has been featured and profiled in Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, My Domaine, and Domino, among others. She was named one of the top 20 Instagram accounts to follow for Interior Design by Domino in 2016.
Current projects include the New York offices for Goop and Maisonette, a full floor apartment at the Four Seasons in Tribeca, two separate three bedroom lofts in Tribeca, a gut renovation of a pre-war Upper East Side three bedroom apartment in a landmarked building, and a penthouse in a Brooklyn new development, among others.
Photos used courtesy of Ariel Okin.