A longtime lover of textiles and beautiful fabrics, New Yorker and Indagare member Andie Kully designs bohemian, elegant clothing inspired by her world travels. Her successful collection features dreamy, custom-drawn prints and silk and cotton materials, much of which are made in France and Japan. Indagare spoke to the successful designer and bona fide globetrotter about the cities that inspire her, her favorite travel splurge and where she can’t wait to visit next.
Tell us about your brand, Andie Kully. What was the original inspiration and how has it evolved since its founding? I worked in interior design for years. The shift to clothing was a result of curiosity; I've always loved fashion (my first job was in the buying department at Bergdorf Goodman), and I wanted to explore another aspect of design and learn something new. For me, the common thread between interiors and fashion is my love of textiles. I wanted to create clothing that referenced my east coast upbringing but wasn't too trendy or preppy. Today, my line is still new (in its first season), but I already have ideas about the direction for the next collection.
How have your travels influenced your brand and personal style? As a visual learner, I'm always taking mental notes and photographs of things that inspire me to be referenced later.
You source many of your materials from France and Japan. What is it about these two destinations that appeals to you for your designs? Both cultures share a tremendous appreciation for the details and take great pride in craftsmanship and tradition. A sushi chef spends years learning how to make rice properly; a couture seamstress spends countless hours on the beading for one dress. I'm a perfectionist so I appreciate both the care and time devoted to details. I'm really turned off by the "fast fashion" in today's marketplace; I'm much more interested in things that are lasting and cherished. I'm always drawn to quality, and it's evident when someone puts love and pride into their work.
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I'm partial to my neighborhood, the West Village. I love the small scale of the cobblestone streets and the proximity to the Hudson River. I love that the new Whitney Museum is now a neighbor. We spend many hours in the Hudson River Park, strolling, running or just relaxing. Jussara Lee is a hidden gem that carries cozy cashmere sweaters (960 Bedford St). Some favorite restaurants are L'Artusi, Bar Bolonat (611 Hudson St), I Sodi and Barbuto for kale salad!
What are some of your favorite items to buy abroad? Is there a specific store that comes to mind? I'm always on the lookout for warm, stylish sweaters. Barrie boutique in Paris is a favorite source for beautiful cashmere with unusual, bold designs (23 Rue Cambon). No trip to Paris would be complete without visiting La Grande Epicerie in Le Bon Marché (38 Rue de Sèvres).
Name two of your go-to shops in a city where you don't live. In my hometown of Baltimore, there is a great design store called The Store, Ltd (The Village of Cross Keys, 5100 Falls Rd), which showcases contemporary jewelry and a quirky collection of clothing and home accessories. Speaking of jewelry, I also love Irene Neuwirth in Los Angeles and Jade Market in Hong Kong (Yau Ma Tei).
What is always in your carry-on bag? A great book. I'm currently reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I also bring Sudoku, lots of snacks, gum and an oversized scarf. It can double as a pillow or blanket.
Enjoying a long breakfast feels like a real luxury on vacation. Flying business class isn't too bad either!
What is your favorite travel ritual? No matter the city, my very favorite thing to do is wander around. In any given destination, I can clock in many, many miles.
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What is your favorite long weekend getaway? Amanyara in Turks and Caicos is my happy place. It's a direct flight from New York and offers beautiful white beaches, crystal clear water and yummy food. It's relaxing and quiet: a welcome respite from the pace of my life otherwise. I also love Harbour Island. The beach is the most beautiful I've ever seen and there are some really great restaurants on the island.
What trip has changed your perspective? I recently visited Chalet Pelerin in Le Miroir, France. It was my first time visiting an Eleven Experience property and, I have to say, I'm hooked! The level of service was unparalleled. Our guides were all world-renowned experts in their fields and I was challenged to push myself to do things I didn't think I was capable of (namely heli-skiing).
Can you think of a moment that made you fall in love with travel? (at Indagare, we call this a 'transformative travel moment’) Visiting Cambodia. The landscape looked so different from what I had ever seen. During my trip, I woke before the sun rose to see the temples of Angkor Wat before they opened to the public, climbed on the ruins and touched the centuries-old carvings. I felt I was truly in a different culture and the experience was incredibly romantic. I find that, with each trip and each new place you visit, you're a little bit changed for the better. You’re reminded that despite our differences, we're more alike than different.
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