Designer Adam Lippes

Mallory Passuite

A mere week before his spring presentation at New York Fashion Week and just as his new NoLIta store was set to open (with a fabulous celebration on Fashion's Night Out), a very busy Adam Lippes sat down to chat with us in his workspace. The founder and creative director of ADAM, the eponymous line of men’s and women’s apparel, excitedly discussed his plans for FNO, his expansion line and why he loves NYC.

I know you’ve been involved with Fashion’s Night Out in previous years—do you have a favorite memory?
Adam Lippes:
The first year we did it, we had this crazy DJ from 1OAK [play our Meatpacking location]. Huge crowd. It was like the store became a nightclub. But it was fun. Fashion’s Night Out draws a lot of attention to retailers. The night is about exposure, getting people out in the stores.

What are your plans this year?
AL: This year we’re opening a store in NoLIta, so we’re hosting events at both locations. We did this great tiny little charm [bracelet] for everyone, and parties are being hosted by Annabelle-Dexter Jones and Tracy Antonopoulos. The NoLIta store has music by the Knocks; we have a great DJ at the Hudson [Street] store, as well. We’re serving drinks and will have beautiful waiters. It’s a really fun event. Our stores are very much about hanging, spending time and discovering. So we want to encourage hanging out. We’re not doing ‘buy one, get one free.’ There’s no promotion; you’re not pressured to shop. Just come and have a good time.

Tell us more about the new NoLIta store.
AL: We picked NoLIta because—and I have to say I sort of learned this from watching Marc Jacobs—[we like] to put stores in pretty areas. NoLIta is one of the most beautiful areas in downtown New York. The new store is right next to Elizabeth Street Garden, which is a real oasis in New York. And it’s the kind of place where people want to live or go and hang out for the day, which is what we encourage in the stores. So it’s a perfect fit.

So you have the store opening and other expansion plans, including a new handbag line. What are you most excited about?
We’re working on handbags now for the February show. I’m launching on the Home Shopping Network in September, which I’m really excited about, with a great line called Love ADAM. And I’m excited for the new store.

You’re a Buffalo native, but definitely a New York designer. What are some of your favorite spots in the City?
Well, I actually love our studio in the Meatpacking, overlooking the Hudson River and the High Line. I can see people in their swimsuits, half-naked all day long, which can be a nice distraction. My favorite restaurants in New York are The Waverly Inn, The Standard Grill, BondSt and this little Brazilian restaurant called Casa. I really go to the same restaurants over and over again. [But] I love to explore the City. I’m involved in the Whitney Museum. And I try and focus on taking advantage of New York, whether it’s going to shows, museums, exhibitions or restaurants, because we're so fortunate to have all that here.

What about New York inspires you?
New York has an amazing energy. Different cities inspire me for different reasons, but in New York, it’s the energy. I live here, but there’s always so much more to discover.