If you're looking for models and bottles, these are the best after-hours spots to hang (and spot A-listers) during the eight-day fashion extravaganza
New York ramps up its glitz starting February 8 through 16 for New York Fashion Week, the biannual event that marks the who’s who of fashion. One of the “Big Four” fashion weeks in the industry—the other three are in Paris, London and Milan—it’s a reliable nexus of A-listers and celebs. Most events are private—although there are some public ones—but you can be part of the after-hours action at these spots frequented by models, designers, influencers and celebrities during the eight-day event.
Here's where to grab a cocktail, Champagne bottle or plate of carbonara after a long day of runway shows:
The Polo Bar
Ralph Lauren, the iconic American designer best known for his Polo menswear brand, launched his first restaurant in January of 2015. (He also has restaurant locations in Chicago and Paris, and a third which recently launched in London, just in time for London Fashion Week.) The decor feels like a classic, old-school steak house, with Ralph Lauren-branded plates and forest green plaid pillows. The fare is similarly classic, with ribeyes, lobster rolls and crab cakes. Because, hey, even if you don’t spot any celebrities—although Jerry Seinfeld, Anne Hathaway and Barbra Streisand have been seen here—at least you can get a solid meal.
1 E. 55th St.; (212) 207-8562; ralphlauren.com
The Roof at Public Hotel
Patti Smith and Ashley Olsen have been spotted here, as well as Nepalese-American designer Prabal Gurung (of whom Kate Middleton’s a fan). Fair warning, there can be lines up to an hour long, so if a super-scene is not your thing, go elsewhere. But once you’re in, zip up the trippy mirrored escalator to some of the best views in New York, and drink them in with a negroni in hand. Star sightings are just the icing on the cake.
215 Chrystie St.; 212-735-6000
The Blond at 11 Howard
Another hotel bar, The Blond has been the birthday party venue of Kate Upton; designer Christian Siriano once hosted an NYFW after-party here; Jimmy Choo hosted a dinner here; Calvin Klein, Rudy Giuliani and Mary-Kate Olsen have also attended parties at the bar. It’s a buzzed-about location that is surprisingly intimate inside, with flattering dim lighting. Drinks are pricey—cocktails run upwards of $18, but hey, you’re paying for the experience.
11 Howard St.; (212) 235-1111; 11howard.com
Esther & Carol
This is one place to go for its own sake, regardless of the crowd. The multi-use restaurant and recording studio (yes, really) is compelling enough to go there just for the food: think Caesar salads with crispy fried artichokes, and buttermilk fried chicken that is as straightforward as it is satisfying. Grab a guitar if you’re so inclined, after a cocktail or two; you might see Zoe Kravitz, John Mayer or Usher playing right beside you. (All three have dropped by since the May 2017 opening.)
341 Broome St.; estherandcarolnyc.com
Come for the sightings, stay for the Italian fare. The cozy space, where W has hosted an NYFW party, has just 20 seats at the bar and 60 in the main dining room, and is from L.A. chef Casey Lane. Cocktails are by Dushan Zaric, co-founder of NYC speakeasy Employees Only. Although you can splurge with a white truffle supplement for $60, a plate of carbonara will run you just $19. Cocktails hover at $15.
62 W. 9th St.; (212) 353-8400; casaapicii.com
Top of The Standard
When in doubt, go with The Standard. The New York location is just as cool as the L.A. and Miami outposts. A hub for all things NYFW, New York’s Top of the Standard is the 18th floor bar where everyone wants to be. Featuring an all day menu of $20 charcuterie plates, Korean fried chicken and oyster platters, it’s the perfect place to nibble. A word of advice, though, straight from the website: “The dress code is smart casual attire focusing on well-tailored and fitted clothing with the appropriate footwear.” I.e., there might be a pool, but no flip flops please.
848 Washington St.; (212) 645-4646; standardhotels.com