Aimee Cho of Gryphon Takes Us on a Tour of Bryant Park

Aimee Cho of Gryphon shows us around her favorite Bryant Park inspiration spots.

21 photos
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Catherine Blair Pfander / Thread NY
Designer Aimee Cho of Gryphon in her studio.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
After writing for Vogue for six years, Aimee Gryphon gave notice to launch her own collection, Gryphon, exploring the fashionable possibilities of a classic trench coat.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
We caught up with Cho at her spectacular mid-town studio overlooking Bryant Park to take a peek at the spots she finds most inspiring. "People discount midtown but I just love it," she says simply.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
First stop: a peek inside Cho's beautifully-appointed, light-filled workspace. "I picked my showroom as my first stop on our tour because it’s where I spend the majority of my time," explains Cho. "It has to be conducive to creativity, and I have to feel inspired -- or at the very least happy -- to come here every day."
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Aimee Cho
Indeed, who wouldn't find the views from Gryphon's 8th floor office inspiring? "I love our building at 80 West 40th Street," says the designer. "All of the studios/showrooms here are spectacular and have great views of Bryant Park. The giant window and high ceilings makes it feel like an atelier rather than an office." Here, a snap of her sunny setting.
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Aimee Cho
Tree-tops and office buildings surrounding Cho's Bryant Park studio.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
A mere two blocks down the road, Aimee leads us to her favorite book shop, Kinokuniya, stocked with unusual reads and Japanese gifts
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Catherine Blair Pfander
The stationary section is especially exciting (not to mention hot pink), piled high with sweet cartoon notebooks, gel pens, and greeting cards. "I could spend hours in here," Cho tells us.
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Aimee Cho
Cho immediately gravitates to the Japanese craft papers glittering on a far wall. "Kinokuniya is filled with great color and print -- notebooks, pencils, stamps, crafts and craft paper. It’s great to come here and get inspired by unexpected color combinations."
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Aimee Cho
Unusual stamps crafting objects are in ample supply. "I love the imperfections of using a stamp and ink," says Cho. "Even if I over-ink or under-ink, I know a hand-stamped card or paper will look made with love."
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Aimee Cho
On the second floor, we find a cache of indigo textiles used to make everything from shopping satchels to cloth-covered notebooks. "The subtlety of these colors is so beautiful and such a serene contrast to the riotous color in the stationery section of the store."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Not far from her favorite cafe on Kinokuniya's second floor, Cho discovers a section of handmade leather accessories.
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Aimee Cho
"I love the pop of yellow in this gray leather billfold," explains Cho. "It reminds me of the lining and seam binding details we try to incorporate in our Gryphon coats. A simple but unexpected bit of color can really make an item feel special."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Cho and I circle back towards the park -- winding our way through the thick lunch-hour traffic -- to arrive at the Bryant Park carousel.
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Aimee Cho
"I've always loved the colors of this carousel, and how elaborately ornate it is without being garish," Cho tells me. "It’s just lovely and brings joy to lots of kids."
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Aimee Cho
A snap of the old-timey ticket window at the Bryant Park Carousel.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Were the park not so packed, a ride on the carousel -- sort of a miniature version of Central Park's carousel -- would certainly have been in order.
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Aimee Cho
Cho snags a shot of toddlers awaiting their turn in line.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Last but not least, Cho takes us to her favorite newsstand and book shop, Around the World Magazines and Books, situated down the block from her office.
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Aimee Cho
"This book store has seemingly endless piles of inspiring imagery to sift through," says Cho. Indeed, the myriad fashion 'zines and unusual literature threaten to take up the rest of one's afternoon.
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Aimee Cho
Upon our departure, Cho spots a provocative Russian Vogue cover depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
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