Rachel Antonoff Finds Inspiration in Central Park and Old Antique Shops

Having recently moved into an Upper West Side apartment, Rachel Antonoff has been inspired by the places her new neighborhood.

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Catherine Blair Pfander
We've always been curious where and how New York designer Rachel Antonoff finds inspiration for her playful ready-to-wear collections, so we were excited to join her for a jaunt around her new Upper West Side neighborhood. "I keep saying I just moved, but really we moved in February," she laughs. One of her favorite discoveries so far? The Columbus Avenue "Joe" coffee shop.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
We've always been curious where and how New York designer Rachel Antonoff finds inspiration for her playful ready-to-wear collections, so when she asked us to join on a jaunt around her new Upper West Side neighborhood, we excitedly agreed. "I keep saying I just moved, but really we moved in February," she laughs. One of her favorite discoveries so far? The Columbus Avenue Joe coffee shop.
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Rachel Antonoff
"Joe is my favorite coffee in the city and I'm so thrilled there is one just a few blocks from me," says Antonoff. "Besides the best coffee, I really love their whole aesthetic." Here, a rack overflowing with the company's signature porcelain blue bags.
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Rachel spots a giant giraffe outside the entrance to an antiques shop.
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Rachel Antonoff
"Who doesn't love a street giraffe?" says Rachel. "I hope he finds a home but I also love walking by him every day. He lives next door to Starbucks."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Once inside, Rachel makes a bee line for an unusual crystal lamp she's had her eye on.
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Rachel Antonoff
"I have been eyeing this lamp for a few weeks," she says. "I think it's the perfect shade of pink."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Rachel was instantly enthralled by the massive collection of crystal and brass doorknobs piled high on a back counter.
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Rachel Antonoff
"I love collections and this is a really good one," says Rachel. "There is something so classic about this image, like it could be from your grandfathers attic or something. And of course the sign totally makes it."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
In need of an afternoon sugar fix, we made our way towards the legendary Levain Bakery on 74th street, which offers freshly-baked brioche buns, breads, and best of all, inch-thick chocolate chip cookies. "They basically reinvented cookies," says Rachel.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
A view of eager cookie-eaters at Levain bakery lining up for the latest batch of baked treats.
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Rachel Antonoff
Antonoff's Levain treat of choice is the chocolate chip, though she admits the double-chocolate variety is particularly tempting.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Antonoff's new apartment is a stone's throw from Central Park, which happened to be exploding with spring blooms on the day of our visit.
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Rachel Antonoff
"The colors in this just kill me," Rachel says of this flowery snapshot. "I want to turn it into a print!"
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Catherine Blair Pfander
A few twisting pathways later, we found ourselves at the Central Park lake. Framed by weeping willows and the New York City skyline, it's easy to see why Antonoff takes refuge in the park when seeking inspiration.
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Rachel Antonoff
"I love everything about this picture," Rachel says. "It kind of reminds me of one of those Bob Brush paintings from when I was a kid. I love how it's kind of overcast and the bird in motion just makes it."
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Catherine Blair Pfander
A gaggle of geese were also enjoying the view. Here, Rachel tiptoes in to get the perfect shot.
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Rachel Antonoff
"This was right before he started making crazy noises and took off with his friend," Rachel says of her new goose-pal. "I love the colors in this picture, so gloomy and cozy."
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