Most people, if given the luxury of a third bedroom in a house they share only with a spouse, might choose to turn it into a guestroom, or a studio, or maybe a study. Kristen Lee, a stylist and co-owner of L.A.’s fashion and design emporium TenOverSix, turned hers into a walk-in closet. Step inside and you’ll discover rolling racks of designer and vintage, scarves tossed carelessly around a dress form, shoes lined up in neat little rows, a steamer in the corner, and accessories spilling out over the dresser. And yet for someone so clearly attuned to and obsessed with fashion, it’s not the clothes you first sense when you enter the Ed Fickett–designed, mid-century, Nichols Canyon home she bought last year with her husband and then “renovated the shit out of,” as she says. It’s the incredible proliferation of art. Stephen Shore, Banksy, Leopold Seyffert, Nan Goldin — and that’s just in the living room. “I’m kind of obsessed with art, and I try to collect it whenever I can,” Lee says. “I dream about going back to school to get my Master’s in it.”
In this context, the idea behind TenOverSix makes even more sense. Lee opened the shop in 2008 with her husband, Joe, and her friend and fellow fashion designer Brady Cunningham. When they decided the shop should be not just fashion but also lifestyle, Lee, who attended NYU and Parsons, brought in a 50-print Massimo Vitelli portfolio and turned to Dave Alhadeff, owner of New York’s directional design boutique The Future Perfect, to open up a permanent shop-in-shop with designs that fit the store’s independent-only premise. As for the interior of TenOverSix, the goal was to keep it as gallery-like as possible — all white, so that the product would speak louder than the design. “A lot of our displays are toned-down commercial versions of really crazy art installations we’ve seen,” Lee says. “The shoes all sit on chairs attached to the wall in a really messy configuration that comes from an assemblage sculpture I saw at the New Museum three years ago, and all of our bags hang from hands that extend from the wall — that came from a show at Deitch Projects.”
In other words, Lee is constantly on the hunt for inspiration — she designs the store’s in-house shoes and handbags while Cunningham does coats and ready-to-wear — and she’s collecting wherever she goes. “As a stylist, I go to costume houses, thrift stores, and flea markets all the time, and I’ve always accumulated things along the way,” Lee says. Most things end up in her impeccably decorated home, which I visited last month on the day it was taken over by a catalog shoot for the L.A.–based landscape company Woolly Pocket, and eight of them are shared here.
Since graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 2006 with a master’s degree in womenswear, Eudon Choi has had his graduate collection picked up by the fanatically worshipped Dover Street Market, been a senior designer for Savannah and Sienna Miller's label Twenty8Twelve, and been called a “fabulous individual” by our favorite throwback men’s fashion mag Fantastic Man. All of which makes his decision to move to London in 2003 — after having already completed a master’s in menswear at Yonsei University in his hometown of Seoul — seem like a pretty good move. “London, and womenswear in particular, just felt like a place where I could be more experimental,” says Choi.
At 22, Alexandra Verschueren has interned for Preen, Proenza Schouler, and Derek Lam. She’s been honored by a jury that included former Rochas creative director Olivier Theyskens and the International Herald Tribune’s fashion critic Suzy Menkes. And in the last six months, her graduate collection Medium has been fêted by Wallpaper magazine and the Mode Museum in her hometown of Antwerp. So why, when she applied to that city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts straight out of high school, did no one expect she’d get in?
“I like selling clothes that make people hyperventilate,” says Sweetu Patel. “Furniture doesn’t do that.” Trained as a furniture designer himself, Patel was the original founder of the design brand Citizen Citizen, but after giving up that business and putting in five years on the sales floor of New York’s Cappellini showroom, he shifted gears to start the online men’s clothing shop C’H’C’M’ last year. As it happens, though, Patel’s purveyorship of classic heritage brands represents more of a return than a departure — back to the clothing he grew up around, back to his sartorial instincts, back to the business model Citizen Citizen was originally meant to follow. We’ve always been a fan of Patel’s work, so we asked him to tell us his story, then share the eight inspirations that have led him to where he is now.