Is style innate or can it be taught? And does it follow you or rather you it? These are the questions that float around the CITIPHILE HQ on a (way too) regular basis. But alas, before your brain explodes (it is only Monday), let us introduce you to Melissa Rubini, who makes one hell of a case for the former. The Fashion Director of InStyle, Rubini is of the “wonder woman” tribe— the increasingly popular, albeit majorly impressive group of women— who can/want/do do it all. We mentioned that she’s a bonafide #PrintBoss— Rubini is the genius behind InStyle’s high-impact editorials and cover stories; but the Brazilian-born haute hustler happens to be an accomplished solo stylist, too. Her credits include dressing red carpet babes like Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson and Kirsten Dunst, and then the Holy Grail of styling gigs, not once but dozens of times: Prada campaigns— which, BTW, had her calling Fabio Zambernardi, Steven Meisel, Pat McGrath and Guido Palau “co-workers.” Not that we’d expect less from a woman who paved her way assisting editorial legends Anne Christensen, Joe McKenna and Edward Enninful before nabbing her aforementioned titles. Still, she’ll always be “mom” first; joined by her daughter, Stella, Rubini lives in a gorgeous FiDi home whose style may only be rivaled by Rubini’s own (the building was designed by Mr. Armani and is complete with a hamam)— a style castle for a style queen. Here, Rubini sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.
NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: The Waverly Inn for the Amish chicken or Nobu for yellowtail jalapeño sushi. I love going back to the places I know will always have great service and consistent quality. These are both all-time favorites.
ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Sushi of Gari Tribeca. I order the omakase with the chef’s specials of the day— if you love Japanese food, no explanation is necessary; it’s just perfect.
AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Home to have a glass of Sancerre on the terrace of my apartment— it’s quiet, private and has a wonderful view.
MUSIC PICK: I love music— it is such a huge part of my day and how I work. Spotify is my go-to, and during fashion shows, I Shazaam soundtracks to make new playlists.
BEST BRUNCH: Narcissa for the “Pretty in Pink”cocktail (gin, grapefruit cordial, Campari and champagne), carrot fries and the kale-feta scramble.
BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Michael’s for a power lunch.
HEALTHY STAPLE: Juice Press for a “Dr. Green Juice” (kale, red apple, pineapple, lemon, ginger and probiotic) and “For The Love of Kale” salad (quinoa, kale, arugula, carrots, raisins and tomatoes) with tahini dressing. I also love the avocado toast at The Butcher’s Daughter.
NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: I love finding new restaurants. Currently, I’m loving Mimi in Greenwich Village.
FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: My daughter, Stella.
REGULAR AT: Generally nowhere. I am always trying new restaurants, and because I travel a lot, when I am in NYC, I love to cook at home. Le District Market is located under the Time Inc. offices, and has great groceries for dinner.
DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Sant Ambroeus in the West Village. It’s easy, casual and laid-back with a certain charm.
DREAM NYC SHOOT LOCATION: Larry Gagosian’s apartment.
GO-TO GETAWAY: While I’m always exploring, my all-time favorite trip was Iceland. I did a road trip there last Summer on Route 01 around the whole island. On the other hand, I am always happy to visit Paris.
BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Facials with Nachi at Mist Beauty.
ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: A while back, it started to pour rain all of a sudden and I was trying to find a taxi (pre-Uber surcharge moments). When I finally found one, someone stepped in at the same time from the other back door. Once inside, I realized it was one of my best friends; we shared the taxi to our destinations.