If Harry Kargman is the calm, his wife, Jill, is the storm. He, the gentle entrepreneur who built digital advertising game changer Kargo; she, the wisecracking, F-bomb-dropping writer who is riding a newfound wave of fame thanks to her hit Bravo TV show Odd Mom Out, which returns June 20.
Hail To The Sheath
The seven Newswomen on the these pages are casting critical eye on the candidates this election season. But scrutiny is a two-way street: even brilliant writers and reporters have to look good. Here, they wear fall's best sheath dresses, pairing some style with their substance.
Architects of Style
With her design partner, Giuseppe Lignano, Tolla has created commercial, institutional and residential properties around the globe. Their firm, LOT-EK, which has offices in both New York and Naples, Italy, is best known for accomplishments in “upcycling”: converting industrial surplus (shipping containers, airplane fuselages) into building materials. Her personal style reflects her love of the unexpected. “I am constantly tipping the balance between what’s simple and what’s interesting,” she says. “I want to be perfectly comfortable and perfectly glamorous at the same time. I think that’s what every great piece of clothing should do for you.” Prized possession? “My leather coat. Every time I wear it, I get compliments, and to this day I don’t know who designed it.”
Style And Substance
JENNA LYONS, THE EXECUTIVE C R E AT I V E D I R E C TO R A N D PRESIDENT OF J.CREW, ON CULTIVATING CREATIVITY, PLANNING HER FUTURE AND TAKING THE PERFECT SELFIE. THIS IS WHAT 47 LOOKS LIKE.
ON HER UNIFORM “I love clothes, but I’m most comfortable in a perfectly tailored blazer, white button-down shirt and my navy-blue five-inch d’Orsay heels.”
ON WONDER PRODUCTS “At my age, I need brightening! I grew up in California and I was a lifeguard, so I spent a lot of time in the sun. Arcona Brightening Gommage [$52; arcona.com], an exfoliating mask, has saved me.”
ON HER SIGNATURE UPDO “All seven strands of hair go into a bun every single morning, and that’s it. After I had my son, everything changed. Now I have a whisper of a head of hair.”
ON INSPIRATION “It comes from all places: art, architecture, music, magazines, fabric. And they all feed each other.”
ON AGING “I envision someone coming into my office, putting a cowbell around my neck and ushering me out to pasture. I’m only half kidding! I look at my mom, who is still so engaged with the world [she teaches piano to children], and I think that’s a key to feeling young. Being youthful is more than what it looks like on the outside.”
The Best Of American Designers
THERE’S A DEMOCRACY TO CLOTHES THAT FAVOR MODERN SHAPES AND AN EDITED COLOR PALETTE. WEARABLE AND STYLISH, THEY ARE NEITHER FLASHY NOR FLASH IN THE PAN. GUGU MBATHA-RAW MAKES THE MOST OF THE UNMISTAKABLE AMERICAN DESIGN AESTHETIC.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s got range. In the 2013 drama Belle, she played Dido, the illegitimate daughter of a slave and a nobleman, the picture of 18th-century aristocratic poise in corset-defined gowns and a classic pearl choker. By the time she received a British Independent Film Award for the role, she had appeared as a suicidal pop star in the indie hit Beyond the Lights; shortly after that, she portrayed a halfdeer/half-human in Jupiter Ascending. She creates characters of vastly different backgrounds, eras and temperaments, inhabiting each as comfortably as a bird in a feather-lined nest. “Gugu’s a proper actress,” says Belle director Amma Asante. “It’s real talent she’s expressing when you see her up there literally being these other characters.” The daughter of a South African doctor and a British nurse, Mbatha-Raw—her first name, Gugulethu, means “our pride” in Zulu—has always had a passion for performing, starting ballet classes at age four in her hometown near Oxford and adding tap and jazz soon after. “My mum didn’t always love her work,” says the actress, who went on to graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
It's Doors To More
THER E’ S NO HOME LIK E THIS HOME . WHITE HOUSE CURATOR WILLIAM ALLMAN TAKES US ON AN INSIDER’S TOUR AND TALKS HISTORY, FOLKLORE AND THE FIRST LADY’S COMMITMENT TO MAINTA IN ING AN OPEN-DOOR POLICY.
It’s hard not to feel humbled standing just outside the gates of the White House. It’s pristine. It’s majestic. It’s incredibly well fortified: Entry requires a multiple-step security check that makes the screening at an international airport seem like a supermarket checkout line. But I stick it out; after all, I’ve been told there are two energetic pups that are eager to make my acquaintance. Soon I am playing with the First Dogs. The White House was planned by George Washington, the only President never to have lived there. In 1800, John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in, taking over the largest house in the United States at the time (it cost $232,372 to build—attention, Zillow.com—even though it lacked running water, central heat and electricity). Today the house features six levels, 28 fireplaces and 132 rooms (including 35 bathrooms, and FYI—the one in the Vermeil Room is lovely). It has long been called the People’s House, but it has never been more inclusive than during the Obamas’ tenure. Michelle Obama has an open-door policy, especially for young people: Kids from across the country help tend the vegetable garden, meet musical performers before their official events and preview state dinners (taste testing included). “For them to walk through the doors of the White House as invited guests and sit in these rooms where history has been made, that’s one of those life-changing moments,” Mrs. Obama says. The point is, it’s not just a family home. It is a museum, work space, command center and repository of our nation’s history. It has opened its doors to dignitaries and starlets, poets and power brokers, politicians and philanthropists and thousands of ordinary citizens. It gets a lot of use: There are 3,000 tourists a day and 250 receptions a year. It also gets a bit of misuse, such as when three visiting Dallas Cowboys football players sat on an 1815 Duncan Phyfe sofa and broke it. Fortunately for all of us, the house endures.
Manhattan Magazine: They’ll Take Manhattan
Kimberly Newport-Mimran is perched on a cork-covered ottoman, trying to maneuver abroken toeinto a pair of sleek, black Louboutin pumps. “I can do it,” she says with conviction, contorting her body just so.“I know I can.” As this Cindarella moment unfolds, an assistant hovers, a lunch platter is cleared and a text chimes, alerting her of the arrival of her prince for the couple’s joint photo shoot high atop Chelsea’s Hotel Americano. “This is so great,” Newport-Mimran gushes. “I never get to see my husband during the day.”
IThe Toronto-based Mimrans have been called Canadian retail royalty, and for good reason: She is the President and Head Designer of Pink Tartan, awomenswearline she co-founded in 2002 and that has annual sales of $tkt million, and she also oversees her two wildly successful, Pink Tartan flagship stores in Toronto. Her husband Joe is none other than the retailing guru behind both Club Monaco (which he sold to Ralph Lauren in 1999 for $54.2 million) and now Joe Fresh, the chain of high style-low cost clothes that he launched in 2006.
Theirs is a dizzying life of fashion, family, art and culture, and although Toronto remains home base(their 12-year-old daughter attends school there), the Mimrans are keen toplace a firm footprint in New York City. To that end they’re in the midst of putting the finishing touches on a tktk square foot apartment in the Peter Marino building that overlooks Gracie Mansion. “The amount of energy that flows out of Manhattan is just amazing,” Mimran says, acknowledging unapologetically thatcity feeds him and his wife both personally and professionally. “Every neighborhood has its own vibe and I love that. There’s no other place that I can get a quick read on trends just by walking out my door.”
Both Mimranswere early style savants. Newport-Mimran’s interest was peaked by paging through her mother’s fashion magazines; it took hold in earnest in her teens,when shediscovered the films of Alfred Hitchcock. “I became obsessed with the clothing,” she says of classics like The Birds, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. “That was a time when women really dressed. The cut of the clothes, the way the fabric draped. I mean, I had always loved clothes but that’s when I started to form a certain aesthetic.”
Those early observations continue to inform her design to this day. The Pink Tartan look—think crisp men’s shirting with kicky contrast piping, super skinny tuxedo pants, pops of unexpected color, an intrepid use of technologically advanced fabrics (faux leather that’s as buttery as the real thing)—is both prim and powerful. “I didn’t start off designing,” she explains. “I grew up in menswear. That world is all about fabric and fit, and I learned to love the technical details of making clothes.” Newport-Mimran is equally consumed with her stores (they carry Pink Tartan as well as a carefully curated selection of her favorites from other designers). “I still love to have a hand in merchandising,” she says. “It’s a whole aesthetic thing for me—how it looks, what the environment feels like. I have wool blankets from Scotland, fur slippers, my beloved candles.” Talk of a New York City outpost is officially in play. “It would be great,” she says. “I find so much inspiration here.”
Joe Mimran grew up in Toronto, in a house that was literally filled with clothes. His mother was a seamstress at a department store by day anda maker of made-to-order clothes for private clients by night. Their small apartment was littered with fabric scraps, straight pins and tangles of trim. That influence proved indelible, and by his early 20’s Mimran had started a small manufacturing business in Toronto (partnered with his mother and brother), making women’s ready-to-wear. The company grew slowly, until one fateful day when Mimransays he couldn’t find a well-priced white button-down shirt to buy, and decided there was a hole in the retail landscape for stylish basics.That he parlayed hisinkling intothe Club Monaco phenomenon (with partner Alfred Sung) takes a certain clairvoyance that few possess. “Retailing is complicated,” he allows. “It takes a lotof work and it’s always changing. Anyone who stays with it has perseverance.”
The idea for Joe Fresh was nearly as serendipitous. In 2006Mimranwas approached about creating a line of clothes for Loblaws, a family-owned chain of Canadian supermarkets (yes, supermarkets). In true Mimranstyle he developed clothes that had mass appeal but that were highly designed. “I knew it had to be quality-centric, fashion-centricfrom the beginning,” he says. Seven years later and the bright orange logo is a beacon for everything from smartly tailored top coats(neoprene, anyone?) to skinny jeans and candy-striped sweaters. There are nowtktfree-standing stores in the US and Canada and 680 shop-within-shops in JC Penny. With new CEO Mario Grauso in place, the company is poised for massive international growth.
Blending big business with family time istricky, and Newport-Mimran is aware of the pressure to juggle it all. Like most successful women, she desperately wants to “lean in”a la Sheryl Sandberg but she also feels the pull to put family first. “There’s no such thing as balance,” she says, glancing at her husband as he nods knowingly. “You have to prioritize. There are times when family comes first and there are times when business comes first. Hopefully you make the best decisions that you can.”
For both Mimrans, New York City is a place that inspiressthemcreatively. The art world features mightily in their lives, and they are drawn to thebounty of museums and galleries that the city is renowned for. “We started collecting black and white photography, and that grew to include modern art in the same color palette, like the beautiful Richard Serra chalk drawings that we own,” Mimran explains. “From there we started looking for young, emerging artists who worked in all different mediums. We love Kenneth Nolan, Julia Dault, Donald Moffett, Richard Rappaport, AnaSavic. There are so many.” The duo is eager to ignite the same passion in their 12-year-old daughter. “Jacqueline’s very creative, an artsy girl,” Newport-Mimran says. “We took her to Basel last year and let her choose her first piece. I think she’s hooked!”
As the light starts to fade over the city, the Mimran’s pose for one last shot on the roof of the hotel, overlooking all of midtown. It’s late, it’s cold, and a bevy of well-meaning assistants start to swirl anxiously. Joe Mimran is only focused on one thing. “Now that is a view,” he exclaims. He pulls his wife close to his side, and they gaze at the city scapebeneath them while the camera shutter clicks. “New York is about work, style, culture and really great food,” Newport-Mimran says emphatically. “It really has it all.”