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Say hello to Marissa Smith.. The celebrated NYLON Magazine fashion editor is a creative force in NYC and the epitome of a true girl on-the-go (she commutes EVERY DAY from New Jersey – talk about dedication!). When she’s not at her desk trying to manage her overflowing inbox, you’ll find this city girl at market appointments, runway shows, on her way to shoots, or in meetings with fellow industry insiders. How she finds the time to do it all is beyond us, BUT we were lucky to catch Marissa one afternoon in Soho – her favorite NYC neighborhood and home to the NYLON offices – and follow her to all of her favorite spots. See it for yourself in this special edition diary where Marissa explains her life in the city, how she’s found her commuter style, and where you’ll find her this summer in both NYC and elsewhere…

Hi Marissa! We’re excited to experience the beloved Soho through your eyes. Talk to us about this neighborhood. In your opinion why is it the best place to work?

So I used to work at other magazines in other areas, and once I got to Soho I was a little bit intimidated to work here because the minute you step out of the subway, you are surrounded by stylish people. At that point when I first started, I didn’t really have a personal style, I was still figuring it out. It took me a bit to get comfortable in Soho – it feels like everyone’s eyes are on what you’re wearing, what shoes you have on… It’s a very stylish neighborhood, so to be in it kind of gives you street credit. Like, “I work in Soho, I’m surrounded by the Louis Vuitton store and Stella McCartney!”. You also have all the secret stores that are around here too. I love being able to work here and have the culture of everything, it’s a lot easier to go out after work and have fun with your friends because there is so much stuff to do in the area.

As a fashion market editor, we’re sure it’s easy to stay inspired. How has Soho helped you find your own sense of style?

I take a lot of inspiration from other people, and I’m actually very interested in menswear, so a lot of my style is based on streetwear and menswear. It’s really great because I have the Y3 store down the street, so I’m constantly seeing young guys and take a lot of inspiration from their outfits. Being surrounded by a bunch of cool street brands is really great for me.

We love your Instagram! Where did @marissaexplains come from? Playing off of that, can you explain the following to us: your love affair with fashion, your day-to-day as a fashion editor at NYLON and what about NYC you love the most?

@marissaexplains is actually play off of Clarissa Explains It All which is a Nickelodeon show. When I was in college I tried to start a fashion blog (please don’t Google it because it’s very embarrassing) and it is still up, I need to take it down! Marissa Explains It All was the name, but the domain wasn’t available, so I shortened it down to Marissa Explains and added it to social media. I think it’s hilarious, it’s kind of like my alter ego.

For my day to day, it’s all very different, no day is exactly the same. Most days I start off with appointments or meetings for different brands and I take pictures for when they start working on those pieces internally in-house. I end up in the office around noon, and I start on my emails for the day. At that point, so many emails have built up as you can imagine, so there are like 200 emails that I have to get through. Then it goes into requesting clothes for fashion stories or book pages which are trend based, so I’ll follow up with those requests and our fashion editor makes sure that all the samples I need are coming in. I also work closely with the digital team, so it’s a lot of meetings with them too. I end the day with more press appointments, it’s kind of nice to get out at the end of the day so I schedule a few meetings from 5PM on. I feel like I can go home straight away from that so I don’t feel like I’m stuck in the office all night. I like that it’s a different culture.

As far as loving the city goes, I’m coming from green grass and a yard and a washer and dryer in my apartment, and I come here and I feel like I have a whole other life, it is nice to have the separation. I have my fashion friends and we go out to events. It’s so much livelier here in NY and then I get to go home to NJ and be with my husband and dog and watch Netflix, which is also nice. I get the best of both worlds.

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Ruby’s Cafe

Address: 219 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

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Do you remember your first meal at Ruby’s? What’s your go-to lunch order? What is your favorite indulgence on the menu?

I do remember my first meal. I go here a lot with my coworkers on the digital team. It’s actually one of our favorites now. I’ve actually never NOT gotten this one dish because I love it so much that I never get anything else. Although I’ve heard such great things about everything else on the menu, I only get their pasta with shrimp. It’s almost kind of a comfort food. I usually only come here when I’m having a stressful day or need a break, so a bowl of pasta is normally my go to because I need the carbs/ energy. Yeah, so when I’m having a bad or stressful day, I’ll come here with a friend and vent and only ever get that dish because it’s the best.

How would you describe the Ruby’s scene and what about it makes you feel like you’re at home?

It’s actually a super small restaurant, but the scene is super nice. I feel like it’s kind of off the beaten path in Soho, so a lot of people don’t actually know it’s around. The people who come here are almost regulars at this point, so you see the same people. It’s also a secret celebrity spot. Gigi Hadid and all of her friends were eating here once when I came in, my friend Joe Jonas was here with her at the time – a lot of celebrities love it, which is strange – I would never have known that.

Let’s talk about some other places in and around the Soho area. Our Noho bag was inspired by you guessed it – the Noho neighborhood. How often are you in this particular part of the city? Where can we find you?

I actually go to The Smile a lot in Noho, so I’m there very often. It’s very close to my office so I walk around there more than I like to admit. My cousin goes to NYU which is very close to Noho so we often meet up there a lot since it’s common ground. We’ll grab breakfast and it is great because I can get a little family time in before work.

How are you planning to take advantage of all the amazing things NYC has to offer in the summer? Any fun getaways planned? 

I have my honeymoon coming up to London and Paris in the first 2 weeks of July, which I’m really excited about! I’ve never been to Europe which should be fun. Here in NYC, I like to take advantage of all the concerts that go on during the summer. I’m going to see Brian Wilson in Brooklyn this weekend and a bunch of random concerts this summer. I feel like it’s so much more fun during the summer when the weather is nice and the venues are outside. I try to do as much as I can in terms of that.

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KITH

Address: 64 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

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We’re obsessed with KITH. These guys have a serious cult following. What is it about KITH that made you a follower? 

So I started following them before they opened a women’s store, and of course, I was like, “I want all of these shoes, are they available in my sizes???” SO I was actually super stoked when they opened a women’s store right down the street from my office. It’s perfect. I go there way too often, buy way too many sneakers that my collection has grown so much that I don’t know where to put everything. They’ve also started their own internal clothing brand which is great. It’s more of the streetwear vibe that I’m into and also good for inspiration. They keep magazines on stands too, so smaller magazines that you probably wouldn’t know about are there. It’s cool to pick those up and read them while sitting in the store or the courtyard across the street, and then hang out and grab another pair of sneakers that you don’t need.

We obviously love your style and also love KITH’s aesthetic, we think it’s similar to ours – very clean and minimal and very NYC. So if you had to style brands from KITH with our Noho bag what would you pair it with? 

Vans are definitely my go to because they’re athletic, but still a sneaker – those are the ones I wear the most, and the ones that go the best with everything. If not, I’d probably put a pair of Airforce 1s or Nikes with the backpack or their new air riff sneaker which is actually like a sandal sneaker that’s really cute and feels a little different. This bag feels like it can be a handbag or a backpack so you have to wear something versatile.

You bring style and commuting together which is what we are all about. Has shopping at KITH made this easier for you? What is one thing you can’t live without when you’re on the move?

KITH always has the newest products (the Yeezy’s they’ll never have which is something that I covet). Everything else, they put on their Instagram the second they get it, so I always see it and am like, “I need that” they are updating their social media all the time. But it’s also always nice to be able to go into the store and see how many colors they have and to try stuff on, then I try to buy everything I can the minute it gets out. I can’t live without my Mophie charger, I’m constantly on my phone, taking pictures, and on email. My phone dies in 4 hours so I definitely need my external battery tap to make sure I can get through the rest of the day.

We totally admire your passion for style. How do you push through your travel challenges? Can you offer any realistic advice to girls (in places outside of NYC) who are looking to pursue fashion in the city? 

I think that commuting is something that you have to accept very early on if you’re wanting to stay in a different city or state and want to be in fashion – it’s very much a give and take. You have to give yourself the time to commute and you have to be ok with that. If you’re ok with that you can still pursue a career in fashion very easily.

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La Esquina (Corner Deli)

Address: 114 Kenmare St
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Give us chips and guac and we’re happy! But you mentioned that you actually like to come here with friends to get a Mexican Coke – any particular reason? What else do you love about this Soho spot?

I actually don’t drink alcohol, so when my friends want to go out here for a drink after work, I’m never opposed to going out with them. La Esquina is a great place because you can get a snack and I can grab a Mexican Coke, which in fact are better because they have real sugar in them, so they taste better with more of a European flavor. I’ll go and get a coke and they can get alcohol without feeling like I’m at a sceney bar.

City girls are known for being ambitious, but what do you like to talk about other than work/fashion over dinner at La Esquina? 

I’m a big pop culture geek! Talk to me about anything in the news that’s going on with the Kardashians, I can talk about it forever. Which is semi-embarrassing but it’s fine. Usually pop culture is  my favorite thing to talk about with my friends. We’re constantly talking about how sad Justin Beiber is and why Kylie’s lip kits are so expensive and crazy things like that. I’m a huge TV junkie, so I love to catch up with my friends on the newest Bachelorette season and silly things like that. Unfortunately, my pop culture brain is huger than any other brain. I know way too many weird things about celebs that I probably shouldn’t…

It’s summer Friday in the city. Where can we find you heading to after drinks at La Esquina?

Usually, I go into Little Italy with my friends and we get gelato and walk around. Or we’ll go shopping in & Other Stories and Zara which are big favorites in the Soho area. & Other Stories is newer to NY so I feel it’s like not as picked over as much as the other fast fashion brands. It’s super easy when I need something quick or when I am going out at night and need a heel, I can grab a pair and not feel like I’m spending a ton of money.

“As far as loving the city goes, I’m coming from green grass and a yard and a washer and dryer in my apartment, and I come here and I feel like I have a whole other life which is nice to have the separation. I have my fashion friends and we go out to events. It’s so much livelier here in NY and then I get to go home to NJ and be with my husband and dog and watch Netflix, which is nice. I get the best of both worlds.”

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Photos by Bridget Badore for OVERT NYC


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