City Guide: Tokyo

Tokyo

My semi-annual trips to Tokyo is what keeps my inspiration juices flowing. The energy I get from this city is like no other. Here are some of the places I managed to visit on my last busy trip.


 

SHOPPING

I always visit the golden triangle – Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku – for all my craziest fashion needs and just to get a general feel of the current state of trends. I already get inspired by the vibrancy of the street style. There are many places we sell our collections in these areas, including two of the best department stores Seibu Shibuya and Isetan Shinjuku, so it´s always mixing work with pleasure.

Kriss Soonik


 

KOENJI

Every time I’m in Tokyo, I try to find new places. Koenji, just a stop from Shinjuku, is probably the coolest neighbourhood in Tokyo at the moment. It’s home to an expanding creative scene. You can shop for vintage clothes and vinyl records, go to live music bars and just generally walk around and get immersed in culture and creativity on every step.

Koenji


 

SAKURA

This was my fourth time in Tokyo during Spring. I had seen cherry blossoms before but I had never been in Tokyo during the peak blossoming season. Now I know what the hype is about! My greatest experience to view the cherry blossoms was in Tokyo Midtown. It´s especially powerful to look at the fluffy trees from above. It reminded me of seeing first snow of the season.

Sakura


 

MIRAIKAN SIENCE MUSEUM

It´s no surprise that I am a huge fan of robots. Visiting Miraikan had been on my to-do list for a long time. Loved seeing Asimo´s demonstration and chatting to tiny robots. Of course until the cute robots called me old…

Miraikan

City Guide: Paris

In Paris I’m always in a hurry. Doing trade shows, visiting boutiques or fabric shows is sure fun but there’s never time to fully enjoy Paris. There are a few places though that I try to visit when in the City of Love. Here are my favourites.


 

SHOPPING

A dream destination for fashion lovers. You have everything from vintage flea markets to a selection of great French high-street to super high-end labels. The must visit would be the iconic Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. With its remarkable dome and wide range of brands its one of my favourite shopping destinations. Until the 15th of Feb you can also find a selection of Kriss Soonik products on the lingerie floor.

Colette is a fashionable concept store that almost every day has a new product launch or an event happening, and therefore is always packed with all sorts of fashionistas. You can get everything from a simple pen to haute-couture frocks there.

If you are in the Le Marais area make sure not to miss Dollhouse – a cool lingerie shop that also carries some of our pieces.


 

CULTURE

The city itself is so beautiful and historical that even a short walk around Paris is almost too much to take in. There are however few places we always try to visit. One of them is Petite Palais. The little sister to the more known Grand Palace is a true gem. The building, erected in the 1900s is a true piece of art within itself. Inside you can find paintings, sculptures and works of art from Ancient Greece right up to the First World War. It also has the sweetest courtyard with the best cafe.


 

FOOD

No day starts without a visit to a local boulangerie where croissants and pain au chocolates are mandatory. For food shopping nothing beats La Grande Épicerie, which is part of the famed Bon Marché department store in the sixth arrondissement. Considered the best food shop in Paris it literally has everything! On top of French delicatessen the whole world cuisine is represented.

Another place worth mentioning is La Chaufferie, a cosy place nearby Gare du Nord that offers modern french dishes. Their onion soup is absolutely to die for!

Kriss’s Top 5 – July

Read: Ayn Rand The Fountainhead
It has been on our bookshelf for a very long time but the 600 plus pages haven’t really been inviting. But now I feel that I am ready to read this modern classic. 100 down, 500 to go. So far, so good!

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Listen: Zwette feat Molly – Rush
While I was driving my car in Estonia this song kept coming on. It´s such a mellow, summery, beach lounging song. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it but after a couple of times, I was certain it was a hit for me. Can’t be found on Spotify. Mystery.

Vacation: Spain
A couple of days in sunny Mallorca won’t hurt anyone, right? Look forward to lying on the beach, eating tasty fresh food, drinking good wine and doing absolutely nothing else. Bliss.

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Activity: Ping Pong
While waiting in the queue for our turn to play tennis, we have picked up ping pong. The ping pong tables are always empty. At a beginner´s level it´s not that physical as tennis but still gets your body moving and is a lot of fun!

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Drink: Smoothie
With the weather getting warmer, I have become much healthier with my food. I also finally got a blender and here’s one of my favourite smoothies to make. It includes: Avocado, Spinach, Banana, Almond Milk. It’s not very sweet but full of health. Yummy!

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Kriss’s Top 5 – May

Travelling has always been my main source of inspiration. Here I have listed a few of my favourite designing spots in the world over the years.

TarifaHotel Hurricane Chiringuito
A short vacation – the best time to design! And what’s more inspirational than sitting outside on a calm sunny day watching the ocean waves hit the cliffs. This is the place where many Summer collection designs have been born but I guess the most notable is one of our best-sellersKristel Polo Suspender Top.

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New YorkFiat Cafe
It was a hot day in New York last week. I had an hour between my meetings, so sat down outside this cute and empty Italian restaurant. Within the next 30 minutes the place was packed and there was a winding queue. I was so proud that I had snatched this tiny table outside! Here the SS16 collection got finalised. Hopefully it will be as hot as that day in New York.

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TallinnNOP
I have actually never sat there designing but when going back to Tallinn, this is the place where I have a lot of creative meetings, so inspiration starts flowing in a different way. I can also say that once after a meeting I ran to my car and drew down quite a few new shapes. Honestly, I don´t remember if they were any good in the end but it still felt awesome.

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BrusselsLa Brouette
It was October 2008, 3 months before starting my label. Brussels was gorgeous, it was snowing outside and I had a Friday off which was a very rare occasion. I was walking around Brussels when I stumbled upon a brasserie on central square. Sounds touristy but I was sat next to a fireplace and got a cup of mulled wine, so I didn´t care about being cool. The interior was quite dark but I still got my drawing pad out and started sketching. I thought to myself, this is what I´d love to do for the rest of my life. It was probably THE moment when I decided that it was finally the time to launch my brand.

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LondonCortado
Until last month this was our home/office cafe where we got most of our lunches from. It is a tiny hidden gem. Hidden so well that the entrance is through a real estate agency office. Like with NOP in Tallinn, I have never sat there sketching but it was always inspirational to see a colourful gang having lunch and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

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Visual Diary: Paris

Last weekend we returned to the City of Love to showcase our next AW15 collection to international lingerie buyers. Although we spent three long days in a large Porte de Versailles exhibition hall, we still found time to have some fun. Here’s a little photo diary of our trip we put together for you.

And by the way, Lingerie Insight trade magazine picked Kriss Soonik as one of the showstoppers of the fair. A great honour among the 480 brands showing. Take a look here.

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Kriss´s Top 5 – New York

To end the New York month in our #ksworldtour we bring you Kriss´s favourites from the city.

Best “Coffice”
Being on the move means that it´s important to find comfortable cafés to put out email fires. Brooklyn is full of very cool “coffices” and one of my favourites is the Toby´s Estate Coffee in Williamsburg. Last time the soundtrack was so painfully good, and loud, that I had one of the best inspirational mornings ever. And trust me, I am usually not very creative in the mornings.

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Toby´s Estate, 125 N 6 St (b/w Bedford & Berry)

Mani-pedi NY style
I am a bit of a tomboy when it comes to all girly and feminine beauty stuff. So no wonder that until 2 years ago I had never got a manicure. What changed? We were at Curve lingerie tradeshow when my fellow designers started asking for recommendations for a great manicure joint. They told me that if there is one thing that needs to be done in NY, it´s getting a good manicure. Apparently, it´s a New York thing. So I joined the cult and now it´s my ritual. Every time I´m in New York, I get a manicure at Top A Nails. And last time I even got a pedi. Progress.

At Top A Nails
Top A Nails, 137 Ave A, New York, NY 10009

The must visit lunch spot
One late afternoon I walked past a lovely little half empty café in Soho and instantly fell in love. The atmosphere was great, food delicious and staff friendly. I especially loved the uniformed barmen. But little did I know that I actually had landed in a real gem. The next day, on a sunny weekend afternoon I walked past the café again to find it absolutely packed and so popular that people were eating while sitting in front on the pavement. When I later asked recommendations for my blog post from locals they also recommended to go and visit Cafe Gitane. So turns out I wasn´t the first to discover this amazing little restaurant in Soho.

Cafe Gitane
Cafe Gitane, 242 Mott Street, New York, NY 10012

Shop ´til you drop
There are 2 stores that I always visit in NY no matter what – Barneys and Opening Ceremony. Barneys is just Barneys, don´t think it needs any explanations.
But Opening Ceremony is literally the coolest shop in the world. I can spend hours there browsing the clothes and accessories. I love how they have made something so non-commercial so commercial. It´s an art I wish more stores acquired. Better be completely ridiculous than completely boring, right?

Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street, New York, NY 10013
Barneys, 660 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10065

Travel essential
With the weirdest and coldest weather during my February stay in NY, the Kristel Turtle Neck Suspender Top proved yet again a must-have item. Here are 3 reasons why:

1) It´s black. Read: practical. When travelling, you want to feel comfortable and fuss-free.
2) The viscose fabric is treated with anti-pilling, so when you wear it, it won´t get the awful fabric baubles. The top looks also fantastic after countless washes.
3) Multiple ways of wearing it – you can get a chic meeting look with a pencil skirt and stockings, or you can go for a more casual, quirky look by leaving the suspenders hanging loosely on top of your trousers. You can also wear the keyhole detail in the front or at the back, opening up even more ways to wear it.

Kriss Soonik Turtle Neck Top