clos-ette case: Samantha Yanks

Posted on August 23, 2011 by Melanie Charlton

Samantha Yanks knows a thing or two about stylish multitasking. Between running Gotham and Hamptons magazines (the latter of which features Clos-ette in its Fall Fashion issue), the editor-in-chief has found time to dabble in jewelry design. “Jewelry is something I feel really passionate about,” says the native New Yorker, who got her start at Vogue. Her debut effort – an array of stunning tasseled necklaces  – launched this summer in collaboration with Jennifer Miller Jewelry. “I really wanted a collection that had one identity to it,” says Yanks of her Indian-inspired baubles. Her creations have already been spotted on the likes of Heidi Klum and Kelly Rutherford –and we think they're right at home in her own super-chic wardrobe.
clos-ette case: Samantha Yanks
Samantha Yanks' dream closet

Here, the editor extraordinaire chats with us about her beach and city looks, devotion to Marni, and the fashion-loving four-year old she can’t keep out of her closet. 

First, what’s your Hamptons wardrobe?

My style during the summer at the beach is a bit more relaxed elegance. I tend to shop locally at the beach –people’s buys are different than they are in Manhattan, and I tend to wear a lot of younger, more under-the-radar designers. I love a ton of really chic dresses out there because I go to a lot of events, and I love dresses that I can wear during the day with an espadrille, then put on a great piece of jewelry at night to elevate it a bit. That’s my Hamptons look.

And your New York uniform?

I grew up in Manhattan, so I’m probably a bit of a victim of the black and navy wardrobe when I’m back in the city. And it really is nothing more than that it really works. I feel comfortable coming into work in a black Donna Karan jersey dress, then I can throw on a fantastic pair of shoes, a great piece of jewelry, and a statement clutch, and feel ready to go at night. And then I guess there’s the third part of the wardrobe: I am a mom –I have a four-year old daughter –and I definitely have the casual ‘running around’ outfit for her. But it’s probably the only time you’ll find me in jeans. 

organized drawers
A peak inside Yanks' colorful Hamptons closet

What designers can’t you live without?

I love Lanvin. I wear an awful lot of Yigal Azrouel. And I really can’t live without Marni. I wear a ton, from accessories to tops and coats. A lot of the piece that I buy from Marni I wear year after year, and I think that’s because she’s so true to her cut. Unless your body changes drastically, her clothing tends to fit in a reliable way season after season. I like that. It’s the same thing with some pieces from Ralph Lauren – I have all of these blazers and jackets that I bought from him over the years. I like the reliability of designers whose cuts don’t vary so drastically from season to season. As much as you want designers to design and be true to whatever inspires them, they should stay true to the fit of their customer.

 How do you build your wardrobe each season?

I always look to incorporate what I consider the ‘new classics’. I think for fall, it’s always about finding the perfect coat. I call it the “proper topper.” As a New Yorker, I’m always running around the city, and as fantastic as my outfit might look, you need the coat that pulls it all together. Every time you walk into a lunch meeting or a dinner, it’s really the first thing everybody sees you in. And what woman doesn’t need a new bag? I have ones that I hold on to –I’m a huge fan of a classic Hermes bag –but I always like to introduce one bag that I think is going to the be the classic of the season. This season, the Celine bag is absolutely beautiful. I’m also having a love affair with the new redesigned Jimmy Choo bags. I think they’re really smart looking, and I think they’ve taken function into account. I also really, really love Carlos Falchi’s big, structured hobo bags in python skin. To kick the season off right, I really think a nice thing to do to update is change your watch strap in what you think is going to be the season’s most dominant color. This year, I decided on a really deep emerald green. And I think it’s a nice extravagance if you can update with jewelry along with your clothing. [Our bestselling Travel Jewelry Case is the perfect place to store jewelry, old or new!]

A look from Yanks' collection for Jennifer Miller Jewelry

When it comes to closet organization, what’s the biggest problem you face?

The first thing, which I don’t think anyone can really help me solve, is a four-year old who loves to go into my closet and try on every single pair of my shoes. She’s very girly and she loves all the high heels. So no matter how organized I get it, she always disorganizes it. And my closet is big enough that she thinks of it as her own mini-apartment. So she’s always in there. 

shoe storage

A stash of Yanks'  favorite heels

What about getting rid of things – is that hard for you?

I do have a problem getting rid of things, but I’m not really sure, as I’ve matured,  if that’s really a problem. I’ve found lately that I’m starting to wear a lot of clothing again that’s probably considered vintage at this point – pieces that I’ve held onto because I know there’s intrinsic value in there, like a great Ralph Lauren tweed jacket, or a great fur poncho that I bought so many years ago. So the real problem is where to store all of the pieces, because they can’t all live in my closet at the same time. Thankfully, I have a system where I pack everything up in boxes and they live in our beach house in the off-season.

What pieces will you never, ever let go of?

Years ago, I bought a mink turtleneck poncho with velvet pockets. It was my first real, serious fur purchase, so I’ll always remember that. It’s been one of those pieces that I’ve been able to slightly tweak and re-cut over the years and make minor adjustments to. Inevitably, there’s always a part of New York winter that’s just brutal, and it’s just the perfect item to snuggle into. I just adore it and I would never, ever, ever get rid of it. My mother even asked to borrow it, and I said no! I also tend to wear a lot of Donna Karan, and she has this one black jersey dress I will never, ever get rid of. It’s so chic in the winter, it’s so lightweight that I wear it out at the beach, and it’s the most amazing piece for travel because it doesn’t wrinkle. It’s a black strapless dress with two straps that you can do a gazillion things with –so you can wear the dress eight or nine different ways. I wore it to an event the other night and got 50 compliments –and I said, ‘you have seen me in this dress so many other times!’ [Our Signature Hangers keep dresses and all of your other favorites pieces in tip-top shape!]

Whose closet would you raid if you could?

Daphne Guinness. She has a really, really fantastic closet. FIT is doing an exhibit of 100 covetable pieces from her wardrobe, and when I heard that I thought, ‘somebody else would like to raid her closet as well!’ And I have to say Lauren Santo Domingo's closet is one I’d like to get my hands on as well –although, we are very, very different body types, so I’d have to do a lot of alterations!

Like us on Facebook for more stories from social.organization!

Posted in clos-ette case