Shades of Summer… EAST vs. WEST

July 14, 2016

Cohens Fashion Optical - NYC - East vs West

If there is one accessory you truly need this summer, it’s a great pair of sunglasses. Besides the fact that they look great, they also protect that delicate skin around your eyes (and prevent you from squinting)!

I was excited when Cohen’s Fashion Optical approached me about styling some of their sunglasses in two of my favorite NYC neighborhoods. If you live in New York (or even have visited), chances are you’ve seen Cohen’s… they have stores all over the city and country (130 to be exact, 80 of which are in NYC)!

The brand was originally founded in 1927 by the Cohen’s family. The first store was on Orchard and Delancey. Today, the brand continues to focus on providing quality eye care that is on-trend and fashionable.

Each Cohen’s store stocks a different assortment as (see below) each store carefully curates their merchandise to cater to local tastes and trends. And so, I popped by my local Cohen’s (at 23rd and Park – just three blocks away from my apartment) and selected two pairs of sunglasses that represent two of my favorite neighborhoods (Gramercy, where I live… and the West Village… my favorite part of the city). I wasn’t sure what to expect but was excited to see so many of my favorite eyewear designers… Kate Spade, Ray-Ban, and Miu-Miu (one of my all-time faves for eyewear!!)

Cohens Fashion Optical - NYC - East vs West
MIU MIU Sunglasses.

The first pair that I selected is a deep, dark cat-eye from Miu Miu. I associate the East side with more traditional glamour, which is why I thought a more classic black cat-eye would be perfect. This particular pair makes me think of Audrey Hepburn at Breakfast in Tiffany’s.


Cohens Fashion Optical - NYC - East

My own neighborhood on the East Side is up and coming. My favorite spot for lunch and brunch (a few blocks north of my apartment) is Penelope. It’s absolutely adorable but they don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait! (If you go, get the egg sandwich – it’s amazing… as is the monkey bread!) For dinner/drinks I love Covina and the rooftop bar at Park South Hotel. A bit further south from my apartment is the Gramercy Park Hotel (I love Mailino and Rose Bar), and Irving Place (one of my favorite streets) which is full of amazing little gems like Friend of a Farmer).

For workouts, I love Exhale.. and a new Barry’s Bootcamp is opening up around the corner (hooray!) You also can’t beat a run on the East River Run Path.


Cohens Fashion Optical - NYC - West
MIU MIU Sunglasses. This graphic wall is on Houston Street and one of my favorite places to shoot!


Meanwhile, there’s the West Side. The West Village is creative and vibrant so I feel like I can get a bit more creative. This time around, I selected a blonde tortoise pair of cat-eye sunglasses, pairing them with a printed sundress and my favorite rope + suede Jimmy Choo platforms. The blonde tortoise (while still classic) is a little funkier… a bit more fun! And they have the coolest glittery sides (keep scrolling to see what I’m talking about). While the black pair makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn, these make me feel like Kate Hudson. Still polished and chic, but a little bit more unconventional.


Cohens Fashion Optical - NYC - West

I am a member at Soho House (on 9th and 13th) so at least one day a week I will go there to work and take meetings. The rooftop pool can’t be beat and their avocado toast is my absolute favorite. It gives me a nice little West Side hub.

I feel like I’m always drinking coffee when I’m in the West Village! Or eating! They have some of the best restaurants in the city… tiny cafes on tree-lined blocks… and lots of great Italian food (Malatesta is my secret favorite spot… they have the cutest waiters and the best spinach gnocchi).

In terms of other restaurants, I have so many favorites but Rosemary’s is always a favorite (I go every other week to pick up my CSA delivery – they have amazing partner farms upstate and so much delicious fresh produce)! I also have gotten a bit addicted to By Chloe for healthy but delicious comfort food. And I’m so happy that The Butcher’s Daughter just opened up a second New York location on Hudson Street… it’s one of my all-time favorite spots.

I also love all the shopping that the West Village has to offer. Otte is one of my absolute favorite boutiques in the city and I’ve recently become obsessed with CAP Beauty for all things natural + eco-friendly.


Cohens Fashion Optical - NYC - West


Special thanks to our 23rd street store for providing these sunnies!

Created in partnership with The Stripe.
Photography by Lydia Hudgens