An Interview with Elle Levin

Meet Elle. Chic, smart, and sophisticated are all words that come to mind when I think of Elle. Well, after a lot of jargon about fabric that I forgot from the class at FIT we took together. She and I moved to New York from the Midwest at the same time, attended FIT together, and somehow only recently became friends. She's somehow cooler than her Instagram and the most generous of all. 

On reading:

I can't think of the person I would be without reading the books I’ve read. My favorite thing to do upon visiting someone’s apartment for the first time is scanning through their bookshelf or covertly trying to see what books they keep piled by their bedside. I feel like letting a stranger look through my bookshelves would be one of the most intimate things I could do. That being said, some of my favorite genres include: memoirs, poetry, and essays, but there’s truly nothing better than finding a novel with a story that owns you. Rushing to the train after work so you can get a seat and keep reading. The innocence of staying up past your bedtime because you had to finish. Some of my favs and go-to recs for any genre include: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, Anne Sexton’s Complete Poems, and for a classic, always Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

On how you spend your Saturday afternoons:

My ideal Saturday afternoon consists of leaving brunch with a friend to go peruse a string of boutiques or vintage furniture shops shops in Brooklyn (Greenpoint has my favorite vintage spots), or pop into one of my favorite bookstores for a new read to take along with me on my search for an afternoon matcha. I love McNally Jackson in SoHo, and Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill. This is usually followed by some much needed introvert time alone in my apartment spent reading, cleaning, or most likely wasting my life on the internet. I am a huge fan of SATURDAY NIGHTS so this time is crucial for me to laze around my apartment alone  and decompress before heading out for drinks with friends, or better yet, DANCING. 

On your go to dinner party plan:

The thought of cooking for other people terrifies me so my dinner plans usually involve going out or ordering in. But I'm all for hosting pre or post dinner drinks usually  accompanied by your standard charcuterie spreads. I do love baking though, so usually I’ll show up with whatever baked good I’ve managed to come up with that day. I think you can't go wrong starting with good wine, fresh flowers, & music.

On your personal uniform:

I've been experiencing somewhat of of a personal style identity crisis right now, but what I tend to gravitate towards is anything that's comfortable and simplistic. What's most important in dressing is feeling comfortable and at home in whatever you're wearing. Most of my favorite pieces are usually thrifted or stolen from my mom’s closet whenever I visit. My wardrobe staples include: wide leg denim/trousers, cut offs, striped shirts, blazers, a few scattered vintage blouses, my gold hoops, ankle boots, clogs, way too many pairs of sneakers, and The Elle™ signature look, an oversized silk button down shirt. I'm always on the hunt for the *perfect* pair of vintage denim, a leather biker jacket, loafers, tees, and vintage dresses. Basically better versions of what I already own. For now, I've focused on trying to mostly buy vintage or from sustainable and ethical brands that I truly want to support. As for makeup, I usually keep it simple. I love Tarte's powder for a velvety natural looking base, then I usually add Glossier cloud paint in Haze and RMS Living Luminizer to my cheekbones and finish it off with Glossier Boy Brow and Tarte's Better than sex mascara. Super quick & polished yet, natural. If I decide to wear lipstick it's either NARS Rosewood or an Hourglass one for a nude or one of the way too many red lipsticks i own.

My style icons are really just the Greats: think, Alexa Chung, Camille Rowe, of course Jane Birkin and every other old school French girl icon. I love Keira Knightley’s character in Begin Again, she masters the perfect androgynous/ tomboy look with a vintage and feminine twist. Jeanne Damas, the reigning queen of the effortless French girl chic look. And of course all of my uber chic and classy friends inspire me daily with their unique takes on Brooklyn style (and just riding the L or G everyday, you always see something new.) 

On what speaks to you:


Brooklyn. Receiving a book from someone I love. Ordering a double. Sunday mornings. Being 22. The city when it snows. Crime dramas. Walking through Manhattan on a warm, late summer evening with my headphones and practically dancing across W 19th. Paying twenty five cents to roam The Met. Having nowhere to be on a Tuesday morning. Letter writing and receiving. Heading over to a friend’s apartment with 2 cappuccinos and 2 almond croissants, or a bottle of wine in the evenings. Writing in a new notebook for the first time. Going dancing on Saturdays. Taking a cab home after being away from the city and the relief that comes with it.