We invite you to discover The Collectors — our interview series that unearths the treasures, trinkets and thoughtful things that the most exciting creatives that we follow are holding onto. It’s here that we find out why collectibles hold such value and in fact, how value is so much more than a price tag. Introducing Alicia Lombardini, our third find for The Collectors.
Remember that Be a Lady video narrated by Cynthia Nixon that went viral last year? Or the iconic shot of Rachel McAdams styled with breast pumps? Both were brilliantly masterminded by Alicia Lombardini and Claire Rothstein of Girls.Girls.Girls. We sat down with style director and personal stylist Alicia Lombardini to discuss everything from furniture to her IVF story.
Alicia began her career in styling in the early 2000s working alongside industry legends including Peter Lindbergh, while styling celebrities from Zoe Kravitz to Christina Ricci, and most recently Aziz Ansari and Cynthia Nixon. Alicia recently wrote a piece for the New York Times about her IVF journey, as a single woman in her late 40s. Her experience partly inspired Aziz Ansari’s recent season of Master of None, on Netflix.
What’s the first thing you collected?
Alicia Lombardini// Vintage clothing — one time I did a road trip around America for two months, and every time I would stop in a town I would look for a vintage store and and often found wonderful pieces to add to my collection. America has so many hidden gems. The most I have of one thing in my wardrobe is white button down shirts. I don’t think I collected anything as a child, however.
What’s your favourite thing to collect today?
AL// Vintage chairs, couches, etc. That’s what I collect the most. Finding a beautiful piece and then modernising it by reupholstering it. I especially love liberty fabrics.
Do you like classic, forever pieces, or are you more into fun jewellery that you can change everyday?
AL// Classic forever pieces that I wear everyday.
"The jewellery never changes for me, it’s a part of me so it’s something I build on with new pieces. I don’t tend to take it off."
Do you sleep with all your jewellery on or do you take it off before you go to bed?
AL// I sleep with it on. I’m too lazy to take it all off at night and put it on again in the morning.
What comes first - outfit or jewellery?
AL// The jewellery never changes for me, it’s a part of me so it’s something I build on with new pieces. I don’t tend to take it off. The only time I would take it off is when I’m wearing a gown but how often does that happen?
Most special piece of jewellery?
AL// A piece that my parents gave me — a 24k gold touareg wedding bracelet, which my father had made for my mother. They gave it to me for my 40th birthday present. A piece I’m hoping to have made soon is a medal with my son’s initials and birthdate — a piece I will hold onto forever.
Does your love of collecting inform your work at all?
AL// Absolutely — as a stylist I’m looking at the way that pieces are made, and the quality of design, rather than fast fashion and trends. When I collect, it’s all about the history of the piece.
What is the most exciting part of your job?
AL// Discovering new designers — I love that.
How has your work evolved over the years?
AL// At first, as a stylist, I was enamoured by photography and film, and as the industry has changed, I have expanded my focus to include interiors.
Alicia, incredibly the main character in Aziz Ansari’s new season of Master of None is partially based on your story. In fact, episode 4 is your story to a T. How did that come about?
AL// I don’t think Aziz understood what IVF was exactly, so he interviewed me and was able to understand more deeply what it entailed. He wanted to create an episode about it and I thought that would be something really important. I’ve been his stylist for about 7 years, so we have a close bond. I felt comfortable telling my story through Aziz.
AL// Currently it’s my stylist friend, Celia Azoulay’s, who sent me her daughter’s playlist, which I listen to with my son.
AL// The Armchair Expert.
AL// Aperol Spritz
Where is home?
AL// Currently, New York.
What are you reading at the moment?
AL// Goodnight Moon.
Last film or TV show you watched?
AL// To decompress, I’m rewatching Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 1 to infinity.
A random fact about you?
AL// When I was little little, I had a British accent, and then when we moved to America, I gained an American accent. And now when I’m around different accents, mine changes to whatever my ear hears. Apparently that’s a phenomenon that happens to expat kids.
What’s your uniform?
AL// Denim, white t-shirt, a round neck jumper, and a trench. And a flat-soled combat boot.
How do you build your wardrobe?
AL// I’m a firm believer in classics. You find your uniform and stick to it. And once in a while you add special pieces to it. I don’t believe in fast fashion and I believe in buying less but buying quality.
AL// Coffee ice cream, but I don’t know how guilty I feel.
Your ideal Sunday?
AL// Coffee or tea in bed. Classical music in the background. The laughter of my son. And a beautiful spring day spent in the park.
Favourite underrated spot?
What perfume do you wear?
AL// Lys Méditerranée by Frédéric Malle
A sustainable solution or brand you have recently discovered?
AL// Having my son wear his clothes for longer than he should.
Something you can’t resist?
AL// A glass of Sancerre by the ocean side.
Something you can’t live without?
AL// My earpods — Romeo keeps putting them in his mouth and then they stop working.
Something people wouldn’t expect from you?
AL// I was an ice skater.
What do you use on your face?
AL// Augustinus Bader Rich Cream and La Mer cleanser. That’s it.
This or That?
Silver or Yellow Gold?
Old Céline or…Old Céline?
AL// You know the answer.
Croissant or Smoothie?
AL// Croissant à New York and Smoothie in London.
Watch or no watch?
AL// No watch.
Vintage or New?
Ketchup or Mayonnaise?
City or Countryside?
AL// I’m a Sagittarius so I like having options.
Bread or Cake?
Cats or Dogs?
What goes on first: socks or trousers?
Diamonds or pearls? Or neither?
Swipe left or right?
AL// I’m swiping left too often I guess.
Lastly, which piece from our collection would you wear and why?
AL// I find that it’s a collection that you kind of discover over and over again. Even though it’s a collection I’m familiar with, I feel like every time I look at it, I discover something new about the pieces. Right now I’m coveting the Baby Egg earring in 18k gold. The first piece I got was my Chevalière Pinky ring that holds a moss agate intaglio. It feels really true to my personality and I never take it off. To me it’s a piece that is very classic yet extremely modern.