A darling of the Manhattan social set, Frederick Anderson has been an insider in the fashion industry for over two decades riding the ebbs and flows of the business as the President of Douglas Hannant and Hanley before launching his namesake brand four years ago. “I’m excited about having this new brand because, after all these years in fashion, it’s exciting for me to have a story that’s my own. Part of that story is my change in attitude- not just towards fashion, but towards New York, my life, and the people who were in it. The people that I surround myself with and the people that I’ve influenced, my fashion is much more authentically me now. As we are coming back to New York, I think New York needed a change,” Anderson bemuses.
While the pandemic in 2020 had drastically changed New York City forever, NYC has proven its resilience and reemerged stronger than ever, but in a different light. Celebrated fashion designer Frederick Anderson chats with his cadre of Manhattanite besties who are insiders from the fashion and art worlds, Petra Khashoggi, Joanna Gong, and Sarika Rastogi, about how NYC has changed post-pandemic, how they have personally changed, and why NYC is still the best city in the world.
FA: We’ve gone through a lot, but the wonderful thing about New York is its resilience. New York is always bendable and changeable, yet it still stays the same. New York City is a staple that drives us all here for energy, excitement, and inspiration. But with that, we gather new energies. Many people have left, but it’s exciting to see all the new people who are coming in and how they change it. Sarika, what do you love most about this city?
SR: I have such a reverence for this city and all I wanted to do is meet amazing people who have amazing experiences and New York has given it back to me in ACEs, in spades. I’ve lived here through 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and recently this pandemic. The spirit of this town always comes back and it’s nothing but resilient and strong, and seeing it come back at this point is so inspiring and exciting.
FA: How do you think the city has changed?
SR: I’ve worked in fashion PR for over 20 years, and it’s interesting to see how things have shifted, but it’s coming back in a way that’s more purposeful. People have a different outlook on how things are. There’s a different texture to it. Now when I go out, it’s smaller more intimate groups, and it’s not about going to three things. People are entertaining at home more, and you get to know people better.
FA: Miss Petra Khashoggi, tell us about yourself and what your thoughts are on NYC coming back.
PK: I’m working on a book which is a collection of essays called, Ten Years in America, as I officially moved here from London ten years ago. It’s been really fascinating to watch how the city has evolved over the last 10 years, but particularly during the pandemic which made people reflect a lot more. Now the energy is so alive in the city and it’s like a new New York!
FA: Joanna, tell us about yourself and what you love about the New NYC?
JG: I work in the art world and recently relocated to New York. I grew up internationally in four different countries, but New York has always been one of the most special places. It’s a place that is not just a big melting pot with different ethnicities and cultures, but also a unique interaction of classes where the Wall Street banker can chat up the taco guy. This is a New York phenomenon that is truly heartwarming that I decided to buy a townhouse in Harlem, which to me is all about the neighborhood and the community. It’s the essence of walking out and having a feeling that everyone on the block knows each other and is connected. This undying energy and resilience that the city had throughout the pandemic have been truly the most inspiring thing to witness coming in and out of the city. The artworld is on fire, and the art market is truly booming. People are looking at their homes and their walls as assets and want to surround themselves with beautiful tangible objects. Our interactions and experiences with each other are changing into a more domestic setting where people are focusing on their homes and their own quality of life. That kind of energy I think is irreplaceable.
FA: Petra, what are the places that you find exciting now?
PA: I live on Bond Street so Zero Bond is my local haunt, and the atmosphere there is always very cool. The pandemic has made me reassess who I want to hang out with, and I’m much more selective now about the people I’ll go and socialize with.
FA: Sarika, how has the fashion world come back?
SR: The fashion industry is a very tight-knit group of people. I also think there’s a nostalgia about New York and a renaissance of classic places and brands. When Temple Bar reopened in Soho everyone was really excited about it, especially after COVID to know that those places are still there. The different neighborhoods that each have their own community are what makes New York so amazing. The fashion calendar was already shifting, and I think after COVID it was a different mentality