IT’S THE city which never sleeps, and this week New York will be as alive as ever as New York Fashion Week kicks off in just a few hours. While celebs, it-girls and bloggers alike assemble to view runway after runway of the world’s best AW16 styles and trends, the question must be asked: what’s happening off-duty.

We caught up with Australian-born New Yorkers Lauren and Sarah of Overt NYC, who took us behind the the bright lights and skyscrapers to give us a glimpse of life as a New Yorker.DSCF0497

Stylehunter: Let’s go back to the beginning, what is the story behind Overt NYC? 

Overt NYC: Originally we had an idea to design a yoga bag that could go from the studio to the street. The whole activewear scene was booming and we wanted to tap into it. We discussed the design features and functions we wanted in the bag, and how it would fit into our lifestyles. That’s when our ‘lifestyles’ became the bigger conversation.  We started talking about our lives in the city and what it meant to be a woman ‘doing it all’.
We wanted to create a brand that embodied city life and create products around that.
Starting with the Noho bag, a vehicle that lets us get from A to B, with style and ease.

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SH: New York is the epicentre for basically everything – fashion, food, art, music. What are your five tips to live by in the dynamic city that never sleeps?

ONYC – Lauren:
  1. Chances are you won’t be living there forever, so try everything once
  2. Be rude and dismissive
  3. Be overly friendly and helpful
  4. Love the buzz
  5. Plan your escape

ONYC – Sarah:

  1. Be open
  2. Collaborate
  3. Don’t take it personally
  4. Breathe
  5. Look up

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SH: What are your local hangouts?

ONYC: Our hangouts are everywhere from Meat Packing to the Lower East Side…

Lauren’s morning fuel – Ludlow Coffee Supply
Sarah’s lunch on the go – Chelsea Market
Sarah’s pit stop coffee – Kobrick Coffee
Lauren’s Rooftop Cocktail – Mr Purple
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SH: Here in Melbourne we’re big on brunch. What makes the top three on your list of favourite brunch spots in NYC?

Lauren: Sadelles, Two Hands, Roebling Tea Room
Sarah: Egg Shop, Five Leaves, Soho House Weekend Feast.
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SH: Do you have any secret shopping destinations off the beaten track?
Lauren: Depends what you’re shopping for! Williamsburg is hardly off the beaten track, but right on my block on Grand St there is a gorgeous nursery and florist, a handmade jewellery store, an amazing coffee shop and a designer kids boutique.
Sarah: I’m not sure there are many true “secrets” of New York, but maybe an unexpected gem for me was Uniqlo Supima tees, socks and underwear! I also love Dear Rivington on Great Jones, it’s off the main traffic streets in Noho and feels like a gallery – it’s just an inspiring space to wander into and look around.
SH: So let’s get down to the seriously important stuff – New York food! What is a must to try when visiting NYC?
Lauren: NYC, the home to food fads! There’s always something to try. Right now it’s matcha soft serves and poke bowls. I would probably go old school and try a pastrami sandwich from Mile End Deli as well, a smoked salmon bagel from Russ & Daughters, or a pizza slice from Prince St Pizza.
Sarah: I have a list I give to people to try and have at least once, there are many more, but I think these are kind of “must do” items: a doughnut , a Joe’s pizza slice, a burger (fancy – Minetta Tavern, dirty – Shake Shack), a hot dog – (from the street or at a Yankees game), tacos, and a bagel with cream cheese.
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SH: When it’s time to burn off the burgers and bagels, is there work out fads too? 
Lauren: I wouldn’t have a clue! I used to be a gym junkie, I loved mixing up classes from yoga to kickboxing, there was this awesome dance class I loved. I now power walk my baby around the neighborhood like five times a day and hope that does something.
Sarah: Anything on Class Pass. I had heard a lot about Fhitting Room but it books out consistently! I tried it last week and left on such a high, feeling like I’d just been at a club dancing with my friends for an hour (and worked out big time!).
*(Note from the editor: in case you were wondering, Fhitting Room isn’t a typo – it’s called that)
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SH: When it comes to visiting NYC, there’s always the anticipation of spotting a celeb! Where should we be hanging out in the hopes of spotting the likes of Beyonce or Gigi Hadid?
Lauren: There’s a ton of places to spot celebrities, but every time I have cocktails at the Bowery Hotel or lunch at FRED’s in Barney’s I spot one.
Sarah: I feel like that goes against the unspoken celebrity code in NY… not to react to celebs in the first place! To be honest I see them quite often, from getting coffee, taking dogs out to pee, having lunch, working out … the nicety of New York is that they just co-exist because we don’t make a fuss.
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For more on New York living with the girls from Overt NYC stay tuned for part two of our date from the Big Apple!