Jonathan Simkhai may still consider himself a New York-based designer, but the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund 2015 winner is making moves to become bicoastal. Simkhai and his fiancé T.J. Allers have rented a home in the Hollywood Hills, where they plan to stay for the spring.
At a sunset cocktail party they threw on Thursday night for stylists and friends, Simkhai revealed that he had set up a design room in the house and a makeshift cutting room in his garage. “I’ve also moved two of my employees out here. It’s so easy because we’re so close together in the house. I can just make coffee in my kitchen,” he said.
While his 38-person company will remain in his native New York, Simkhai says, “I really want to be able to work wherever I am.” He’s in good company in L.A. Stylists Tara Swennen and Ryan Hastings live in the neighborhood, and Simkhai’s brother Joel Simkhai, founder and chief executive officer of Grindr, also lives nearby. The evening later turned into a family affair along with influencers including Caroline Vreeland.
The designer was also mulling whether to attend this year’s Coachella festival, of which he’s been an outspoken participant before. “I felt like it has turned into a scene and everyone’s trying to get to as many parties as possible. It ends up taking away from the experience and the music. Me, I like to do cartwheels on the grass and just act really free. If we go this year, we’ll go the second weekend.”
One act he’s particularly enamored with is Father John Misty, also known as Joshua Michael Tillman and J. Tillman. “He’s got a very chill, California vibe,” Simkhai noted.