They may be known as a New York power couple (and the face of the Cookie mag “Point of Passion” ad campaign, where she happens to be a contributing editor), but kiddie clothing designer Lucy Sykes and investment banker Euan Rellie are English born and bred, which is one of the many reasons the fashion flock is so enamored of them.
The fact that Lucy’s the former fashion director of Marie Claire, twin sister of novelist Plum, and designs an unusually sophisticated children’s clothing, footwear and bedding line doesn’t hurt, either. Nor does the fact that Euan is an Eton- and Cambridge-educated financier who also acts as Chairman of Lucy Sykes New York and serves on the committee of Soho House New York and on the board of the West Village Nursery School in his spare time. And, oh yeah, they’re both incredibly charming, funny, down-to-earth and unspeakably chic. Really, what’s not to love?
The Fashion Informer tracked down the multi-tasking duo (who have two sons, 4-year-old Heathcliff and 8-month-old Titus) before the holiday rush began to ask a few irreverent questions.
So, Mr. and Mrs. Rellie...
What is your favorite time of day?
Euan: Dawn, eating breakfast at Florent. There's always a good reason if I'm up then, either ending the day or, more likely these days, just starting it.
Lucy: 7pm, when Heathcliff and Titus cozy up for a cuddle before their bedtime. It's my first moment of peace each day in New York City.
Tell me about your best friend.
Euan: Omar Dobouny. Ropey best man. Has the most brilliantly flexible and dexterous mind of anyone I ever met. Apparently afraid of nothing. Bucks trends. Dances well. Knows how to have fun. Shocks people and then wins them over. Occasionally known as “The Terrorist.” Used to be an investment banker. He's a quarter Iraqi, a quarter Saudi and half Irish. Prone to getting himself, and sometimes me, into trouble.
Lucy: One of them is Tracy Taylor. She is the accomplished and stylish Fashion Director Marie Claire. She looked great in a hat and fitted jacket photographer by Bill Cunningham in the New York Times Style section last weekend. She is Godmother to my son Titus. My husband and kids all adore her.
What did you have for lunch today?
Euan: Sushi at Ise [in Midtown]. Best fish in the city. Unprepossessing place. Great prices. Now the secret is out. I go by myself, almost every day, as does my business partner, Charlie Maynard. We sit more or less next to each other at the sushi bar but we don't speak.
Lucy: Yesterday's Chinese takeaway from Chinese Garden in Southampton; it’s even more delicious out of the microwave the next day.
What is your favorite work of art?
Euan: Chariot of the Sun, 2002 by the Brooklyn-based painter Elliott Puckette. She was born in Lexington, Kentucky. Her paintings are semi-legible, ornate, curvaceous, bewitching, seductive. They depict elegant half truths.
Lucy: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Any of his can-can paintings. Bawdy Parisian nights filled with hedonistic dancers, who are basically just letting go.
What was the best party you've ever attended - and what made it so great?
Euan: New Year's Eve 1991 in Eaton Square Mews North. I snorted tequila. Not recommended. It was the end of an era for me. Responsibility beckoned, and was knocking on the door. That night, I did not answer. It all seemed quite bohemian at the time.
Lucy: A Valentino dinner in a hotel nightclub at Le Ritz Club, on rue Cambon in
Paris. A sexy and fun way to punctuate the formalities of fashion week.
What's your preferred mode of transportation?
Euan: Flying on Silverjet, the new discount business class airline. Its founder, Lawrence Hunt, is a genius, and he puts on a great show, all the way to London and Dubai.
Lucy: My husband driving me in a Subaru Outback, surrounding by family and luggage.
Do you cook and, if so, what is your signature dish?
Euan: I love to cook but do not do so as well as my wife. I'm gallant enough to let her do the cooking normally. When I want to impress her, I can make a mean baked cod with cumin, coriander, turmeric and fresh garden peas.
Lucy: Yes. Suddenly it's all about roast lamb, Yukon gold potatoes and green beans for a late Sunday lunch in Bridgehampton. Feels kind of grown up family type of meal, like we had growing up in England.
Coffee or tea?
Euan: Coffee: about twelve cups a day, I'm ashamed to admit. As strong as possible. Any way it comes, as long as there's no sugar in it. I gave up for a while and felt great, but not great enough to do without it in the long term.
Lucy: Both. Normally skimmed cappuccino from Bonsignor on Jane Street or chamomile tea from Nonno Gourmet on Horatio Street.
For what will you be arrested (hypothetically speaking)?
Euan: I'm not a huge fan of the NYPD. I know they do tons of good, but I hate the way they block the streets with their cars, arrogantly, and then throw their weight around, especially bullying cab drivers, who I love. One day I'll point out an officer failing to use "courtesy, professionalism and respect" and one of them will take umbrage.
Lucy: For charging too much for children's clothes. The kids will look really chic, though.
When it comes to parenting, who is the disciplinarian in the Sykes/Rellie household?
Euan: Me. I'm the product of a 1970s and 1980s British boarding school education.
Lucy: The Dad of the family, Euan Rellie. I'm trying but I'm still a soft touch.
What is the biggest difference between life in New York and life in London?
Euan: New Yorkers are more open, more ambitious and more shallow. Londoners are more loyal, better at dinner party conversation, but more sticky.
Lucy: More dinner parties in London, more fashion parties in New York.
What is your dream occupation (other than your own)?
Euan: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Isn't going to happen.
Lucy: Wouldn't be bad being a movie star, or maybe hosting a TV show.
Who do you admire?
Euan: Myself, mainly.
Lucy: Kate Spade, Liz Lange, Vera Wang, Glenda Bailey and Anna Wintour, to name
What never fails to make you cry?
Euan: Kids’ movies when watched on airplanes.
Lucy: Yes, watching Polar Express lying in a bed full of kids.
When are you happiest?
Euan: When my wife kisses me.
Lucy: On Mecox Road in Bridgehampton, sitting in front of the fire, with the first snow of winter falling outside, listening to my husband read Pinocchio to the boys.
Stay tuned next week for Random Questions For...Nina Garcia.