produced by Anna Kocharian
photos by Michael wiltbank
Location: LES, NYC
Occuptation: Founder, CEO of Industry Standard
If there’s one thing Nicole Najafi knows well, it’s a good pair of jeans. The creative force (and founder!) behind Industry Standard channeled her passion for denim into creating a line that would offer quality products at reasonably affordable prices. Proving that a premium pair of jeans doesn’t have to break the bank or compromise on style. Needless to say, one glimpse inside Najafi’s light-filled studio in Manhattan’s LES, and we were instantly drawn to the neutral palette of the space. A slew of fiercely decorative elements elevated the clean cut aesthetic, complemented by hints of worldly accents. An exposed brick wall, cozy textures, and shelves piled with layers of fresh denim – could we possibly ask for anything more? See for yourself.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Sofia Coppola movies, Japanese minimalism, and the 90s.
3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Humor, New York, and sadly, my iPhone.
WHAT MAKES A HOME BEAUTIFUL?
Coziness. I like when a home doesn’t feel too precious or like a gallery. A home is meant to be lived in after all!
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU SPLURGED ON FOR THE DECOR?
My most prized items are original works by my favorite artist and dear friend, Mary Corman. They were a gift, so not exactly a splurge, but easily the most beautiful and treasured things in my apartment.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN YOUR HOME?
By the window sill, especially when it’s sunny and the light is flooding in. It doesn’t hurt that the radiator is under it, too.
WHAT SHOULD EVERY SMALL SPACE HAVE?
Trompe l’oeil. My apartment is full of eye tricks to make it look larger than it actually is. The shades, for example, are mounted a few feet above the windows to make them look taller. There’s actually just wall behind them.
HOW DO YOU DECORATE IN A SMALL SPACE WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON STYLE?
Turn it into a jewel box full of things that absolutely delight you. You can’t quite do that in a large space. And don’t store things you don’t truly need. I’m not really a believer in storage. Stored items tend not to be used and take space away from things you really love.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?
Can it be somewhere I haven’t yet been? I am dying to visit Montana and live like the Marlboro man.
Otherwise, San Fruttuoso, Italy. It’s an abbey on a tiny beach that I stumbled on by accident when traveling from Portofino to Camogli by boat. I could only stay for a few hours and it was so beautiful that it felt like a dream. I have to go back to make sure it really exists!