Home Nike items Mellany Sanchez on Shopping IRL and the Power of a Good Office

Mellany Sanchez on Shopping IRL and the Power of a Good Office

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Photo-Illustration: The Cup; Photos: Courtesy of Mellany Sanchez

“Good style is smart,” says wardrobe stylist and creative consultant Mellany Sanchez over the phone. “Practicality is part of the beauty of dressing.” The New York native styled model Imaan Hammam for the Met Gala red carpet, worked with Drake and collaborated with Nike. When styling, Sanchez relies above all on clean lines, functionality and durability. “I love when a silk dress is just perfectly cut and doesn’t lift in the wind or expose everything when you bend over,” she says. “It’s smart clothing; it’s a smart style.

Sanchez is also inspired by sentiment, as when he battles the disorienting summer heat with crisp tank tops and lightweight pants; from visual references like the first Nike advertisements; the work of frequent contributor Jamil GS; and his personal relationships, such as with his family who have been in New York for generations after emigrating from Puerto Rico in the 1950s.

But above all, Sanchez is listening to people in New York, especially in Queens and Brooklyn, where she grew up. “Sometimes I see a woman sitting down and she’s got a hemline and a sandal that works in a way where I’m like, Oh, I want to recreate this,” she says.

Paying attention to these details is what makes shopping a complete experience for Sanchez. That’s why she prefers to shop in person, so she can appreciate not only the design and layout of the store and its organization, but also the uniform and personal style of each employee.

When I worked with Drake, I lived on the road. We went from hotel to hotel, and luckily I was in nicer hotel rooms where there were often nice desks. When I sat at those wonderful writers’ desks, I felt more productive. And that’s the feeling I always look for with an outfit: more put together and organized in my thoughts. Then I realized the power of a good office.

I got a new office from Lichen, a young new design studio based in Ridgewood, where I come from. It has an in-house designer named Christine Espinal, who is amazing. She also designed these Domino benches for an event I hosted, which I now have in my house as a book shelf.

lichen shelf desk

Review. Every year I get a diary from Smythson with my monogrammed initials. I usually make the weekly planner in textured leather or soft leather.

Smythson 2023 Wafer Agenda in Panama

Mini bamboo and gold hoop earrings from New Top Jewelry and Danny Lyons book from Procell.
Photo: Courtesy of Mellany Sanchez.

I purchased a pair of small 14k gold bamboo hoop earrings from Jane’s at New Top Jewelry on Center Street. I had a relationship with Jane for a very long time. They are the perfect little dose of New York.

I was working with Brioni for a client, and I had the opportunity to go to his studio in an Italian town called Penne, like pasta. It was a life changing experience because I had definitely seen factory or workshop spaces before but I got to see all the different costume techniques they were doing and all the hand stitching . It was special.

From this experience, the company offered me a piece and I asked for a coat. They invited me in and they took my measurements. With Brioni, I made this magnificent brown overcoat in full cashmere. I chose the understudy, which was so great because the men who work at Brioni are seasoned Madison Avenue OG veterans.

Brioni coat with personalized label.
Photo: Courtesy of Mellany Sanchez.

I like to collect vases from Coming Soon, a small business in Chinatown.

Light + Scale Eris Vase
Stolen Magnolia Milk Vase

From Crystal Voyager. She is this amazing seller of found objects, crystals, beautiful handmade items from around the world, and fine art prints.

Reservations By Diane Keaton, C. 1980

Celine vintage silk tank dress by Procell.
Photo: Courtesy of Mellany Sanchez.

Chicke’s Vintage in Williamsburg. I received a pair of vintage Versus Versace cropped pants. This summer, I’m going to wear push-ups and short pants. And at Procell on Delancey Street, I bought an old Celine heavy silk tank dress that’s cut on the bias in this way that falls away from the body. I feel like I’m not wearing anything. This is the perfect spaghetti and triangle strap silk dress with pinched edges at the hem.

My favorite items to layer are Italian wool and silk blend camisoles. I find them when I go to Rome in the small corner underwear retailers or in New York at Zitomer.

Zitomer’s is a really old fashioned pharmacy next to the Carlyle. On the top floor, there are some truly amazing barrettes, lingerie, and socks. For socks, I love Maria La Rosa. I also buy a lot of Falke. As a stylist, I always stock my kit with plenty of hosiery.

Three-pack of Falke Family socks in a stretch cotton blend

My Jamil GS photo shoot is printed. They were gifts from the artist.

One of them is from this model Yalitza who was in a really good editorial he shot for identifier in 1997, titled “Boricua Girls of the Bronx”. In the editorial, Yalitza is never seen smiling, but in one clip we see her smiling and, I’m not kidding, she’s wearing a gold tooth with a Nike swoosh on it. It’s unreal. I love the style of this. Another impression I have of him is of the company – Nas, Foxy Brown and AZ – from a photoshoot he did with them. My third print is that of Brandi Quiñones, an iconic model from the 90s. He and I worked a lot together. It’s something nice to hook up as it sells prints online.

A Jamil GS print of Brandi Quiñones.
Photo: Courtesy of Mellany Sanchez.

Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays, of Durga Chew-Bose, which I bought at McNally Jackson in Brooklyn. One day I was rereading everything that had been written about Phoebe Philo, and I came across something that Vanessa Friedman had written in New York Time. It was a summary of ten oral histories from women about an experience they had had with Philo and Celine while she was there. Durga wrote a little snippet that was so special, sweet and so deep that I was like, Wow, this woman is interesting, I love her words. So I looked for her, and she had this book. That’s all I knew about it. The writing was just as strong. I was influenced to start reading young writers and current creatives like Durga since I saw her sharing other works on Instagram that really interested her. It revived me to stay focused on the communities we can build up on social media and how to speak directly to the audience we care about.

Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays by Durga Chew-Bose

Leather jacket from Prada on Broadway with Mellany’s initials stamped on the back.
Photo: Courtesy of Mellany Sanchez.

My Prada navy blue leather cropped jacket from the Prada store on Broadway in Soho. It fits me like a glove and gets noticed all the time. This jacket is always kind of a shining star in my wardrobe.

I also want a new pair of America’s Cup sneakers. There’s a new gray pair with suspenders that I’m looking at.

“Where did you get that?” is our most curious shopping column, in which we ask people very specific questions about their favorite objects.