At only 21 years of age, Samantha Wills founded her own self-titled accessories company. An instant hit with media and customers alike, Wills quickly gained a high profile in the media spotlight as one of Australia’s most dynamic designers. Having her jewelry featured in Sex and The City, thrust Wills onto the International stage, and she was shortly after declared a 'Break Out Star' by the New York Times. Living between her two homes in New York City and Sydney, Samantha’s signature style and inspiring story have a cult following worldwide.
Tell us about yourself and what you do:
I am an Australian living abroad in New York City. I am the Founder and Creative Director of SAMANTHA WILLS Accessories, and the Founder of the SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION, a platform designed to empower women in business.
Describe a typical work day?
In New York, I am very much focused on the creative side of the business. I am either designing new collections, or writing for the Foundation. My day usually starts with a double shot espresso and a Soul Cycle class, and then most of the day is at the design desk! New York has a great jewelry district that has a heap of semi precious stone stores, brass castings, and componentry and on some days I will trawl those markets to find elements for new collections. In Sydney, it is much more team and media focused, so lots of team meetings and media commitments. It actually works really well to be able to immerse myself as a creative in one space, and then flip into business mode in Sydney.
How does scent exist in your work?
My design studio in New York is set up in my loft apartment, so I have candles around the place. I usually have them burning more so when guests come over, as I love them so much and think they are wasted just on me! In our Sydney head office, our team always has candles burning to create a inviting mood.
What is your favorite thing about NYC?
There are too many favourite things to narrow to one! I love how there are four distinct seasons and they click over right on the day the calendar says they will. I love late night dinners in candle lit restaurants with my favorite people. I love the energy of the city – it feels like everyone is moving in the same direction, and there is a real power in that energy. I love the access to the biggest brands, creatives, museums, pop ups and experiences in the world. I love restaurants that are little holes in the wall, that only people in the local neighborhood know about.
What are you favourite haunts in NYC?
Eat at, Chinese Tuxedo – An awesome restaurant in Chinatown, that is an old Chinese theatre. It is owned by Aussie restaurateur Eddy Buckingham, and Paul Donelly is the Executive Chef. It is a world class menu, situated on Chinatown’s most famous street. Afterwards, head next door to Apotheke for a cocktail.
Workout with Mantas Zvinas at SoulCycle 19th St – I’ll see you there!
Book a sunset cruise (I like to take guests on the Adirondack) that will take you down past the Statue of Liberty.
Brought to you by Luxe City Guides in collaboration with Lumira