Occupation: Editor, People StyleWatch magazine
Current Residence: Amagansett
KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons? Why do you love it so much?
Susan Kaufman: I’ve been coming to the Hamptons since I was 8 years old. My Aunt and Uncle had a house that was walking distance from Main Beach East Hampton and I spent time every summer visiting them. I had no idea how lucky I was to have relatives in such a great location! My brothers and I would spend entire days at the beach body surfing. Some of my best childhood memories are of the summers I spent in East Hampton, and how excited I would get when we passed the Big Duck in Flanders on our way out.
I’ve always loved the beaches, the quality of the light, the fresh local corn, and the beautiful Niko blue hydrangeas. Even though it’s changed a lot over the years, and people like to complain about how the Hamptons are not the same, I think it’s still truly a special place that will always retain it’s unique charm. I never thought of or planned to buy a home out east, but on a spur of the moment whim, my husband Shawn and I drove out on a Labor Day weekend 15 years ago and ended up falling in love with the house. We bought it 3 weeks later and the rest is history!
KDH: Please describe People Style Watch and what you offer your readers.
SK: People StyleWatch is a monthly celebrity inspired shopping magazine. Readers have said that it’s like opening a box of candy every month! It’s got the spirit, energy and fun of a weekly but with the service and depth of a monthly. We cover the trends in fashion and beauty and offer our readers great affordable merchandise, and inspiration from celebrity street style. We’re all about real and attainable style —not aspirational style. Our readers really shop our pages!
KDH: Please describe your Hamptons home and decorating style? Favorite item?
SK: Our house is a one story traditional Hamptons shingle cottage with an interesting history. The oldest part of the house (which is now our kitchen and dining area), was originally a cobbler shop that sat next to Hook Windmill in East Hampton in the 1890’s. It was moved to it’s current location in Amagansett in 1902 and was added onto in subsequent years. After we moved into the house, we found out that the artist Robert Motherwell had rented it in 1945, and used our sunporch as his studio. ( His paint splatters can still be seen on the wide plank floor!) The interior is casual and comfortable in traditional Hamptons style, with white walls, dark wood floors, and lots of wainscoting.
KDH: Do you have a favorite design resource on the East End?
SK: We bought a lot of our furniture and accessories from Ruby Beets back when they were in Bridgehampton, and mixed those pieces with finds from local antique shows. (My husband and I have similar taste and love to collect!) My favorite items are the more personal ones. I have a great collection of old black and white family photos of my grandparents in various summer shots: at the beach, as camp counselors, in an old model T. I treasure them and display them throughout the house.
KDH: Describe your perfect Hamptons day in detail?
SK: I’d wake up early, usually 6:00 a.m., have a coffee with my husband, and then ride my bike to Jack’s in Amagansett Square for more coffee and fresh danishes. Then we’d go to Indian Wells Beach with our yellow Lab Jackson for a run on the beach. (He’d run, we’d walk.) Next up would be a trip to CVS to stock up on magazines. I’m always happiest relaxing on my sun porch with a stack of magazines and a great book. For lunch, I’d hop on the Vespa with my husband and we’d take the backroads to Bostwick’s Chowder House. The Vespa is such a great way to get around out here on a beautiful day.
My afternoon would be spent either visiting with friends, taking a stroll in East Hampton to shop or browse in Book Hampton, or checking out an antiques show. A perfect dinner would be a simple backyard barbeque. My husband’s from Kansas City so he’s great on the grill! I would end the day by taking a spin with my husband in his vintage 280SL convertible to Gerard Drive in the Springs. The views from the beach, especially at sunset, are truly stunning.
KDH: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant, favorite dish and drink you get every time?
SK: I love anything Italian, so my go-to restaurant is Cittanuova. And nothing’s better than their simple spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio, and I’m truly passionate about their bread! (I love my carbs!) In the Fall and Winter, I head to Rowdy Hall for their delicious burgers.
KDH: What makes Amagansett your favorite Hamptons hamlet?
SK: I love Amagansett because it still has that unpretentious small town feel and the beaches are amazing!
KDH: What is your little secret about the Hamptons? [share a secret beach, or tiny restaurant etc].
SK: The clothing store Rube in Amagansett Square is really a hidden gem. My friend Christine, who co-owns the store, and her partner have great taste and it shows in their beautifully curated selections. I also love the Art Barge in Napeague.
KDH: Which celebrity has the chicest style? The sexiest style? The edgiest style?
SK: Right now for chic style I’m loving Zoe Saldana. She looks equally fabulous whether she’s on the red carpet or on the street running errands. Newcomer and former model Rosie Huntington-Whitely just exudes sex appeal whether she’s in jeans or a simple white Calvin Klein sheath dress, and I think Alexa Chung and Rihanna are toss ups for great edgy style. They both have their own unique way of dressing and aren’t afraid to take fashion risks.
KDH: Personal style: do you have a Hamptons “uniform”? Which designer do you wear the most out East?
SK: My Hamptons style is definitely casual. I have to dress up all week, so on the weekends I live in jeans from J Brand or J. Crew, tees from J. Crew or tunics from Roberta Freymann [left], and Tkees flip flops. I’m truly addicted to J.Crew!
KDH: Which are your favorite items that all haute Hamptonites need for spring/summer?
SK: Here are the three things we all need this summer:
1. ‘Soloudos’ for J. Crew espadrilles [left]
2. ‘Forget Me Not’ scarves at Barneys [left]
3. ‘J Brand’s’ 835 Large Floral jeans
*For all of the stylish scoop on your favorite stars go to: http://www.peoplestylewatch.com/people/stylewatch