Even though she’s based in Los Angeles, New York City has Tai Rittichai’s heart. The Bangkok-born jewelry designer founded her eponymous line in 2002 at the Santa Monica Flea Market, but when it came time to open a shop and showroom, she knew that Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood was the place to be. Today, her shop showcases handcrafted jewelry made by dedicated artisans from Rittichai’s native Thailand. Rittichai’s always on the go, but here are her must-stops when she has a moment in Manhattan.
This dreamy French pastry shop is perfect for a quick drink—and a shopping trip. Roman & Williams’ downtown outpost also offers home decor, ceramics and glassware, and fine textiles. There’s even a floral designer, Emily Thompson. “Her work is like a sculpture rough hand of nature, forest, and field,” Rittichai says. “I've ordered her arrangements multiple times for the events we've hosted at the Tai showroom.”
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
“This is one of the few places you can get fresh seafood at 3 a.m.,” says Rittichai. “Their dining room is always bustling and I've never ordered a bad dish from their menu.” The menu includes a large selection of raw seafood (think oysters, clams, scallops), as well as bistro favorites like steak, burgers, and duck.
Jack's Wife Freda
A go-to brunch spot for SoHo fashionistas, Jack’s Wife Freda is Rittichai’s regular stop before she hops on a flight back to L.A. “There’s usually a long line,” she says, “but their Greek salad with chicken is light but filling and makes a great combo.”
“Every stop here ends with me getting some small decor for the Tai showroom and my home,” says Rittichai of Michele Varian’s packed Manhattan store. Whether you’re looking for furniture, tableware, linens, or even small gifts like jewelry and candles, this Howard Street shop has it.
What Goes Around Comes Around
If you want SoHo luxury without SoHo prices, head to What Goes Around Comes Around. The shop’s team of luxury buyers fills the space with vintage clothing and accessories from top labels. “You can really find some amazing gems here!” Rittichai adds.
BDDW’s beautiful showroom offers American-made hardwood furniture and decor, while M. Crow, its neighbor, sells houseware and rugged American-inspired clothing. “I absolutely love this gallery furniture store,” says Rittichai. “I've bought multiple furniture pieces and ceramic items for the Tai showroom here.”
When Rittichai wants rustic decor that’s a departure from the high-end vintage seen everywhere in New York, she heads to Paula Rubenstein’s NoHo treasure trove of antiques. Rittichai raves about the prices, selection, and authenticity. “They carry things you can't find anywhere else,” she says. “It's great to mix in historic, American rustic items.”
Rittichai’s own line of handcrafted jewelry features beautiful, minimal pieces, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. Inspiration for Rittichai’s line comes from across the globe, but lately, the flea markets of Paris have been a particular font of creativity. Rittichai is also dedicated to preserving the Thai art of jewelry-making, as well as the communities in which her artisans live.
With Rittichai commuting back and forth between New York and L.A., having a home away from home is crucial. The chic Sixty SoHo, with its Italian-inspired bar, is one of her favorites. “Their rooftop bar is the perfect spot to spend the evening and look over the city,” she says.
A few blocks away, Rittichai also loves the “loft-style rooms and high ceilings” at The Mercer. “The natural light makes everything feel and look so clean.” The Mercer’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant has become a downtown destination unto itself.