I DONT’HAVE A SISTER. I HAVE TWO BROTHERS THAT I ADORE. I HAVE GIRLFRIENDS THAT MEAN THE WORLD TO ME. YET I’VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY THAT FEMININE BOND OF SISTERHOOD THAT I’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED AND, UNLESS MY PARENTS HAVE SURPRISES FOR ME, I NEVER WILL. SISTERS DON’T CHOOSE ONE ANOTHER, YOU ARE JUST BORN INTO IT. BRIT AND KARA SMITH ARE A BEAUTIFUL TANDEM TO ME FOR MAKING THEIR NATURAL BOND A CHOICE BY DECIDING TO WORK TOGETHER SIDE BY SIDE WITH EVERYTHING THAT KNOWING ONE ANOTHER SINCE THEY WERE BORN ENTAILS, TRYING TO BALANCE VISIONS.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, the girls founded Elkin (elkincollection.com) in 2010 and it has rapidly grown since. At the time Brit was designing jewelry while Kara was working for a clothing line. Merging and creating the brand felt like an inevitable step for the two of them. As the two would describe their women’s ready-to-wear line, it “embraces an edgy yet feminine silhouette, while maintaining a high-end sophistication that stays true to our signature Lolita vibe.”
Kara’s a great cook, I love her dinner parties as much as Brit does. She throws amazing ones at her house that she shares with her boyfriend in Echo Park. On weekends, when the sisters are not going to concerts or heading to Napa, they’re often there, on the porch, drinking pink drinks, surrounded by friends, laughing.
As Kara will say “I love to laugh, I love a good sense of humor, but I stopped laughing at things that are not funny, it gives unnecessary wrinkles.”
A BEAUTIFUL PLACE BY ELKIN (CREATIVE DUO, BRIT & KARA)
• City: Paris.
• Restaurant: La Esquina in NYC (esquinanyc.com).
• Cafe: Café Flore in Paris (cafedeflore.fr).
• Bar: I love all the karaoke bars in Koreatown, LA. I also love Villain’s Tavern (villainstavern.com) in Downtown.
• Clothing Store: Squaresville Vintage (squaresvilletampa.com) in Los Feliz. I don’t think I have ever left this store empty-handed and I go there at least once a week. I’m addicted.
• Design Store: deKor in Echo Park: the owner, Isabelle, has superb taste and all the pieces are eclectic, but also really classic.
• Museum: I can never pick one! I love the Metropolitan Museum of Art (metmuseum.org) in NYC, but I also really love Tate Modern (tate.org.uk) in London, and the Musée d’Orsay (musee-orsay.fr) in Paris.
• Hotel: The Wythe (wythehotel.com) in Williamsburg, NYC. Kara and I always stay there when we go to NYC and we have the best time. The rooms are so beautiful, with the exposed brick walls, concrete floors, Parisian wallpaper and a huge, comfortable, all white bed. The food at Reynard, the restaurant downstairs, is delicious, and the rooftop bar is always fun.
• Holiday spot: Todos Santos (todossantos.cc), Mexico. It’s a tiny town near the south end of the Baja Peninsula. This town is incredible, so unique and so relaxing. I played my first music show here, at The Todos Santos Music Festival, so I have really fond memories of it. I then drove the length of Baja to go back there on vacation, which took about 3 days each way, and was a beautiful/adventurous way to see all of Baja.
• Spa: The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (ojairesort.com). My dad used to treat me to this spa during my stressful week of finals when I was at college: it was always such a nice treat and it’s a just a short drive from LA. Not only is this spa the best, but the grounds are beautiful and you instantly decompress.
• City: Los Angeles.
• Restaurant: Perry Street in NYC. The first designer I ever worked for took me there during my first trip to NYC. Now I have to eat/drink there every time I visit because I miss the flavours so much. The Ginger Margarita is the best thing ever created, and I’m dying for one right now.
• Cafe: Los Olivos Cafe (losolivoscafe.com) in Los Olivos. Santa Ynez is our home from home, and this is my favourite cafe for fresh, local food and amazing wine.
• Bar: Golden Gopher in Downtown LA.
• Clothing Store: Playclothes Vintage (vintageplayclothes.com) in Burbank. For vintage, this is my secret go-to spot. I only know a few people who know about this place. It’s a huge gem, filled with the most amazing vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, and home accents. Brit and I don’t like telling people about it… she’s probably going to yell at me for telling you. And of course, BARNEYS (barneys.com), Beverly Hills. Barneys will always be my favourite store. I still get excited just walking up the staircase.
• Design Store: JEFF on Fairfax Ave. Antiques and Vintage Modern. I go crazy in here. I would just move in and live in this store if I could.
• Museum: The Natural History Museum (nhm.ac.uk) in LA. This has always been one of my favourite museums. It’s nostalgic, amusing, continues to interest me, and there are fantastic parties thrown here. An open bar surrounded by specimens dating back 4.5 billion years is my kind of party.
• Hotel: The Wythe (wythehotel.com) in Williamsburg, NYC. Brit and I have so much fun there. We love the corner “O” room: the bathroom window is the “O” in the “HOTEL” sign. It makes us feel as if we’re in Moulin Rouge. And our favourite oyster bar is just down the street: I wish I could remember what it’s called!
• Holiday spot: Greece!
• Spa: The One & Only Palmilla (oneandonlyresorts.com), Los Cabos. I rarely do the whole spa/pampering thing, Brit’s much more into it than I am. However, we love quick getaways to Los Cabos, and there is nothing more calming than the outdoor spa treatments here. A massage on the beach is, basically, heaven.