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Fabrice Penot

co-founder of Le Labo shares his hot spots in New York

Fabrice Penot, co-founder of Le Labo, was born and raised in Paris. He moved to New York at age 30, fell in love with the city, and doesn't plan on leaving it. 


I moved to New York when I was 30 years old. It's the city where I was reborn. I love New York because it lets everybody be who they want to be. It's a complicated place, of course, but dreams really do come true here, even bold ones, as long as you're tough enough to keep pushing and not give up. My favorite neighborhood is Nolita, where Le Labo appeared seven years ago, first as an idea, and later as a brand.

I love the Hudson River waterfront, how the city lights reflect off the water, and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where I live, which is like a quiet, little town in the middle of a big city. When I just want to chill out and relax, I drive up to my house in the woods not far from Woodstock in Upstate New York.


When it comes to choosing a restaurant, my main criterion is the availability of vegetarian options. Fortunately, it's easier to find a vegetarian restaurant in New York than in any other city. Atmosphere is also very important. I try to fill every moment of my life with positive energy, which influences where I eat.

I usually go to Cafe Gitane on Mott Street for breakfast. The Butcher's Daughter on Elizabeth Street is perfect for lunch. When I need to sit and think, I head to The Community Garden, also on Elizabeth Street, a zen sanctuary amidst the chaos! An awesome dinner option is Omen on Thompson street.

For business meetings and drinks, The Mercer Hotel wins hands-down. It even has a fabulous cafe (for non-vegetarians). Soho House, an oldie but goodie, is also a treat, with its unbelievable view of the Hudson River and rooftop swimming pool.


My absolute favorite place to shop is R by 45rpm, a Japanese clothing store on Mercer Street. The Ralph Lauren store on West Broadway has an excellent selection, and I like the vintage shop Tokyo 7 in the East Village. If you want to spent money, you can't go wrong with big department stores, like Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue.


I keep my finger on the pulse by following what goes on at the Gagosian Gallery, which always has superb exhibitions. I get my contemporary art fix at the Gladstone and Paul Kasmin galleries in Chelsea.

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