Simplicity City


Story by Christine Whitney

“I loved the idea of being a curator of some kind,” says Nicole Rice, founder of the 128K-followers-strong Instagram phenomenon Simplicity City. Her account, @simplicitycity, started in 2014, is essentially a living mood board, or a compendium of timeless archival fashion photographs that Rice sources from rare vintage magazines (circa 1980s Japanese Elle and Marie Claire are two of her favorites), books, and film stills. Her unique eye has garnered the attention of fashion’s cognoscenti (Emmanuelle Alt and Carine Roitfeld are among her legions of notable followers) as well as a thriving consulting business in which she’s sourced images for brands including Daphne Javitch’s stylish wellness venture Doing Well.
For our Soft Loafer launch, we enlisted Rice to curate a series of images for our Instagram stories, and spoke to the creative powerhouse and mother of two about her fall favorites.

Fall wardrobe essentials?

Even though I don't like the cold weather, I love cold weather clothing: oversized coats and knits, and jeans, which I'm having trouble fitting back into [after having my second baby], sadly. I love loafers, like the ones [from Emme Parsons], and clogs. I just got a Jenni Kayne sweater, and I like A.P.C. jeans. I also love the sweaters from Babaà. My mom used to work at Max Mara and I got a lot of coats when she worked there.

Loafer styling tip?

I like wearing loafers with either jeans that are slightly cropped or wide-leg cropped pants and a white button-down or T-shirt—I think that looks nice. I don't like when it goes like the pants go to your ankles and then you have a loafer.

What’s in your bag?

                        Usually a snack for my older child, a grosgrain scrunchie, several pairs of sunglasses, mints, loose dollar bills, Dr. Bronner’s lip balm, and a rock that we found in Maine. Also a USB, which is helpful for me, and one of those face rollers. I don't know if it works, but I find it to be calming.

Favorite fall getaway/activity?

We really like going upstate for the weekend, renting an Air BnB, and doing the kid activities, like apple picking or pumpkin picking. It's my daughter's birthday in October, so we are going to try to do a Halloween-themed party.

Go-to scent?

I wear the same perfume all year round—Mojave Ghost by Byredo. Once I find something I like, I use it forever.

What’s on your autumn playlist?

I just made a playlist when we went to Maine: Bill Callahan, Silver Jews, Smog, The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Wallows, Morrisey, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and The Strokes. I got tickets for [The Strokes’] New Year's show in New York, and I'm really excited for that.

What do you like to have around you when you work?

I always have the news on in the background on mute, just to see if there are any headlines—I'm a news fanatic. I also listen to podcasts while I work. Sometimes I have a candle from Diptyque or Jo Malone. I usually have a stack of books and magazines that I'm looking at, and my scanner is on my table. That's pretty much the scene when I'm doing work.

Favorite books and magazines?

I love buying rare ones on eBay. I collect the old Le Monde d’Hermès catalogs. And Elle Japan and Marie Claire Japan from the ‘80s are my favorites—they’re a luxury because they’re hard to find. I recently got the full collection of Frank magazines from the ‘90s, and it’s been really inspiring to go through those. Even if it's not something I'd post, it reminds me so much of growing up; it's so nostalgic. For books, I love the Lee Radziwill one, Picasso and the Model: Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette, and The Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon—it’s photos of the sisters every year for their whole lives.

Fall style icon?

Ali MacGraw in Love Story meets Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.


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