Given how American-feeling Steven Alan’s clothes are at first glance, it might come as a bit of a surprise that the men’s and womenswear designer is such a worldly traveler and food lover. But if you’ve been to his Annex in Tribeca or shopped in his online store, you can sense the adventurousness within him. There’s his signature reverse seam shirts that look great untucked, the rugged khaki pants, the stylish yet sensible shoes — almost a wardrobe designed for hunting out a great meal on an urban safari.
A hearty proponent of finding noteworthy restaurants himself, and occasionally hunkering down for a home-cooked meal, the lifelong New Yorker lets us in on his go-to spots, as well as his late-night guilty pleasure.
How long have you lived in New York?
I was born here in New York and went to university in Arizona and California. Aside from that [I] have always been here.
You’ve probably seen a lot of restaurants come and go, then. What are some of your favorite places to eat in the city right now?
I tend to eat out a lot. Bar Pitti, Prune, Il Buco, Raoul’s, Sobaya and Omen are some of the restaurants I go to most often.
Some very compelling cases for never having to eat at home — has there been any homecooked competition, though?
My girlfriend made this amazing brisket, which was simmered with coconut.
And you? Do you like to cook?
I do, but don’t have a signature dish. I tend to like things on a bone. I usually start with a few recipes, and then based on my available ingredients, change it.
What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?
I like the Vitamix. I also got a mini oven from Japan that’s great for grilling fish. It steams and grills at the same time
Would you call yourself a healthy eater?
I tend to eat organic stuff at home. That’s the healthy part. The unhealthy part is I eat way too much.
So in that case anything could be a candidate for a guilty pleasure…do you have one in particular?
Late-night ice cream.
And your drink of choice?
In terms of alcohol I like Japanese Shochu.
Do you have a daily uniform?
Almost always one of my shirts over a white t-shirt with jeans.
What’s the best sartorial advice you’ve received?
Never look too perfect.
We hear you travel a lot for work. Any favorite places, or spots on your wish list?
I just got back from Brazil, which was amazing! In general I go to Japan, South Korea, France and Italy most often. Really looking forward to India.
Good thing you’re not a boring eater.
It’s one of the main things I look forward to any time I travel. I’m always really bummed if I’m in a great food town and have a mediocre meal.