Checking in with Claire Distenfeld Of Fivestory New York

Mon, 17 August 2015

Claire Distenfeld is the owner of Fivestory, the luxurious boutique set on two floors of a townhouse on the upper east side of New York. Stocked with independent designers and the most coveted accessories and clothing from across the globe, Fivestory is a treasure trove for every girl. When Claire isn’t curating her space, she’s seeking inspiration abroad in authentic locales.

Where are you headed this summer and for how long? 

Ibiza for five days and then Berlin for two with my fiancé and friends.

What are you looking forward to the most over the trip?

Delicious lunches in Formentera, the relaxed schedule and the fact that napping from 9PM-11PM is encouraged and dinner begins at midnight.

How did you plan your trip?

We go to Ibiza every summer and usually stick to what we know. We always explore new villas to rent so we can see all the different sides of the island. We chose to go to Berlin to attend the Maccabi Games ceremony.

What is your best tip for discovering a city in the most authentic way? 

Find a way to be put in touch with a local. You meet your best friends through other friends and you find the best city gems through the people who have vetted them all.

When you first launched Fivestory, you told your dad, “Why don’t we make a little, tiny store of gems and things from all over the world?” Any tips for finding the best local designers and souvenirs?

In most cities there are areas that are spoken about as artsy or crafty – the part of town that hasn’t yet been gentrified. Always seek out these places as that’s where you can find some great local charm.

Any secrets to making travel as easy as possible?

Nuts have become my best friend whether it’s before, during or after a flight. (As well as right before you go to bed and feel too guilty to ruffle through the mini bar.) They make a great healthy snack.

Jet lag is a mental state that you can easily push through. When you get to a city in the morning, power through and don’t nap. Instead, get to bed at a decent hour and your body will adjust.

I also always bring Sisley Express Mask products on my trip and do them 5 minutes before I leave the room. They are a great way to blast you face with brightness and luminosity when you feel anything but radiant.

You can only take a carry-on for a week-long trip. What makes the cut?

 

What beauty products do you never leave home without?

Sisley face masks and eye masks.

What has been your most memorable summer vacation so far? Why would you recommend it? 

Ibiza because you can pick your pace and Capri for its food and scenery.

What travel destination has surprised you the most? Good or bad. 

Miami. I just went for a bachelorette party and had a great time. We stayed at the 1 Hotel on South Beach and ate great food, especially at Casa Tua. Overall, we had a blast. I thought I would hate it but it was one of the easiest trips ever!

You have 24 hours to live. Where would you go, what would you see, and what would you eat? 

New Zealand. I would eat whatever was the freshest thing on the menu that day. I would bask in the power of the scenery and the untouched nature of its landscapes.

As a native New Yorker, where would you take friends for an unforgettable summer experience? 

East Hampton for dinner at our house. We would have a bonfire on the beach with smores, jump in the ocean at Amagansett beach and maybe enjoy some ice cream from Scoop Du Jour.

How has traveling inspired you? 

It’s taught me to slow down and appreciate everything.

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS

Most extravagant thing you’ve done on a summer getaway. 

At the last minute, I decided to climb Mount Fuji when I was in Japan.

Go-to summer cocktail?

Casa Dragones tequila with a lime on the rocks.

Best place for a midnight snack?

Bowery hotel lobby in New York.

Ideal celebrity travel companion (dead or alive)?

Diana Vreeland or Woody Allen

Words by Natalie Haimo

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.

Bundles

Curate your bookcase with the full SUITCASE library. From Volume 2 through 27, we've been around the world, explored uncharted landscapes and reexamined travel perceptions along the way. We invite you to do the same; grow your collection today.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More