There's a certain energy in New York that sets it apart from other cities—the bright lights, streaming crowds, and buzzy restaurant openings every other week make New York a constant source of inspiration for us. And we're equally captivated by the stylish women who call it home: They possess a distinct confidence and sophistication in their personalities that naturally carries over into the way they dress.
Always on the hunt for a fashionable insider's perspective, we tapped New York native Renell Medrano to let us in on what it's really like to live (and get dressed) in the city that never sleeps. The 25-year-old photographer has shot editorials for major fashion magazines like Elle and runs in the same social circle as top models like Bella Hadid. To get a better idea of how New York influences this cool girl's style, we asked Medrano to divulge on her favorite aspects of living in the city, plus the essential outfits every local needs for fall.
Ahead, see the three looks she'll be wearing all season long, including some of her must-have pieces from New York–based brand DKNY's latest collection.
Thanks to the city's relentless pace, the New York woman's weekend uniform of choice is athleisure, and making exercise gear look fashionable is a sartorial skill every New Yorker has down pat. Printed leggings, a cropped hoodie, and a black leather backpack make up the trifecta of New York's off-duty vibes. The goal? To create an outfit that would work for a spontaneous spin class and a drink at the local dive—about how every Saturday goes. When asked if she'd ever leave New York, Medrano's answer was simple: "Yes, but not in this lifetime."
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Says Medrano, "The New York woman is fiercely independent and always on the go." Whether they're grocery shopping or bar-hopping, New Yorkers seem to have a way of nailing that head-turning combination of put-together and effortless. Medrano's secret? Don't be afraid of mixing athleisure with dressier pieces. Case in point: Her wide-leg track pants and crop top look casual and cool at home or at the gym, but throw on a sleek black coat and suddenly it's night out–ready. It's all about creating a look that works for anything the bustling city may throw at you.
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Like many New Yorkers, Medrano says Manhattan has left an indelible mark on her personality. "The buzz of NYC is so fast," she says. "It makes me feel like I'm on a mission every day." And the same goes for her style, which she describes as cozy, sporty, and edgy. For fall, Medrano's essentials are sturdy, weather-proof boots and puffy coats.
Given New York's unpredictable weather, Medrano says knowing how to simultaneously style for two temps is critical. Here, she paired an oversize puffer with a sleeveless crop top so that she doesn't get too overheated on the subway platform. The finishing touches? Jeans, heeled leather booties, and a hands-free fanny pack worn as a crossbody.
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See Another One of Our Favorite It Girls, Emily Ratajkowski, Take DKNY to the Streets of NYC
Ready to dress like a true New York girl? Shop DKNY's full line of casual-chic fall essentials.