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Behind The Scenes

Hillary Taymour's (Really, Really) Amazing Home

Hillary and her boyfriend Jonathan don’t settle for built-ins or blah tile, and in amping up their Williamsburg apartment, they’ve really made it their own. “I used to think renovation was impressive, but then I realized it only takes one day to do one thing,” she says. If her dinosaur wall doesn’t inspire a crafternoon, nothing will. Like what you see? Then you’re going to lurve the leather-and-canvas bag Hillary made just for us. YAY!   “I made the headboard a month or two ago. I wanted to use this fabric for it because I needed something that was neutral but not.”     “This chalkboard along the wall happened because I thought I could retile something. I took out a whole wall in the kitchen and had a huge hole, and Jonathan said I couldn’t go to bed until I was done and it was cleaned up. So I made him get a piece of wood, but we couldn’t get a piece that covered the whole thing—so we got a chalkboard to cover it up.”   “That’s horsehair. I bought it because I might make horsehair things, but I don’t know yet. Everyone tells me to change the water in the vases, but my best friend and I are like, ‘No! Look what’s happening to it! The colors are amazing!’”    “I name everything in my house because I had a lot of pets growing up but I don’t in New York. All the cowhides have names. That’s Jeffrey.”   “I painted that print, so I made a laundry basket.”   “It’s kind of a joke that I say that I like to play with dinosaurs every morning. Now all my friends buy me dinosaurs. I decided to paint them white and do an installation. I started naming the dinosaurs, but that was too much. So now they have numbers.”   “This is the office bookshelf. I got this birdcage in Pennsylvania—my grandma lives there. I got those nails in the vase at Home Depot, and the rest was part of a bouquet someone gave me. I just made that—I don’t know why. But I like it. And that fox trap—it’s my grandpa’s. I basically stole all his junk.” Images courtesy of Jonathan Hokklo, who is a fantastic photographer and also Hillary’s boyfriend. He has a very beautiful Tumblr, too.
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Three Ways Hillary Taymour’s Equestrian Past Influences her Design

“My dad’s a gynecologist, and my mom is a horse lover. I knew how to ride horses before I could walk,” says handbag designer Hillary Taymour, who was so serious about the sport back in the day that the Olympics were a realistic possibility. That saddle-filled and fiercely competitive upbringing has affected the way she approaches both the aesthetic and entrepreneurial decisions behind her polished-yet-relaxed line of leather and canvas bags, Collina Strada. Here, she draws the connections between riding and designing: “I was maybe two. And I have on Minnie Mouse socks.”  On working hard for the money: “Growing up, I went to school at 6a and got out at noon so I could go ride, every day. We’d drive an hour to go to the best trainer. Then, there was a six-week horse show in the desert that we went to, and I’d have a private tutor. My mom was a like a stage mom for horses. I rode other people’s horses for them when they were at school. I got paid for that, so it was kind of like a business. And going to horse shows is like $3,000 a weekend—you’re either serious, or you’re not. You have to understand money and what that means.” “That’s me when I’m eight. That chin strap is so huge.”On learning to work with leather: “I know a lot about leather—how it gets worn in and how to treat it. I had an Hermès saddle growing up and custom-made boots and all that shit. I definitely learned how to make leather look nice. I had to polish it and take care of it. I think it gave me a little bit more of a classic aesthetic.” “I got to get all the cool outfits. I’d say ‘I’ll go to this horse show, Mom, if you buy me a new jacket—I want a gray one.’”On keeping things classy: “Because I was surrounded by all those conservative people—I was the one trying to wear little sparkly belts under my riding jacket and getting yelled at by my trainer—I definitely learned that there’s a taste level involved with becoming a household name. There’s a reason that Ralph Lauren is a household name—no matter what, you associate class with him. There’s give and take between being trendy and being tasteful.” Hillary’s back with another Of a Kind edition! Get your hands on her dynamite leather-and-canvas bag while you can.
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