L.A.-based designer Amber Sakai has come up with an idea for the woman who hates to check luggage: the Weekend capsule collection, with eight easy pieces to pack and go.
Amber’s been making her mark on the fashion scene since 2009 with her nonchalant, sexy basics with nine fashion-forward essentials, all in black and white, which can be mixed and matched for effortless chic: leggings, a skirt, button-down top, a light lace overcoat, lace bra, lace top, and a zip-back faux leather skirt. Whether it’s a romantic weekend away in Paris or a business meeting in New York – or if (the nightmare) your luggage has gone astray – these pieces are all you need to get by.
Sakai has parlayed her experience designing lingerie into pieces ($70 to $500) that are as seductive as they are practical, including a black lace T-shirt and bra, white long-sleeve T-shirt and button down, black
Sakai grew up in Santa Barbara and moved to L.A. to work in fashion, first as a model, then a designer for the lingerie company Brighdie, and the surf brand Four Girls. Enter the insider world of Amber Sakai in our insider guide to Los Angeles.
Inside Los Angeles
What collaborations/projects are you involved with that you’re most proud of?
I am currently working on a project with my dear and talented friend Alexandra Grant who is a Los Angeles based Multi-Media Artist. She has a wonderful foundation that benefits artist projects and arts non-profits called The Love Project and we are working on something exciting for this upcoming year.
Tell us about your background: where you’ve lived, where you feel is home now?
I am 9th Generation Californian, but, I feel like home is global and in various places around the world. Paris would most definitely be at the top of the list if I did have to choose.
What is the best time to visit Los Angeles and why?
Mid- Summer is a perfect time to visit Los Angeles. You get the most beautiful late sunsets into the evening with impeccable views throughout the city. It’s also the best time to gather with friends and share meals, great libations and great conversations.
How would you spend 48 hours in Los Angeles?
Ideally for me it would start with a good hike to get the day going. I would then make my way to one of the superb farmers markets or great cheese shops. Topping off the evening with a delightful trek to the Bel Air Spa (my tucked away haven.) If one is feeling adventurous, I love that we are so central to everything that I’ll make a little drive to Ojai or Malibu for a day trip to escape the city.
Where do you go to get inspired?
Travelling and exploring are my main source of inspiration, exploring different cultures and destinations. I always have a journal on hand to put down any thoughts or inspiration I come across.
What’s your favourite neighbourhood and why?
There are so many captivating pockets of the city. But because it is so spread out, it really depends what adventure I am trying to explore.
Describe your city in five words…
Vast, serene, alluring, undiscovered, exhilarating!
What’s the best way to get around?
In a city like Los Angeles your best bet for getting around is either driving or Uber.
Your favourite secret spot is
If I tell it wouldn’t be a secret… but it used to be Bouchon (before it closed), having a drink or dining al fresco on a warm summer day was bliss.
What’s your ultimate daytime LA outfit?
I am always transitioning throughout the day so you can catch me running around in a signature Amber Sakai dress with either my favorite denim Jacket or my go to vintage Leopard jacket I found at Le Puce in Paris with a pair of white sneakers or kitten heel mule.
Essential beauty items to pack?
I’m pretty minimal when it comes to beauty products I pack while traveling but these items you will always find in my toiletry bag
Intensive replenishing moisturizer by Retrouvé, it is very vital to keep the skin hydrated.
Jade Roller – When favourite it’s go-to for me to give my skin a little boost to create a brighter flush.
Cle de pau Lip balm – I love their advanced hydrating formula that just helps restore the appearance of the lip.
Eyebrow Gel – There is nothing better than arriving with natural well-groomed brows.
Favourite hotel? Why?
I’ve had the pleasure of staying at a lot of fabulous hotels throughout my travels but I would say these top my list of most frequented hotels. While on a staycation you can find me at the Bel Air Hotel, its an intimate hideaway treasure for me in the city. The spa is my local retreat and I love the hotel’s ambiance with a mesmerizing smell of the wood burning from the old fireplaces.
If I ever find my self in NY the Baccarat Hotel is where I stay, it’s central to everything and its right across from one of my favourite museums (MOMA) not to mention they have the exceptional stemware.
My home away from home in Paris is La Réserve. It’s discrete but opulent and perfectly situated.
The typical trio – Hiking, Pilates and kundalini. For me having a workout that also feeds my soul is something I have began to practice in my everyday life.
Your favourite place to shop is…
My Closet, I love revisiting beautiful silhouettes that often get forgotten and a good flea market for eccentric gems.
Favourite restaurants in LA?
Wally’s or Petrossian when I want to stay local, Salazar is my favourite east side pick me up and Lebanese when I want a satisfying homecooked meal.
Giannini at The Nomad, The Tower Bar and Bar Caló, always serving up the tastiest drinks with a relaxing environment to unwind.
Franklin Canyon Parkway my favourite trail in the city with awe-inspiring views.
And for Hollywood
Giorgios – it’s a must to outdo the disco ball.
LA’s best views?
My bedroom deck, the overlook of the city at night is quite charming. I love to sit out and look at all the twinkling lights in the distance.
Sunday brunch favourite here…
Manuela at Hauser Wirth, won’t disappoint. If you ever find yourself here, the Chilaquiles are divine and Hauser Wirth always has it’s exhibitions with a vibrant and communal courtyard.
As a local, what is the must-do activity for visitors?
We have really amazing galleries and Museums throughout the city, The Broad, Marciano Foundation, The Hammer and the Getty are the best to name a few. Also, the food truck scene in Los Angeles is a must.
My LA soundtrack is…
…very spontaneous, I love anything from LCD Sound-system to Brazilian Jazz to Ariel
Souvenir to take home?
I find myself collecting things that depict the destination I was just visiting anything from good stationery to quirky trinkets. Another of my personal favourite souvenirs to bring home are beautiful underpinnings. Anything to compliment the perfect silhouette with a little peek -a-boo detail underneath.
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