Sam Shipley is co-founder of is the co-founder of Shipley & Halmos, a New York-based brand that is best known for their menswear, footwear, and accessories, plus books, furniture, and art materials. He founded the line with Jeff Halmos, who he met during his freshman year of college, and also co-founded the CFDA Award-winning brand Trovata with while they were based in Los Angeles. "I'm interested in so many things," says Shipley, "but really anything creative." Besides designing for the downtown set, he loves recording and playing music, and loves basketball. "My perfect Sunday is playing pick-up basketball games at my local court, and then grilling in my backyard," he told us. Since moving from LA to New York in 2007, the pair's namesake brand has operated from their Soho design studio, calling nearby Greene Street home.
What would the title of your autobiography be? “Do Or Do Not: There Is No Try”
What can’t you travel without? A real book. Sounds cheesy, but it’s a sanctuary. It tunes me out.
What’s your favorite travel destination? Anegada, BVI. It’s so close and undiscovered, and has the most beautiful beaches. My wife and I got married there. We keep trying new places, and always find ourselves asking why we didn’t just go back to Anegada.
If you could choose one person to show you “their NYC,” who would it be? Richard Prince. I wouldn’t even begin to predict what would happen.
What has inspired you recently? The perfect tee shirt. Haven’t designed or found one yet, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how that is possible.
What’s your favorite NYC restaurant? I love Speedy Romeo in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The Saint Louie pizza all the way.
What’s your go-to spot in NYC for drinks? I love B Flat in Tribeca. It’s a jazzy spot with ridiculous drinks.
What’s your favorite NYC brunch spot? Lupe’s East LA Kitchen, around the corner from Soho Grand. I love their Huevos Rancheros (but substitute rancheros sauce for pico de gallo, and substitute refried beans for black beans — you can thank me later.)
Where do you get your art fix in NYC, and do you have a favorite artist? In 2001, I met this Russian dude who would paint the back of match books. Random words and images, but they were all on matchbooks. No idea why that’s always stuck with me, but I suppose it was his dedication to doing this work (which was really good and very interesting) that started me on the path to artistic enlightenment, which really is: be yourself, always.
What are some of your favorite late-night hangouts in NYC? When I go out late at night I want to go somewhere new. I try to not go to the same places, there’s just too much here.
What are some of your under the radar must-do recommendations for NYC visitors? There’s a great massage place on Elizabeth Street between Prince and Houston, right in the middle of the block on the West side. It’s down a set of stairs, but they have $50/hour deals and it’s a nice place. If you’re not used to walking as much as this city takes, then this is a great deal for some easy relaxing.
What are some of your favorite NYC stores? Printed Matter – when you go there you have absolutely no clue what you’ll find.
What music are you listening to these days? I’m listening to a TON of soul and rap, including Kendrick Lamar, Smif-N-Wessun, Clipse, Q, Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott-Heron, Curtis Mayfield, The Delfonics, etc.
What album or song would you consider your personal soundtrack to NYC? Danny Brown’s “Grown Up”
When you think of NYC, what immediately comes to mind? Sometimes I have an intense realization that I live in this city. It’s crazy that SoHo is my local ‘hood. People who visit will comment on how HUGE this city is, but it seems small to me after all these years. All of the people, the humanity, the electricity… It’s a vibrant, insane city and you have to be a bit crazy to make it here. The fact that after a decent period of time we just accept it and its conditions is amazing.