Known for her warm neutrals and refined aesthetic, all executed with a humble and kind approach Christie Tyler (aka @nycbambi) is living our NYC dream.
With a few projects under her belt she is a key a player in content creation with her blog and social platform @nycbambi, working with CHANEL, Tiffany and Co. and Chloe to name a few. She also is the co-owner of Vollective, an online store of curated vintage and pre-owned homewares, plus, she even has an inspiration content account, The Straw Collective to round it all out. Oh and she VLOGS over on You Tube - an easy binge watch that gives you a close and personal look into her daily life.
Fashion and interiors seem to go hand in hand for Christie, something we were more than eager to pick her brain about. We chat to Christie about how she found her personal style, the 10 questions she asks herself before committing to a new purchase and who she turns to for interior inspiration in our latest UNDONE Women series.
How would you describe your style? We would love to hear the story about how you landed on this way of dressing.
I think what a lot of people don’t realise (myself included) is that personal style is constantly evolving. I used to get so frustrated because I felt like I was going through every style in the book, and I was frustrated that I could never really find a style that was truly me. That is until I moved to New York City. Attending fashion school and being in NYC shaped my style a lot. It became about ease and comfort, while being effortlessly chic (or so I hope). Everyone is on the go in the city, myself included (before this pandemic of course) and so I became aware of the shapes I felt most comfortable in. I don’t wear heels, I appreciate sneakers or loafers more. I feel the most comfortable in masculine shapes and oversized silhouettes. I am drawn to neutrals because they became a comfort from the maximalism I experience on a daily basis. I think that is how I landed on my way of dressing and defining my style. I appreciate high-fashion but I also love secondhand and vintage. So, all together, I would define my style as neutral and minimalist with a mix of high-fashion and vintage pieces.
You went to LIM College in NYC which specialises in the business of fashion, a dream experience for so many. Has working in fashion always been your goal and what were some experiences and memories that sparked this excitement in the fashion industry?
Furthermore, what were the biggest takeaways from your studies and would you recommend undertaking a formal study for those interested in working in fashion?
Ever since I can remember working in fashion has always been my goal. I don’t know why, but from a young age I just felt it.
My grandma, who is a seamstress, always tells me stories of how at 11 years old I made a skirt up of safety pins and blazers from old fabric.
I can’t pinpoint exactly what made me fall in love with fashion, but I just feel like it’s always been in my soul. And then attending LIM sparked my excitement even more.
Being in New York City and at a fashion school, I finally felt like I was with others who loved fashion as much as I do—who I could talk about editorials with, new creative directors. I felt like I was a part of a community that I had been longing for. I know a lot of people say this but college, especially in New York City, really made me have a backbone.
Though the studies were good, I felt like the education of individuality and independence was even more-so important.
I would recommend undertaking a formal study for those interested in working in fashion. I know it can feel tedious, but no one can take a degree away from you. This market keeps becoming all the more competitive, and if you do have the privilege to go to school, take it. Not many others get that opportunity.
You’re so personable with your followers and it really feels like you’re creating genuine connections where you have a back and forth dialogue. How important do you think this personal touch is for those in the influencer space and how much time and energy does this consume when comparing it creating content?
Thank you so much. I just think of all the dream opportunities that I’ve gotten because of my following, and so to me, it is the least I can do for the very people that have gotten me to this point. I think it’s so important, to be appreciative, to engage, to have real conversations. It makes it the most beautiful opportunity and community. It does take up a lot of my time—I would say it’s half of my work duties, but it’s so, so worth it. Everyone is so beautiful and kind. It is what I am most thankful for.
Your apartment is beautiful, what are your favourite pieces in your apartment that give you the most joy?
Thank you! You know, I find that the items that give me the most joy in our home are plants and books. I don’t know why but stacks of books and healthy leaves fill me with a sense of calm and happiness. Our bed gives me a lot of happiness too. I also am so happy with the way our marble dining table turned out—I think I receive the most compliments on that. We did it custom, we picked out a slab of marble that four guys brought in and put it on a wooden table that we got separately. It’s just nice to have pieces that came from special ideas.
You have the beautiful online store Vollective, a curated collection of vintage and pre-owned homewares, jewellery and accessories that comes out in staggered collection drops. Who do you turn to for interior inspiration and where did this love for sourcing unique pieces come from?
Instagram and Pinterest have such an overload of interior inspiration at all times! Axel Vervoodt, Athena Calderone, and Colin King, are just a few of those who really inspire me with interiors. Renovating and moving into our apartment really made me appreciate homewares and interior design in general. But because our apartment is already packed to the brim with homewares and furniture, I absolutely loved the idea of still sourcing vintage homewares without having the storage issue. So when my partner, Melissa, came to me about the idea and helping with sourcing, I was all in. Plus, seeing the items in our customers beautiful homes fills me with so much joy. I wasn’t sure if people would appreciate secondhand homewares just because they do have an obvious history or character, but I think people are finding beauty in imperfection now more than ever—and what a beautiful thing that is.
Comparing the colour palette and the way you dress your home to the way you dress yourself, what are the similarities and the differences? Are there any surprises?
So many similarities! I feel like my apartment is a real reflection of my style and kind of a secondary to the whole idea of needing calm in a city. Just like in my wardrobe, I still crave those neutrals and comforting hues and textures. I play around with shape in accessories with objects and pottery, but keep essential pieces (like couches and chairs) minimal and comfortable. I wanted our space to be a relaxing place where we can unwind. Though I love modern furniture as much as anyone, I like that our home is a home and not a showroom-type space. With that, there are not too many surprises. Having a style that translates into multiple aspects of life comforts me and makes it easy for me to narrow down exactly what I like.
How do you keep your wardrobe curated and do you have any storage and organising advice for keeping it neat and tidy?
I only shop when there is a need for something—for example if I need a good turtleneck, or if I’m craving a new pair of jeans. With that, I always start by looking vintage or secondhand for those needs, so at least though I am buying something it is not contributing to the overproduction of fashion and textile waste. Of course though, I love high-fashion items so every season I will try to invest in a pair of shoes or good coat that I believe will last me for years. If it won’t then I try not to buy it. Whenever I buy something, new or secondhand/vintage, at least one piece must go from my wardrobe. I resell my clothes on Vestiaire and TheRealReal. Of course with my job I am lucky to receive giftings, though I am very specific with what I accept and only accept if that brand aligns with my values. With that said, of course after a year or two those giftings also need to be cleaned out, which is why I list them on Vestiaire and all proceeds are donated. I try to keep this process going so I can try to keep as much of a minimalist wardrobe as possible.
You’ve expressed that this year you’re looking to only invest in vintage and pre-owned items as a way to reduce your consumption habits. When adding to your wardrobe what criteria do new purchases have to meet?
Yes! Usually I try to ask myself
1. will this last in my wardrobe for at least 1-2 years minimum?
2. will I be able to resell if not?
3. is it an investment purchase?
4. will this be comfortable and wearable for everyday?
5. if not, will it be great to have in my closet for special occasions or events?
6. is it sustainable?
7. is it ethically made?
8. does the brand align with my values?
9. will I have to have it tailored?
10. will this shape compliment me and my body type?
What’s the oldest piece in your wardrobe and what makes you want to hold onto it?
There is a plaid vintage blazer that has been in my wardrobe for four years now. I know that might not seem like a lot of time for some but I basically started my wardrobe from scratch four years ago when I felt like I had finally pin-pointed my style. It is one of my all-time favorites, it just has such a great fit and feel and pattern. I wore it to one of my first Fashion Weeks and it holds so many memories. I can never get rid of it, just that sentiment alone makes me feel so thankful and proud, and now I try to include it in at least one of my outfits every Fashion Week season.
We’re big believers in manifestation, and although it's hard to visualise what the future might look like at the moment, what’s next for you? Is there a dream project you would like to turn your attention to or are you putting more energy into Vollective and your studio?
Loove manifesting too. Vollective has definitely been taking up a lot of energy—there is a part of me who has always dreamed of having an actual store in New York City. I know many might say it’s impractical in such a digital-shopping age, but there is something about creating a certain environment in a store that fills me with so much inspiration. The ultimate dream would be for Vollective to have a physical store that has a little coffee shop and flower area. Adam and I have also been looking for new studio spaces day in and day out. We left our old space because of Covid and we have been dying to have a new space ever since. We’ve been looking but we want it to be perfect so we’re holding out—we want it to be a space that customers old and new will appreciate. Those are my dream projects right now, but who knows, manifesting always leads to more dreams…