Mondays on Zelda & Scout are all about you! In a series we call “Just Folks,” we talk to Southerners who have found their way to New York about where they’re from, where they are now, and what home means to them.
This week we have fashion designer Smith Sinrod! This Pensacola girl made her way to the big city by way of Alabama and Georgia. Seamless has since won her heart and turned her into a New York convert, even if she’d still like to send some of its denizens to a Southern manners boot camp.
New York, New York
Who are you and what do you do?
I have my own women’s wear collection called by SMITH that I design and manage. Other passions: I love cooking and trying new restaurants.
Time North of the Mason-Dixon line so far?
Almost 4 years.
What brought you to New York?
Work and love. My now husband was living in New York before I got here. We started dating long distance, and I figured why not go to the fashion capital of the country and be close to my boyfriend. It worked out in both departments!
What’s the most common reaction when people learn where you’re from? What’s something about life in the South that you have to explain to non-Southerners?
People are always like, “Oh, that’s why you are nice!” Which is definitely a compliment to all Southerners, that we are thought of as the nice people. I also think the food is better down South, and square footage for sure.
Describe life in NYC as people at home picture it. Describe life in NYC as it actually is.
I love living in New York, but some things can be a bit challenging and some things are more convenient.
Con: I don’t have a dish washer.
Pro: I don’t have a laundromat near my apartment, so I have to use a wash and fold service.
A pro and con: I walk everywhere — great exercise, but it kills my shoes.
Where do you consider home? Why?
I consider my home where my belongings are, so as of now, it’s my studio in Midtown.
Do you miss where you’re from? Do you see yourself going back?
I miss my family and friends down South. And yes, I do see myself going back South for work and to be closer to the people that matter the most!
Do you consider yourself a Southerner? Do you consider yourself a New Yorker? Why or why not?
Yes, I am a Southerner, because that is where I was raised and my family still resides down South. Since moving to New York, I have grown to be more of a New Yorker both in terms of business sense and just personally. It’s tough out there, and I think when I first moved here, I thought people were really mean. They aren’t mean: They are just brutally honest. I do think a few folks here could afford to go to Southern manners camp and learn a thing or two about common courtesy — for example, how to open/hold doors for people.
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines New York for you? (choose as many or as few as you’d like)
Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary’s. I started brunching it when I moved here, and I now crave both on the weekends.
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines where you’re from? (choose as many or as few as you’d like)
What is the best cure for homesickness?
My husband and I love going to Lobster Joint downtown, because you feel like you are at the beach there. Their menu is obviously seafood, and it has an outdoor atmosphere. It reminds me of Florida!