For Kerry Diamond, moving through the worlds of fashion, food, and editorial is as easy as, well,
pie red velvet macarons, a dish served at Seersucker, one of three restaurant ventures she's opened with boyfriend and chef Robert Newton. Yes, Diamond, who just left her post as Divisional Vice President of PR and Collaborations for Coach to start a biannual women-and-food mag, Cherry Bombe, has her creative hand in several tasty projects all at once. As if a magazine and one restaurant aren't enough, there's also Smith Canteen, a coffee/sandwich/bake shop, and most recently, Nightingale 9, a Vietnamese restaurant where Diamond's current favorite dish is the coconut noodles with shrimp and squid (yum!).
We caught up with the fashionable restaurateur for a tour of her favorite neighborhood spots, and of course, a little taste of Nightingale 9, too. Click through for a bowlful of inspiring outfits, a pinch of career advice, and a dash of that bombe do-it-all female power, too.
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Photographed by Bek Andersen
Describe your personal style in five words.
"Dress with pockets, strappy sandal."
Isabel Marant striped maxi dress, Balenciaga flat black sandals.
Tell us a little about why Bird is dear to your heart.
"Bird is a Brooklyn institution. I really believe that Jen Mankins, the owner, has had a big influence on how women in Brooklyn dress. She has such interesting style, great taste in music, and she is the nicest person. Plus, she carries all of my favorite labels, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Tucker, Alasdair."
Photo: Courtesy of Bird
What's the most worn item in your closet right now?
"The sleeveless gauze twist dress from Alasdair. I need to ask April the designer to make it in more colors next summer."
What is one thing you'd never wear?
What are your favorite clothing stores in NYC?
"Bird, Tucker, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Consignment by Eva Gentry, Kirna Zabete, anywhere that sells Dries Van Noten, Warm, Thomas Sires, Castor & Pollux."
What's one item of clothing that'll never go out of style, and one you used to wear that you can't believe you did?
"The striped shirt. Always cool and iconic. Chance makes such great ones. There's nothing I look back at and cringe over, wardrobe wise. My hair in high school is another story."
What's one trend you'd never try?
"Long nails. They look beautiful on women like Lana Del Rey, but it's not for me."
Tell us a little about why you love Shen.
"I'm a beauty girl at heart, so I was thrilled when Shen opened. The neighborhood didn't have any beauty boutiques. Jessica Richards, the owner, became a fast friend. She has a great eye for interesting products. I'm happy to have a local place to buy my Bobbi Brown!"
Photo: Courtesy of Shen Beauty
What is your top summer beauty staple?
Tell us about Cherry Bombe.
"It's a biannual magazine about women and food that I launched with my friend Claudia Wu. We met while working at Harper's Bazaar. We love magazines, food, and fashion, and thought it would be a fun project. We also thought it would be great to spotlight the awesome women in and around the food scene. It turns out there are so many of them, we could easily do a monthly magazine."
Reed Krakoff trench coat, J.Crew jeans, Chloé black-sandal heels, Cartier gold panther ring, Chance striped top.
The food mag space is about to get seriously funked up. How are you planning to change this genre?
"Claudia and I love quirky, interesting magazines such as Love, Gentlewoman, Monocle, Apartamento. We were surprised there weren't similar offerings in the food space. I hope our readers feel we've created something beautiful that they'll keep on their bookshelves for years to come. I also hope they are inspired to try the recipes. My personal faves are Jeanne D'Souza's and those from Lookbook Cookbook. Also, you feel silly saying girl power, but there's a lot of girl power in Cherry Bombe and the timing for that feels right. We're living in crazy times, so it's nice to celebrate women, especially women doing meaningful things."
What has been the process of starting this new venture? What is one unforeseen obstacle and how did you over come it?
"The obstacles have been many. Shipping, honestly, is a nightmare. I need to call someone from FexEx or UPS for help! The process in general has been hard, but it's been very rewarding. Fortunately, we've had a lot of people — strangers even — offer to help with everything from writing to packing up copies to testing recipes."
What can we look forward to from the mag to come?
"We're really excited to continue to build the Cherry Bombe community. Women have really reacted in an emotional way to what we produced and to be honest, we didn't entirely expect that. We just hoped people liked the magazine! We'll have a proper website next year with content complementary to what is in the magazine and we hope to start doing events and small conferences one day. It would be great to bring people together offline to meet, educate, and inspire each other. Stay tuned!"
Tell us about working with your boyfriend at Nightingale 9. What is your favorite dish?
"My boyfriend and I just opened this restaurant and it's his take on Vietnamese cuisine. He's the chef. We both love Vietnamese food, so I'm thrilled to have a place in the neighborhood where I can indulge. I stop by once a day, whether it's for pho, iced Vietnamese coffee or caramel pork banh mi. Fortunately, we love working together and we work well together. Obviously, we enjoy opening restaurants together because this is our third one together! He's a great partner. He's incredibly hard working and has a lot of integrity. My favorite dish changes daily, but right now it's the coconut noodles with shrimp and squid."
Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger
Is there an intersection between fashion and food? If so, explain.
"I'm always asked that question now. There's definitely something in the air, but I think it's more about people expressing their creativity through food. It's much easier to bake a dozen cookies than it is to make a ball gown. But there is a lot of crossover these days, from Karlie Kloss and her Karlie's Kookies project to the Manolo Blahnik executives who own Arethusa Farm (they have great ice cream!) to designer Natalie Chanin making dinnerware for Heath Ceramics. Most fashion people, with a few famous exceptions, are foodies."
Tucker by Gaby Basora purple and green print dress, Unisa wedge sandals, flea market black bracelet, Philip Crangi heart lock necklace.
Between Cherry Bombe and the restaurants, how do you find free time? What do you do to relax?
"Free time has been in limited supply for the past few years. I'm trying to learn how to relax. It doesn't come naturally. Busy is my default setting. I do love listening to music. Rob bought me a stereo, so I'm rebuilding my vinyl collection. I just picked up the new Vampire Weekend and Daft Punk albums, and happily, I still have all my original Cure, Smiths, and Depeche Mode albums."
Photo: Daniel Krieger
What's your ideal date night for you and your boyfriend?
"Couch, Charlie Rose, pizza, nice bottle of wine. Nightingale 9 is only four months old and a restaurant in the early days is like a newborn. They require a lot of attention, so there's not much time for date night right now."
Describe the perfect meal: what are you eating? Who are you with?
"With my boyfriend Rob, of course, eating anything he makes."
Photo: Courteys of Nightingale
What is the best professional lesson you've learned?
"Don't cover up your mistakes. Fix them and own up to them."