Life as a Runway: What 8 New Yorkers Wore While Hunting for Christmas Trees


Life as a Runway

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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

After the Thanksgiving turkey has been polished off, the streets of New York undergo a transformation. Grim city blocks blossom into verdant forests as Christmas-tree vendors set up shop next to rusty trash bins. Last weekend, East Village and SoHo residents tapped into their inner woodsmen (and woodswomen) and added tree shopping to their agendas. Here’s what they wore.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Liam McKessar

Age 33

Occupation Senior marketing manager at Vogue

What makes a good Christmas tree?

It has to have a nice, full bush. I buy mine at my local bodega; it’s a good price.

Where is your coat from?

It’s Saint Laurent. I got it three years ago when I first moved to New York from Sydney. It was my first winter coat that I ever bought.

I thought white jeans and sneakers was a summer thing.

I love winter white. It’s keeping a bit of the summer all year round.

You have a great haircut. Who cuts it?

A barber on Bedford Street in the West Village. Just a neighborhood barber. It’s a bit more cropped these days, more trimmed. It’s more masc.

Where are your shoes from?

They’re Vans. They look like Saint Laurent, but they’re not. It’s a better price point.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Michelle Goad

Age 34

Occupation Co-founder of PS Dept., a personal-shopping app

What are you looking for in a tree?

It has to be tall and skinny. They take up less space, and they just look better.

Who’s this with you?

This is my daughter, Coco. She’s 20 months, so it’s her second Christmas. Christmas with a child is great. We’re full-on Santa. She loves Santa.

Where’s your coat from?

It’s Prada. I got it last year because I wanted an oversize furry jacket.

And how about your shoes?

These are Céline. I have five pairs of these, and I wear them every single day. I have them in black, tweed, all kinds of colors. They’re like fancy sneakers that I can wear to work and not feel bad about wearing sneakers.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Jonathan Papillon

Age 37

Occupation Christmas-tree vendor

That’s an impressive beard. How long have you had it?

This one is getting to six, seven years now.

Why do you braid your beard?

I started when my daughter was born, because she was pulling on my beard all the time. When you unify it, it gets stronger.

And what about your hat? It’s festive.

That’s from Canada. I just wear it because I’m outside all day, and it gets cold.

What’s your pin say?

It’s the red moon; it’s my signature. I don’t know how to explain it; it’s kind of like a horoscope.

What do you do when you’re not selling trees?

In the summertime, I’m a gardener, I do landscaping. We rent a truck to live in for the month that we’re here, so I’m a New Yorker one month every year.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Sarah Macfadden

Age 53

Occupation Jewelry designer

What are you wearing?

Well, this coat is from a store that was on Ludlow Street that sadly isn’t there anymore.

It’s very appropriate for buying a tree, it’s outdoorsy.

Well, I’m from Montana, but I’ve been here for over 20 years.

I like your glasses.

It’s funny because usually you have to try on so many pairs of glasses to find some, but I ordered these online, and it worked out for me. I just found them on some website browsing late one night.

Describe the jewelry you design.

It’s mostly made with gold and silver. A lot of it is hammered, so it has a handmade look to it.

What makes this a good tree for you?

Well, we have a smaller apartment, so we wanted one that would fit.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Nawell Gallarello

Age 35

Occupation Owner, Numero 28 Pizzeria

What are you looking for in a tree?

We live two blocks away in a two-bedroom, so we need a smaller tree.

Where are you from?

We’re from Italy. We’ve been here seven years. We came at first for fun, but we loved it, so we stayed. We have all the ornaments already, we just need the tree, and we’ll take it home for the kids to decorate.

Nice jacket, where’s it from?

From that store AllSaints.

And I like your shoes.

They’re from Italy, the brand is Superga, but from the store in SoHo. Italy makes the best shoes.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Alexandra Ceh

Age 23

Occupation Assistant personal stylist at Le Curate

Nice leather jacket.

It’s from Won Hundred. I got it on the last day of my internship. We had it at a photo shoot, and I pointed out that I liked it, and I ended up getting it as a gift.

Are those Yeezys?

They are. I scored them, I don’t even know how I got them. Very lucky. I tried several websites, but they all crashed, and the last one I tried was actually Adidas’s, and I somehow managed to get them there.

Why did you get them?

I just wanted a good sneaker. It’s easy to throw on. I’ve worn them to go out on the weekend. They’re casual. People always point them out and talk to me about them.

Tell me about the rest of your outfit.

The tights are Lululemon, they’re easy and comfy. My jacket is Lululemon, too. The scarf is from H&M. And my sunglasses are Prada. I got them this summer, and I’m a big fan of tortoiseshell.

What did you buy today?

We got some stockings. We don’t have a fireplace, so we’ll just hang them on the wall.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Morgan Hisey

Age 24

Occupation Buyer for American Eagle

Where’s your coat from?

It’s Sandro. I bought it at Bloomingdale’s. I was looking to find the perfect camel coat, and I like the gold buttons on this one.

Are these gloves fringed?

Yeah, they’re from Intermix. I needed some leather gloves, and I liked these. The fringe makes them fun.

Who makes your bag?

It’s Gucci. I got it for my birthday.

It looks old.

I know, that’s why I got it. It looks retro, so I could pass it on to my daughter. It’s classic.

Why did you pick this tree?

I liked the base that it came on, and you just have to spray it to water it.


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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Peter Mullan

Age 55

Occupation Marketer

Tell me about your Hillsdale College sweatshirt.

It’s a school in Michigan. We’re New Yorkers, but we came from Michigan.

What about your beanie?

Oh, it’s from the Sochi Olympics. My wife, Hope, went. She works for NBC, and she was working there.

Why did you pick this tree?

We needed something that’s not too tall, not too fat and not too skinny. This one is kind of in-between of everything. In a New York apartment, it can’t take up too much room, but we wanted to upgrade from a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

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