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The Swell Life

BY Phebe Wahl | August 8, 2017 | Feature Features

A wave of talent floods The East End as photographer Sophie Elgort turns her lens toward her curated clique of chic cognoscenti.

Sophie Elgort
“I learned photography from my dad, Arthur Elgort—both the technical aspects as well as experience from helping out on his photoshoots,” explains Hamptons-bred photographer Sophie Elgort, who has shot for J.Crew, Clinique and snapped celebrities like Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Her work can be collected through the Staley-Wise gallery—and this September, Sophie will be shooting celebritiy portraits during the Toronto International Film Festival (joining past photographers like Patrick Demarchelier). “This shoot [for Beach] was so fun because my friends and family members are my greatest collaborators and I’m proud of what every single one of them is doing every day,” Elgort says of her supertalented network. “I’m grateful that we all support one another.””

Piet Houtenbos
“An early internship at MoMA taught me that design was incredibly important and great ideas can really change things,” says furniture designer Piet Houtenbos, who lives on a pond in Water Mill and is inspired by the surrounding wetlands. “The Hamptons has a vibe that helps me slow down,” he says. “I can focus on getting the scrambled ideas out of my head and onto a piece of paper in a form I can identify and then develop. I try to design very concise furniture, and you need tremendous clarity to find new moments of beauty in objects that are inherently very simple.”

Nneya Richards
Starting at only age 15 as one of the contributing editors of TeenVogue, Nneya Richards has been immersed in the fashion world for a long time. Today, career highlights range from being personally invited to the White House by Michelle Obama to serving on the boards of organizations like Glam4Good and Through Our Lens. “Fashion can be wildly empowering,” she says. “It’s stunning; there’s that quintessential classic Americana beauty,” she shares of her time in the Hamptons. “As a travel blogger, I live for this—the idea of putting yourself in the way of beauty, going outside and watching the sunset.”

Warren Elgort
“I chose this route because I like being on set around people,” says Warren Elgort of his work as a filmmaker. “I also cherish being able to focus on a totally new subject if I want once a project wraps,” he says. “You can make a movie about anything, so I don’t foresee it ever getting boring.” Hailing from one of the most talent-rich families in the Hamptons, Elgort joins his star siblings for easy weekends out East. “I feel inspired when there’s time to float around in the ocean a little before dinner every night,” he says. “Also, some of the folks I run into around here remind me of characters from a screenplay.”

Anne Huntington
A collector and curator of contemporary art, longtime Quogue local Anne Huntington also serves as co-chair of the Young Collectors Council at the Guggenheim Museum; founding member of the Future Leadership Council at the Whitney Museum of American Art; board member of Pioneer Works; and is on the Art Advisory Board for NYC’s Coalition for the Homeless’ annual ARTWALK benefit. Huntington also spearheads strategic partnerships for Huntington Learning Center. “Overall,” she says, “my personal career path is grounded in purpose and social impact to help and give back, which is what I accomplish professionally and personally.”

Marlon Taylor-Wiles
As a professional dancer, Marlon Taylor-Wiles has had a well-placed foot in the worlds of both fashion and dance for some time. After training at the Boston Conservatory, he landed at Ralph Lauren before a spin back into dance. “Eventually, I got the urge to start my own dance company and creative agency, Flying Under the Radar, which merges my love for fashion, dance and creating unique experiences,” he explains. Up next, keep an eye out for collaborations with jazz musician Jamire Williams.

Lisa Salzer-Wiles
“I began Lulu Frost at the tender age of 21, while a senior at Dartmouth College,” says East Ender Lisa Salzer-Wiles of her buzzy bauble line. Now, 14 years later, Lulu Frost has just opened its first store, on Prince Street, N.Y. The shop features fine and costume jewelry, as well as an amazing DIY jewelry bar full of vintage and antique charms from Salzer-Wiles’ treasure hunts, which people can add to necklaces or bracelets right on the spot. A “language of flowers” counter, a collaboration with floral designer Tess Casey, offers a Victorian-inspired customizable bouquet business where blooms come along with a decoder to decipher hidden messages.

Matt Fugate
After sharpening his skills as an assistant to Sally Hershberger, Matt Fugate is now a celebrity stylist for K√©rastase and works out of the acclaimed Serge Normant at John Frieda salon. “But I spend most of my time on set or with actresses,” he says. Up next, Fugate will focus on a recovery-based beauty foundation, “and a couple other secret projects that will benefit others more than myself,” he says. “I really want to give back and collab with the people who have been so good to me.”

Charlotte Logeais
“I danced with a professional ballet company for a year before attending Pratt Institute, where I’m currently majoring in industrial design,” says Charlotte Logeais. “I’ve always loved the arts, especially painting and photography.” The Portland-bred designer is enjoying the season in the Hamptons. “I love grabbing coffee at Tate’s, going to the beach for a swim and watching the stunningly beautiful sunsets,” she says.

Violetta Komyshan
“We collaborate with amazing dancers and musicians outside the classical ballet world,” explains Violetta Komyshan of her dance work with BalletNext. “It pushes what I love to the next level because [Artistic Director] Michele Wiles allows us to partake in the choreographic process, and that really makes your mind come up with some crazy movement and ideas.” Komyshan has recently spent more time out East at the Hamptons home of boyfriend Ansel Elgort. “I love it because he loves it,” she says. “I love nature and seeing the stars, flowers everywhere, water, beaches, fresh air, rocks—all that sort of stuff.”

Charlotte Maria Dos Santos
“Music is such a powerful and important tool, and I feel so fortunate to have been given that gift,” says Norwegian-born, Brooklyn-based singer, producer and composer Charlotte Maria Dos Santos. About her time out East, she says: “For me as an artist, it is essential to be able to clear some headspace and collect myself from time to time. I love coming out to the Hamptons because it gives me exactly that—there is nothing like just hearing the ocean and the wind—when it’s been long, it is definitely like music in my ears! And it reminds you not to take silence for granted—and how it actually feels not to hear sirens every five minutes!”

MAIN IMAGE: On Violetta Komyshan: dress and cardigan by Missoni; on Warren Elgort: jacket and shorts by Caruso; on Sophie Elgort: dress by Naeem Khan; on Anne Huntington: dress by Kris Goyri; on Charlotte Dos Santos: dress by Roberto Cavalli; on Piet Houtenbous: pants and shirt by Brunello Cuccinelli; on Suzanna Komyshan: dress by Emilio Pucci; on Marlon Taylor-Wiles: jacket by Caruso, jewelry by George Frost; on Lisa Salzar-Wiles: top and trousers by Emilio Pucci; on Eric Von Stroh: sweater by Brunello Cuccinelli; on Nneya Richards: dress by Missoni, earrings by Lulu Frost; on Charlotte Logeais: top and trousers by Emilio Pucci, necklace by Lulu Frost; on Matt Fugate: cardigan by Caruso. All women’s clothing courtesy of Armarium. Hair by Matt Fugate.

Photography Courtesy Of: