The Assemblist Letter 16 - Hillary's Holiday Lightning Round

The Brand Assembly team is gearing up to head out for the holidays! But before we sign off for the new year, we wanted to share a few of our CEO and chief curator Hillary France’s holiday traditions to inspire the rest of your season. Check out our lightning round interview with her and share your own holiday traditions with us in the comments section below...


What are the best ways to incorporate fashion and style (without talking about work!) into the conversation at a holiday party? 

This is easy! Find someone who is wearing something interesting and talk about it. Ask them who they’re wearing, where they got it and more questions like that. A lot of times at holiday parties you find people who are wearing new designers, which is also a away I personally find out about a lot of them - I love just asking more about their look. 

What Brand Assembly designers are your go-to for the season?

Hunter Bell and Sachin + Babi are always great for cocktail pieces. But obviously I don’t wear dresses, so you can’t go wrong with a pair of fancy pants!

What is one thing you want to focus more on this holiday season?

I really want to do some more adventures. I’m trying to take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s, where I’ll obviously be in upstate New York. So I want to go some places around my house that I haven’t been. I’ll probably go back to Hudson and walk around. My friend and I are actually going to stay at a local Inn for New Year’s so we’ll probably go to Storm King, Woodstock and just do a little tour of upstate!

What’s been the best thing you’ve given and the best thing you’ve received during the holidays? 

I’m not going to single out one thing, but I think the best thing you can give is something handmade or things that are very thoughtful and thought through. I’ve given some pieces of artwork and collages to jog fun memories. I think things that are bit more personal are always a winner. The best gift that I’ve personally received is a tough one, but I’d have to say it's actually from Alex my business partner, who gave me a sketchbook and some new pencils. I obviously studied art in college and I haven’t done anything in it since and funnily enough he actually had no idea, until the summer! 

What is your ideal New Year’s Eve from start to finish?

I’m not a big New Year’s person but what I do love to celebrate is just going out for a long dinner with friends and maybe a chill bar. I love to be around people but I don’t want to be in a crowded place. I just want to be with very close friends and family - that’s basically my ultimate NYE celebration!

What is your go-to dish at the dinner table?

During the holidays that are definitely more filling: duck, pork chops with apple sauce are all things I love! You can find a lot of that upstate. We actually have a tradition where we go to a place near Great Barrington in the Berkshires called The Old Inn On The Green and it’s a dining room that’s entirely lit by candles. There’s no electricity (except in the kitchen obviously!) but it’s really nice and they have some great stuff.

Are you planning to digitally detox during the holidays?

Is that possible!? 

Any other things we should know about your holiday traditions and thoughts on the season?

One of my traditions is going to the Berkshires with my family for Christmas but I’m really just trying to detox as much as I can but also get ahead a little bit for next year. I usually like to take this time to do some deep thought!