There aren't a lot of Caribbean jerk joints that can say Anna Wintour once opposed their existence, but that's exactly the case with Miss Lily's, which famously drew the Vogue editrix's ire before opening last spring. We're guessing she might have had a change of heart once she actually saw the staff: Co-owners Serge Becker, Binn and Genc Jakupi, and Paul Salmon have assembled a team of gorgeous women decked out in free-spirited, colorful ensembles that would definitely not be out of place in Wintour's magazine. It comes as little surprise, then, that celebrities, designers, and fashion folk flock nightly to this beach-themed hut on Houston Street. In fact, the restaurant has become such a scene that we knew it was time to drop in for a visit for the latest edition of House Style.
Dominique Armorer, Hostess
How would you describe your personal style?
I go by my mood, so when I’m feeling bold, I dress crazy; when I’m feeling mellow, I dress mellow, so it depends. When I’m at work, I’m crazy.
So would you say that you are required to dress crazy?
I’d say we dress dramatic. It’s like every night we put on a show.
Why do you think people love coming here?
You can have an authentic Caribbean dining experience without having to go to Brooklyn or Queens.
Shireen Bora, Server/Bartender
How would you describe the crowd at Miss Lily’s?
A lot of artistic types eat here, like singers, producers, photographers. But it’s a variety of people — all classes, races, people from all over. They all want some sort of an adventure and to go somewhere with character.
Is there pressure to look cool here?
It’s not pressure so much as we are encouraged to have fun. We bounce style off of each other. We raid each other’s closets, even when we’re not working.
Abie Jammeh, Hostess
What's the best part of working at a place as popular as Miss Lily’s?
It’s all about the people. There’s this welcoming feeling, like home. Everyone’s smiling. It’s a combination of the hospitality, the environment, and the food.
Ajang Majok, Hostess
From South Sudan
The restaurant is known for its music. How do you think that plays into the overall scene here?
We play things you wouldn’t find on iTunes, or anywhere. It’s Jamaican, it’s regular hip-hop; it’s not some music you’ll find in a club.
Shelita Thomas, Server
What’s unique about Miss Lily’s?
There’s an excitement here, an energy. The staff is bubbly and full of love. It’s like being home. I remember the first time I walked past the restaurant — I was so excited to see what it was.
What’s the common theme throughout the staff’s styles?
It’s tropical. It’s Caribbean. It’s African nation. It’s not an act. We’re from the islands; this is how we dress.
The Ladies of Miss Lily's
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