Heather Andersen is the founder of New York Pilates and one of my dearest friends. She and her sister Bek Andersen (who photographed our first ever lookbook) are the namesake of the Andersen Tee ($125-145). Heather also serves as the muse behind our Heath Shorts ($325-345), both of which she sports below.
I have always been into cultivating my personal style. My mother taught me to sew, and in high school I would come home with piles of strange thrifted items and reimagine them with my sewing machine. The results were usually pretty wacky.
Heather's DIY-screenprinted Black Swan thermal tee, made during a childhood summer at ballet camp.
When I moved to New York my aesthetic definitely changed. I started to include more leather in my wardrobe to reflect a downtown vibe that I admired.
I am also prone to phases of dressing in extreme themes, in character. I like give them names, like, Polygamist Chic, Mall Goth, and 90’s Matrix. In deep winter, I always revert to Russian Prostitute (they really know how to wear fur when it’s cold!) I definitely try to have a sense of humor about it.
When I decided to open the first New York Pilates studio, I think I was a bit naïve about how much work and money it would really take. I just jumped off the cliff and hoped for the best. I am very fortunate that I was able to make it work, and that [my husband] Brion was willing to jump off that cliff with me. I actually just went ahead and impulsively signed a lease. When I went home and told Brion, he was like “YOU DID WHAT!?”
I am really chill about uncertainty, although being responsible for so many employees is a pressure I do not take lightly. Uncertainty for myself? No big deal. Uncertainty for 50 other people? That stresses me out!!
I can get obsessed with specific clothing items. I will get an idea in my head about what I am looking for, and I will memorize the online inventory of shops I frequent until I find the perfect version of it!
I am very particular about certain things in my wardrobe: the perfect jacket, the perfect rise on a pant. I have also found myself much more willing to work in a piece that is wacky. I try and wear these like a staple, so the wacky piece becomes the everyday piece. I like to really live in it.
I try and clean out my closet about twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. I have a very small closet and absolutely LOVE buying weird stuff, so there is definitely a bit of a rotation necessary. No one wants my hand me downs: they end up being one of two things: an amazing piece that is so trashed no one would ever EVER wear it again, or something awful, weird, or tacky that sparked my interest but cannot be worn outside of the house.
I usually put all my rejects into a trash bag and cab it up to the Salvation Army on Lafayette. They DO NOT pick up... probably because they do not actually want my stuff!
For shoe maintenance, I usually go to Star Shoe Repair on Bleecker and Broadway. They do a great job and are not overpriced.
For tailoring, I recommend Stanton Tailor. He is the best! I take so many bizarre finds there, and they completely remake garments for me. They also work with leather!
Try a reformer class at one of her three New York City locations (West 3rd, Soho and Bowery) - visit newyorkpilates.com for more details!
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"I’ve read a little about consumer decision-making and the psychology of happiness and incorporated some findings in my everyday life... I mostly buy one item at a time to maximize the happiness I get out of purchases. There is research showing that happiness relies on the frequency, not the intensity, of the positive input you receive."