East Coast Cool: The Hamptons’ 10 Most Stylish

Marni Golden
East Coast Cool: The Hamptons’ 10 Most Stylish
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When someone mentions “the Hamptons,” many of us immediately picture stereotypical oceanfront society life: men in popped collars and boat shoes, women clad in Lilly Pulitzer, and kids running around in Ralph Lauren Baby. While this may indeed be an accurate depiction of some Hamptonites’ style, it most certainly does not represent the modern tastemakers who head East for the summer each year.

These days, each town seems to have its own swagger, spread organically throughout the South Fork. Be it the aforementioned prep, surfer-chic, boho goddess, country strong or cocktail glam, the East End has evolved way past tennis whites to embrace multiple styles in which, really, anything goes.

Here, we’ve rounded up a crop of stand-out style-setters who best embody the new breed of Hamptonite — eclectic style and all. (Just try your best not to hate them for their jaw-dropping digs.)

Photographs by: Ben Fink Shapiro

Editorial Director: Marni Golden

Art Direction by: Michael Prezioso

Post-Production: Eyescapes Labs

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From boho goddesses to surfer-chic guys, the style of the East End has evolved way past tennis whites. Here, we've rounded up the style-setters who represent the best of the new breed of Hamptonites.

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Rob McKinley, Partner/Designer, Ruschmeyer's in Montauk

With hotspots like GoldBar, Sant Ambroeus and The Surf Lodge already nestled under his belt, it's no surprise that McKinley's Ruschmeyer's, which re-opened last summer, was an instant success. Often dubbed a "nautical summer camp,"  Ruschmeyer's has literally brought the camp back to summer fun.

"Once I leave the city, my shoes come off," says McKinley, "and I only put them back on if I have to."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Samantha Yanks, Editor-in Chief, Hamptons Magazine and Gotham Magazine

Who better to exemplify the modern Hamptons woman more than Samantha Yanks? After all, she's not only the brains behind the East End's most influential glossy, but she also maintains a bustling household and recently collaborated with jewelry designer Jennifer Miller. Oh, and let's not forget her steadfast dedication to Twitter!

"This summer I spent an evening at newly opened outdoor dining room at Byron at The Surf Lodge," Yanks tells us. "It’s so chic to be served lobster rolls right on the water in Montauk with a glass of rose champagne. Heaven."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Katie Lee, Food & Lifestyle Expert and author of The Comfort Table series and her debut novel Groundswell

Growing up, Lee took cooking cues from her grandmother back in West Virginia, but nowadays she calls the shots in the kitchen. Often going on morning runs to the Green Thumb market in Water Mill for fresh produce, Lee's dining table is a primary destination for many on the Hamptons circuit. She's recently begun alternating her apron with her wetsuit, as surfing has become a cherished pastime. 

"I started surfing a few years ago, and it literally changed my life -- even inspired me to write my first novel Groundswell," says Lee. "I take lessons almost every day from Flying Point Surf School and enjoy it so much. I know it's kind of cliché, but surfers really do just look so cool. I always like seeing what the guys on the beach are wearing and how they're wearing it. They have a great look -- relaxed and casual."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Erica Reid, Author, The Thriving Child

As the wife of legendary music executive L.A. Reid, Erica Reid uses her influence to empower others, most importantly children -- including her own. That dedication is evidenced by her own children's politeness during our shoot at her warm yet elegant Sagaponack home. 

"The best party I've experienced out East was when L.A. and I threw a FUN party for Mariah Carey in our backyard," says Reid. "It still seems to be a huge conversation piece today..."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Matthew Kehoe, Co-Manager, Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor

Growing up out East, this native Hamptonite brings his brand of relaxed-cool to the Page at 63 Main, inviting a whole new crop of cool kids to this Sag Harbor staple. Shot here at his North Sea home, Kehoe's mellow vibe is contagious and, well, enviable.

"I spend most of my time surfing, barbequing with friends, strolling town, getting lost in back roads, footing for little necks and, most importantly, turning my phone off," says Kehoe.

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Kelly Killoren Bensimon, model and author of I CAN MAKE YOU HOT

While many may know Bensimon from The Real Housewives of New York, she's actually been a Hamptons staple for years. From her dogs to her children to her equestrianism, it's clear that the Hamptons is Kelly's home -- and where this low-maintenance boho-beauty can truly be herself. 

"If I had only five minutes to throw a bag together of items to take out East, it would definitely include: mascara, a Charlie bikini, Havaianas, undies, jean shorts, Ralph Lauren cable sweater and Persol sunglasses," says Bensimon. "To me, the 'Hamptons look' is old guard sophistication with surf infusion."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Allison Julius and Louis Marra, Co-Owners of Maison 24 in Bridgehampton and New York City

This brother and sister duo is certainly a force to be reckoned with. With spot-on taste in everything from eyewear to high art, Julius and Marra created a store that harmoniously blends kitsch and class.

"We adore Kelly Killoren Bensimon's style," the duo tells us. "Whether she comes into town right off the beach with tousled hair and no makeup or at her most glam at a cocktail party, her look is always natural, effortless and beautiful."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Julie Macklowe, Founder of vbeauté

More than just a familiar face on the New York social scene, Julie Macklowe has quite the resume, including a successful career in finance and investing under her belt. Her latest venture is her all-natural, anti-aging skincare line vbeauté. Make no mistake, this pint-sized pixie is as sharp as she is chic. 

"I'm not much of a big party person out East," says Macklowe. "We like to be very relaxed out here -- pretty much the opposite of New York City for us, where we're out all the time. Out here, we are always happy to be home."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Jill Stuart, Designer for Jill Stuart

This American design icon has been making women look their best since Cher Horowitz stumbled down Rodeo in one of Stuart's pleated skirts in Clueless. Stuart continues to bring her timeless femininity to her current collections, which just so happen to be available not far from her idyllic home at her East Hampton store.

"My style in the Hamptons is much more effortless than my style in the city," says Stuart. "I just live in simple dresses and sandals. It shouldn’t be complicated or require a lot of different pieces. In the city, I wear a lot more high heels and tailored pieces. While in the Hamptons I tend to wear more vintage and flowy pieces with a bohemian twist. It’s really about ease!"

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

Mark Mullett, Agent, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

When he's not rolling calls and managing an impressive roster of clients for one of the most prestigious talent agencies in the world, Mullett is undoubtedly a goofy good time. Kicking it with the agent in his Bridgehampton home was a far cry from the mail room.

"Monday through Friday I'm a suit -- it's part of the gig," says Mullett. "When I'm out East, however, the only suit I'm wearing is made by Vilebrequin."

Photo: Ben Fink Shapiro/

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