My Universe: Fanny Singer

Tastemaker royalty, this week’s crush, Fanny Singer descends from the woman who has influenced our literal tastes for the last 30 years, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. Follow along to take a peek into Fanny’s life, her wares (read: Permanent Collection) and her impeccable taste.


Jeans Olderbrother unisex organic cotton, naturally-dyed jeans

T-shirt Organic cotton tees from Industry of All Nations

Heels Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s ‘Palma’ sandals in neon green patent leather

Flats A pair of cowhide huaraches my friend Sue Wu sourced in Oaxaca

Boots Ankle boots only! A rotating selection includes black suede pairs from Rachel Comey, Common Projects, and Michel Vivien, but my favorites are a nutty pair of Martin Margiela boots that look like a nude-colored leather sock inside a cage of navy patent leather bandages. Almost impossible to explain –– but so cool!

Sunglasses Very classic tortoise Persols

Watch My iPhone

Daybag Black ARE Studio Barrel bag

Jewelry A selection of victorian gold rings from over the years (a few from beloved Tail of the Yak) and all of the pieces from the Permanent Collection x J.B. Blunk Estate jewelry line

Workout wear Patagonia

Designers I buy mostly vintage but have several staples from Issey Miyake, Acne and Rachel Comey. Dream sweaters from Cristaseya. Shoes from Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Love the few pieces I have from Mexican designer Andrea Velasco and a couple gorgeous dresses from Véronique Leroy.

Lingerie or underwear Underwear

Where do you shop In San Francisco, not that many places, to be honest, since my favorite shop, Anaise, just shuttered its Mission brick & mortar and moved entirely online. I love Playmountain East and Tail of the Yak for objects and other curiosities. Because I buy so much vintage clothing I love really well-selected stores like James Rowland and I Am That Shop (both in Portland) and markets like the Alameda Flea and Rose Bowl and then Passenger and Mixed Business in L.A. In London (where I lived for a decade), I go to Studio Nicholson and Margaret Howell, and love ogling my friend, Amy Revier’s gorgeous unique pieces at Blue Mountain School. In New York, No. 6, Rachel Comey, and La Garçonne are my go-tos.

Shopping mecca Mameg…. and Dover Street Market

Online shopping site Anaise, La Garçonne, The Real Real

Suit Issey Miyake Homme Plissé jacket and trousers 



What’s your sign Leo

Workout(s) Yoga, pilates, hiking

Sport(s) I used to play an inordinate amount of soccer but now it’s pretty much all yoga

Yoga studio/teacher Stephanie Snyder, Love Story (SF); Claire Missingham, TriYoga (London)

Do you meditate Oh, if only…

Experts in your corner Michael Pollan (cf: Food Rules)

Morning rituals A cup of bright green Sencha tea from Kettl in Brooklyn

Evening rituals Making dinner

Tea or tonic drink See ‘morning rituals'

Wellness idol All my friends who like to eat well and move their bodies

Diet you follow I’m a plant-loving, salad-obsessed omnivore

Guilty pleasure Whole Foods guacamole (don’t tell my mom!)

Toothpaste Sensodyne Pronamel Sensitive Toothpaste (Gods of Sustainability, forgive me, my enamel is in shambles!)

Soap A glycerine aloe-grapefruit soap made by an organic brand called Suma. I used to always buy it at health food stores when I lived in England and now bring it back in my luggage every time I travel there, I love the scent so much.

Lip color Medieval by Lipstick Queen

Perfume or Cologne 1509 Fragrance’s ‘Baby’s Breath Bud’ a naturally-distilled pure amber oil fragrance with the loveliest scent.

Who cuts your hair Nichole Kreps at Barrow in SF


Where do you live? Chinatown 

Where do you live? San Francisco

Artist Joan Jonas

Piece of art in your home A massive woodcut by Lonnie Holley called Born into Color; I also love my two prints, one black & white, one color, from Sam Contis’s incredible Deep Springs series –– she lives in Oakland and is definitely one of the best artists working in the Bay right now.

Museum Kettle’s Yard, in Cambridge, UK (where I did a PhD in Art History), is the former home of Jim Ede who was a curator of the Tate in the 1920s and 30s. He amassed a remarkable collection of art including works by Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, David Jones, Joan Miro, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, among others. He meticulously and lovingly placed these pieces alongside furniture, glass, ceramics and organic objects –– one of my favorite things he did was hang paintings very low, beneath windows, almost kissing the floor. I also love what he said about the place; he wanted it not to be “an art gallery or museum, nor … simply a collection of works of art reflecting my taste or the taste of a given period. It is, rather, a continuing way of life from these last fifty years, in which stray objects, stones, glass, pictures, sculpture, in light and in space, have been used to make manifest the underlying stability.” I used to go there and work in the arts library when I was a student––its slightly worn quality, its feeling of unpreciousness (while still being completely precious) made me feel totally at ease in the place.

Pets My stepmother’s three rescue mutts (but, sadly, they live with her in Sebastopol)

Sheets Coyuchi organic linen

Local restaurant CHEZ PANISSE!

Best cup of coffee in your town Don’t drink coffee –– I know, sacrilege.

China I don’t really have any ‘china’ per se

Pottery I love my dark green dinner plates from W/R/F, and am crazy for all my splatter-ware pieces from a trip to a little town called Grottaglie, in Puglia a few years ago.

Favorite piece of furniture Our mid century dining table. It’s really a walnut and teak desk, that’s on a nifty ‘elevator,’ so it can move up or down, but it’s a small apartment so we needed something that would fit into a slip of a space in the window bay…. but still seat eight because I’m always having people over for dinner

Furniture store or designer STUFF, in San Francisco. Would own a number of midcentury Paul McCobb pieces if I could. I also really love the contemporary British designer, Max Lamb’s work –– it was a dream to work with him on the recent stoneware trio released by Permanent Collection this spring. I also have a yen for many things Memphis, since my dad had an affinity for the colorful, geometric designs that characterized that movement and, when he and my mother split, populated his bachelor pad with them. It made a lasting impression.

Minimalist or maximalist Caught in between

Hotel Deejen’s Inn in Big Sur –– so cozy and funky (in the best way). Don’t think it’s changed one bit since it opened in the 1930s. The ABSOLUTELY no wifi or cell reception is a gift.

Dream dinner party guests Wolfgang Tillmans, Brian Eno, Yayoi Kusama, Barack Obama, Arthur Jafa, Toni Morrison, Hilton Als –– deceased, but definitely also Marcel Duchamp, Mark Strand and Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Go-to dinner party recipe Anything that can take a heaping portion of salsa verde (in fairness, that’s most things: roasted chicken, vegetable tagine, braised lamb shank, etc.)

Most used kitchen gadget A Japanese style ceramic mortar and pestle which I use it every day, often twice a day, to make vinaigrette. My mom’s obsessed with the tool too, which is why we made a very beautiful hand-thrown version with Colleen Hennessy for Permanent Collection

Favorite snack Guacamole and organic, thick-cut corn totopos; anchovy toasts

Favorite drink Mezcal Negroni

What do you collect Books! I’m an art historian, so I hoard beautifully-designed, interesting, often out-of-print art books (and poetry too). But I also collect unusual glassware: Victorian cranberry glass tumblers, Carlo Moretti ‘diversi’ glasses when I’m in Venice, Martino Gamper glassware from Permanent Collection, etc.


Who or what inspires you My mother, Alice Waters, so much so that I wrote a book about her! (or, at least, partially) It’s called Always Home and will be published by Knopf in April 2020.

Favorite discovery The Lost Coast (never spent that much time in that part of California until recently but it’s so beautiful it feels like it hasn’t changed since covered wagons crested the ridge on their westward journey and first caught a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean)

Favorite quote I don’t really collect quotes, but I often think of the poem Meditation at Lagunitas by Robert Hass, which I've had completely committed to memory for more than a decade

Fashion idol My partner in Permanent Collection, Mariah Nielson –– she’s the most effortlessly chic person on the planet

Sports hero Topically: Megan Rapinoe a.k.a. ’Sporty Tilda'

Crush Sally Rooney

Beach Porthmeor Beach in St. Ives, UK. I lived a few paces from this gorgeous strand when I lived in Cornwall for two years and the clouds and color of the water were changing constantly. It’s stunning.

Ski Resort Never been my thing

Favorite charity The Edible Schoolyard Project

Favorite color I’m non-partisan

Favorite place in the world My friend Fritz Haeg’s incredible neo-commune-cum-art project-cum-cultural haven in Mendocino, Salmon Creek Farm

Favorite movies Babette’s Feast, Bright Star, Sans Soleil, Un Prophète, The Great Beauty, Heathers, The Piano, Breaking the Waves

Favorite television show Fleabag (I added this question just so I could give this answer haha)

Favorite albums Arthur Russell ‘World of Echo’, Brian Eno 'Another Green World’ & ‘Here Come the Warm Jets', Bob Dylan’s 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Soundtrack’; Roxy Music ‘Avalon’; Frank Ocean ‘Blonde’; Boards of Canada ‘Music Has The Right To Children’; Kendrick Lamar ‘DAMN’; Caribou ’Swim'

Nightstand reading Welcome Home: A Memoir by Lucia Berlin, Lucia; Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Photography or coffee table book Roy DeCarava's The Sound I Saw

Necessary indulgence A car –– so that I can get around the Bay easily, and out into nature quickly

Who would you want to be for a day Greta Thunberg

What’s your inner age I oscillate between 22 and 75

Song in your head at the moment 'Break-Thru' by Dirty Projectors

Dancing or karaoke Dancing



Apps Instagram, LiveGreen, Scrabble

Phone iPhone X

Phone case Some nondescript black, matte silicone thing

Blogs Can’t actually remember the last time I looked at a blog...

Go-to website NYTimes

Podcasts The Daily (evidently there’s a theme here)

Laptop or desktop Laptop

Tablet Nope

Computer bag My purse

Favorite gadget My phone?

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