Julie Rice, a former Hollywood talent agent living in Los Angeles, moved to New York in 2005, but realized there was one thing from the West Coast she couldn’t find here: a good spin class.
Undeterred, Rice partnered with Elizabeth Cutler (who has since made $74 million with her beverage company IZZE), and founded SoulCycle, the indoor cycling class that has swept the city and picked up a celebrity cult following that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Chelsea Clinton, Kelly Ripa, the Olsen twins and dozens of supermodels.
SoulCycle locations are all over Manhattan as well as in the Hamptons, Connecticut and Scarsdale, with 15 to 20 expected soon thanks to a partnership with Equinox.
We spoke with Rice about what it takes to be a success.
Where did the concept of SoulCycle start? My partner and I were searching for a workout that could be inspiring, challenging and FUN and it did not exist — so we created it.
What’s the inspiration behind the clothing line? When you love your exercise gear, you are more inclined to work out — our line keeps our riders inspired.
What’s your favorite location? I really don’t have favorites, but I live on the Upper West Side so I ride the most at West 77th Street.
How do you pick the causes for charity rides? Philanthropy is incredibly important to SoulCycle and we launched our charity program to support our community and neighbors. We provide charities, both large and small, the opportunity to come together and raise money for much needed causes in a fun and different way.
How do you workout? I ride at SoulCycle 3-4 days a week and I run and do strength training. When I can, I like to spend time outdoors with my kids — my favorite summer workout is my own homemade “bootcamp” on the beach in Fire Island.
What’s on your favorite trainer’s playlist? Rihanna and Robyn.
What are the trends in workout wear for spring? Neons and animal prints.
Lululemon or Nike? SoulCycle!
SoulCycle has mantras. What’s your favorite? “Take your journey,” “change your body,” “find your soul.”
When and where was the last date night you had? Saturday with my husband at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
One trick to your success? Listen to your customers. Take their compliments and complaints seriously. I’ve learned so much standing behind the front desk at SoulCycle. I really take each customer’s advice to heart. I quickly learned if one person doesn’t like something there are usually 50 [others] who feel the same way but are too afraid to say anything.
I know that colored and printed jeans are huge for fall, but I’m worried I won’t look good in them because I’m not stick-thin. Any suggestions? I love colored jeans – they are the new “It” pants. Pair a colored or print jean with a tight neutral top or sweater, and wear a bright shoe to match the jean to draw attention to the color. If Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce can wear colored jeans, so can you. Embrace your curves.
What are the must-have items for the fall? I love bulky sweaters from Stella McCartney, velvet dresses from Bottega Veneta and anything tweed and wooly from Ralph Lauren. Equestrian pieces are also huge – go for tall boots. Also on my fall shopping list: shirt dresses from Thom Browne and polka-dot Manolo Blahniks.
My hair is so bleached out from the summer. Any tips to get it looking healthy again for fall? I’m in the process of taking care of that exact issue. Warm your hair with a toner, and use Oribe’s conditioning creme on wet hair to soften summer’s sun damage.
What beauty looks are you loving for fall and how can I realistically incorporate them into my everyday life? Quinn Murphy, a celebrity makeup artist, always tells me to use a softer shade of brown under my eye and to line my upper lid with a shade darker. It creates a sexy eye without creating a goth eye. I love Too Faced’s cream blushes, too. They make your cheeks look fresh and rosy.
I’m a transition girl when it comes to seasons — I like to navigate easily and not have a definitive halt on, say, summer or fall. So, luckily for me, the polka-dot trend I loved this summer is making a strong appearance this fall.
Polka dots were plastered all over the J.Crew fall catalog (a major arbiter of style), and I for one can’t wait to scoop up the store’s fun sweaters and blouses. At Kate Spade’s fall 2012 presentation, polka dots were even painted on models’ nails.
To keep things simple and chic, I love pairing a polka-dot top or sweater with white shorts, skinny jeans or a trouser and brightly colored suede flats.
Kelly Killoren Bensimon – model, fashion lover and author of the book “I Can Make You Hot! The Supermodel Diet” – dishes out style advice to amNewYork’s readers.
I want to get my stylish dad something beyond the typical tie for Father’s Day. Any ideas? I absolutely love the idea of gifting a cool, casual pair of shoes for summer. My faves right now are flip-flops from the brand-new Missoni Loves Havaianas collection and laceless shoes by TOMS. You also can’t go wrong with anything from the men’s store Saturdays Surf NYC (31 Crosby St., 212-966-7875), which sells everything from cool bracelets to fun tees. For the daring dad, go for a custom-made skateboard from Wampum, which opened in Bridgehampton last summer and also has a location in NYC (5 Cleveland Pl., 212-274-1544). Or, for the dad who loves to work out, buy him a pack of classes from the hard-core Barry’s Bootcamp ($150-$1,250, barrysbootcamp.com).
Missoni Loves Havaianas Flip-Flops, $70; at Bloomingdale’s (main image above)
TOMS Multi Renato Men’s Classics, $54; at toms.com
I don’t want my hair color to get bleached out in the sun. How can I keep my locks from getting fried? My rock-star hairstylist, Bradley Irion, suggests using a product like Pureology’s EssentialRepair ColourMax, which basically acts as sunscreen for your hair. It helps to protect the look of your hair, and – more importantly – your scalp from getting burned by the sun. Or, you can simply rub conditioner into your hair prior to hitting the beach or pool. Your tresses absorb the first thing they come into contact with, and you don’t want that to be chlorine.
Pureology EssentialRepair ColourMax, $22; at salons
I have tons of beauty products and makeup, but I only have one tiny vanity in my bathroom. Do you have any cute ideas for storing products so they’re not all over the place? Compartmentalize your mess with cool boxes from Pier 1.
Pier 1 Imports Water Hyacinth Box, $25; at Pier 1 Imports
Shorts and short-skirt season is here, which makes me anxious because I’m not exactly blessed with long, slender legs. What are some tricks to making my legs look longer, leaner and more summer-ready? First off, check out the season’s trendy high-low dresses, which are shorter in the front and drape longer in the back. They are perfect because you don’t have to show off your full leg. They’re the perfect solution because you don’t have to show off your full leg.
If you’re in the mood to do some easy workouts, my favorite trick for long, lean legs is squats. Use 20 pounds and do 30 repetitions. Another simple exercise is leg lifts. These will tone your butt and elongate you legs.
I’d like to “summerize” my one-bedroom apartment without buying new furniture or rugs. Any tips for small, chic things I can do to brighten up my space for the season? Head to Target and pick up some cool, colorful towels. Fold them in half and make them into huge pillows. They’ll get your apartment looking like the perfect beach bungalow.
For me, sexy swimwear isn’t defined by a traditional bikini.
Sometimes, a cute pair of athletic shorts and a triangle top are sexier than baring it all. I absolutely love the styles from Charlie by Matthew Zinkthis season. For a day at the beach, I’ll be wearing one of Charlie’s bikinis underneath a pair of short-shorts and a flowy button-down tied at the waist. (All pieces are available at charliebymzstore.com.)
Also by Charlie is this low-cut black one-piece (pictured, $107.50) – I get more attention sporting it than when I wear a black bikini. It’s one of my favorite pieces of the season. The leg is high-cut – very ’80s and super-hot. I’m just hoping the attention comes from my suit – and not my adorable pooch, Bear!
Photo Credit: “Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations” Costume Institute Exhibition at the Met. (Getty)
With Memorial Day approaching, what to wear this summer is on everyone’s mind. My inspiration comes from the new exhibit from the Met’s Costume Institute: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations,” about Italian design icons Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada.
I was in love with the show and its styles – from mixing masculine and feminine, to layering, to unusual textures – and it made me think about what everyone needs this summer to be chic. A la Prada, a long or tea length skirt is a must-buy. By showing off less skin, let those boys’ imaginations go wild at the beach or at the bar. Channel Schiaparelli by choosing a shrunken sweater – I love Ralph Lauren’s.
Schiaparelli also loved the charm of a pretty woman in a dress, but gave the look an edge. I say, this summer choose a gorgeous floral dress, but wear it with Keds or ballet flats instead of a heel. And, last but not least, when in doubt, play with patterns like Prada, who’s known for mixing prints.