Grit and Glamour: Designer Patricia Field’s Lower East Side

Pat Field with dogs Puti and Sultana on the Lower East Side. Photo by Alex M. Smith.

Pat Field with dogs Puti and Sultana on the Lower East Side. Photo by Alex M. Smith.

This article was first published on our Sept., 2014 magazine issue.

It’s the flaming fuchsia hair you see first. Then the eyes, outlined in sparkly baby blue kohl eyeliner. Long, thin legs are propped up on a desk, her lithe frame folded into a chair. Poodles Puti and Sultana hover nearby. In the cavernous basement office of her eponymous shop at 306 Bowery, Patricia Field is quiet, but her mind is hardly idle.

“I’d love to see my online business grow big,” she says after a drag on an American Spirit.

A small army of young employees toils nearby, attending to Field’s vigorous web presence that includes her thriving online store. Two set up a photo shoot in a corner of the office. Others style mannequins with quirky leopard prints, patent leather and pink boas; they tag shoes, check order statuses and wait on customers upstairs. Field, 73, keeps an eye on the shoot, occasionally offering suggestions.