How To Be A Gypsy: Maayan Zilberman

As a gypsy, you might not always find yourself sleeping alone. As a human who likes other humans, you may find yourself with a bed buddy as well.  No matter the circumstances under which you find yourself with a supine partner, I recommend showering, washing your clothes, shaving, and washing your hair regularly. Friends, lovers and baby cats will all be grateful.  Now, if you really want to go the extra mile, sexy underwear are always a plus.

I interviewed Maayan Zilberman, an artist, designer and baker. She is also the Co-Founder and President of the lingerie and swimwear line The Lake & Stars. Born on a Kibbutz in Israel, she has also lived in Vancouver, Canada, and currently lives and works in New York City.  Read about her gypsy grooves and then go look at her undies.

What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?

Purse: Compact Lumix-Leica, index cards for list-making, band-aids, medical tape, Nars Lipstick in ManHunt, Boos cucumber wet wipes, Lancome mascara definicils in black, Stride flavor-changer gum (and of course Blackberry, wallet, keys -duh).

Pockets: Tissue, pen

Bag: COC (change of clothes) including new pair of tights, underwear (Lake & Stars), umbrella, notebook

You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?

Clothing: T shirt dress, sweater dress, tights, lingerie, light jacket, a few accessories, flats and heels.
Stuff: Notebook, camera, chargers, snacks.

What is your most essential article of clothing?

The Lake & Stars Lilydale Tank Slip – It is perfect for travel cause I layer it with everything, weighs nothing and is good for casual or cocktail.

What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?

Aretha Franklin- ‘I Say A Little Prayer’
Bob Dylan – ‘Sarah’
Azealia Banks – ‘212’
Siouxie & The Banshees – ‘Cities in Dust’
Chairlift – ‘I Belong In Your Arms’

What is your preferred gypsy beat/cities you like to frequent?

I’m not traveling that much because we moved our production back to NYC for the time being… trying to keep business local! But in between I have plans to go to Stockholm for work, Iceland for inspirations trip with Nikki, Puerto Rico for holiday, Vancouver for family, LA for work, and Israel for work/fam. And Mexico again.

What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)

When I was 15, I was living in Vancouver, Canada – and this was before the internet, so the only way to find schools away from home was to call and send away for applications. I did some research and found the art program I wanted to attend, then moved to New York to do college classes. Back then it seemed crazy, but of course this many years later it’s old hat… it’s now my home.

Last year I was researching ingredients for my baking and went to a small town outside Mexico City called Morelia in order to find the right spices, chocolates and sugars.

What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?

Jack on 30 Rock says, “Never go with a hippie to a second location,” and I take that quite seriously.

What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?

The best lunch I had was in Rwanda (with Jill!) at this little buffet restaurant with cauldrons of stews. We went back to the trough several times, it was worth every tummy ache.

Where have you had your best night’s sleep?

My best night’s sleep was in Zurich on my 21st birthday, on a feather bed that was something out of a fairytale.

Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?

Mom, Nikki (my partner), my other half (separately!!)

  • Mia Gibson

    I’m not trying to kill Jill or Maayan’s buzz or anything, and the article is interesting and cool but I wish you guys wouldn’t use the term gypsy in the way you did. The people we refer to as gypsies are no longer nomadic, they have been settled for hundreds of years, but the common belief is still that they have no home, meaning any home they make in a country they settle in is continually taken away from them by the government, or burnt down or destroyed by angry citizens who believe they are undeserving of their nice houses and expensive cars, particular in europe’s eastern bloc, where many reside. In common lore, gypsies do not have homes, but this is an incredibly demeaning and false belief, and perpetuates the injustices done to them as the citizens of countries believe they have stolen everything they own. They then kick them out of countries they have resided in for years as gypsies are scapegoats for a bad economy, and attempt to deport them to places like Albania, where many gypsies do live, but a gypsy that has been deported from Bulgaria did not originally come from Albania, they came from India, hundreds and hundreds of years ago. I know you guys weren’t using it to contribute to the plight of the gypsies, but unfortunately that’s what misinformation does. There is racial cleansing and mass deportations, and so many people screaming that gypsies don’t belong in their countries because of the long-held myth that gypsies have no home. But a gypsy doesn’t mean that anymore. Can’t you use the term nomad?

  • Jill Donenfeld

    Mia, Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. The last thing that I want to do is offend – anyone in particular and especially an entire group of people! “Gypsy” is supposed to be a celebration. It is meant to inspire those who are branching out and doing something original with their lives. My relationship to the word has very little to do with the actual history and more to do with the determined, close-knit, and courageous ethos. I see where you are coming from though and truly do not want to disrespect. I don’t think “nomad” captures what I am going for but I am trying to think about a good replacement asap… got any suggestions?

  • Tess Milom

    The term “bohemian” remains mostly politically unattached.

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