On the hunt for dinner plates

61

When I was getting married, I registered at Williams Sonoma and Moss, that dreadfully snotty store in Soho that sold all the coolest stuff. It was there that I registered for—and received—a set of Rosenthal dinnerware that I’ve been using ever since. The set is one of the only wedding gifts I kept after we split up, and it has served me well (except for the way-oversized pasta bowls, which I never use but for some reason continue to hang on to, who knows why). Every once in a while I’ll think it’s odd that I’m still dining on my married plates, but then I’ll decide new plates are an expense I can’t quite justify. But lately, I’m dining off those plates—and not takeout containers—all the time, and once again I’m thinking of switching them out. If I could get anything I wanted, I’d go for these  Christian Lacroix plates, because the butterfly pattern is just so gorgeous.

This swirly plate is also quite cool, and substantially cheaper.

I like the gradated gray on this one.

I’d love a set of Le Cruset plates—so sturdy that even I can’t break them—and while they come in many colors, I’m partial to this deep blue.

I like that the tie-dye-ish pattern here is only just barely visible.

I like the ledge on these.

This plate looks so cool because of a special glazing process—I like that it seems like it’s one-of-a-kind.

This looks like something much pricier from Astier de Villatte.

I love bright vintage Heller plates, and Etsy is crawling with them. But if you want something new and don’t care about color, you can buy them in white from Design Within Reach.

The blue border here is just kind of cheery and subtle.

I dig the splatter effect here—so cool and, again, it looks one-of-a-kind.

 

 

 

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61 Thoughts on On the hunt for dinner plates
    Lucille B.
    7 May 2020
    11:47am

    I inherited a genetic predisposition to blue kitchenware from my mom, so I find many of these choices oh so tempting. Right now we are eating off a cheap set of white dishes with dark blue trim, but I dream of having a nice set some day when our dog won’t break them on his never-ending quest for leftovers.

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      Jax
      7 May 2020
      1:42pm

      You’ve got my fave profile name and pic now!! (I be sipping my gin martini over in the corner here)

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    liz
    7 May 2020
    11:56am

    Love Le Creuset anything.
    I’m using some yellow Pottery Barn plates and bowls that are very nice and fairly sturdy. The plates are very heavy.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    7 May 2020
    1:35pm

    If they make you feel like you’re looking back over your shoulder, get rid of them! And if the LaCroix make you happy, go for it! I’m very basic bitch, so I’m drawn to the white ones with a ledge from CB2. And then I’d get a fab tie dye serving platter to go with them.

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    c.w.
    7 May 2020
    7:58am

    Years ago I saw an article (which I still have) about a designer, Sarah Cihat, who makes “rehabilitated dishware.” I LOVE her work. http://www.sarahcihat.com/rehabilitated-dishware. Take a look just for the fun of it!

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      Maria Ricapito
      7 May 2020
      11:22am

      OMG thanks for the reminder! I LOVE her stuff and had forgotten…

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      Cynthia
      8 May 2020
      8:53am

      Yes! I’m lucky to have bought some of her plates 15 years ago – they’re still beautiful & in perfect shape. Grab one if you can –

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    Eloise
    7 May 2020
    8:02am

    I was JUST thinking about whether I should get new dishes….didn’t register for any and still eat off one’s my husband’s mother got him (they have LIGHTHOUSES on them…enough said). Am currently searching for colorful, non-vintage (lead issues scare me( ones with ledges but like those last ones, too.

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    nw
    7 May 2020
    1:07pm

    This post delighted me because I registered at W-S and Moss when getting married in 2007 and still use my Rosenthal dinnerware after my divorce, too! Sometimes I think it’s kind of weird to keep using them but they are cool (the Moon line) and cost a small fortune, so I’ll probably use them forever. Eh. Why not.

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    joannawnyc
    7 May 2020
    12:55pm

    I have dinner and salad plates like the CB2 “ledge” design (though mine are from Crate & Barrel many years ago–I think the style was called Cafe II) and can say that they have lasted a long time without chipping or breaking. The bowls, however, were another matter.

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      Jax
      8 May 2020
      12:03am

      Bauhaus II! I was just referencing that in my comment!
      Funny, my bowls lasted longer than the dinner plates. I liked that the mugs stacked and fit a good amount of tea (10 oz).

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    Liz
    7 May 2020
    11:31am

    Can you do flatware?

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      Jenny
      7 May 2020
      3:56pm

      Yes please! I got cheap flatware when I married and even cheaper for my solo apartment. I’m definitely in line for an upgrade.

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    Maria Ricapito
    7 May 2020
    11:26am

    I’m also tough on dishes… I used to collect midcentury designs like Red Wing Driftwood or Universal Ballerina, but I hate breaking them. So now I go for restaurant-sturdy plates like Buffalo China. I’ve found most of them at Salvation Army/Goodwill … but also at Fish’s Eddy in NYC.

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    HickfromStyx
    7 May 2020
    10:45am

    Lacroix, sweetie!

    Those two words can never be separate, since Absolutely Fabulous.

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    Beth
    7 May 2020
    5:34pm

    We just got a new set of dishes from Year and Day in the dark blue black midnight color and absolutely love them! Not to expensive and cool looking.

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    Wendela
    7 May 2020
    5:28pm

    I second Heath! I want to get a set when I become an empty nester (I would not be able to handle it if my kids “accidentally” smash my beautiful dishes when emptying the dishwasher in a bad mood). Heath are gorgeous and hand made and I’m not sure their beauty shows up as well on line as in person but they are beautiful and I covet them. And my mom had a very colorful set of Heller dishes when I was a kid—she adored them, and now that my own kids are mishandling my (Williams Sonoma basic white) dishes I am beginning to understand, haha.

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    susan m
    7 May 2020
    5:01pm

    I love white plates for my go to. A few years ago, I started buying the Heath Ceramics Chez Panisse ceramic dinnerware plates (see https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/chez-panisse) and they are the greatest ever. They are gorgeous, heavy, and I have not chipped or broken a one, even after almost 4 years. (I also live in the Bay area and have blended buying plates full price with going to the outlet in Sausalito and getting plates at either 18% or 36% off, which makes a difference.). The investment has been worth it. Much of my other pottery is made by friends, because I am one of those people now, and it so nice to have a bowl or a mug a human crafted.

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    Mindy
    7 May 2020
    8:56am

    My friend’s mother had non matching place settings. Over the years, whenever she traveled, she bought one place setting of china she liked from wherever she was. She said she enjoyed having a table set full of fun memories of places she had gone.

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      LeighTX
      7 May 2020
      9:48am

      I LOVE this idea!! I used to collect tea cups and saucers for the same reason, thinking it would be fun to have events at my house and use my fancy tea cup collection. I’ve been married 30 years and never had a party at my house involving tea, so apparently my life turned out less fancy than I’d planned.

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        Mindy
        7 May 2020
        9:59am

        I’m less fancy too. After years of patterned dishes, I moved on to plain white dishes, but they are mishmash-y. For instance, I wanted larger bowls for chili, so I just got larger white bowls that I liked but were a different style. Then, last year, my youngest climbed up on the counter to get a smaller bowl and the shelf tilted and half of them came crashing down. No big deal – I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bowl several cheap white bowls as replacements. They match in color, but not in style. It still works.

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    Jenny
    7 May 2020
    9:56am

    When I left my husband I left behind the cobalt blue fiesta ware that I chose and loved. My ex had violated our agreement to keep kosher by bringing pork sausages into the house while I was traveling on business, so the plates seem tainted. I insisted on taking half of a gorgeous set of Roycroft plates that a friend of his had given us for our wedding, which we used for Shabbat dinner, because I cooked every damn morsel of food that ever touched those plates. I’m thinking of those Le Cruset or maybe another set of fiesta ware when the property settlement is done. I have such complicated feelings about what I took from my marital home, especially now that I’m contemplating making a home with someone else. I can divorce a person, but I’m not sure I want to divorce everything about those years — it was half my life, and the objects have meaning to me and to my son still.

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      Mindy
      7 May 2020
      10:14am

      I say keep enjoying the dishes, if you love them. You don’t need to divorce everything, as those years (good, bad and ugly) were a part of your life that made you who you are today. The good feelings/memories come from good times with you and your son, not bad times with your ex. If you continue to wrestle with it, save them for your son, if he wants them for his own dinner table in the future.

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      Viajera
      7 May 2020
      3:06pm

      I can understand why you’d feel that way. Is there any ritual for cleaning dishes, religiously/vibrationally speaking? If there isn’t, maybe there should be. I am sorry you are going through a rough time. Ahem … as Churchill said, when you’re going through H—, keep going. Naturally he probably said the whole word though … ; )

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        Jenny
        7 May 2020
        4:00pm

        Oh, thank you for your kindness, Viajera. It is in fact possible to re-kasher (kasher is the verb form of kosher) plates. I don’t feel awkward about using them now. I might feel awkward about using them in the home I aspire to make with my sweetheart. And his time, when I am living safely, freely, and independently and have a partner who loves me, who is honest, non-harming, non-cheating — this is so much better than what is behind me. I did indeed keep going, often inspired by the community here, and it is much better on the other side.

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          Viajera
          8 May 2020
          3:23pm

          woot woot woot!!!

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    JeanneK
    7 May 2020
    10:05am

    I have the Kate Spade Charlotte Street collection (mostly East) and I love them! Just cheery enough, classic, love the navy and white.

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      Jeanne
      7 May 2020
      5:13pm

      Oh hey, another “Jeanne”! I can count the number of women I know with the spelling Jeanne on one hand. It’s a rare name nowadays and boy the kids at Starbucks have a hard time with it, heh.

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        JeanneK
        8 May 2020
        9:18am

        You are so right about the misspelling! Or people who mispronounce it, too.

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    MKW
    7 May 2020
    10:05am

    I love my le creuset cast iron cookware but think the ceramics crack and chip too easily. And I’m careful. If it were me I would not choose their line of dinnerware.

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      Viajera
      7 May 2020
      3:09pm

      Thank you. I am not in the market now but chipping bowls make me *bananas.* I think china tends to be tougher, right? And doesn’t heat in the microwave (my other pet peeve). Alternatively, I may someday dine just off of pyrex.

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        D.Morgendorffer
        7 May 2020
        4:05pm

        I can’t speak for bowls, but as for non-chipping mugs…Are there Waffle Houses in California? When we moved into our house, we bought 4 Waffle House mugs (yes, with the logo on them) at $5 per mug from the Waffle House downtown. They never chip and the coffee seems to stay warmer. I’m currently finishing my coffee in my WH mug, which is always the case when I’m commenting here. Viajera, if somehow you were to appear here in magic-Viajera fashion in better times ahead, we would take you out for pecan waffles and buy you a couple WH mugs.

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          Viajera
          8 May 2020
          4:12pm

          Update: per the online map, Waffle House is not here yet. But, it is in Arizona and I can feeeeeeel it getting closer. !!!!

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          Viajera
          8 May 2020
          3:29pm

          You know, I don’t know if we have Waffle Houses, but I am definitely going to go look now!! It sounds like just the ticket!! And I so appreciate your kind virtual waffle outing, too!!! I can almost taste them! Thank you! … My favorite way to eat waffles is just the trad way, loaded with butter and syrup. If I am at home and unobserved, I prefer to cut them apart and eat with my hands so I can really pour in that syrup. (Hmm I wonder if it’s the sort of thing I should have kept to myself?? Oopsie.) Except with mini-breaks which involve jam, and maybe whipped cream. Then, back to the classic style. I wonder if I have a waffle pan… hmm, no I don’t think so. Perhaps it is time. Oh and the mugs sound awesome too! I love things that don’t break.

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        Jax
        7 May 2020
        11:58pm

        Dine off the Pyrex equivalent of Corelle dinnerware! Layered, tempered glass (Vitrelle form) — it rarely chips or breaks. See my comment below, heh.

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    Mimi
    7 May 2020
    10:06am

    The Slice of Life dishes are insane! Insanely great. I wouldn’t go as far as Mindy’s friend’s mother and set a table with completely unmatched dishes, but I do like mixing things up. Kim, what about continuing to use your Rosenthal dishes and find one or two or six other patterns to mix with them? My everyday set is pretty plain but I like mixing in this Gien pattern when I’m in the mood. https://www.fxdougherty.com/gien-sologne/77725-gien-sologne-dessert-plates-assorted-set-4/

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    Francine
    7 May 2020
    10:10am

    I was married in 1991 and registered at Macy’s for 16 settings of Lennox Hamilton along with all the accoutrements (gravy bowl, salad bowl, everything!). I used them once in 1992 and again in 1997 before we moved. Everything was packed professionally in these large, very organized boxes. We moved three times since and those boxes followed. It’s now 2020 and those damn boxes occupy a shitload of space in my garage (along with my wedding dress). Used twice. I have three boys and I can’t imagine them ever wanting them. Thought about selling on eBay but there are so so many for sale already! Did I mention I used them twice??!! And never did I ever use that gravy boat!

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      Jeanne
      7 May 2020
      5:11pm

      How funny, my wedding pattern is really, really similar to yours just scalloped (Wedgewood Royal Lapis), also registered at Macys back in the day. Mine lives with my parents and it’s only used at Thanksgiving along with something no one else uses anymore…sterling silverware. That Lenox pattern is very pretty and the style stands the test of time. Would one of your kids be interested in using it one day? I kind of want to use mine every day but with the gold trim, the dishwasher and microwave is a no go. Ugh.

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    Nicky
    7 May 2020
    12:30pm

    The butterfly plates are beautiful but one thing that I’ve learned about dinnerware is that it needs to make the food look good. I don’t think I would enjoy eating dinner with all those insects around my food, lol.

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    Amy
    7 May 2020
    12:05pm

    I also got Suomi for my wedding 40 years ago this month! I still love them and use them when entertaining. No wonder I love so many things you post. Including the Crate & Barrel reactive glaze dishes. I am needing some cereal bowls…

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    Ceejay
    7 May 2020
    12:06pm

    Heath https://www.heathceramics.com/- made in Sausalito, California, a heritage brand. Half the upscale restaurants in SF use them. If you live in the area they have a store with seconds, which is how I acquired mine. I don’t live in SF anymore but every time I visit I go back to stock up a few pieces that have broken. Beautiful, super sturdy -check it out.

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      susan m
      7 May 2020
      5:05pm

      Yes, love them!

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    suz
    7 May 2020
    9:14am

    I registered for fiestaware in a rainbow of colors years ago and to date I have only broken maybe 3 dishes. They are tough, I love the deco look of them and they even look pretty when dirty stacked up in the sink.

    I do love the blue rimmed plates, they are sorta Scandinavian somehow…

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      Gemma
      7 May 2020
      10:13am

      Seconding Fiestaware. It is indestructible and an American-made classic.

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        Viajera
        7 May 2020
        3:13pm

        Hmm. “Indestructible.” I like *that.* I have a set of the little salt and pepper shakers just bc they are so cute. Perhaps I’ll have to get more. Do they get hot in the microwave?

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          suz
          7 May 2020
          10:32pm

          Yep they heat up, but don’t all ceramics do that? And I seriously am a danger to ceramics so I completely vouch for their durability.

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            Viajera
            9 May 2020
            12:31pm

            That’s the thing I’m not sure about. Some mugs don’t seem to heat up and I don’t know why. It may be that they are really “china” and not “ceramic,” although I’m not totally and clear on those terms. And there is something called “vitrified.” I believe the idea is, if it’s completely baked or cured or what-all, then it shouldn’t heat up in the mic. Anyhow, figuring this out is on my To Do list but it keeps getting pushed down…

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      Jenny
      7 May 2020
      11:33pm

      I love fiestaware and they’re tough as nails. food looks good on them. We have a mixture of blue, turquoise, teal, along with a yellow and our cabinets are a joy. When people house-sit, for some reason, they inevitably try to group our plates by color, and what’s so fun about fiestaWare is that it looks best when it’s just a random mishmash.

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    mlinky
    7 May 2020
    3:46pm

    I should also add, as to the C&B crystalline glaze plates, I have a dear friend who is a master potter, and has invented and perfected the crystalline glaze process and use, so, to my eye, those look cheap and clumsy.

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    mlinky
    7 May 2020
    3:35pm

    My inclination would be the swirly grey porcelain, except I would tend to buy something that I can add to. Therefore, my highest recommendation is anything by Heath ceramics.

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    Astrid
    7 May 2020
    10:58pm

    I have a set very similar to the Ledge plates – the first plates I bought on my own were curved and had too small of a base (they were great for salad and pasta, not so much for anything requiring serious cutting) so I went the other way when I replaced them. They’re the (now discontinued) Staxx line, and they’ve held up very well.

    That Le Cruset blue is pretty tempting, though…

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    Jax
    7 May 2020
    11:29pm

    So I used to have a set of dinnerware very similar to the CB2 Ledge dinnerware — called Bauhaus (I think) by CB2’s parent company, Crate & Barrel (https://www.pinterest.ie/pin/149041068888121988/?amp_client_id=CLIENT_ID(_)&mweb_unauth_id=&from_amp_pin_page=true). I still have some pieces, but as much as I loved the look, they were oddly heavy and thin/light at the same time. And that form factor doesn’t fit well in dishwashers — the ledge makes the plate heavy but just around the rim, so it gets unbalanced easily when set up in a dishwasher with water pushing around inside.

    I’m the only non-klutz in my family, so we transitioned to using the low-maintenance and very minimal and pretty modern Corelle Winter Frost dinnerware set. They are also nice and light. https://www.unisonhome.com/corelle-white-10-dinner-plate.html

    I adore those Kate Spade blue dot plates. If I didn’t have a family of klutzes, I’d totally go for that! Or some nice set from Rosenthal or Pillivuyt.

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      Viajera
      8 May 2020
      3:39pm

      Those are *lovely.* You know I could really see going down a rabbithole with tableware.

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    Sara
    7 May 2020
    7:08am

    It’s so funny you mentioned hanging on to the dishes you got while you were married….I also kept my wedding dishes, which were from Denby the “Juice” pattern because I loved them so much. They weren’t fancy china or anything like that, but I loved them. I used them for years, only getting rid of them a few years ago. I would joke that those dishes were worth going through the marriage and divorce for! : )

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    Amanda
    7 May 2020
    7:37am

    A whole set of anything from astier de villatte is on my fantasy kitchen wishlist. I have a few decorative pieces and they are so incredible. Very splurgy, though.

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    MARGARET
    7 May 2020
    7:38am

    I never registered for anything when we got married 35 years ago; we always just ate on whatever. A few years back I started collecting Slice of Life dishes by 222 Fifth, which are now discontinued. They are black and white, ornately bordered (each dish a different border) with completely bizarro scenes (an alien, a frog wearing a crown, the Chrysler building, a trailer with an angel sitting in a lawn chair out front) in the middle of the plate (https://www.ebay.com/b/222-fifth-slice-of-life/bn_7024780835). We only use them for holidays but I love them so much. My children already plan to fight over them once I’m gone!

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      suz
      7 May 2020
      8:49am

      Those plates are fantastic! And I love that they are your “good/holiday” china.

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    Trish
    8 May 2020
    6:41am

    I own the Kate Spade set and I’m here to tell you Lenox is wonderful. The quality is spot-on.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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