After a very long and lustrous career at Vogue, Meredith Melling recently left the glossy, fashion bible to launch La Marque, an NYC-based fashion firm that does, well, a little bit of everything—consulting, styling, creative design, brand development, collaborations (you get the idea). Big names like Theory, John Barrett and Lily Aldridge have already come calling for her expertise and La Marque is sort of like the new “IT” girl that everybody is buzzing about. Here, the stylish and beautiful blonde chats with us about all things travel—including her favorite item from the hotel mini-bar, the exercise she can do anywhere, and the one surprising thing she always packs (which is so darn sweet that we have to admit we got a little choked up!).
How often do you travel?
We like to make short trips on the weekends just to escape the city and then something a bit more adventurous over school holidays. I rarely travel for business anymore, which is quite nice.
Where are your favorite destinations to travel to?
Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket over the summer for some R&R. St. Barths for a sexy beach getaway. Everywhere and anywhere in Italy for a foodie holiday. And London for inspiration.
Where’s your “happy place” to visit?
I’ll crawl up into my daughter’s log cabin bunk bed and we dream we are deep in a magical forest.
What brand of luggage do you use?
I’ve been using T.Anthony canvas luggage since I moved to NYC in my early 20’s (the red colorway; monogrammed). But since my family has grown, industrial, ‘rolling’ luggage has increasing appeal. I also love Rimowa, and I have my eye on Tumi now that George Esquivel is at the creative helm—it’s all style and substance and pretty hard to resist.
What about your carry-on bag?
I love the simple leather, unlined totes from CH by Carolina Herrera. I have one in navy (that they monogrammed for me) and one in camel. They are so chic, malleable, and fit the pouchettes I travel with from Anya Hindmarch, Clare Vivier and Dezso by Sara Beltran.
What’s your go-to uniform for the plane?
What type of camera do you bring?
I rely solely on my iPhone to document my journeys.
What’s your favorite airline?
Jet Blue. They changed the game.
Aisle or window?
Window! People will groan when they read this but I cannot stay awake on planes! I very often fall asleep before takeoff.
Preferred in-flight beverage?
Water and wine.
Do you have any travel rituals or superstitions?
I’ve adopted my fiancé’s—he, and his family, text “Taking off – I love you” or “Landed! Love you!” to each other at the start and finish of every flight.
What are your in-flight travel essentials?
A cashmere travel-pillow/blanket/eye mask set that I was gifted a few Christmas’ ago, magazines—the printed variety (for the plane I love Inc, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Us Weekly), Noise Cancelling Bose headphones, EOS lip balm, makeup remover wipes, and candy.
How do you entertain yourself at 35,000 feet?
Magazines and books. I’m carrying around NW by Zadie Smith and Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton at the moment. I like to carry around actual books—I’m not an iPad person. And I love a cross-continental flight to catch up on grown-up movies (with children, if and when you do get to go to the movies, it’s only to see something along the lines of Rio 2 or Frozen).
What music is on your travel playlist?
Girls Soundtrack, Black Keys, George Jones, Crosby Stills & Nash, Pharrell, Dusty Springfield, Jeff Buckley.
What’s the one item you never leave town without?
How do you deal with jet lag?
I don’t. I fight it with caffeine.
What’s your exercise routine when you’re on the road?
I love to go running because you can do it anyplace, anytime. You are not bound to a physical space, a fixed schedule, or an instructor. It’s also a great way to explore a new place. So when I travel, I run outside—I don’t do hotel gyms. Of course, that is IF I pack my running shoes (in matters of overpacking they are the first things to go!).
How do you manage your health + eating routine when you’re away from home?
My routine is very adaptable. If I’m in a new place, I love to try everything that is local. I can always find something—I’m easy!
What’s your favorite item to order from room service?
A big breakfast—something savory AND something sweet.
The hotel mini-bar is heard to resist—-what’s your favorite thing to grab?
What beauty-essentials do you travel with?
Truth be told, I’m kind of a drugstore beauty junkie. I always bring YSL Touche Éclat—it’s a miracle concealer; the wear and tear of travel shows under my eyes immediately….but in a matter of clicks…all is well. I also pack EOS lip balm—because it’s a pleasure to apply!, Kerastase hair products in travel-size to tame my curls (I can’t be bothered to blow dry when I’m on the road), Cle de Peau eye concealer—this is great for long trips when a touch up is not enough, Avene Moisturizer, Coco Chanel perfume in a travel atomizer, bandaids (My daughter Eloise and I like a camoflauge print ), bobby pins, Goody black hair elastics, Neosporin, and Santa Maria Novella body cream.
Are you an over-packer or under-packer?
Over-packer! You never know whom you’re going to happen upon and what you’ll need!
Do you have a packing strategy?
I always pack the night before and lay everything out on the bed by category (tops, dresses, pajamas, etc).
What’s the one surprising thing that you always pack?
A little something of my fiance’s to have with me—it could be his t-shirt, or his subscription to The Economist.
What are your favorite items to travel with?
Have you ever had a travel disaster?
Once, the plane engine caught fire as we were taking off and the cabin filled with smoke. We turned around immediately and 50 fire engines and ambulances were waiting for us as we landed. You can bet I was not sleeping during that takeoff!
If your luggage was lost, what are the 5 items you’d buy at the drugstore?
Since I’m a ‘drugstore junkie’ this is an easy one! Moisturizer, toothpaste, a toothbrush, conditioner and tweezers.
What are some of your favorite finds + souvenirs from your travels?
Favorite finds for me are usually jewelry. I love coming back from vacation wearing something I’ve picked up in my travels and jewelry seems like the easiest thing as it’s not climate dependent. Plus, I think beach jewelry looks killer with a classic button down and wide-leg trousers.
What’s your favorite childhood memory of traveling?
Cotuit, Massachusetts, in Cape Cod. I vacationed there every summer with my grandparents. We’d spend all day on the beach and then come home and put on plays and circuses for the family in the backyard. It was bliss.
What destinations are still on your travel bucket-list?
Blue Ridge Mountains, Tennessee
Las Vegas (I’ve never been! I mean c’mon, that’s just un-American!)
Meredith Melling photographed in Colorado