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Photo: Atisha Paulson (Avillez)

My Favorite Things

Joana Avillez grew up doodling alongside her father, the late artist Martim Avillez. Now, in her thirties, the New York-bred, Rhode Island School of Design-trained author and illustrator has caught the attention of everyone from Hermès to the New Yorker and the Museum of Modern Art, thanks to her signature whimsical sketches. Below, Avillez shares the items that she keeps on hand in her Tribeca loft

Alexandre de Paris


Timeless Les Classiques Hair Pin

“The French twist is my favorite way to wear my hair. Out of your eyes, conical, and twirled up like cotton candy. It also makes me think of Carlotta Valdes in Vertigo, which gives me chills.”



Touch Knife

“These wee knives are fantastic. I use them for everything studio-, kitchen-, and office-related.”



Juliet Leather Ballet Shoe

“Real ballerina ballet shoes make the best house slippers. It’s like being barefoot but so much more elegant. I’ve accidentally worn them out to the deli, where I just know everyone thought I was an off-duty dancer!”

Conserva de Cambados


Barnacles in Brine

“Before Hot Girls Eat Tinned Fish became a movement, I was already on the ship’s deck scarfing salty crustaceans. I grew up in a fish market with a Portuguese father, and my family is from Asturias, the Percebes (AKA Gooseneck Barnacle) capital of the world.”




“There’s nothing else to say other than these Italian tank tops don’t whisper and coo breathlessly for themselves.”

Tove Jansson


Moomin Deluxe: Volume One

“This is an anvil of perfection. I like to read a little bit before bed and am perpetually decimated by its genius. Tove Jansson’s comics, writing, books, paintings, and brain are, in my estimation, the peak of everything.”



T-Bar, Red

“I am obsessed with dressing my one-year-old son. These T-bar shoes are Mary Jane-adjacent and look phenomenal with just a diaper.”



Vintage AW 1988 Coat

“Revealing my vintage source is quite painful, like telling everyone about a secret beach, but this Paris-based shop is my favorite on the web. I don’t know how or where the owner, Erika Tarbouriech, finds the pieces, but each one feels miraculous.”

Vladimir Nabokov


Letters to Véra

“I keep this compendium by my bedside and open it to a random page every once in a while. Nabokov’s wife, Véra, burned all of her responses, the absence of which hovers across each page like low-lying smoke. It is known that she typed and edited his books, leading us to wonder, of course, if all her words are actually gone …”



2342 Dusting Brush

“Draw, draw, draw, erase. This dusting brush is not just some twee prop! It is one of my most essential tools while making an illustration, keeping my paper safe from looming, smudgy, oily fingers.”

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