You probably know Carolyn Murphy from the iconic ad campaigns she has appeared in over the years for beloved brands from Estee Lauder to J. Crew. One of these modeling jobs recently transformed itself into a role as the Women’s Design Director of Shinola, where she is also helping to launch and lead the brand’s upcoming magazine, Argonite. To celebrate the launch of our FEED + Shinola Tote earlier this summer, Lauren invited Carolyn over for a round of Table Talk, where she dished on her ideal Sunday, her favorite fashion trends (or lack thereof) and her personal definition of Americana.

What is the best job you’ve ever had?
Being a mother is the best “job” I’ve ever had. I could live in a teepee in the forest and be quite content as a mom to my daughter.

Describe your ideal Sunday.
My ideal Sunday is sleeping (undisturbed) until 10 am, making coffee, grabbing the paper and getting back into bed, joined eventually by my daughter and dogs. Best if this setting is somewhere outside of the city, so that when we do finally motivate, we are in nature. I love gardening, mucking horse stalls, riding and finishing the day with 60 Minutes and a yummy home-cooked dinner. 

What book is on your carry-on bag right now?
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

How would you describe your style ethic?
Relaxed, comfortable, classic and timeless. 

Do you have a go-to workout?
Yoga is my default can-do-anywhere exercise, but I prefer swimming. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world for a meal, where would you go and what would you eat?
Japan. I love Japanese cuisine—it’s clean, simple and healthy. I’d go to a hole-in-the-wall place and order soba noodles, oshinko pickles, baked fish and every vegetable on the menu.

What’s your favorite fashion trend right now?
I don’t really know much about trends to be honest, but I love that vintage jeans never go out of style. 

Least favorite?
Anything with tons of hardware or flash. 

What does Americana mean to you?
To me, Americana is a spirit defined by innovation, diversity, hope and resilience.

When you were six, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. I was obsessed with animals; I had horses, dogs, cats, turtles, fish and guinea pigs.

Do you have a life mantra?
My life mantra comes from my Nana who would always say, “Beauty is as beauty does.” Kindness and self-love will reflect more than anything else. 

What is an unexpected place you’ve found inspiration lately?
I’ve found inspiration from cities that have come back from being all-but-abandoned, because of community and hope. Detroit really started this fascination for me.

How do you plan to wear your FEED + Shinola Tote this summer?
I plan to style my FEED + Shinola tote with a vintage silk scarf from my Nana. I will be Instagramming it a lot—it is such a beautiful design with so much meaning behind it.