Bedside Manners with Claire Distenfeld


Interview by Victoria Lewis

Claire Distenfeld, founder of NYC boutique Fivestory, on the art of the luxe bedside table, passing out in party dresses and the very best hotel bed in the world.

What’s your bedtime routine?

I love routines! I’m terrible at them, but I love them. That being said, my ideal Claire would allot 25 minutes of beauty time. 25 minutes of reading and then sleep. Sadly, that has never happened. I rush through my favorite face wash/cream routine and then usually watch mindless television with my husband until I pass out.

What’s the best night of sleep you’ve ever gotten?

I once flew to Paris fashion week straight from a wild bachelorette party. I lied to pretty much everyone and said I was coming in the following day. I got to the Four Seasons George V around 11am, jumped into that fluffy cloud of heaven of a bed and slept until 6am the following day.

What’s the worst night of sleep you’ve ever gotten?

Japan - mid Mount Fuji. We had to sleep in barracks on the floor with about 100 people to a room. Because of the altitude, the Brazilian woman next to me was having night terrors and screaming in Portuguese in my ear for a solid five hours. Not a super fun night, I’ll leave it at that.

What time do you go to sleep?

Ideal Claire: 10:30pm. Real Claire: 11:30 - 12.

What time do you wake up?

6:45 AM. I’m a morning person.

What puts you to sleep right away?

When my husband puts on a discovery channel show…pretty much any of the reality ones having to do with extreme fishing or finding gold. And sometimes a scoop of melatonin or a glass (slash 3) of red wine.  

What keeps you awake at night?

Oh my goodness, where do I begin?! My work, terrorism, what I’m going to wear the next day, what I’m going to eat the next day, extreme poverty…is the faucet dripping?

What’s on your bedside table?

A book, always! Because…keep your friends close and your enemies closer. My Morgan Lane silk eye mask. And my luxurious Saint Louis carafe with water that is so unnecessary but just so pretty.

What's the first thing you do in the morning?

Ideal Claire: meditate. Real Claire: Matcha tea while reading e-mails and getting dressed.

What’s the craziest outfit you’ve ever worn to bed?

A black tie sequin gown that was so complicated to get off I just gave up.

What’s your favorite hotel bed in the world?

The Four Seasons George V in Paris (see story above).

Can you sleep on planes?

Can I?! I’m the self-proclaimed champion of airplane slumber.

Do you have any tips to beat jet lag?

Never succumb! Power through the day and don’t nap. Then fall into bed at 9pm after a nice dinner and wake up fresh!


Bed: Four poster.

Midnight Snack: Dark chocolate with Ibiza sea salt.  

Sound to fall asleep to: The ocean waves…real ones!

Sleepwear: Morgan Lane silk shorts.

Bedtime Reading: Autobiographies of powerful women like Diana Vreeland and Peggy Guggenheim, East of Eden, anything Ayn Rand.