Fathom contributor and Kneeland Co. founder Joanna Williams spends more than half of her year on the road searching for exotic textiles and other global rarities for fashion and home clients like Pierre Frey, Studio Four NYC, Dries Van Noten, and Isabel Marant. This month, from June 14-17, she is making a selection of those goods available to the public with her first ever pop-up shop in Los Angeles. We asked Joanna for a hit list of the travel essentials she can’t leave home without.
LOS ANGELES – I travel about 65 percent of the year, both domestically and internationally, scouring the globe for the most exquisite textiles and objects for my clients. I would consider myself to be a professional traveler and have picked up many tips along the way. One that I swear by: Always overpack. You never know when you might get invited to a fabulous party.
With an annual travel agenda that includes New York City every other month, Mexico City three times a year, Europe twice a year, India once a year, and other cities like Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, or Vancouver thrown into the mix, I take my travel essentials seriously. Along with Global Entry and T.S.A. Precheck, these are the must-haves that are crucial to my sanity when traveling.
My trusty Clare V. monogrammed weekender tote never lets me down. I love that it has handles and a strap and a pocket inside to stash all my chargers. I've crammed magazines, textiles, and even baskets from Mexico in there. ($625)
For years I've been using this spray to help me relax and sleep while traveling. Instead of taking Tylenol PM, I try to go the natural route — this spray has served me well. It has ingredients that help calm the nerves and put me in peaceful state of mind. ($12)
I'm late to the game with these, but I honestly don't know how I survived five-plus-hour flights without them. They are an in-flight game changer and make me feel as if I'm living in my own dreamy bubble, canceling out the noise that I don't want to hear — like snoring passengers. ($349)
Lately, I've been rotating between Adidas Gazelles and these classic Italian slippers when I travel. I opt for closed-toe shoes that are easy to get out of, especially on long flights when I need to stretch in the aisle and pass out in my seat. ($112)
My friend Lauren makes her entire line of beautiful clothing in Peru using ethically-sourced fabrics that are both cozy and luxurious. I love her fringe scarf for travel, both on and off the plane. ($210)
I have been wearing these perfect-sized hoops by Adina Reyter everywhere I go. They make me feel put together, especially on the early morning flights I frequent in vintage Levis and T-shirts. ($2,498)
My go-to for keeping lips hydrated and moisturized while flying. It also makes for an excellent, creamy blush if you want to perk up before getting off the airplane. ($28)
I am a ferocious list-maker and carry notebooks everywhere I go. I just ordered this one and had it monogrammed with my initials and a good luck horseshoe. ($230)
A male friend turned me onto the face oil of all face oils. I put it on before I get on a flight and every night before I go to sleep. I try to keep my skin as hydrated as possible, which can be very difficult when traveling. This always seems to do the trick, and a little goes a long way. ($185)
I am the freak on the plane who sanitizes and wipes down my seatbelt, chair arms, tray table, and television screen. It's no fun being sick while traveling, and sanitizing is the best way to prevent that nasty virus from spreading. I stay away from the potent alcohol scented sanitizers and prefer to use natural ones that smell fresh and clean. ($7)