Besties :: Laney and Dawn

By Jenn Rose Smith
Besties :: Laney Crowell and Dawn Spinner Davis | photo by Belathée for Camille Styles

If there are any friends we tend to live vicariously through, they’re the ones who live in Manhattan. We couldn’t be more excited to catch up with Laney Crowell and Dawn Spinner Davis on a blustery day in the city for our second installment of “Besties”. An afternoon strolling the West Village with these two brunette beauties led to talk of trenchcoats, style (and the occasional celebrity sighting!) So set your watch to East Coast time, and find out what makes this NYC friendship tick…

photos by belathée photography

What’s your friendship story? Spill, please!

Laney: We met when we were both assistants at Lucky Magazine in 2005. We joke that Dawn picked me up on the subway. We were getting off at the same stop, and she asked me if I wanted to go running sometime. We’ve been best friends ever since.

(Laney pictured left, Dawn right)

What are your shared passions as friends?

Laney: I would say that we share a love of beautiful moments. We take walks across town to see the flowers blooming, get giddy the moment our favorite peanut butter and jelly bread comes out of the oven, and love when we come up with the perfect outfit for ourselves, or for the other person.

Dawn: We could talk about fashion, beauty products, or our favorite TV shows for days. But I think it really comes down to a shared appreciation for the little things: a great cup of coffee, a pretty park, trying to be a better person.

Laney, we’re dying to know about your position at Estée Lauder. What do you love about what you do?  

I run the online content creation and social media team — which is perfect for me because it’s exactly what I used to do in my spare time for fun. Work doesn’t feel like work for me because it used to be my hobby.

Lucky girl. What’s your favorite Estée product right now?

I will always and forever rely on Advanced Night Repair serum. It’s the only thing my skin likes.

Dawn, how would you describe Laney’s style?

Downtown romantic, of course! Laney is one of those people who manages to look cool even if she’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Over the years, I’ve seen her style evolve from boho-girly to urban-feminine. She has more leather jackets than anyone I know.

Have you learned anything from her in terms of beauty and style?

You never want to look like you’re trying too hard. Laney’s taste is impeccable, but it’s also effortless. She won’t wear something just because it’s trendy — she wears what she loves and what looks good on her. Beauty trends are a completely different story; I never sanctioned her ombré hair color!

Laney, how would you describe Dawn’s style?

Grown-up French schoolgirl. She’s very proper and always looks impeccable. It’s quite intimidating, actually!

How does she inspire you in terms of fashion and beauty?

Dawn is incredible at mixing prints, but mainly she inspires me to be more put together. She never leaves the house without eyeliner and cute outfit.

That is inspiring. Speaking of prints — we’re in love with this little black and white number you’re wearing. Where’s it from, Dawn?

Dawn: It’s by The Kooples — a French brand that I love. I’m a sucker for a tiny floral print.

Tell us a bit about what you do. Are you also in the beauty industry?

I’m the co-founder of 19 Charles Street, a recipe-specific farmers market delivery service in NYC. I’m also a beauty editor at

19 Charles Street sounds amazing. Is it a subscription service? How does it work?

There’s no subscription required, and you can even order dinner for one. Every Monday, we post four new recipes to the website, and you select a recipe and the number of servings you want to cook. All the ingredients are sourced from the Union Square Greenmarket, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Murray’s Cheese, and other local shops. You schedule delivery for Monday or Wednesday, and you receive a recipe card and all the ingredients in a reusable tote bag.

As best friends, what’s your absolute favorite thing to do together?

Laney: Everything we do together is fun so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. I love just sitting on the couch and catching up after a long week — we never run out of things to talk about.

Dawn: Early Sunday morning walks around the West Village with my dog, talking about life.

Individually, what do you do to relax/unwind?

Laney: I’m a huge fan of meditation.

Dawn: Pinterest! I could sit around and pin interior design pictures (while drinking a glass of red wine) for hours.

Girls by our own heart, for sure.

Laney, what do you love most about Dawn?

She’s such a good friend. She’s the most reliable, honest, kind, loyal, sweet and caring person I know. It sounds cheesy, but she makes me be a better person.

And Dawn, what do you love most about Laney?

Her ability to make friends and bring people together. She’s the epitome of a “connector” (see “The Tipping Point”) — she’s introduced multiple friends to their husbands, myself included.

Any recent funny Manhattan adventures?

Dawn: We’re always laughing together, and living in the West Village we do have some pretty funny celebrity run-ins. One time we chased Jake Gyllenhaal into CVS and the other day our cab almost ran over Tim Robbins.

That’s amazing. Only in New York.

Where do you see each other in ten years?

Laney: I’ve always imagined Dawn on TV. She’s done segments on beauty and never gets flustered, smiling the whole time. I could see her having a cooking show for city women and having a house upstate where she has a horse and an amazing back patio for barbecuing.

Dawn: I see Laney as wildly successful — at the forefront of every new social media platform and technology — and probably living bicoastally. I know I won’t be able to keep her in NYC forever, but hopefully we can share her with California.

Thanks, ladies!

Follow Dawn and Laney on instagram: