Natalie Chanin

Hometown: Florence, Alabama

Occupation: Designer, stylist, and founder and creative director of the lifestyle and fashion company Alabama Chanin.

Comfort first “I am always happiest when I feel comfortable. I want to be able to move around, work, dance, cook dinner, and still feel beautiful. Some women associate pain with beauty—wearing tight corsets and undergarments, uncomfortable shoes, artfully constructed hair and makeup. I think that, for me, personal style, beauty, and comfort are not mutually exclusive.”

She finds beauty in simplicity “Alabama Chanin’s most recent collection is inspired by photos from the 1930s and ’40s of American farmers and working families. There is a practicality in those garments—each person took time to make what they were wearing special. They took pride in their appearances, even when they had almost nothing. Those people—and everyone who takes the time to add their personal stamp to life—are my style icons.”

Her favorite things “I love the sunlight that comes through my kitchen windows. I have a daughter in elementary school, so our home is ‘lived-in.’ It is easy to acquire ‘stuff,’ so I work hard to fill a home with a few beautiful and useful things. I don’t think I could live without my books, which take up more space every year, and a sturdy cast-iron skillet.”

Sweet home Alabama “In my community in Alabama, I am surrounded by people who have an incredible work ethic. So many people still know how to grow things in the earth, make things with their hands, and perfect a craft or a trade. I love seeing the artistic community grow and flourish. We all work to support one another and genuinely want to see our fellow artists succeed. ‘A rising tide lifts all boats,’ as they say.”

I am traditional For Natalie, versatility and craftsmanship remain constant, and classic beauty trumps trend.  “Make something well, and it will last a lifetime.”

Hayden Panettiere

Hometown Palisades, New York 

Occupation Actress and singer. She currently stars in ABC’s Nashville and is known for her role as cheerleader Claire Bennet on the series Heroes.

Her most prized possession? “I live in my friend’s attic, so it would probably be the portable air conditioning unit I installed. You try living through a Nashville summer without one!”

Comfort is key “My style can be all over the place, depending on my mood. The one thing that has become more important to me is comfort. As much as I love fashion, it’s rarely worth it to be uncomfortable and have to think too hard about what you’re wearing all night. Or what body part might fall out!”

When times allows “My ideal weekend would include holing up in bed with my girlfriends and having a movie marathon. The hours I work can be crazy, so when I finally get a second to breathe it’s nice to really turn my brain off. I could be tempted by a fun and spontaneous trip, though!”

She’s a Paul Simon fan “Growing up, my favorite tradition was when my dad would play Call Me Al, and the whole family would dance around the living room.”

Her wardrobe essential “I think every woman should own a great black dress jacket. I love my Helmut Lang and wear it with everything and anything! It can dress up jeans and T-shirts or dress down a cocktail dress.”

I am traditional She scrapbooks, loves chicken noodle soup, and has a thing for classic Shirley Temple movies.

Photograph by Cliff Watts

India Hicks

Hometown  British-born Hicks has called Harbour Island, Bahamas, home since 1996.

Occupation  Mother of 4, model, fashion and jewelry designer—to mention a few. You can see her collections and blog at indiahicks.com.  

She’s royalty in more ways than one  Not only did India serve as a bridesmaid to Princess Diana (she’s a second cousin to The Prince of Wales), she is design royalty as well. She’s the daughter of England’s iconic interior designer, the late David Hicks.

England still feels like home  “I love going back to England and my mother’s home. It holds the secrets of my childhood. And it has the extraordinary garden my father designed—a green garden of allées, vistas, hedged rooms, and grassy labyrinths.”

She cherishes promptness  “I think every man should own a stylish, reliable watch. They then have no excuse for being late.”

She knows how to travel in style  And she thinks dachshunds just may make the best travel companions. “They fit under the seat of an airplane, and they don’t borrow your clothes.”

She treasures family history  What does she love most about her home? “That it holds our history as a family. I even sleep in a Lord Mountbatten tester bed, named after my grandfather.”

She has a competitive streak  “Growing up, my favorite family tradition was playing Racing Demon—a card game—and learning to be unhealthily competitive with my cousins and siblings.”

I am traditional  She loves Gone With the Wind, has mad organizational skills, hates sand in her bed and speeding tickets, and still owns her first pair of jodhpurs.

Photograph: Colleen Duffley

 

Ty Pennington

Hometown Atlanta, Georgia

How you know him  He brings tears to the eyes of millions of viewers every week when, as host of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” he gives deserving families the chance to rebuild their homes—and their lives.

He knows whereof he speaks  The go-to guy for home renovation has a few words of wisdom for do-it-yourselfers: “Before you start, make sure you can finish.” 

Never good enough “My biggest pet peeve is the phrase ‘good enough’ when used as a measure of success. ‘That’s good enough’ just doesn’t cut it for me.”

Time travel  “I’d love to go back to the ’70s so I could retrieve every album cover and comic book I ever traded, sold, or gave away.”

Collector’s items He travels so much that he’s started to collect air sickness bags.

A valuable life lesson learned  Don’t drive wearing flip-flops. “The worst renovation disaster I’ve seen is when a buddy accidentally drove through his garage wall into his living room after his flip-flop caught under the gas pedal. He was so embarrassed that he refused to call anyone for help. He just stapled black plastic sheeting to the studs and covered it with posters—as if nobody would look at it and say, ‘Dude, that plastic sheeting is covering a big ol’ hole in your house!’"

Family free-for-all “I find myself feeling pretty traditional around the holidays. I love the big table with tons of family recipes and everyone talking at the same time.”

I am traditional He cooks with real butter, doesn’t understand why we need so many strip malls, and doesn’t believe in buying jeans that have already been distressed. “The magic is in the journey that leads to the rips.”

Photograph: Joe Schmeltzer

 

Lela Rose

Hometown  Dallas native and Parsons School of Design grad, now living in Gotham

Occupation  Fashion designer whose pretty, frilly, feminine-with-attitude confections delight Jessica Simpson, Mariska Hargitay, Ashley Judd, and not only the ubiquitous Olsen twins but twin sisters Jenna and Barbara Bush as well

Favorite movie  “Giant. I love its lavishness. I also love When Harry Met Sally. After seeing it, I was dying to move to New York, get a perm like Meg Ryan’s, and walk through Central Park.” [The New York move was a go; her perm was a no.]

Cherished possession  “I still own my first sewing machine.”

About that cool bike “In my free time I love to ride my custom-built blue bike through the streets of Manhattan. It’s a total delight . . . and has room for my kids (or my dog) in back.”

Secret dream “To own a homemade ice cream store—and use all the Southern recipes passed down from my mother, grandmother, and aunts.”

Favorite tradition “I refuse to let my mother change anything about the Christmas breakfast she has made since I was a little girl. And believe it or not, I still get a stocking from Santa Claus.”

If you don’t use it “I use my good silver and china when entertaining, even casually. What is the point of having it if you can’t show it off?”

I am traditional “I believe that a girl should never call a boy.”

Photograph: Evans Caglage

 

Sheryl Crow

Hometown  Born and raised in Kennett, Missouri, she now lives in Nashville with her sons, Wyatt and Levi.

Occupation  Singer/songwriter. She’s a nine-time Grammy winner and released her seventh album, 100 Miles from Memphis, in 2010.

She loves a good hand-me-down  “I love antiques. One of my favorites is my great-grandfather’s desk. He was a newspaper editor in Van Buren, Missouri. That will go everywhere with me.”

They don’t make ’em like they used to  “I still have my first pair of Dingo boots. I got them when I was 14 and still wear them. And my favorite guitar is a 1964 Country & Western by Gibson. No matter how many guitars I have, I always go back to it.”

She loves the classics (especially when it comes to men)  “If I could sing a duet with any musician past or present it would have to be Frank Sinatra. And I’d love to have danced with Gene Kelly. I saw Brigadoon when I was 8 or so. I really believed that I was supposed to be with him!”

Bet that’s one cool pillow  “Believe it or not, I really enjoy sewing. Both my mother and my grandmother sewed. I rarely have time to do it, but I’ve been known to make the occasional throw pillow.”

She’s still a small-town girl at heart  “I grew up in a small town 106 miles from Memphis. As kids, we’d go to the ‘big city’ once a year to see Santa at Goldsmith’s department store. It’s still one of my favorite memories.”

I am traditional  She was a majorette in high school, she thinks every woman should own a slow cooker, and she sends handwritten thank-you notes. “I’m not always punctual, but I still send them!”

Photograph: Mark Seliger

 

Cindy Crawford

Hometown  DeKalb, Illinois

Occupation  The ultimate hyphenate: wife-mother-supermodel-actress-author-entrepreneur-style icon. In 2009, she introduced Cindy Crawford Style—a line of home furnishings and accessories for JCPenney.

Shirley MacLaine moves her to tears  “Terms of Endearment is my favorite old movie. (Does 1983 count as old?) It has great performances, and is always good for a cathartic cry.”

Ladies, it’s all about the Jimmy Choos  “I think every woman should own at least one pair of designer shoes. They make you feel hot! The higher the heel, the better.”

Her role model  “The person I most admire is my mother. She has loved all her children unconditionally and also managed to have a positive outlook on life, even through hardships.”

Her instincts have served her well.  Her best advice? “Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid of failure.”

She loves the classics  “To me, classic design means timelessness—like a black pump, a great trench coat, or the perfect white shirt.”

There’s one thing she hasn’t done  “If I could go anywhere, it would be to the White House for dinner!”

Her secret desire?  “I would have loved to have been a hippie. I started working when I was 16 and was always so responsible. It might be fun to go the other way for a bit!”

I am traditional  “I love bowling, have Midwestern values, and am happiest when I’m on the beach in Malibu with my husband and kids. And I love Christmas.”

Photograph: Andrew MacPherson

 

Trina Turk

Hometown Los Angeles

Occupation Fashion designer—she founded Trina Turk in 1995—known for her playful sense of color and pattern. She has also created a vibrantly colorful line of indoor/outdoor fabrics for F. Schumacher & Co.

007 must be the man of her dreams “Every woman should own at least one perfectly tailored vintage cocktail dress so she can be the intriguing woman at the party. Every man should own a French-cuffed shirt, just so he can wear cufflinks. I love cufflinks.”

Most memorable fashion faux pas The dreaded Big-Hair phase—“a root perm in the 1980s.”

She’s a Billy Wilder fan “My favorite old movie is Sunset Boulevard. I love Los Angeles, and L.A. looks amazing in this movie!”

There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy  “I still own my first credit card from the 1970s. It’s from Nordstrom—brown and white with no magnetic strip. They were smart to give me a credit card when I was 15!”

Now that’s scary Her biggest fear? “The 405 freeway in L.A.!”

Color rules her world “I love the vintage YSL color combo of hot pink and tomato red—and my lacquered red front door.”

I am traditional “I make a delicious apple pie with no recipe, don’t understand why we need plastic shopping bags, love the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and believe that a great room evolves over time.”

Photograph: Jonathan Skow

Mike Rowe

Hometown  “San Francisco is where the mail comes, but Baltimore is still home.”

Occupation Ford Trucks spokesman, voice of “Deadliest Catch,” and host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” where he travels the country learning to do, well, dirty jobs. “I’m a perpetual apprentice, a lab rat, a guinea pig, and an all-around good sport. My job is fundamentally to get paid to try. I am also a devastating Trivial Pursuit player.”

Best invention ever?  “It’s tempting to say electricity. And fire and the wheel are big ones. But I think I’m going to go with the bottle opener. When you need one and you don’t have one, there are few moments more disappointing.”

We’d rather have the briefcase of money  “I still own my first pocketknife—a Swiss Army. I found it when I was a kid, and it was like finding a briefcase of money as an adult. It was fascinating. It had endless things in it. It was like finding a ring of keys. I wasn’t even sure what all those keys went to, but the fact that I had them made me feel equipped. Capable. Dangerous.”

He didn’t get the handy gene  “My granddad dropped out of the 8th grade but became a tradesman—a master plumber and electrician. He could build a house without a blueprint, and did, many times. I was desperate to do what he could do, but didn’t get the handy gene. For me, ‘Dirty Jobs’ is kind of a return to my childhood on the farm doing—or trying to do—all these traditional jobs.”

I am traditional  “I have learned that you can’t outrun your past. You should embrace it. Even the embarrassing QVC bits. I also think every man should own a fedora. They’re coming back, and you’re going to feel stupid without one.”

Photograph: Jill Greenberg/Corbis Outline 

Connie Britton

Hometown  Lynchburg, Virginia

Occupation  Actress and documentary film director/producer. You may know her best from playing Tami Taylor in “Friday Night Lights”; she currently stars in “Nashville.”

Jack LaLanne would be proud. Henry Ford, not so much.  “The vegetable juicer is just about the best invention ever, but I don’t understand why we need carburetors.”

She loves the classics  Her favorite old movie is Gone With the Wind. “OK, maybe it’s a little dorky. But, honestly, I remember watching it as a little girl and just loving the Southern tradition of it. Growing up in an area rich with history from the Civil War, the movie gave a romantic and vibrant visual to where I lived.”

Her ideal Friday night?  “A delicious, cozy, luxurious dinner with friends. Four hours, easy!”

If only we had a time machine  “I’d love to go back to the ’70s and check them out as a grown-up. I’m not idealizing that time, but it sure would be fun to pull off those mini- and maxi-skirts for a while!”

She’s beginning to understand the appeal of football  “It’s the spirit of the game. Watching football creates such a sense of camaraderie. As does playing it, of course—people striving together toward one goal, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat!”

I am traditional  She’s always had a mad crush on Robert Redford (who hasn’t?), loves the tradition of storytelling, still owns her first jean jacket, and believes that less is definitely more.

Photograph: Paul Schefz/Corbis Outline

Aisha Tyler

Hometown  San Francisco

Occupation  Author, actress, stand-up comedienne, and talk-show host—you can currently see her on CBS’s “The Talk.”

She’s an extreme baker  “I am obsessed with scratch cookery. Sometimes I take it too far, though. One New Year’s Eve I made sliders and insisted on making the buns from scratch. I was covered in flour and in the kitchen for hours. The next year, my friends had an intervention and made me buy the buns. I spent significantly more time having fun that year.”

She loves a man who dresses for dinner  “I think every man should own at least one great, well-fitting suit. I always think my husband looks handsome, but I especially love seeing him in a suit because it usually means he is taking me out to dinner!”

Grandma’s gumbo still gets her  “Growing up, my favorite tradition was (and still is) that my family makes traditional Southern seafood gumbo at Christmas instead of a more conventional meal. My grandmother is from Savannah, Georgia, and her recipe has been handed down by word of mouth; we cook it from memory now.”

She has her regrets  “When I was young, I had the biggest crush on Billy Idol. I was seriously delirious. And I dressed like Madonna for a good part of high school—truly tragic on a 6-foot-tall tomboy.”

She’s slightly Type A  “I try to stop working by dinnertime, but many days work keeps me in my home office late. I take my iPad to bed and spend an hour or two reading up on upcoming guests, poring over scripts, and maybe playing a little Words with Friends. I usually collapse around 11:30—many a night I’ve awakened with my face smushed against my iPad. So glamorous!”

I am traditional  She shows her love through food, still owns her first KitchenAid mixer, and prizes kindness.

Photograph: Robert Adam Mayer

 

Martin Waller

Occupation  Anthropologist-in-training, world-traveler extraordinaire, trendsetter, and modern-day Indiana Jones (minus the fedora and whip). In his spare time he is managing director of Andrew Martin—a furniture, accessories, and fabric retailer with showrooms in London, New York, Moscow, Athens, and Dubai.

Hometown London, England (when he’s not off globe-trotting in search of antiquities and inspiration for Andrew Martin’s latest collections.)

Favorite song  “‘Puff the Magic Dragon’—it still doesn’t get any better than Peter, Paul & Mary.”

Now that’s an antique  “One of my favorite pieces is a 3,000-year-old Egyptian funerary mask—the ultimate reminder of our mortality.”

Favorite team sport “I’d have to say elephant polo.” (Yes, it’s really a sport—Martin recently captained the Andrew Martin team in the Elephant Polo World Championships in Nepal.)

Pub grub “I’d much rather eat at my favorite local burger joint (Tootsies in Holland Park, London) than the latest hot spot. The food is good, and I don’t have to listen to an interminable and incomprehensible list of daily specials.”

Secret crush “I’ve always loved actresses Susan Hampshire and Julie Christie (and too many others to list here).”

I am traditional  “I still prefer letters to texts. I think gyms are highly overrated. And I maintain that Sean Connery was the ultimate Bond.”

Photograph: John Bessler

 

Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti

Hometown  Geneva, Switzerland

Occupation  Entrepreneur and trend hunter. She founded the online shopping site vivre.com.

She’s a sucker for the classics  “I still own my first Louis Vuitton duffel bag that I got when I was a teenager on my way to boarding school. It is so scuffed it practically has holes, but I use it all the time.”

She’ll try anything once  “I love skydiving and getting lost in the streets of cities that I don’t know.”

Time travel intrigues her  “If I could live in any period of time, it would have to be Paris in the 1920s—perhaps because I just saw that Woody Allen film! But wouldn’t it be fun to be able to go to the future and the past?”

She’s a curator  “I love the stories my home tells about my life. I believe in a life of collecting and not just buying—that juxtaposition of pieces collected across a lifetime makes everything that I own and that Vivre curates interesting.”

It’s the little things  “I believe in cooking a meal at home and setting a beautiful table, even if no one else but my kids and husband are joining me for dinner. And I still believe that one should dress up for travel—I never fly anywhere without a blazer.”

I am traditional  “I think all great things in life are timeless. I love flea markets and the idea of collecting furniture from every era. And I quote my grandmother at least once a day!”

Photograph: Joe Standart

Bridget Moynahan

Hometown  Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Occupation  Actress—you can currently see her in the CBS hit “Blue Bloods.”

She’s no girly-girl  How does she handle all that testosterone on the set of Blue Bloods? “I grew up with two brothers and all male cousins. Naturally, I was constantly making sure that I could hold my own, so it seems very natural for me to be on set with all the men.”

She loves her vintage vinyl  “I still own my first albums—Prince, Queen, and Pat Benatar!”

She buys her own bling  “I think every woman should own at least one piece of fine jewelry that she bought for herself. Just to remind herself that she can.”

She’s an equal opportunity “crusher”  “When I was young, I had the biggest crush on Rob Lowe. And Freddie Mercury. And Debbie Harry. Clearly, I have broad range!”

Little luxuries rule  “I can’t live without my collection of cashmere scarves. I love to feel warm and cozy, especially when I am traveling. We all have to compromise when traveling by plane these days. I always take along a big, soft scarf to keep me company on the flight.”

She counts her blessings  “Growing up, my favorite tradition was the orange we always found in our Christmas stockings. When my mom was growing up, it was considered a very special treat. Now, I continue it more as a reminder of how fortunate we are.”

I am traditional  “I live an unconventional life. My son, even more so. But I try to bring as much tradition and normalcy into the very abnormal world in which we are fortunate to be living.”

Photograph: Melanie Dunea

Gabriella Sarlo

Hometown  San Francisco

Occupation  Collector, designer, and owner of Sarlo, an antiques, lighting, and textiles shop in San Francisco.

You’ve got to love a girl who loves girl-power  “My favorite classic television show is ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ I love the hair, the fashion, and the girl-power.”

She’s been a party girl since Day One  “Growing up, my favorite tradition was planning my birthday parties. I remember spending hours thinking about the theme, the decor. My love of entertaining has been in effect since the age of 4!”

There’s nothing like your first piece of bling  “I still own my first piece of jewelry. It’s a gold heart necklace with my birthstone—a gift from my father on the day I was born.”

Maybe Al Roker can help her biggest frustration?  “At the moment, it’s the fog in San Francisco. It’s so frustrating knowing that the sun is so close—just 15 minutes across either bridge—yet so far away!”

See? Antiques really are cool!  “I am fascinated by the unknown history of a piece of antique or vintage furniture. Just think about where it has been, who has owned it, where it may have traveled, and the conversations it has overheard. Antiques add an element of interest that doesn’t exist with something brand-new.”

I am traditional  She digs doing the laundry, loves it when someone hands her an old-fashioned calling card, and thinks impeccable manners are a must.

Photograph: Mark Edward Harris

Jeremy Sisto

Hometown  He grew up in Chicago but now calls New York and L.A. home.

Occupation  Actor—he plays the endearingly overprotective single dad George Altman on ABC’s hit comedy “Suburgatory.”

His daughter inherited his creative side  “My daughter Chuck and I love to play with imaginary fairies in the pool.”

He has fond childhood memories  His favorite? “Riding my bike with my mom and sister to Heartland Cafe (in Chicago) for cornbread and lemonade.”

Short and sweet  His best advice is simple and to the point: “Pay attention.”

He and George Altman have one thing in common  “We are both extremely intent on being good dads.”

He’s a people watcher  “I love the front stoop. To sit with my girls by my side and watch the people walk by is my favorite pastime.”

Cooking’s not his thing  “I cooked fish on toast once. Then I retired.”

He’s got a thing for iconic women’s wear  If he could go back to any period of time, what would it be? “The ’20s seem pretty cool. I like those flapper dresses.”

I am traditional  He fondly remembers his first crush (on a girl named Senta), loves that he’s actually paid to be creative for a living, and is bucking his nontraditional side to create family traditions for his daughter. 

Photograph: © ABC/Bob D’Amico

 

Betsey Johnson

Hometown Wethersfield, Connecticut

How you know her  She is a trend-setting New York fashion designer known for her use of vibrant color and energetic, over-the-top creations. She began her career as part of the Warhol scene in the ’60s and continues to appeal to young fashionistas in an industry that is constantly looking for the next best thing.

Dancing queen As a child, she longed for a career in dance but chose fashion after winning a contest in Mademoiselle. Plan B? She’d still love to be a Radio City Rockette.

She has the wardrobe for it A peek inside her closet reveals a stash of her childhood dance costumes. (In fact, they continue to inspire her to this day. Many of her designs still have a whimsical costume-like edge.)

If the fishnet fits The one item in her closet with which she couldn’t possibly part? “A fishnet Paraphernalia dress that Edie Sedgwick wore in the 1960s.”

She adores her alone time“I love to eat dinner at restaurants by myself. After a long day of meetings and nonstop talking, I like to relax and people watch.”

No regrets “If given the chance to start over, I’d do it all again!”

Favorite tradition “For Christmas, my whole family gets together at my brother’s house or my sister’s. We take a group picture of everyone on the stairs. It’s nice to see how the kids grow, and there’s always a new addition.”

She has a classic side “To me, classic design means timeless pieces that never go out of style.”

Her fashion faux pas? “Oh, I don’t know. Pink hair?”

I am traditional  “You don’t have to follow any trends, especially since not all trends look good on everyone. Wear what makes you feel good, happy, beautiful—no matter what other people may say. Fashion should be fun, adventurous—true blue you.”

Photograph: Dan Lecca

 

Connie Nielsen

Hometown  Born in Denmark, she now calls San Francisco and New York home.

Occupation  Actress—she stars opposite Kelsey Grammer in the Starz series “Boss”—and philanthropist—she founded the Road to Freedom scholarships program, which provides scholarships to young girls in the Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

She loves the holidays  “When I was growing up in Denmark, my favorite tradition was Christmas decorating day. We would drive through the snow to the Christmas tree plantation, choose our tree, and then sit in a big hall with other families in our little town and create decorations for the big night. We would eat æbleskiver (ball-shaped, cardamom-flavored pancakes with tiny pieces of fresh apple) and drink hot cinnamon glögg (mulled wine). The anticipation for the big night just got bigger and better with all the pretty things we created by hand.”

She’s travel-ready  “I still own my first suitcase. It reminds me of setting out on my own for the first time and makes me look back and see just how far I have come.”

She has a soft spot for 1970s police dramas   “I loved “McCloud.” Dennis Weaver looked like a cool cowboy version of my dad.”

All in the family  “Family is at the center of my life. Our family traditions are beautiful. The faces of my children as they await a moment they already know will give them enormous pleasure are my true treasures. Whether it is our morning birthday ritual—with silver trays, candles, flowers, champagne, chocolate, and oodles of gifts—or Christmas Eve with Danish food, songs, and hundreds of candles, it gives me joy to see their joy.”

I am traditional  She believes in trusting your gut, thinks every man should play a musical instrument, and cherishes a piece of antique Fortuny fabric given to her years ago at a Venetian haberdashery.

Photograph: © J. Vespa/WireImage

 

Deborah Lloyd

Hometown  Plymouth, England

Occupation  As president and creative director of Kate Spade New York, she runs a company that is simultaneously classic and au courant. “I try to stay true to the DNA with which the brand was founded while constantly looking to the future for inspiration.”

She remembers her roots  “I can’t live without my cup of good English tea!”

Model behavior  “I’d love to have been a young woman in the 1960s—the glamour, the hair, the makeup! I basically want to have lived as [supermodel] Jean Shrimpton in her heyday.”

Why she loves her home-sweet-home  “I am surrounded by all of my favorite things—collected through my adventures and travels. The worn green leather sofa in my parlor that we found at a New York auction house is one of my favorites.”

I am traditional  “I believe in good manners and handwritten notes, in using fine china and proper crystal, and in dressing up every day.”

Photograph: Jonny Valiant

 

Rocco DiSpirito

Hometown Jamaica, Queens, New York

How you know him He opened NYC’s Union Pacific Restaurant, makes a mean meatball (thanks to his mama), published a cookbook, braved reality TV in NBC’s “The Restaurant,” and did the mambo on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

His mother taught him well  “My mother taught me anything is possible—which is why she came from Italy to America. And laugh as much as you can, and be as kind as you can.”

Don’t knock his risotto “One of the first dishes I learned how to make working with Gray Kunz at Lespinasse was his white truffle risotto. I made it my goal to learn how to make risotto as good or better than anyone in the restaurant.”

He can’t pick just one favorite dish  “There are so many—my mom’s frittata, the spicy tuna hand roll at Nobu, and pizza by the slice from Joe’s in the West Village.”

Kitchen gadget he can’t live without  His Peugeot 9-inch pepper mill.

Kitchen gadget he just doesn’t get  Shrimp peeler.

It’s the simple things “I think ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together is just about the best thing ever.”

He loves the classics “My most cherished belonging is my signed copy of Jacques Pepin’s cookbook La Technique.

He’s no color-phobe  “The thing I love most about my home is my fuchsia-colored living room wall. It’s the first thing you see when you enter, and it always brings a smile.” Run, Rocco, run “You’d never guess that I love training for a triathlon.”

I am traditional “I believe in the code of chivalry—I still think a man should pay the check, hold a woman’s coat for her, and give her his seat on the subway.”

Photograph: Greg Scheidemann

Caroline Scheeler

Hometown  Chicago, Illinois

Occupation  Creative director, buyer, and visionary for the oh-so-chic Chicago retailer Jayson Home & Garden.

Vıntage vinyl  “I collect vinyl records—mostly rock.”  What would she save in case of fire? “The Ramones’ Rocket to Russia, Billie Holiday: The Golden Years, and Led Zeppelin II. I hope I don’t embarrass myself too much with this list!”

The ’80s called… “I have a thing for preppy icons: monograms, madras, traditional menswear, and my riding habit.”

Watch out, Prince Harry  She’s been riding all her life but just recently began playing polo. We hear she’s good!

She has our dream job  When not in the office or on the polo field, Caroline scours flea markets around the world for vintage finds for Jayson Home. “By far, my favorite is the market in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Provence. It’s a living, breathing, postcard village with unbelievable antiques mixed with regional olives, breads, fruits, and vegetables—and great people-watching.”

She’s always photo-ready  “I’m never without a camera, and I’ve recently gotten away from digital and back to shooting film. I just love the process of film—the handling of the camera, the film, the paper, and the printing. It is just more special to me. When you shoot film, you really try harder to get the shot right—and there’s a surprise waiting for you when you develop the film.”

I am traditional  She collects vintage riding gear, loves “Mad Men,” and she has a recipe for a make-your-mouth-water chicken-noodle soup.

Photograph: Werner Straube

Gabrielle Reece

Hometown  She’s been a beach babe from day one. “I was born in La Jolla, California, raised on St. Thomas, and now spend six months in Malibu and six in Hawaii. Both are home.” Ah, perpetual summer.

Occupation Former professional beach volleyball player, and model. And that’s to name just a few. “I’ve always said that I did all those other things in order to support the thing I really loved to do, which was volleyball.”

She’s looking for low-maintenance  “I love interior design, but it’s easy to get intimidated. I finally realized that it’s really just about finding things you want to sit in and see every day. Comfortable pieces that aren’t too high-maintenance. When we become slaves to our environments, we’ve gone backwards. They should nurture us, not the other way around.”

Work hard, play hard  “One of the many things I love about my husband [professional surfer Laird Hamilton] is that he’s a serious grown-up but still knows how to have good fun. We all have to work hard, but there’s no crime in enjoying it.”

She’s on a mission “There seems to be no such thing as really cool size-12 shoes. Just nursing shoes or 4-inch heels that look like they were made for a cross-dresser.”

Eyeballs over e-mails “I miss the days of direct face-to-face communication. In Hawaii, there is a big sense of community, and I love that. It reminds us to stay connected. As my husband likes to say, “Less e-mails, more eyeballs.”

I am traditional She can’t live without chocolate, believes that being with her family is the No. 1 priority, hates unnecessary drama, and puts on a mean Fourth of July soiree.

Photograph: © Steve Goldstein/Corbis

 

Dylan Lauren

Hometown  New York, New York

How you know her This young businesswoman built on a surname synonymous with classic American style (Dad is designer Ralph Lauren), some seriously entrepreneurial genes, and a sweet tooth to create the nation’s hippest candy stores—Dylan’s Candy Bars (with the flagship store in New York).

Gene Wilder would be proud  Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory inspired her career. “My parents showed it at my 6th birthday party. I was in awe of the bright colors and candy structures—the chocolate river, lollipop trees, gumball pedestals, edible daffodil teacups, and gummy bear trees.”

She has a sweet toothand then some  “There’s absolutely nothing better than marshmallow fluff!”

Comfort is key “I think every woman should own at least one pair of sneakers that look good with her office clothes so that she can be comfortable and still look great.”

Parental advice “My parents taught me to listen to my gut. I find that when I don’t, I always regret it afterwards.”

The family that eats together   “I’m extremely close to my family and see them at least once a week for dinner. We love healthy meals—fish, steamed vegetables—and dessert, of course!”

She’s a girl at heart  “I still have my first pink bunny. There are thousands of others I’ve collected, throughout my apartment, my office, and my parents’ home.”

Home Sweet Home While color reigns in her cotton candy-colored stores, a neutral palette rules in her Manhattan apartment. “To me, classic design means white, simple, and clean. I grew up in a very white, modern apartment. My home is a respite because it doesn’t feel like I’m surrounded by the madness of Manhattan. I want to feel as though I’m living in the country. The look is very French Country/shabby chic meets Monet’s place in Giverny.”

It all comes back to the candy “Even as adults, we follow our tradition of holding family Easter egg hunts.”

Photograph: Michael Dweck

Celia Tejada

Hometown  Raised in Ruerrero, Santander, Spain, she and her two sons now call San Francisco home.

Occupation  Mother, lifestyle visionary, vintner, philanthropist, and head of product design for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen.

Comfort first  “Every home should have at least one super-cozy, pillow-filled space. Nothing compares to snuggling up with your loved ones or relaxing that way with a good book or a movie. In my living room, I built a kind of theater/lounge with a wall-to-wall sofa, lots of pillows, and faux fur blankets. It’s heaven on earth!”

She’s a poet at heart  “I think every woman should own at least one book of poetry by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. I still own my first one—Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair. It was a present when I was 17.”

There’s no place like home  “More than anywhere, I love to travel to Ruerrero, my home village in Spain. Very little changes there year to year, and everything is real—humble and precious. It’s a place where I’m free to be myself and my children can learn the values of family, history, and love.”

She has a thing for songwriters  “I would love to have Chris Isaak come to my house for one of my weekly dinners with friends. His voice touches my heart, and his lyrics are real.”

Common sense is overrated  “My passionate heart sometimes goes before my common sense, but I am happy to live with the consequences!”

I am traditional  She’s energized by her family, spends every summer in the village in which she was born and raised, and can’t live without her paella pan.

Photograph: Kate Schermerhorn

Carson Kressley

Hometown  Allentown, Pennsylvania

Occupation  Makeover maven, TV personality (you may remember him as the fashion expert from Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”), actor, and clotheshorse.

Proud to wear plaid  “When I was a child, my preferred outfit was a blue blazer and plaid pants. It’s still my favorite way to dress!”

Green Acres is the place to be  “My favorite classic television show is Green Acres. I loved all of Eva Gabor’s Hollywood Regency furniture. Her peignoir sets were pretty fabulous, too.”

Fashion flashback  “My biggest fashion faux pas? Parachute pants. What can I say? It was the ’80s. We all looked awful!”

Deck the halls  “Growing up, it was my job to put up the family Christmas tree, and I loved it. I guess it was my little way of coming out! I still have my favorite antique ornaments from the 1960s that my mom kept stashed in the attic in favor of the silk-covered balls from the ’70s.”

It’s all about the classics  “To me, classic design means tasteful basics that never go out of style—pieces that can be updated by adding color or trendier pieces. It works the same way with clothes or home furnishings.”

I am traditional  He still owns his first tuxedo, can’t live without his cashmere sweaters and his Kohler soaking tub, and has a deathly fear of polyester.

Photograph: Leslie Hassler

Tiffani Thiessen

Hometown  Long Beach, California

Occupation  Mom. Actress—you can currently see her in USA Network’s White Collar. Co-owner and designer of PetitNest.com—a furniture and bedding collection for children.

Her kitchen gets used and abused  “My favorite room in our house is the kitchen. It’s where we sit as a family and eat, where we entertain, and it’s another place where I can be creative.”

It’s all in the jeans  “I think every woman should own at least one pair of good-fitting jeans. Jeans can make you feel so many ways—strong, sexy, easygoing, and fun.”

We know what her husband is getting for his birthday  “I think every man should have a manicure set. Well-manicured hands and feet are a must!”

Her pet peeve?  “People who don’t make eye contact when having a conversation! Too many people are on their cell phones and forget to connect with each other.”

She loves the fabulous ’50s  “If I could go back to any period in time, it would be the ’50s. The music was upbeat and fun. It was a time when people were about family and family values. And the fashion was very classic and about clean lines, which I love.”

She’s an ’80s poster child  As a child of the ’80s, she had the requisite crush on Johnny Depp, made the obligatory Sun-In “highlight” fashion faux pas, and fell in love with a little movie called E.T.

I am traditional  “I believe in family values, love to clean, would rather stay home and cook than go out to eat, and still take advice from my mother and grandmother.”

Photograph: Nigel Parry for USA Network

 

Allegra Hicks

Hometown  Born in Turin, Italy, she currently lives in London, England.

Occupation  Designer. From fashion to textiles and homewares, she’s created products for companies including West Elm, Lee Jofa, and The Rug Company. Her eponymous fashion and accessories line is available in her lifestyle stores and online at allegrahicks.com.

You can’t argue with da Vinci and Michelangelo  “If I could go back to one period in time, it would have to be the Renaissance. It was such a time of discovery. I’m Italian, and Italy was at its greatest.”

She appreciates the power of flowers  What does she love most about London? No question: “The endless gardens with spring blossoms!”

She’s inspired by far-flung locations  “I love discovering new places. And I get truly inspired every time I go back to India.”

She always makes time for tea  She may not have been born a Brit, but she’s adopted one of their finest traditions. “It might seem old-fashioned, but I never miss afternoon tea.”

Her must-haves?  An iPod with a really great playlist, fresh flowers in the house, her embroidered dining room wallpaper, and lipstick, “because it’s an instant beauty fix!”

She’s rather open-minded about fashion  “My fashions are inspired by the fabulous ’40s—with the freedom of the ’70s!

I am traditional  She still believes in the power of the little black dress, has a thing for Bob Dylan, and doesn’t understand why we need reality TV.

Photograph: John Bessler

Virginia Williams

Hometown  Memphis, Tennessee

Occupation  Actress. She currently stars as Lauren Reed in USA Network’s “Fairly Legal.”

She channels Martha Stewart  “I monogram all my bedding and towels. I love nothing more than freshly ironed, monogrammed pillowcases!”

Football flashbacks  “I actually love watching college football and cooking game-day grub for a big group cheering in the living room. I guess it reminds me of when I was a kid, with my dad and brother screaming at the TV every Saturday.”

Millinery mania  “I collect hats. I own dozens of them. I wish the pillbox would come back in style—it’s just so chic.”

Even her name is a classic  “I was named after my grandmothers. My full name is Virginia Rosemary Williams.”

Sentimental silver  “My most prized possession is my grandmother’s silver collection. My grandfather actually gave it to me as a wedding present after she passed, and that meant so much to me. It’s Chantilly by Gorham. Every time I see it I think about Christmas dinners at her house.”

I am traditional  She loves a good theme party, adores engraved stationery, and makes a gourmet mac and cheese that’s to die for!

Photograph: Jeff Vespa

 

Keith Johnson

Hometown  New York City, Philadelphia, and Wellington, Florida. “But I grew up in New York City, so I’ll always feel like a New Yorker.”

Occupation  As art and antiques buyer for Anthropologie, he travels the world in search of antiques, artifacts, and today’s most innovative artisans.

He has a Plan B  “If I weren’t a buyer, I would be an art dealer. [Just like his dad.] I love that people are creating wonderful things that will be treasured as antiques in the future.”

Travel is in his blood  “Growing up, I loved packages arriving from around the world for my dad’s business. He once bought hundreds of old clocks from railroad stations in Europe when they changed from wind-up to electric—they really spoke of travel and faraway places.”

Deepest fear?  “Losing my passport! I check my pocket for it several times a day.”

Downside to travel?  “I shop antiques and food markets and almost never come home without a reminder of the trip—a practice I really need to stop!”

He can be a creature of habit  “I enjoy revisiting places I love—staying at the same spots and often eating at the same restaurants. You need some grounding in our world!”

I am traditional  Keith loves The Avengers, is inspired by cultures that continue to cherish their traditions, and still owns almost every antique he’s ever bought.

Photograph: Joe Standart

 

Emily Robison

Hometown  San Antonio

Occupation  Musician, singer, songwriter, and Grammy winner. Emily was a founding member of the Dixie Chicks and is now lead vocalist for the Court Yard Hounds (a group she formed with her sister Martie Maguire).

Proud to be lacquer-free  “To me, classic design means being able to say that I never owned black lacquer!”

She likes a man in a blazer  Her secret crush? Broadcast journalist Charlie Rose. Yes, really.

The Top Gun effect  “If I weren’t a musician, I’d probably be a fighter pilot. In high school, I thought I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy and fly jets.”

Tool time  “I think every woman should own at least one set of tools. I love being able to do basic fix-it jobs on my own.”

We like her style  “I like to surround myself with pieces that are well-worn, classic, and comfortable. I lean toward Spanish Colonial antiques and clean-lined rustic pieces.”

I am traditional  “I love to fish, think all photographs look better in black and white, and believe that vintage instruments just sound better.”

Photograph: Colleen Duffley

 

David and Paul Bettner

Occupation  Founded mobile game company Newtoy in  McKinney, Texas, and created the Games with  Friends franchise.

What inspires you?  “Advancement of technology,” says David. “I feel we’re finally in the future we were promised as children. I’m still waiting on flying cars, though!” For Paul, it’s “Great stories, books, movies, video games, songs—it doesn’t matter where it comes from.”

Part of their history  “One of my earliest video game memories is playing Super Mario Brothers and wondering what existed behind the blocks,” recalls David. “I was already dreaming of 3D video games.”

Paul has a soft spot for good design  “Our home is over 100 years old. I love the quality workmanship.”

Should have known  Both brothers think the iPhone is just about the best invention ever. “Really, did you need to ask?” laughs Paul.

Family first  “Every summer our family would rent a cottage on [Florida’s] Captiva Island. We’d play video games, swim in the pool, build model airplanes, and race bicycles across the island,” says David. “Those summers are my fondest memories.”

Mmm ... Nutella  “I think every man should own at least one great suit. You should see the look on my wife’s face when I wear one,” says Paul. “And I think every woman should own at least one jar of Nutella.” Why? “You should see the look on my wife’s face when she has some.”

I am traditional  David proposed to his wife with her great-grandmother’s ring. Paul lives in a fully restored Victorian home in McKinney.

Photograph: Davis Factor/DR Photo Management

 

Jenifer Ringer

Hometown  New York City

Occupation  Principal dancer with the New York City Ballet

Bigger is not always better  The thing she loves most about  her apartment? “Manhattan-sized appliances—a tiny dishwasher is better than no dishwasher! And I couldn’t live without my pantry. In New York, there is never enough space, so it feels like such a luxury. Now if I could only keep it organized.”

Creamy or chunky?  “Peanut butter rocks!”

We’d love to hear more of that story  Strangest moment onstage? “A giant pair of metal scissors dropped out of a fellow dancer’s costume fifteen minutes into the performance.”

Dixie Chicks meet Swan Lake  Favorite music? “Country! Willie, Dolly, Garth, Dixie Chicks … ”

It’s the simple things  What makes Jenifer happiest? “Seeing my husband make my daughter crack up.”

Parental guidance  “My mom taught me to make memories—make the effort to spend the time with your loved ones in special ways. My dad taught me how to fish.”

Learning curve  “What amazes me about the past 20 years is how my priorities have changed. Things that used to keep me awake at night now seem so unimportant. I enjoy every experience so much more. I used to worry about whether I would be able to do a good pirouette. Now I am more focused on my family and friends—it feels so much better.”

But is she a Trekkie?  “I love science fiction and am a huge fan of the new ‘Battlestar Galactica.’”

I am traditional  “I always send thank-you notes, cook dinner for my family every night, and still own my first Winnie the Pooh. He looks pretty good for being 33 years old!”

Photograph: Michael Randazo

Alexandra Cousteau

Hometown New York City

How you know her The granddaughter of famed oceanic explorer Jacques Cousteau, this 32-year-old founder of the nonprofit Blue Legacy and member of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers travels the globe in hopes of continuing her family’s legacy and inspiring us to take action on critical water issues.

She’s a daddy’s girl  “The person I admire most is my father [Philippe Cousteau]. He was a man of courage, humor, kindness, and integrity, and his memory guides me in everything that I do.”

Vintage rocks  “I still own my first camera—a Leica. It must be vintage by now!”

She’s racked up serious frequent-flyer miles “My travels take me from the Arctic to Argentina and Costa Rica to Cambodia. Each place is more exciting than the last!”

She obviously never saw Jaws “My friends tell me I’m crazy to swim with sharks. But really…what could go wrong?”

She channels her inner Julia Child  “I love to cook. I’m usually so tired of eating in restaurants during my travels that I love to spend time in the kitchen when I’m home, preparing my favorite recipes and sharing them with my family.”

Flannel over Neoprene  “I’m most comfortable when I’m wearing pajamas. Trust me, if you spent as much time as I do in a wetsuit, you’d understand.”

Home is where the pastry is  “If I could live anywhere, it would be Paris. It’s the only place that really feels like home, and the croissants are out of this world!”

I am traditional  “I could never spend Thanksgiving with anyone but my family, I think courtship is a dying art, and motherhood is the greatest challenge of all.”

Photograph: Gordon Beall

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I Am Traditional

From the Editors of Traditional Home
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Greg Scheidemann

Rocco DiSpirito

Hometown Jamaica, Queens, New York

How you know him He opened NYC’s Union Pacific Restaurant, makes a mean meatball (thanks to his mama), published a cookbook, braved reality TV in NBC’s “The Restaurant,” and did the mambo on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

His mother taught him well  “My mother taught me anything is possible—which is why she came from Italy to America. And laugh as much as you can, and be as kind as you can.”

Don’t knock his risotto “One of the first dishes I learned how to make working with Gray Kunz at Lespinasse was his white truffle risotto. I made it my goal to learn how to make risotto as good or better than anyone in the restaurant.”

He can’t pick just one favorite dish  “There are so many—my mom’s frittata, the spicy tuna hand roll at Nobu, and pizza by the slice from Joe’s in the West Village.”

Kitchen gadget he can’t live without  His Peugeot 9-inch pepper mill.

Kitchen gadget he just doesn’t get  Shrimp peeler.

It’s the simple things “I think ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together is just about the best thing ever.”

He loves the classics “My most cherished belonging is my signed copy of Jacques Pepin’s cookbook La Technique.

He’s no color-phobe  “The thing I love most about my home is my fuchsia-colored living room wall. It’s the first thing you see when you enter, and it always brings a smile.” Run, Rocco, run “You’d never guess that I love training for a triathlon.”

I am traditional “I believe in the code of chivalry—I still think a man should pay the check, hold a woman’s coat for her, and give her his seat on the subway.”

Photograph: Greg Scheidemann

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