DOING IT HERSELF
You’d think that Cayli Cavaco would be over fashion by now, but the willowy 26-year-old daughter of fashion legends Kezia Keeble and Paul Cavaco, Allure’s creative director, is just getting started. “Maybe I’m a loser, but I never get tired of going to fashion shows,” says Cayli, who attended her first one in Paris as a six-month-old and will hit the Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and Zac Posen shows this week. “It’s like going to the movies; it never gets boring.”
This story first appeared in the September 15, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Of course, growing up in the offices of public relations powerhouse Keeble, Cavaco & Duka, which her parents founded, didn’t offer Cayli much of a chance to rebel. “My dad is so cool and accepting I had nothing to rebel against,” she says.
Cavaco describes her personal style as “a little bit rock ’n’ roll, a little bit sweet.” But when she was still crawling the floors of KCD, where the company uniform was all-black, the younger Cavaco followed suit. “I wore black as a kid, then started wearing color when I was a teenager. I guess that was my rebellion.”
Now Cavaco is making her own way into the family business, working on a book based on her do-it-yourself columns for Teen Vogue and shopping around a spritely demo reel for “Way to Be,” a DIY-based TV project touching on fashion, beauty and interior design. “What I’m looking for and what the next generation is looking for isn’t cookie-cutter,” Cavaco explains. “That’s why DIY is such a popular thing. It’s the new couture.”
Though she toyed with becoming a designer, then an actress, Cavaco likes the idea of making people happy with her fashionable ideas. “Fashion is in my genes, so I’m trying to find a way that I can use that and give back more,” she says. It’s also a way to feel closer to her mother, Kezia, who died of cancer in 1990. “Fashion is a family thing to me. It’s a whimsical and fantastical world, and it’s a way to keep in touch with my mom and my roots.”
She’s also recently started hanging out with Zac Posen, just as her parents befriended an older generation of designers. “My dad called me today and said, ‘Now people think of me as Cayli’s dad,’” she reports.
Still, as familiar as the ways of the fashion world may be to her, Cavaco, who used to watch the shows sitting at the foot of her father’s front-row seat, is still getting used to being invited on her own. “I got a ticket to Zac’s show and it said BKST on it,” says Cavaco. “I called and said, ‘I know I’m not famous, and I’m not complaining, but you want me to watch the show from the back of standing?’” Nope. Zac needs Cayli backstage.
— Jessica Kerwin
MODEL – ACTRESS – WHATEVER
Some girls grow up wanting to be Madonna, Hillary Clinton, or Julia Roberts. Lydia Hearst-Shaw, daughter of Patty, cousin of Amanda, wanted to be like Barbie.
“Barbie did everything from being a doctor to being a pilot,” Hearst-Shaw says. And she hopes for a career just as diverse.
For the time being, however, Hearst-Shaw is focusing on being a model. While still a senior in high school, she signed with Ford after debuting at the Bal de Crillon in Paris. Now a sophomore at an undisclosed college in Connecticut (she can’t say where, because of her mom), Hearst-Shaw debuted on the New York runways of Helen Yarmak and Zang Toi last week.
But that’s only step one in her plan to be the next Hilary Duff. She’s already had small roles in two independent films, but isn’t sure “acting will fit into my schedule at the moment.” It’s a schedule that includes recording a demo — “I think that will be the next thing I try and conquer,” Hearst-Shaw adds. “I don’t think there’s anything to lose” — and completing a degree in communications and information technology.
“I’m planning to continue modeling and even come out with my own fashion line, but I really want to go into entertainment law,” Hearst-Shaw admits. “I’d be able to do my own contracts and everything. I just want to make sure I know what’s going on and have the upper hand in every situation.”
It’s amazing Hearst-Shaw finds time to hang out with her cousin, Amanda, who is also a model. “We actually started out at the same time, though we haven’t done any shows or photo shoots together,” Hearst-Shaw says. “We don’t really talk about work. We talk more about the normal teenage things — boys, clothes, parties — and just sort of veg out.”
Hearst-Shaw has also discovered at least one hobby Barbie never did: Bowling. “There are a ton of bowling alleys in Connecticut,” she explains. “I’m actually really good at it.” There are no plans yet to add the sport to her professional repertoire, though. “I don’t know if I’d be able to get into it that seriously,” Hearst-Shaw laughs.
Lydia’s older sister, Gillian, who though she’s not pursuing modeling made her way to the Ferragamo party on Friday night, is surprised about Lydia’s newfound hobby. “I’m more of a golfer than a bowler myself,” she says. “And I think I’ll stick with golf.”
Perhaps Gillian will help her younger sister balance her vida loca. “I’m constantly running around,” Hearst-Shaw says. “It’s a little crazy at times — seeing my boyfriend, doing homework, meeting with teachers for extra help. But I’m 18, and I think things are supposed to be crazy.”
— Marshall Heyman
AJ Azzarto has only the fondest memories of going on tour in the early Eighties with her grandfather, the late, great Frank Sinatra, and her mother, Nancy Sinatra Jr.
“I was seven or eight and Frank bought us Big Wheels in Vegas. He’d get a floor at the hotel and it became our playground,” Azzarto recalls on a rare break from working on “Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way,” a stage show that premieres at Radio City Music Hall next month. Azzarto, who has had experience as a music supervisor on films like “Down to You” and “Julien Donkey-Boy,” seems to be having as much fun helping the legal team deal with copyright issues for the multimedia project as she did on tour.
“The executive producers of the show came up with the concept and pitched it to my family,” Azzarto explains, almost breathlessly. “I said I needed to be involved in this show in some capacity and I’ve watched it come to life.”
Azzarto, 29, has wound up shadowing her grandfather in more ways than one. For starters, she lives with her husband, the musician Matt Azzarto, in a town house in Hoboken, N.J., where Frank himself got his start.
“The first place I saw in Hoboken I thought, ‘This is it,’” Azzarto says. “Then I talked to my grandmother and she said, ‘You know, that’s two blocks from where your grandfather lived.’ It was kind of serendipitous.”
Though she tends to focus much of her energy on behind-the-scenes work, Azzarto has always been something of a performer. In high school in Los Angeles, she sang backup in a metal band and, while studying screenwriting at USC, she started her own group called Sleepington (“It was slow, dirgy rock music,” Azzarto says. “You know, angst ridden.”). Though she tried her hand at founding a record label, she’s now back to singing, though this time, it’s jazz.
“My husband, my brother-in-law and I are sort of a gang of musicians,” Azzarto says. “We have a residency at my brother-in-law’s club, The Goldhawk, in Hoboken so it’s all in the family.” She even sings some of her grandfather’s standards. “I’m just hopeful that I’m doing them justice.”
Though Azzarto is hard at work on finishing this stage project, she’s already focusing on producing an album for her mother. (Nancy’s fans in the music business are contributing material). And she has at least one music supervising project lined up — a documentary about “Lord of the Rings” fans.
But Azzarto is also gearing up for fashion week, and plans to attend the Catherine Malandrino, Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez and Michael Kors shows. On this particular day, she pulled out all the fashion stops: a Prada top, Yves Saint Laurent pants and Chanel earrings in the shape of a star. “These were a wedding gift from my mom. My grandfather had given them to her on her wedding day,” she says. “They’re the only Chanel I own.
“I’m so proud of the fact that I’m a member of a great family. It always feels like an honor,” Azzarto adds. “My grandfather was so classy. Even the popcorn in his screening room was classy — he’d serve it in a top hat.”