NEW YORK — With little sleep and a lot of coffee, Judith Giuliani has been charging from one RNC event to the next with nothing short of gusto.
Unlike some politicians’ wives who look like weary cheerleaders, she’s still fresh-faced about her role as Rudolph Giuliani’s wife and the breakneck schedule that entails. After a tea in her honor Tuesday at the Women’s National Republican Club, Giuliani said, “I never imagined this. I’m a nurse. But it sure is terrific.”
It may get better. The former New York mayor is among the party’s golden boys and speculation about a 2008 presidential bid trailed him all week. In regard to a White House run, Judith Giuliani said, “Whatever he wants to do. My parents have been happily married for 50 years because they always supported each other. Rudy loves public service. That is not a secret.”
She has taken to it nicely, too. Unfazed by the stream of strangers who repeatedly interrupted her conversations for a quick word or a snapshot, Giuliani is a quick study. “I think it would be a terrible thing to be involved with politics if you didn’t like people,” she said. “Whether you agree or disagree — they all have something to say.”
While the convention has called for more events than she cares to tally, Giuliani, Changing Our World’s managing director and a registered nurse who specialized in infectious diseases, has quickly grown accustomed to her jam-packed days. Before the Republicans came to town, she and her husband took a two-day trip to Singapore where they managed to squeeze in nine holes of golf each day between his speaking engagements.
“We both can live with very little sleep,” she said. “I drink lots of coffee. That’s something I started years ago in the hospital.”
They’re also planning a trip to Russia in the coming weeks. These days they don’t spend much time apart. Her husband surprised his wife at the tea and even buzzed by Oscar de la Renta’s showroom with her Monday to pick up six or seven pieces in half an hour. Dressed in a de la Renta bouclé suit and Chanel bag, Giuliani said, “I have no room for shopping in my life.”She is also a fan of Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang, and tends to favor pieces that can be worn all day, save for the occasional blouse change.
“That to me is the sign of a good designer, when you can buy something off the rack that will take you from breakfast through dinner,” Giuliani said.
But she has weightier things on her mind than designer clothes. Wednesday morning the Giulianis were front and center for the groundbreaking of the Rudolph W. Giuliani Trauma Center at St. Vincent’s Hospital, a facility that Judith Giuliani has been instrumental in setting up. Aside from being one of the most advanced emergency medicine facilities in the country, it will be equipped to treat patients exposed to infectious diseases or biological agents.
“There will be an entire unit for teaching,” she said. “Unfortunately, with terrorism, we can’t just put our heads under a pillow anywhere in America and think, ‘This can’t happen to me.’ When push comes to shove and when anything is done, that [the hospital] is where people wind up.”
Giuliani is executive director of St. Vincent’s campaign to raise $100 million for upgrades. While health care is her real concern, the trilingual Giuliani said she prefers speaking with people one-on-one. The same is true with family time. In line with the Giulianis’ work-hard, play-hard mentality, cell phones are pretty much prohibited. Judith Giuliani has a daughter from a previous marriage and the divorced former mayor has a teenage daughter and son from his marriage to Donna Hanover.
“When we’re with the kids, we do what we’re doing with them and focus entirely on what we’re doing with them,” she said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast