WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CLOTHESHORSE.
Byline: Rosemary Kent, November 1972
I have never been talked into buying anything.”
Her tone of voice is calm and convincing. Nice and pleasant but firm. Nan Kempner is a lady who knows what she wants and gets it.
An elegant, cool blonde thoroughbred who grew up on a ranch in northern California and partied among the chic in San Francisco before heading east to school and marriage, Nan Kempner is a wife, mother, socialite, former fashion editor, super hostess, a fabulous face and figure about town.
Whether it’s at Monsieur Marc’s getting her hair done, at the JOB Ball or at Orsini’s having lunch with her children, Nan always looks pulled together, ahead of her time. How does she manage to stay on top of fashion?
“I work at it….There is no question Yves Saint Laurent is my favorite designer. Because I am tall and on the smallish side, clothes can overpower me. But Yves understands my kind of body. Actually he designs for someone who is built like him.”
Crossing her fashionably long feet shod in YSL’s malt-colored classic pumps, Nan continues: “Of course, certain designers have asked me to wear their clothes. But I have never accepted free clothes. Working for Bazaar all those years, I just didn’t feel it was good politics to take presents.
“Then again, I must say I do get good prices from the designers. Otherwise how could I possibly buy all these clothes on my budget? I spend more money than I should and less than I’d like to, much less. I wouldn’t keep my husband if I spent more.”
Taking another sip of coffee from a demitasse before changing into her riding clothes for a photograph, Nan says, “I tell people all the time I want to be buried naked because there must be a store where I’m going.”