This week’s style diary guest is Cheri Kaufman, the CEO and founder of C iGIVE, a new organization that guides charitable-minded millennials and partners their initiatives with potential donors so that their projects can be implemented.
Cheri is a respected member of New York’s philanthropic community and currently serves as the vice president of Lifeline Organization of New York, the NYC Council Chair of the National Women’s History Museum, and holds positions with other organizations as well.
She has also been a founding partner of Kaufman Astoria Studios, playing a crucial role in starting the 18-acre campus studio and leading it to its prominent place today in the New York’s film and television industry.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Cheri Kaufman: Simple and classic.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in four words, what would they be?
Ms. Kaufman: Compassionate, outgoing, sharp, elegant.
Ms. Eschapasse: How has your style evolved since you were a teenager?
Ms. Kaufman: I was always simple and classic. I was lucky to have my mother and grandmother hand down their incredible style, and they still influence me every day. Their chicness, in my opinion, is still unmatched.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you have ever worn?
Ms. Kaufman: My black leather pants, and I still wear them to this day!
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Kaufman: Workdays I wear black sweaters, black pants, and black leggings. Living in New York, black was, is, and always will be, the new black. On weekends, I love my jeans.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without?
Ms. Kaufman: My mother’s necklace (it’s a family heirloom), my Manolo Blahnik slingbacks, and my Bulgari ring.
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s one item that makes you feel instantly more confident?
Ms. Kaufman: My Bulgari watch. It’s strong, it’s beautiful, and it serves a purpose.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?
Ms. Kaufman: My mother was a huge influence. She was a finished product.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?
Ms. Kaufman: My mother. Also, Audrey Hepburn, and I love Bill Blass, Jimmy Galanos, and Dior; their designs were always wearable and glamorous.
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you?
Ms. Kaufman: My mother always said: “Style is an attitude.”
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the one purchase that you are most proud of?
Ms. Kaufman: My wonderful David Hockney painting.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel?
Ms. Kaufman: Confident.
Ms. Eschapasse: Which designers can help you achieve that?
Ms. Kaufman: Michael Kors.
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?
Ms. Kaufman: I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world and see the styles of so many different people that always inspired my curiosity. I love seeing how they are influenced by their cultures and surroundings. My advice would be to draw inspiration from the world around you, and let that influence your style choices.
Favorite color: I love the clean chicness of black and white. I wear a lot of it and if I want to make a statement, I love orange.
Favorite perfume: L’Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès.
Favorite restaurant in NY: Cipriani’s. The salmon is delicious!
Favorite drink: White and red wines. I like Gavi and Caymus.
Favorite movie: “Out of Africa” because of my love for animals.
Favorite book: I love any biography. History for me has always been a passion. “Freedom at Midnight” by Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre
Favorite quote: “You want a better world? Go create it!” – Cheri Kaufman
Sibylle Eschapasse is originally from Paris and now lives in New York. She contributes to various publications, in addition to working for the United Nations, and is the author of the children’s book “Argy Boy!: A New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at [email protected]