This week’s Style Diary is about the successful and lively Royce Pinkwater, founder of a luxury realty boutique firm based in New York City.
A former Senior Vice President at Sotheby’s for over 25 years, she decided to bring her expertise and new perspective to the real estate business with Pinkwater Select, a full-service company to advise clients on purchasing and selling their properties. She is also the founder and chair of Global Partnership, a network of the top Sotheby’s real estate experts in different markets around the world.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Royce Pinkwater: My style is fashion forward with a feminine twist. I am conscious about what I want to emphasize in my shape, so you will never see me in loose clothing on both the top and bottom, no matter how trendy that look may get!
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Ms. Pinkwater: I just asked a friend to answer this, and he said ebullient, kind, and spirited. He is a very kind friend!
Ms. Eschapasse: How has you style evolved since you were a teenager?
Ms. Pinkwater: My style has become less conservative than when I was a teen. When I was younger, I was very buttoned up, wearing Armani suits and little neck scarves. Cute, but very covered up. I am more into taking risks today in my fashion choices and choose things that are often more bodycon.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you have ever worn?
Ms. Pinkwater: The wildest thing in fashion for me was going out for a big evening in Bonn, Germany, when I was dressed in a flowing dress but I was barefoot! I spent the whole night walking the city streets and clubs with nothing on my feet… You wouldn’t catch me doing that now or in NYC!
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Pinkwater: My work, as an entrepreneur, has no dress code and has become increasingly more casual, like many other companies. My workdays often include Frame or L’Agence jeans with the latest boots—I am currently in love with block heeled booties, a Gucci shirt, paired with a fitted jacket and soft warm scarf I can wrap around myself if it gets cool in the office or restaurant. If clients come into the office or we have a “fancy” lunch, I might wear a fitted Balmain dress, high boots, my favorite new McQueen leather jacket.
On the weekends, depending on what we’re doing, I generally wear jeans or athletic pants, a thin turtleneck in the cold months as a layering piece, a cashmere sweater, and a Rick Owens jacket, my Balenciaga or Common Ground sneakers, or my Frye boots. Very casual.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without?
Ms. Pinkwater: I love heels whether I am being dressy or casual, pencil skirts, and jackets from Rick Owens, McQueen, or Balmain.
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s one item that makes you feel instantly more confident?
Ms. Pinkwater: A fabulous pair of shoes. Last night I was wearing, for the first time, my new Dolce & Gabanna sandals which are a bright silver, high block heel with chunky white jewels sprinkled all over. They make me so happy when I look down—they are like jewels on the foot.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?
Ms. Pinkwater: Designers, rather than people, have always been my fashion influences. Starting at 16 with YSL, I spent my entire fashion allowance on three pairs of his pants. I then moved to Armani as I entered my 20s, and although I always mixed designers, there was always one look that was my favorite.
I would never wear anything, however chic, if it did not flatter me. I bought my first pieces of Alaïa in Paris with my mother when I was 17 and I still have those pieces. I mix the masters with either the designer of the moment, a vintage piece I come across, or an extremely inexpensive piece which screams fashion from H&M or Uniqlo.
My influences change based on the decade and my own look. My current fashion icon is Carine Roitfeld, who always wears the latest fashions, but interprets it in her own way. Without planning on it, my style was very similar to hers and I related immediately. She always wears a pencil skirt, and a fabulous, sexy shoe with a high heel. Everything is on the fitted side. Her hair is casual, always in her face, and paired with a very smoky eye and a light lip. She dresses for any age and always looks like she has put her individual stamp on everything she puts on.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?
Ms. Pinkwater: The last few years have been Carine Roitfield. We live in a time when most people are “styled” by stylists who have the style, so I am never influenced by a celebrity who has a dresser. There is nothing inspirational about that.
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Ms. Pinkwater: To me, style is a very personal expression about who you are, using the medium of fashion to express beauty, creativity, and who you are. I have a friend who has tons of style; she is a very talented hat designer, and her wardrobe is geared toward highlighting a hat. Her wardrobe is very chic, yet you will never see her clothing fighting with the hat on her head. Since her hats can be very dramatic and large, they are the stars of her look. This works so well for her, as absolutely no one looks like her, and she always looks great.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the one purchase that you are most proud of?
Ms. Pinkwater: I bought a vintage Cartier bracelet from the very brief Egyptian period they had. Those pieces are so special and valuable as they made very few.
Ms. Eschapasse: And what would you never pay much money for?
Ms. Pinkwater: An item that I know I will only wear once such as piece for a costume party.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel?
Ms. Pinkwater: I want to feel beautiful and comfortable. Simple and not frilly or overdone in any way.
Ms. Eschapasse: Which designers can help you achieve that?
Ms. Pinkwater: I would either wear a gorgeous dress or tuxedo, and I would go to Dior, Dolce, Tom Ford.
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. Pinkwater: I think people who have true style have confidence. They are confident in what they like and they know what works for them. One should look around and see whom you admire and what they are doing. Look at your body type and be realistic about what looks good on you. Personal style has everything to do with understanding your own strengths and weaknesses.
Street style is very important. Designers get so much inspiration from what they see people wearing in the street. Keep your eyes open and see if there is something a person is wearing that speaks to you.
Sibylle’s Style Diary is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org