Women of Substance: Coralie Charriol Paul

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Haute Living had the chance to catch up with Four of NYC’s hottest women. They are celebrities in their own right, setting new standards for stardom.

By Nicole Kotovos
Photography by Patrickmcmullan.com

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 My father was my mentor in business. I admire the way he did business and dealt with his clients — always with a lot of charm and always remaining loyal.

Coralie Charriol Paul

Coralie Charriol Paul was born in Hawaii, but spent most of her childhood flitting between Hong Kong, London and New York. After graduating from Tufts University, Coralie began working for her father’s jewelry company, Charriol, and found success designing new product lines. Coralie and her husband, Dennis Paul, reside in New York and have been called the most gorgeous couple in New York City.

How has your family’s work ethic influenced your own?
The most important work ethic is taking initiative. If you want something done, don’t wait for anyone to ask you to do it. The most important ethic is honesty, which is something that I learned from my husband, Dennis, who is obsessed with never cutting corners. In France, we’re not brought up that way. I also have found that being up front with people about what you want is a good policy.

What brought you to New York?
Love! My husband was living here, and I was living in Geneva (boring). When Dennis proposed and asked me to move to New York, I jumped at the chance. I moved into this apartment with just four suitcases, and it’s been more than five years, and I still love it here (and him).

Who was your mentor, and how did he or she influence you?
My father was my mentor in business. I admire the way he did business and dealt with his clients — always with a lot of charm and always remaining loyal. My mentor in life has been my mother because she lives in the moment, always reminding me that “you never know what tomorrow may bring.”

What is the next best city after New York?
The next best city in the world is Rome. I should say Paris since I’m French, but nothing comes close to Rome. It has history, beauty, mystery, but it definitely can feel like a little village where everyone knows your name.

What is your favorite development in New York?
I love architecture, so I must say the new Hearst building and, of course, the Museum of Modern Art because of what they represent for the future of architecture.

What is your favorite area to live in New York?
Close to Central Park because that is where I prefer to spend my free time.

What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
For Soup/Panini: Via Quadronno
For French Food: La Goulue
For Japanese: Nobu 57
For a Burger: JG Melon
For Pancakes: Annie’s

What is your favorite clothing store in New York?
I don’t have favorites. I prefer buying from the designers: Alvin Valley, Luca Orlando, and Angel Sanchez.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Work out, watch movies, eat.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Personally — more than anything else — still happily married to Dennis, being a good wife to him and a good mother to our children. Three smart, well-adjusted kids would be great, too. Philanthropically, I hope to be deeply committed to and involved with one or two organizations that really matter to me and where I can truly make a difference, such as with the Central Park Conservancy and the Asia Society. Professionally, I hope to be running my own successful private business, being respected and admired by others in the luxury-goods industry. In the end, I want my obituary to be a long one because I did and accomplished many things — not just for myself, but for others.

Tell us something that nobody would believe.
I wore a back brace for three years.

What’s your proudest achievement?
Well, it’s in the making: my first child, due January 21. Aside from that, everything else seems minor.

How do you strike a professional/personal balance in life?
It’s all about making choices and prioritizing. What’s more important, your job or your love life?

What is the craziest/newest/most interesting thing you did or will do this month?
Strip and pose for Playboy pregnant! Ha! Just kidding.

Who is your idol?
No one on this earth. Everyone always ends up disappointing you, so I’m going to say God and leave it at that.

Favorite New York mayor?
Rudy Giuliani. Now women can walk the streets of New York and feel safe.

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Bettina Zilkha

Bettina Zilkha was born and raised in New York, in the philanthropic family that created the first private banking system in the Middle East. She began her career in advertising, but she is best known for her book, Ultimate Style: A History of the Best Dressed List. Bettina writes a monthly column for Avenue magazine, and has written articles for several other local and national publications. She can be seen commenting about fashion on the E! Channel, VH1, and the Style Network.

How has your family’s work ethic influenced your own?
I come from a family of high achievers and perfectionists, where mediocrity is not an option and being honorable is paramount. I try to follow that.

What brought you to New York?
Birth.

Who was your mentor, and how did he or she influence you?
I have never really had a mentor. I had a few terrific bosses when I worked in advertising who taught me so much about marketing and client relations.

What is the next best city after New York?
My two other favorites would be Paris, which is an incredibly pleasant place to live and Miami, with its incomparable weather.

What is your favorite development in New York?
15 Central Park West, designed by Robert Stern, which is being built right now. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in New York, all limestone. It will have the most wonderful amenities, including a screening room and a roster filled with famous owners.

What is your favorite area to live in New York?
I have only lived on the Upper East Side. I love Central Park and open, green space, so this makes sense for me.

What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
Depends on my mood, and on what is new and great at that moment.

What is your favorite clothing store in New York?
Too many to mention, so probably the department stores first, then most everything along Madison and Fifth avenues. There are certain designers that I particularly enjoy wearing: Valentino, J. Mendel, Nicole Miller, BCBG.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Small dinners with friends, going to the movies and, in the summer, swimming in the ocean.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I don’t like to project because when I do that, I limit myself, and I have always been wrong in the past. I hope to have written more books and have appeared on more TV shows, and I hope to have influenced at least one person’s life in a positive way.

Tell us something that nobody would believe.
My first job was as a stockbroker on Wall Street.

Your proudest achievement to date?
My book, Ultimate Style: A History of the Best Dressed List. Eleanor Lambert was alive when I began writing it, wrote the foreword and gave the project her blessing. The list remains as relevant today as it was in 1940 when it first started, and the women highlighted are icons with legitimate places in fashion history.

How do you strike a professional/personal balance in life?
Very easily. My professional life is so tied into my personal life and I enjoy seeing the people I write about, so I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people I like.

What is the craziest/newest/most interesting thing you did or will do this month?
I went to Istanbul for the weekend, on a trip sponsored by the Hakko family in honor of their association with Zac Posen, who will design a special line for their Vakko stores. There were about 150 people from all over the world, and it was beautifully organized and truly incredible.

Who is your idol?
I do not have an idol.

Favorite New York mayor?
It’s a tossup between Bloomberg and Giuliani.

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Tinsley Mortimer

Tinsley Mortimer, the new face of Tokyo-based handbag company, Samantha Thavasa, has always loved the fast-paced world of fashion. Tinsley grew up in Richmond, Virginia and upon graduation left the south to attend Columbia University. Following her dream, she joined the fashion elite at Vogue magazine and worked closely with editors in both the beauty and fashion divisions. She then joined the public relations firm, Harrison & Shriftman, coordinating high profile NYC events. In 2005, she was invited to be a fashion correspondent for Plum TV, which gave her the opportunity to act as a fashion expert, and research and comment on the hottest trends of the season. She cites the collections of Peter Som, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen and Monique L’huillier as her favorite designers and sources of inspiration.

How has your family’s work ethic influenced your own?
My parents have inspired me to pursue a career path that I find exciting and fulfilling. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Samantha Thavasa and designing my own line of handbags.

What brought you to New York?
College, excitement, and fashion!

Who was your mentor and how did he or she influence you?
My grandmother was always someone I looked up to and admired. She carried herself so well in public and was always such a lady.

What is the next best city, after New York?
Paris.

What is your favorite development in New York?
55 Wall Street, Cipriani’s new development.

What is your favorite area to live in New York?
I just moved to the Upper East Side and am having fun exploring my new neighborhood: finding my local coffee place, the best route to walk my dogs and where to grab a quick bite to eat with my husband for a late dinner.

What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
Downtown Cipriani and Phillipe! Please don’t make me decide!

What is your favorite clothing store in New York?
Bergdorf Goodman.

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
Spend time with my husband and Chihuahuas.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Expanding my family with happy and healthy children.

Tell us something that nobody would believe.
I actually love it when I have nothing on my calendar!

What can you not live without?
My blackberry and my husband.

What is your proudest achievement?
When I saw the final samples of my Winter/Resort handbag collection for Samantha Thavasa. It was so incredible to see my ideas come to fruition.

How do you strike the professional/personal balance in life?
Make work fun! I also remind myself that family and friends are what’s most important.

What is the craziest/newest/most interesting thing you did or will do this month.
I hosted the Samantha Thavasa store opening on November 10th. It’s their first store in the US and the beginning of their global expansion plans. It also served as a platform for debuting my handbag collection. The entire night was thrilling, nerve-wracking, exciting and crazy all at once!

Who is your idol?
My mother!

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Fabiola Beracasa

Ms. Fabiola Beracasa was born in Venezuela and is the daughter of Ms. Veronica Hearst. Ms. Beracasa’s fashion dreams began early as a summer intern with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel for four years while attending high school in Switzerland at Chateaux Mont-Shosi. She then attended Boston College, and when she completed her degree moved to NYC to work for Dior Public Relations and Special Events where she stayed for three years. Presently, Ms Beracasa is the Creative Director and shareholder of Circa, the only international private jewelry buying house in the world, where the “Haute go to Hawk”.

How has your familys work ethic influenced your own?
My Grandfather, Carlos Beracasa used to say “There are 3 steps to becoming successful:
1) WORK
2) WORK
3) AND MORE WORK”
I heard that growing up and at a young age I realized that you don’t get anywhere by mistake, everything worth getting credit for takes a lot of work and dedication.
My Mother, Veronica Hearst, has also been a wonderful role model in my life; she has always been very diligent when working on a project, but most of all she has taught me that the moral choice, no matter how hard or inconvenient it is to make, is always the right choice.

What brought you to New York?
My Mother moved to NYC when I was 2.

Who was your mentor and how did he or she influence you?
I don’t believe in having one mentor, in life you can learn from everyone around you and apply the virtues you like in others to your own personality. I also believe it is very important to be aware of the things we don’t like in others in order to avoid acting in that manner ourselves.
I have always admired strong woman, so to name of few:
My mother Veronica Hearst, who is a strong and courageous woman that inspires me everyday with her effortless elegance and her infinite adaptability to any situation life presents her.
Diane Von Furstenberg: Diane has known me since I was born, and whenever I am with her I am always in awe at her ability to be so kind, caring, and tender (not to mention an amazing mother and grandmother) while also being an extremely powerful, intelligent woman who fearlessly recognizes her own potential and has become a well-earned unstoppable powerhouse.
Nadine Johnson: To me, the epitome of cool understated relaxed chicness is inherent: you either have it or you don’t. And Nadine has it! Nadine is also an incredible business woman, building her PR company through the years, transforming in from a small business to a true leader in the PR industry. She achieved this by a magical and very organic way of living and working that no one can replicate, but one that EVERYONE wants to be a part of!
I feel exceptionally blessed to be able to ask the advice and guidance of such wonderful and admirable woman.

What is the next best city after New York?
London and Hong Kong

What is your favorite development in New York?
I prefer more unique living spaces….but I do think the Gramercy Park apartments
are very nice.

What is your favorite area to live in New York?
Depends what day you ask me. The beauty of NYC is that there is a place to go for all your moods!

What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
Mary’s Fish Camp and Bar Piti

What is your favorite clothing store in New York?
Too many to list!

What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?
I like to explore, I enjoy doing new things and learning new things.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Life is so unpredictable that I could not imagine where it will take me next but one thing is for sure, I will always try to succeed in any situation I find myself in.

Tell us something that nobody would believe?
I was a tomboy growing up. My mother was always afraid I wouldn’t outgrow it, but I think I did, yet I still love to wakeboard, ski, skydive, hike ect.

What is one thing you can’t live without?
SLEEP!

Your proudest achievement?
Learning to believe in myself.

How do you stroke the professional/personal balance in life?
I try not to think about it too much. I go with the flow and try to enjoy myself as much as possible.

What is the craziest/newest/most interesting thing you did or will do this month?
I won’t know ‘til I do it!

Who is your idol?
It’s a combination of many people.

Favorite New York mayor?
Bloomberg

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