This past year was filled with many exciting developments in my fashion career, from the launch of my first complete collection to the debut of my New York City pop-up store, with a slew of important moments in between. While I always remain true to my vision for the Ariana Rockefeller brand, I certainly am influenced by many people – both personal friends and family that have directly played a part in the evolution of my brand, as well as icons within the industry that I admire. The following is a list of ten remarkable individuals I consider the most influential of the year.
by Ariana Rockefeller
1. Betsy Bloomingdale: Mrs. Bloomingdale is a fashion icon and tastemaker certainly. She is always impeccably dressed in a mix of vintage as well as modern designs. I love that she donated her couture collection to FIDM in Los Angeles, and is a true benefactress to young designers.
2. Harlan Bratcher: The VP of Armani Exchange, Harlan has a business acumen I admire as well as impeccable taste. He has been a wonderful mentor to me during these first few years of launching my company.
3. Agnes Gund: A family friend, patron of the arts and President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, I have known Agnes since I was a little girl. She is a woman of great elegance, wit and humility. She is so supportive of my work and it is wonderful to get her opinion on everything from contemporary art to fabric colors.
4. Aerin Lauder: I greatly admire Aerin and her sense of aesthetic. She has carried her family name forward in a modern and graceful way and that is something I look up to certainly.
5. Stella McCartney: Stella has a cool and fresh style that is always inspiring. She keeps it simple, easy and always elegant.
6. Coco Rocha: I love Coco’s style. She is never afraid to push the boundaries, and she always looks fabulous doing so. She and I attended the Elizabeth Taylor estate auction at Christie’s together a few years ago. Coco bid and won this amazing jumpsuit; really only Elizabeth Taylor and Coco could rock a piece like that!
7. Camilla Rockefeller: While I gravitate more to neutrals for my own closet, my sister will always encourage me to push the boundaries with bright colors, embellishments and more structured pieces. While I have a very particular taste, it’s wonderful to be influenced by her style as well.
8. David Rockefeller, Sr.: My grandfather always told me to trust my instincts when it comes to art, furniture and fabrics. He has a very clear vision of what he likes, and I believe I inherited a strong sense of trusting my aesthetic from him.
9. Rob Younkers: Rob is a professor at Parsons and the technical designer of my clothing line. He helps to bring my vision to life, and has a chic and modern style, which influences my line in the best of ways.
10. Joe Zee: I think he is one of the great tastemakers of the American fashion industry today. Joe has been so supportive of my clothing line, and I admire his style and work ethic greatly.