According to numerousreportsin recent weeks, creative consultant Stephanie Winston Wolkoff has been tapped to plan Donald Trump???s inauguration ceremonies.As the ringmaster of New York???s biggest fashion events, the President Elect and his team couldn???t have picked a more formidable, and stylish, force.
Winston Wolkoff is Manhattan???s best-connected party planner, Vogue???s former events director,the president and CEO of her own consulting agency, SWW Creative, and the woman behind the meteoric success of the MET Gala.She has also, crucially, been a close friend of Melania Trump???s for over ten years, apparently meeting for lunch once a month and frequenting the family???s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
???Don???t underestimate [Melania] just because she is quiet and reserved,??? the 45 year-old told DuJour of her friend, in a rare comment before the election earlier this year.???She???s very confident in her viewpoint.She does not agree with everything that [Donald] says or everything that???s being done, but she believes in the greater good.They are a power couple.They are each other???s teammate.??????He???s out there.He has so much going on.It isn???t about her yet,??? she adds.???She has always said, when and if the time comes, she will step up.She???s a wife and a mother until that day comes.???
The day that said focus will fall on Melania may now be sooner than the friends had previously thought - today, 20th January 2017, to be precise.But with Winston Wolkoff on her side, Melania???s fashion credentials, at least, just got a whole lot stronger.
The New York Times reports that Winston-Wolkoff has been staying at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for the past few weeks, hustling flower arrangements and gilded table settings,all whilst carrying a black Hermes Birkin bagin one hand, and afolder titled ???The Fifty Eighth Presidential Inauguration of the United States of America??? in the other.She was apparently asked by the Trumps to serve as an "editor-at-large" onthe event, alongside the real estate developer Tom Barrack.
Any designers who were dismissive of the new First Lady, refusing to dress her, calling for media coverage boycotts and so on, may now be listening a little more closely.For over a decade Stephanie was the mastermind behind the MET Gala, Vogue magazine and the Costume Institute???s annual fundraiser, also known as the "East Coast???s Oscars".Her job was, quite simply, to get the world???s most stylish people (and their egos and their wallets) into one gloriously decorated event on the first Monday in May each year.???No money, no come-y,??? she once told an enquirer down the phone.
???The Costume Institute Benefit became my baby,??? she would later tell Observer, thewebsite published by Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump???s brother-in-law.???It was something that I lived, breathed, day and night.It was all about excellence.It was all about never taking ???no??? for an answer from anyone in order to achieve the ultimate goal.???
Stephanie???s efforts earned her the nickname ???General Winston???, bestowed by mentor Anna Wintour, who first hired her in 1998 to be Vogue???s PR manager, before promoting her numerous times in her eleven year tenure to become director of special events.???She???s immaculate,???Wintour once said of her protegee.???She makes everyone else feel like a complete mess.???
When Stephanie left Vogue in 2009, she served as fashion director at Lincoln Center for two and a half years, coordinating New York Fashion Week and utilising her contacts to help build the city???s reputation as a key player on the international style calendar.In April 2012, and with backing from her mentors, she stepped out on her own, founding her consultancy firm SWW Creative and attracting a roster of clients that includes the Council of Fashion Designers of America and IMG Fashion Worldwide.
Stephanie???s wedding in 2000 to real estate developer David Wolkoff was, naturally, as greatan event as any she???s planned professionally.The chuppah, the New York Times reported back then, was ???as ornate as a jewel box and as big as a studio apartment.???It???s no wonder, however, given that theirs was the society wedding of the year.Those double ???W???s representtwo dynastic American families, as Stephanie???s father is Bruce Winston, owner of jewellery business Harry Winston and son of the man himself, while the senior Wolkoffs are real estate moguls, with David???s grandfather being the owner of the Rat Pack-favourite Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in the Fifties.
The couple now have three children together, Zachary, 14, Tyler, 12, and nine year-old Alexi, and the family live in an art-packed apartment on the Upper East Side which has been featured in several glossy fashion and interiors magazines over the years.
Many are now suggesting thatStephanie will also provide fashion advice to the new First Lady beyond the inauguration, serving as a stylist and image-maker in the same way that Meredith Koop has for Michelle Obama.Winston-Wolkoff"sown wardrobe is certainly well-documented via virtual tours on sites like The Coveteur and Refinery 29.Stephanie???s penchant seems to be for heritage brands;she cites Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Michael Kors as favourites,plus she reportedly has that Hermes bag in ???every shape size and colour under the sun.???Inevitably, there"s also a fine jewellery collection to die for.
For the incoming Trump administration, Stephanie???s taste and connections will be something of agift.If Melania has trulygot nothing to wear, SWW???s got half ofNew York"s designer names on speed dial.
???There???s no such thing as 9 to 5, or even 9 to 1 a.m.,??? she told DolceMag a few years ago of her work ethic.???The month leading up to [fashion week], I???ll run home and be with the kids and put them to bed and then start working again.???If she thought fashion week was hectic,the inauguration will surely take things to a whole other level.Melania Trump:Best looks