The Aesthete: Olivia Chantecaille talks personal taste

The creative director of Chantecaille founded the high-botanical-rich skincare and cosmetics brand 20 years ago with her mother Sylvie and sister Alex

Olivia Chantecaille at home in New York
Olivia Chantecaille at home in New York | Image: Weston Wells

My personal style signifier is my gold Buccellati ring with diamond filigree, given to me by my husband – I’m never without it. I am also known for wearing colourful print dresses with flats. My favourites are by Erdem, Stella McCartney and Giambattista Valli – an old friend, who designed my wedding dress. buccellati.com

Chantecaille’s gold and diamond filigree Buccellati ring
Chantecaille’s gold and diamond filigree Buccellati ring | Image: Weston Wells

The last thing I bought and loved was a Hermès cross-body bag. As the mother of three-year-old, I need a bag that can fit toys, snacks and books but still look elegant. From £2,940; hermes.com

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a ring from Taffin, by James Taffin de Givenchy. His bands incorporate ceramics and gold, and there is one studded with a single ruby that I love. Price on request; taffin.com.

Lisa Marie Fernandez nylon Colby bikini, $420
Lisa Marie Fernandez nylon Colby bikini, $420 | Image: Weston Wells

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe is a red bikini by Lisa Marie Fernandez, bought in anticipation of a trip to St Barths. The top has a large ruffle so it almost looks like a strapless dress. $420; lisamariefernandez.com

The vast snow-covered valleys and mountains of Valley, Idaho
The vast snow-covered valleys and mountains of Valley, Idaho | Image: Alamy Stock Photo

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Sun Valley, Idaho. We took our daughter skiing there for the first time and the setting, with its vast valleys and mountains, was magical. We went ice skating at the historic Sun Valley Lodge, and I discovered the best toy store ever. Sun Valley Lodge, 1 Sun Valley Rd, ID 83353 (+1800-786 8259; sunvalley.com/sun-valley-lodge). The Toy Store, Sun Valley Mall, Boardwalk Mall, 83353 (+1208-622 5966; toystoresunvalley.com).

ABCV restaurant in New York’s Flatiron District
ABCV restaurant in New York’s Flatiron District

The last meal that truly impressed me was at ABCV, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s newest restaurant in New York’s Flatiron District. The room is in whites and pinks, my favourite palette, and the food is vegetable-centric. Everything we tried – slow-roasted beets with Dijon mustard, avocado purée, chilli aïoli, pickles and lovage; the chef’s signature roasted carrots with nut and seed butter – was flavourful, inventively prepared and designed for sharing. 38 East 19th St, New York, NY 10003 (+1212-475 5829; abchome.com/eat). 

Chantecaille’s Céline handbag
Chantecaille’s Céline handbag | Image: Weston Wells

The best gift I’ve given recently is a Cannondale Scalpel-Si Carbon 3 bicycle, to my father. He is very sporty, and I bought it so he can easily get around East Hampton to do errands and go to the gym. From $5,330; cannondale.com.

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And the best one I’ve received recently was a beautiful Céline handbag from my sister for my birthday; a very simple, sleek design in a soft, light caramel with multiple outside pockets for keys and my phone. 

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d chooseNew York’s Soho, near my home and office. I love discovering unique jewellery at Broken English; the latest clothes by emerging designers at Kirna Zabête; the young, fresh designs at Simone Rocha; and Ochre, which is a great resource for home decor. Broken English, 56 Crosby St (+1212-219 1264; brokenenglishjewelry.com). Kirna Zabête, 477 Broome St (+1212-941 9656; kirnazabete.com). Ochre, 462 Broome St, (+1212-414 4332; ochre.net). Simone Rocha, 71 Wooster St (+1646-810 4785; simonerocha.com).

The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing include Lindsay Block – she used to be with Frédéric Fekkai and is now a freelance stylist – who comes to our home to cut my hair; Megan Brians who does energy work with me; and Aida Bicaj for her incredible facials. Aida Bicaj, 30 East 67th St, 5th floor, New York, NY 10065 (+1212-861 1007; aidabicaj.com). Lindsay Block +1917-697 6568; lindsay@lindsayblockstyle.com. Megan Brians, meganbrians.com; info@meganbrians.com

My favourite websites are Etsy.com for the decorations, favours and costumes for my daughter’s parties; Wellandgood.com, which is my go-to for healthy-living ideas; and Florahenri.com and Maisonette.com – well-edited sites for beautiful children’s clothing.

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