The Aesthete: Whitney Bromberg Hawkings talks personal taste

Flowerbx founder and fashion-industry maven Whitney Bromberg Hawkins has shaken up the world of designer floristry with her online boutique

Whitney Bromberg Hawkings at home in London
Whitney Bromberg Hawkings at home in London | Image: Rick Pushinsky

My personal style signifier is a pair of gold chain-link bangles that Tom Ford, who I worked with for many years, gave me for my 30th birthday. I wear them almost all the time. They are elegant and classic and they make me feel polished and together, whether I’m in jeans or really dressed up. tomford.com.

Bromberg Hawkings’ gold chain link bangles, a gift from Tom Ford
Bromberg Hawkings’ gold chain link bangles, a gift from Tom Ford | Image: Rick Pushinsky

The last thing I bought and loved was a Robert Motherwell print for my husband Peter’s birthday. It’s a lithograph – a simple abstract in black paint – from the 1988 Octavio Paz Suite called A Throw of the Dice. I love the element of luck and chance that it conveys. Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 28 Duke Street, London SW1 (020-7734 3431; jacobsongallery.com).

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a new kitchen from Plain English. I want a classic family kitchen that’s not too “country” or too modern, with marble countertops and brass handles. I recently spent a few hours in their showroom looking at different finishes and countertops and wanted to move in there instead. 28 Blandford St, London W1 (plainenglishdesign.co.uk).

Robert Motherwell’s A Throw of the Dice, a birthday present for her husband Peter
Robert Motherwell’s A Throw of the Dice, a birthday present for her husband Peter | Image: Rick Pushinsky

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a chic, high-collared, long-sleeved short Emilia Wickstead dress in matelassé cotton, which is simple to wear yet makes a strong statement. The designer represents a modern femininity – I have a lot of her jumpsuits, which suit my “entrepreneurial boss-woman” situation but are also very feminine. £1,350; emiliawickstead.com.

Kauai, where Bromberg Hawkings and her family went for her father’s 70th birthday
Kauai, where Bromberg Hawkings and her family went for her father’s 70th birthday | Image: Getty

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Kauai. We rented a house there for my father’s 70th birthday and it was such a transformative, transportive, almost other-worldly experience. It’s surreally beautiful and so surrounded by nature that it felt like living in another era. I thought, “I am never going anywhere else on holiday” – then we got back and the jetlag hit.

Robert Piguet Fracas, £95 for 50ml EDP
Robert Piguet Fracas, £95 for 50ml EDP

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a black lacquered Coromandel screen from the Porte de Clignancourt flea market. It was such a rare and great find, and it brings an element of Paris and a hint of Coco into our London living room. Porte de Clignancourt, 75018 Paris.

Bromberg Hawkings’ ostrich egg on brass legs
Bromberg Hawkings’ ostrich egg on brass legs | Image: Rick Pushinsky

The last meal that truly impressed me was Sunday lunch at The River Cafe. The food is unparalleled. I always start with the bruschetta, then have puntarella if it’s in season – it has just the right amount of tang and saltiness – then one of their vegetarian dishes, which are always out of this world. Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6 (020-7386 4200; rivercafe.co.uk).

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The beauty staples I’m never without are the fragrance Fracas by Robert Piguet, which I have worn for two decades; Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser, which a dermatologist recommended in my teens – I haven’t yet found anything better; and Tom Ford’s Illuminating Primer and his brow pencils – they make me look like a Roitfeld. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £10 for 473ml; boots.com. Robert Piguet Fracas, £95 for 50ml EDP; selfridges.com. Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, £57; and Brow Sculptor, £40; tomford.co.uk.

The best gift I’ve given recently is a year of flowers to a dear friend for his birthday – the best colour of the best variety each month. It’s a constant reminder of my love and friendship. flowerbx.com.

And the best one I’ve received recently was a hollowed-out ostrich egg sitting on elegant brass legs, from Peter. It is beautiful, unexpected and exquisite, like a lot of his gifts to me. He bought it from an antiques store in Brera, in Milan, and carried it back in his hand luggage. 

My favourite apps are Waze, as I am constantly driving between meetings; and the Tesla app, which allows me to park my car in a tight place without being in it.

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