Nan Kempner


Nan Kempner

Nan Kempner (July 24, 1930 - July 3, 2005) was a New York City socialite, famous for dominating society events, shopping, charity work and fashion.

She was born as Nan Field Schlesinger in San Francisco, an only child from a wealthy family. Her father, Albert "Speed" Schlesinger, owned the largest car dealership in California and reportedly told his daughter "You'll never make it on your face, so you'd better be interesting."[1]

She attended Connecticut College and met Thomas Lenox Kempner, a banker. In the early 1950s they married and had three children. After living in London for a short time the Kempners moved to New York City, where Nan took the initiative to become a leader in society.

Over a thirty year period she helped raise over $75,000,000 (USD) for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She also amassed the largest private collection of haute couture clothing featuring classic designers like Mainbocher and her favorite designers Yves Saint Laurent and Bill Blass.

At various times in her life Kempner worked as a contributing editor for French Vogue, a fashion editor for Harper's Bazaar, a design consultant for Tiffany & Co. and an international representative of the auction house Christie's.

In Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series, two society matrons discuss the creation of a society wax museum, emphasizing that future generations might not otherwise know what Nan Kempner looked like. Kempner herself authored a book about how to be a truly great host entitled R.S.V.P. (2000, ISBN 0-609-60430-9). The proceeds of the book benefited several charities.

Contents

Encomium

Diana Vreeland, former editor of Vogue, once said: "There are no chic women in America. The one exception is Nan Kempner."

Death

She died on July 3, 2005, aged 74, from emphysema. Two months later her family held a memorial service in her honour at the esteemed auction house of Christie's. 500 of Kempner's friends were in attendance.

In December 2006 the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute opened an exhibition of Kempner's extensive couture collection.

Notable quotes

  • I wouldn't miss the opening of a door.
  • Some people say the camera loves me, the truth is, I love the camera.
  • The only plastic I want is plastic surgery!
  • I want to be buried naked, I know there's a store where I'm going.
  • I spend way more than I should ... and way less than I want.

Sources

References

  1. ^ Nan Kempner's obituary in The Daily Telegraph (Online)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nan — or NAN may refer to one of the following. Contents 1 Acronyms 2 Places 3 People …   Wikipedia

  • Kempner, Nan — ▪ 2006 Nan Field Schlesinger        American fashionista (b. July 24, 1930, San Francisco, Calif. d. July 3, 2005, New York, N.Y.), was an international trendsetter who for 50 years remained a devoted client of French haute couture. She was… …   Universalium

  • 79th Street (Manhattan) — 79th Street is a major two way street in the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan. East 79th Street stretches from East End Avenue to Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, where it enters Central Park… …   Wikipedia

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art — Coordinates: 40°46′46″N 73°57′47″W / 40.779447°N 73.96311°W / 40.779447; 73.96311 …   Wikipedia

  • Connecticut College — This article is about the private institution in New London, Connecticut. For the public university in Storrs, Connecticut, see University of Connecticut. Connecticut College Motto Tanquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum Like a… …   Wikipedia

  • Betsy Bloomingdale — (born Betty Lee Newling on August 2 1926) is an internationally known socialite. She is the widow of Alfred S. Bloomingdale, and is close friends with former First Lady Nancy Reagan.Bloomingdale grew up as the daughter of a socially prominent Los …   Wikipedia

  • Deaths in July 2005 — Deaths in 2005 : January February March April May June July August September October November December → The following is a list of notable people who died in July 2005. 31 Wim Duisenberg, 70, Dutch banker and politician, suffered a heart… …   Wikipedia

  • Dominique Sirop — Born 1956 Paris, France Nationality French Education Yves Saint Laurent …   Wikipedia

  • Another City, Not My Own — Infobox Book name = Another City, Not My Own title orig = translator = image caption = First edition cover author = Dominick Dunne illustrator = cover artist = Julie Metz Warren Bernard country = United States language = English series = subject …   Wikipedia

  • Ysl — Yves Saint Laurent Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saint Laurent. Yves Saint Laurent Naissance 1 août 1936 Oran en Algérie Décès 1 juin 2008 (à 71 ans) Paris Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.