Location: Monterey, CA
Marital Status: Married
Education: Choate-Rosemary Hall and Rollins College
A stay-at-home mom with six children in tony Greenwich, CT, throughout the seventies and eighties, Valerie dressed pretty much the way she had when she attended Choate Rosemary Hall prep school: “Preppy.”
Describe your style today.
Still classic, but often with a sexier, more feminine twist, and with much more attention to cut. I always choose pieces now that will flatter and make the most of my figure, like my Ralph Lauren riding jackets and Tahari’s long, lean pants.
Nina McLemore has beautifully made and finished jackets in rich colors and in the same fabrics that Armani and Chanel use. I also love her line of equestrian-style pants. I wear her clothes when I travel, make television appearances and give speeches.
A 10-strand pearl torsade from Tiffany’s and my Hermes watch and enamel bangle with horses and tassels.
My hair is my signature too. It’s my natural color, platinum silver with blondness to it. The color of wet spaghetti.
Revlon Golden Rose #718.
Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash and Cetaphil moisturizing body cream.
Why do you love Pacific Tweed?
I feel good just walking in the door. It’s warm and expansive, a fire is often burning in the large stone fireplace and wonderful music is always playing. They help me express my own style. I’m happy every time I put on something I buy from there. They carry a line of distinctive European and American designers.
How do you rejuvenate?
Being with family and close friends. It’s energizing to get into a new project or make great headway on an existing one. The simple pleasure of a long walk on Carmel Beach.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Carmel?
One of my favorites is Casanova, very European with a wonderful indoor/outdoor atmosphere and fabulous food. Just down the coast, there’s Cielo at Ventana, which has one of the most spectacular views on the California coast. It’s high up over the Pacific, with a beautiful large terrace with an outdoor fireplace for dining.
People who accomplish amazing things, especially older people who take on exciting new challenges, and anyone with a strong and positive outlook in spite of incredible adversity or challenges. We’re never too old to chase our dreams.
People who have a great sense of humor and adventure about life also inspire me.
Jackie Kennedy was strong and smart and handled her role as First Lady with intelligence, leadership and grace. She was a wonderful wife and mother and she was always able to maintain her privacy and dignity. I admired her tremendously.
A great book you’ve read?
I like all kinds of books, particularly biographies. During the last few years, I’ve gravitated to spiritual books that inspire and enlighten me as I move into yet another exciting chapter in my life. A few favorites are: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; The Unmistakable Touch of Grace by Cheryl Richardson, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
Who influenced you?
My mother was a role model. She had a very big career with InterContinental Hotels in South America when I was still a little girl. She later became one of the most recognized comedy writers in the country and went to law school when she was older. When she was stricken with cancer, she stayed brave and strong.
Do you have a passion project?
Speaking for The American Heart Association. I’m also in the process of creating a TV show.