Harper’s Bazaar

November 2004

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The World of Kim Heirston

By Jennifer Alfano

As one of the world’s chicest art consultants, Kim Heirston is admired for both her innate fashion sense and her keen, creative eye. Bazaar visits the trendsetter at her new Manhattan apartment.

If art salons were still in vogue, art adviser and glamorous Manhattanite Kim Heirston would undoubtedly have the chicest of them all on the Upper East Side. Her art-filled Park Avenue home already serves as the epicenter of a sophisticated circle of artists, writers and designers, including Coach president Reed Krakoff and his wife, Delphine, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi, and Heirston’s fiancé, movie producer Staffan Ahrenberg (his latest film was The Quiet American, starring Michael Caine). Ahrenberg also has art in his blood; his parents, who amassed one of the largest Matisse collections in Europe, were even married in the Matisse chapel in the French town of Vence. (Heirston is very hush-hush on her own upcoming nuptials. Stay tuned).

The feminine décor of the elegant, offbeat Yale-educated art consultant’s apartment—which mixes eye-popping art with an almost all-white interior created with interior designer and friend Darren Henault—is further proof of her exquisite taste. “Kim knows everything about contemporary art,” says Rushdie, “but has the great gift of wearing her knowledge lightly.”

“I love mixing Louise [the XIV] and Lucite, and I love things that are minimal but really sumptuous,” says Heirston. The result is a fresh ‘30s-meets-‘60s mix that is very salonish, indeed.

Compared to her progressive taste in artists, Heirston’s manner of dress is relatively conservative. Perfectly stacked in her closets are neutral cashmere sweaters from Celine and Lucien Pellat-Finet. Chloé pants hang in multiples, while midheel Manolos fill her slanted shoe shelves. “I don’t have time to spend an hour getting dressed,” she says of this strategic uniform, which works best with her hectic, globe-trotting schedule.

The pièce de résistance of Heirston’s wardrobe is her huge collection of chic coats. The latest additions, a couple from Dolce & Gabbana with rhinestone trim, share space with a J. Mendel mink (“my security blanket”) and a few in tweed from Marc Jacobs. Heirston has many more, including some exquisite Chanels, stored at Garde Robe.

For black-tie nights, Heirston has a mass of slender duchesse satin column dresses from Velasco Andersson. “I’m a no-fuss girl,” she says. A weekly manicure/pedicure and blow-dry are all she has the patience for. It’s hard to imagine how Heirston has a second to slow down, much less see her fiancé. Luckily, the art world shuts down on Mondays.