First of all, let's dispel the myth that “socialite” might be a pejorative term. When people think of socialites, they generally think of ladies of style whose purpose is to get their pictures taken a lot; girls who love social activities and being on the society “circuit.” Every few years there is a new crop of these energetic beauties whose activities
We've all heard of the famous Swans of yesteryear: the amazing Babe Paley, aunt to my ex-husband, and her daughter Amanda Burden; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and her sister Lee Radziwill, (her daughter-in-law Carole Radziwill, another cast member of the Real Housewives of New York City, is a new friend of mine.)
Of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning CZ Guest, Gloria Guinness, Nancy Kissinger (a close friend of my mother’s “other mother” Helen Winslow of New York and Newport); the lively Nan Kempner, Annette Reed De La Renta (who is beloved because she used all her clout to come to the aid of her dear friend Brooke Astor); Diane Von Furstenberg (who, as I grew up, dressed my mother and her friends in Richmond, Virginia in fabulous wrap dresses); and the elegant Carolina Herrera.
When asked to name my top five socialites, I thought it would be fun to include some modern day ladies whom I know and who have established themselves as leaders in philanthropic and entrepreneurial fields. While these ladies are already known to many, they're a group I would hail as "the new school" of Swans.
1. Grace Meigher
She may be called “Grace the Face” for her physical beauty, but Grace Meigher is as beautiful on the inside as the outside. With her smile, kindness, and generous support of numerous charities, Grace is definitely my pick for a Swan of today. Not only is she delightful, she has raised two beautiful daughters who are as inclusive and nice as she.
2. Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos
That smile! I’ve known
3. Hilary Geary
In addition to being the mother of two really nice boys, Ted and Jack, Hilary lends her many talents to the Central Park Conservancy, the Boys Club of New York, and the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. She has also written two coffee table books, "New York New York" and "Palm Beach People." Hilary will clearly be a star in the new administration and make a name for herself, outside of the fame of her husband Wilbur Ross, the new Secretary of Commerce.
4. Muffie Potter Aston
Yes, her name is preppy and unforgettable, but this is not all you need to know about
5. Alexandra Lind Rose
And lastly, though she is younger, this list would not be complete without a mention of Alexandra Lind Rose. She supports many charities...Save Venice, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and the New York Botanical Gardens. From her own designs as a teenager to working with Alvin Valley and Alfred Fiandaca, and now to her own luxury fashion rental business, Amarium, Alex is the perfect blend of philanthropist and entrepreneur—the quintessential lady with talent and a conscience!
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.