FIT’s Valerie Steele

Valerie Steele is the director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. With more than twenty exhibitions under her belt, Steele is a pro when it comes to visually representing what’s happening (or has happened for that matter) in the field of fashion. Not only is Steele the queen of The Museum at FIT but she is also an established fashion historian authoring or co-authoring multiple books including The Impossible Collection of Fashion. In honor of NYFW, we took a peek into the FIT archives, and sat down for a quick chat on all things style and beauty…

On beauty from the inside out…

My ideal food day would consist of fewer than 1700 calories, including coffee, wine, and protein. I see a trainer a couple of times a week and I love to go to Aquacycling classes. I try to eat mostly protein and I almost never eat any processed food.

My beauty routine is very basic and simple. I use a natural soap (either by Fresh or glycerin soap by Neutrogena) to wash my face, followed by Shiseido primer with sunblock. Of course, it’s always part of my routine to brush my teeth—I reach for toothpaste with baking soda or sometimes Email Diamant, a French toothpaste.

On fashion’s next ‘big thing’…

The designer to watch [right now] is Sybilla! She is the greatest Spanish designer since Balenciaga – and she has just relaunched her business! One charity that I think is just fabulous is Muzungusisters. They have beautiful clothing and accessories that all make great gifts.

On creating a multi-media wall at home…

Always know what message you want to convey – that is what’s most important.

On her style icon… 

I admire and love Daphne Guinness, but I could never imitate her. She’s just so unique.

On her favorite cities for food…

This is a tough one, but I would have to say Tokyo, Paris, and Singapore! My favorite restaurants in Paris are Aux Lyonnais and Cafe des Musées. In Singapore, I love to go to the street market. And in Tokyo, I let my Japanese friends choose.

Read this interview with fashion icon Norma Kamali. Check out our chat with W’s Edward Enninful