Page 58

Another value characterizing Ariana’s adult life has been her refusal to be rushed. Instead, she’s tended to take her time finding a steady footing in all areas of her life, beginning with her choice of a husband. Ariana began dating lifelong “Maine-r” Matthew Bucklin in 2005. The family relationship goes back generations to when Bucklin’s great-grandfather’s construction company executed projects for Ariana’s grandparents. Knowing she wasn’t ready for the serious relationship that Matthew initially wanted, Ariana broke things off and the two spent four years as friends before returning to each other in 2009 and marrying in 2010. Roughly during the same period, Ariana was studying international relations and visual arts at Columbia University, but punctuated her time there with several asides. She taught in Brazil, lived in a surf shack in Hawaii and worked in the Secretary General’s Office at the United Nations. “I think it was perfect growing up in Cambridge, but I am who I am and I know where I come from and it was time to move to New York and embrace everything that comes with being a Rockefeller,” she says. “But I took my time and crafted my own experience, which was an important decision for me.” Both Ariana and Matthew experimented with different career paths before launching their own individual companies from California, where the two sought to enjoy the early years of their marriage outside of their respective family bubbles. “We felt very protective of our time together,” she says.

“As we’ve grown up and learned more about the Rockefeller tradition of philanthropy, we’ve both felt really humbled and inspired by those who came before.” —Camilla Rockefeller Bucklin launched Quit Tea, an herbal aid to help quit smoking, and Ariana began her own fashion line. “I always thought I would go more in the direction of being involved in politics and charitable work, but the design business is what speaks to my soul and what I’m most passionate about,” she says. The move into fashion wasn’t a completely obvious one for Ariana. “You know, she always liked to be turned out well, but I never spotted a high-fashion orientation,” her father says. “She liked to look good in simple clothes. She didn’t especially draw attention to herself, but she had a really good eye.” However, it’s that precise sensibility that she infuses into the Ariana Rockefeller line. “In my line of work it’s not too often that I meet someone as genuinely sweet and elegant as Ariana is,” says friend and supermodel Coco Rocha. “So it came as no surprise to me that her clothing line is just like her—demure, sweet and elegant. Ariana has been very excited about venturing into fashion and I think she’s doing so with a very clear vision and take on the world around her.” “I was around so many elegant people growing up and I always took note of their outfits,” Ariana recalls. “I remember Mrs. Astor coming to lunch one day at my grandfather’s and she was, of course, the icon of elegance. She always had her white gloves and her jewels and her hat. It was the end of the era but I appreciate what it represented. I like to think of my style as a modern-day version of classic, put-together elegance.” Once again, Ariana took her time. She spent two years building a clientele and gathering feedback while selling through private trunk shows in locations like Northeast Harbor, Maine; New York; Martha’s Vineyard; and Nantucket. All the while, she split her time between California and New York’s Garment District, where she remains committed to producing her line. “I also wanted to start this company in a way that was manageable for me to be in charge of it and to have my finger on the pulse of what was going on at all times,” she adds.

Standing in The Cloisters’ Pontaut Chapter House, Rockefeller wears a Gold-sequined Dress with Cape by Lorry Newhouse. Available at LorryNewhouse.com or 917.213.9566. Elba Black Suede Pumps by Rupert Sanderson. Available at Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue, 212.826.8900. Nail Ring in hammered 18k yellow gold by David Webb. 942 Madison Avenue, 212.421.3030.

56 | AVENUE MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2013

Profile for AVENUE Magazine

AVENUE December 2013  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...

AVENUE December 2013  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...