In my editor’s letter yesterday, I mentioned that we had a new style icon…
Rados is an ineffable woman with incredible style. I love how what she wears really showcases her unique point of view – a personal quality I have always admired. She has lived a full life across different continents (once an editor for German Vogue, she now has her own New York-based company, Rados Protic Communications), but has maintained a strong sense of self – and her opinion on style – along the way.
That is most telling in her signatures. She pioneered black clothing, is known for her aviator sunglasses, and has always had short hair. And I think that’s something we all aspire to in terms of personal style – to find a look that we never tire of, and that is resolutely chic.
1. Describe your style in three words.
Classic with a mix of rock’n roll, menswear inspired and vintage.
2. How has your look evolved over the years?
My signature pieces have been the same with slight variations: I started wearing black clothes when I was 14 – rule breaking at that time. Black has been my favorite color ever since. As have been pants, motorcycle jackets, sequin pieces, leather, and new and vintage fur.
3. Did your time working with Vogue Germany influence your style?
Not really. The only thing I added to my look were bold accessories, particularly jewelry. I produced about 70 covers from 1983-89 for German Vogue in New York, and real and costume jewelry was a must.
But, what influenced me much more were the interviews I did with personalities such as Ralph Lauren, Paloma Picasso, Isabella Rossellini, Raquel Welch, Arnold Schwarzenegger and ZsaZsa Gabor (she and her sisters were the Kardashians of the 70s and 80s). Getting a glimpse of what their passion was, what drove them, what made them special and successful.
4. Are you more adventurous now with fashion than you were when you were younger?
I used to wear really extravagant pieces by Commes des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and Kansai Yamamoto. I was sometimes going for shock value. I had a black Saint Laurent pencil skirt with a sky-high split that I would pair with over the knee chartreuse platform boots and a long shaggy grey fur coat. Today, I prefer simple, streamlined styles – my uniform: black cashmere turtlenecks with black jeans and boots in winter; white shirts and black Capri pants and some 40s vintage dresses in summer.
5. Sunglasses are your signature. What is the story behind your favorite pair?
My favorite sunglasses are actually prescription glasses. I got the classic huge Porsche aviator frame about 25 years ago and wore it for a couple of years. I resurrected them about 10 years ago. I feel almost naked when I do not wear them.
6. You also have very short hair, have you always preferred a cropped hairstyle?
My hair has always been short. Once during a photo shoot for German Vogue I tried various wigs to see how I would feel with longer hair. I felt like an alien.
7. What’s your favorite outfit to wear right now?
8. Where do you like to shop?
Bergdorf’s and Barneys. I also love to shop at vintage stores; my favorite is Armarcord where, over the years, I have found unique fur jackets, crocodile bags and dresses. For basics, Uniqlo is my go-to source and for some fun more fashion-y styles, Zara.
9. Who are your style icons?
The biggest style influence was my mother. She was always elegant, never overdressed. She would never leave the house without looking just perfect. When she was in her 80s, people would still stop her in the street in Munich and compliment her style. And Betty Catroux for being Yves Saint Laurent’s muse and still looking incredible today.
10. Is fashion still as exciting as it’s always been?
I think that fashion is always a mirror of the times we live in. That said, if we look around the world and the problems we are facing with ISIS, in the Ukraine, the growing inequality between the 1% and the middle class, the loss of privacy … fashion seems to be decoupled from reality. But maybe that is the true meaning of fashion, to offer an escape from reality.
Jeans, Uniqlo; white button down, Nili Lotan; sneakers, Céline.
Sequin dress, Comme des Garçons; leather jacket, Amaracord; sandals, Manolo Blahnik.
Leopard coat, Prada; leather pants, Sonia Bogner; boots, Prada.
Green sweater, Sonia Bogner; white top, Uniqlo; jeans, + J Uniqlo; heels, Via Spiga.
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