You're the second most connected ASW member, with over 2000 contacts. When did you join the community?
Denise Kaufmann: June 2004
What is your secret to having so many friends?
DK: ‘Friends’ is a tricky word. Friends can be counted on one hand. Acquaintances would be the right word. I guess it’s due to my extensive traveling from childhood, studying and living in different cities, which has given me a certain exposure. The rest, you may have to ask my friends... :)
How often do you log onto ASW? What is your favorite thing about the site?
DK: I used to spend quite a long time [on the site], up to less than couple of years ago. Now I log on mostly on a daily basis to at least check my messages, as it is the only way I communicate with some friends.
You say in your profile that your personal philosophy is to: “Be true to yourself and who you really are, not the one you are taught to be (this is the only key to happiness and success)." Have you managed to live your life by this ideal? How?
DK: Absolutely – it applies to me. I was finishing my studies and simultaneously working in a hedge fund. Being an economist and already in the financial world seemed the right way to go at this point. But not everything that looks right actually is. Inside of me, I knew it wasn’t who I was. So I just decided to do what was right for me and that was following my true passion, without letting those close to me affect my decision. So I just went to Florence determined to start my own handbag line. It was tough doing everything by myself, with no previous knowledge of the fashion industry. But I guess when you are lucky enough to have a passion and the guts to follow it then it can truly happen!!
You split your time between New York, Paris, Milan and London and you're from Argentina. Where do you call 'home'?
DK: I guess New York because my family lives there. But for some reason I also feel home in Paris... always did... from the very first time I stepped into that city.
What prompted you to start your handbag line, Denise Razzouk?
DK: My passion, energy and strength for it...
When did you first discover your inner-designer?
DK: I always had it but was able to realize how strong it was as I got older.
What inspires you most in your design process?
DK: Truly life itself... from nature to architecture... to art.
In your opinion, what's the most stylish handbag of all time?
DK: Burkin and the Abanico woven clutch by Denise Razzouk.
What's something most people don't know about you?
DK: St Tropez and St Barths
DK: Nobu Fifty Seven (New York) and Nobu Berkeley (London)
DK: Rose bar (in the Gramercy Park Hotel, New York)
DK: Les Caves du Roy
DK: My Blackberry. Isn't it obvious? Lol
DK: Mmmm tough one! There are those I like as concept stores such as Colette and 10 Corso Como. Then there are others to actually shop at such as Intermix, Antonia in Milano, Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Matches in London, a Toutes Les Filles in Paris and Calypso in St Barths.
Museum or Gallery?
DK: I prefer smaller museums so I would say probably the Guggenheim; however, I can’t overlook at the fact that the Louvre is spectacular!!
DK: My Fair Lady
DK: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
DK: Pablo Picasso
DK:Táctica y Estrategia’ by Mario Benedetti
DK: Cure for Cancer as more and more people are dying from it and a dear friend of mine passed away from it seven months ago.
Historical figure? Why?
DK: Mahatma Gandhi, because he was a spiritual leader of great power and above all, soul. The first truly non-violent activist involved in the movement for the independence his country.
Top 3 songs?
DK: Mmm, this one is tough as I absolutely love music. I’d rather give you few artists such as Dalida, Caetano Veloso, Ornella Vanoni, Pino Danielle and I adore hip hop (Nelly Furtado, Big Punisher, P Diddy, 50 Cent, The Game, etc).
— Sabine Heller