Alice Lusk

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Age: 61
Marital Status: Married
Education: MBA, University of GeorgiaBA, University of Wisconsin

Since retiring from EDS at 52, Lusk and her husband (another EDS executive) split their time between homes in Dallas and Santa Fe. Lusk works pro bono in both cities helping local artisans build their businesses.

How do you define your personal style?

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A gentleman who ran couture at Neiman Marcus taught me that there are three main styles: modernist, traditionalist and romantic. I’m modernist because I wear monochromatic, straightforward, architectural clothes.

Favorite designers?

Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Armani . (Although Ralph Lauren is a bit traditional.)  If I had to pick one designer to wear forever, it would be Donna Karan.

Do you have a signature look?

Simple, fitted clothes. I was a tall, skinny teenager, and wearing big clothes made me look even gawkier than I was. I add a bold scarf or big jewelry, all stacked up. All my rings are on my middle finger.

Where do you go for truly original, signature jewelry?

Robert Lee Morris.  He designed lots of belts, necklaces and earrings for Donna Karan in the early 90s. I still have all of them.

In Santa Fe, Donneta Pancake the owner of Timbavati is the source for most of my jewelry.  All of her pieces are one of a kind and incorporate ethnic beads. Jewel is another artisan in Santa Fe who also has wonderful unique pieces. Ali Mcgraw is a big patron of hers. Jewel doesn’t even have a website! She sends me pictures via email and I tell her what I like.

Has your style evolved over the years?

I’ve always had a signature style. In high school and college I couldn’t afford designer clothes, so I bought classic Vogue sewing patterns and made them in monochromatic fabrics.

Since buying a home in Santa Fe, I’ve started incorporating that “Santa Fe look” into my wardrobe.  It’s very Ralph Lauren. But I never dress in his clothes head-to-toe—I just pick out the pieces I like.

Who influenced your style most?

Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn.

Any style no-nos?

Capri pants!  Don’t women realize how they cut the whole line of your body?! And no floral prints.

What non-designer staples do you like?

Hanro for bras and panties. J Brand jeans in white are my summer staple.

Why do you like Allie Coosh?

Paulette, the owner, custom designs clothes that specifically fit your body. She makes my camisoles and pants longer, because of my height. She takes your measurements and then she can tailor her clothes in your perfect size every time. She’s also a genius at sourcing materials. She created her own signature fabric that looks like silk but you can throw it in the washing machine. She is one of a kind—and a wonderful person!

Where do you buy shoes?

I have very narrow feet, and I like 2 1/4 inch heels.  Stewart Weitzman makes great low-heeled boots that I wear all winter.

Do you have a signature perfume?

Donna Karan Cashmere.  I’ve worn it since it came out.

What’s your beauty routine?

Bobbi Brown everything–forever.  I use her lipcolor in Warm Apricot.

My best friend is a dermatologist. (I call him my other husband).  He’s told me over the years to use Cetaphil to cleanse and Glytone lotion, which has glycolic acid and SPF and is geared towards older skin.

Favorite restaurant in Dallas?

Chef Kent Rathburn’s two restaurants: Abacus, which is a five star fancy place, and Jasper’s which is more of a pub. We always go there for Friday night date nights.

What was the last great book you read?

I was born in Holland. I moved when I was five, so I love mysteries and historical fiction set in Europe during the war. Alan Furst, Philip Kerr and Charles McCarry are three brilliant writers in this genre—any of their books are great.

I read 3 or 4 books a month and the Wall Street Journal every day. My husband just bought me a kindle and I LOVE IT.

Favorite wine/drink?

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My husband only drinks Original Coors. I like Sonoma Cutrer Russian River wine.

Secret favorite spot in Dallas?

Forty Five Ten. I call it a baby Neiman Marcus. They have fabulous things for home.

Greatest Indulgence?

Going to New York City by myself, and buying what I want. I stay at the Surrey and have a wonderful time.

What do you do to rejuvenate?

Find a new project. I love to dive into a subject and learn. Since retiring, I’ve helped women start businesses, decorated homes, road tripped through the Southwest—anything that interests me. Recently my husband and I went to Budapest together and I spent weeks reading all about it.

Is there a place you like to stay when you travel?

Relaix and Chateau boutique hotels. Most are in Europe and France, but there is one in New Mexico and one in Wisconsin.  Each hotel is a little gem with just a few rooms—once you stay in one, you can’t stay anywhere else.

What are you passionate about?

Helping other people be successful–especially women who own businesses. I love helping other women be successful.

How do you stay in shape?

I had a trainer in my late 40s who convinced me how important weights were to maintain muscle tone.  Weight training is the staple of my routine. I also run, walk, hike and do a lot of yard work. When I don’t workout now, I don’t feel good.

What is the single most important thing you’ve learned in your career?

Accept the fact that others may not see things the same way you do. It’s a gift, and you should take advantage of it.

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