Location: New York, NY
Age: Over 50
Marital Status: Single
Education: Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut
“Leave it to Beaver? I wasn’t too excited about that show,” she says. “June Cleaver was always in the kitchen, always cooking. Then I’d flip the channel to The Avengers and there’s Emma Peel in a sports car. I just loved that.”
Meryl received her BFA from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut. At 24, she landed a job in visual merchandising at Macy’s and after a brief career detour as an ice cream scooper in a friend’s shop, she joined Bergdorf Goodman, where she would stay for the next 18 years, happily waiving husband and kids along the way. “My parents have been married for 60 years so I was very grounded, but it’s just not the spirit I was born with.”
Today Meryl is the store director of Eskandar on East 10th Street in Manhattan and admits that she is still inspired by Emma Peel. “That’s who I am every day when I leave my apartment. Actually, Emma Peel and Sophia Loren–a combination. Whether I’m wearing corrective shoes or high heels, that’s who I think I am.”
Where did you get your style, your look?
I don’t know. It’s just me. It’s ever-changing. Something that’s consistently evolving.
What do you wear at Eskandar?
I wear a white cotton shirt pretty much every day and then put a sweater over it, or a scarf. I love the idea of Catholic school clothing–uniforms. Then you put on shoes, a scarf, handbag, glasses and that’s it. I could wear the same clothes everyday with different shoes, scarf and handbag.
Your store I think is one of the most beautiful stores I’ve ever seen.
I do too. I really do. We’ve really have grown into the space.
What’s your beauty routine?
Soap and water. I just started using moisturizer; until recently I didn’t use anything. Now I use Mario Badescu. I’ve been going there for 30 years for facials.
What do you like to read?
Iris Murdoch is a favorite. Also, F.Scott Fitzgerald. Tender is the Night is one of my favorites. It’s just a great story.
Favorite restaurants in New York?
I go to Bar Six all the time. It’s just a little bistro. It’s part of the people who own Il Cantinori, its been there forever. Il Cantinori being a favorite also.
Did your parents influence your sense of style?
Since my dad was in the fashion business, my parents always dressed great. Once I was able to shop on my own, I headed straight to the village on 8th street for all my favorite shops. I remember lusting after this Mexican sweater from Fred Leighton and saying to my parents, “This is the only thing I want. Can this be my gift for the next two years?”
What inspires you?
Everything. I’m such a visual person and I’m so stimulated all the time by what surrounds me. Sometimes I’m very distracted because of that.
You’ve never been married.
No. My parents have been married 60 years, so I was very grounded that way but it’s just not the spirit I was born with. I like spending time alone. I don’t ever feel bored. I know what works for me now. If I have a roof over my head and I can see and I can hear and I can walk, it’s going to be a good day. And that’s it. You never know what the day will bring is what I say everyday.