Meet Mica Mosbacher

Location: Houston, TX
Age: 56
Marital Status: Married
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, University of Texas

At (the first) President Bush’s 60th wedding anniversary party, Houston fundraiser Mica Mosbacher wore a stunning Ralph Rucci gown in hammered navy silk. She looked exquisite, but she passes the credit to her husband Robert, the Secretary of Commerce under Bush. “He chose the dress,” she explains. “He has picked all my most important outfits.”

This mother, grandmother, and former business journalist has turned her attention and substantial resources to bringing art and social services to the city of Houston. In 2006 she was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve as a regent to the university of Houston system.

Despite heeding her husband’s advice, her elegant style is all her own.

How did you get into journalism?

I was laid off from Oppenheimer as a single mom—I have one son—and started writing freelance to support myself. It was tough; I was hired by the Houston post only to have it bought and sold and close down before I even reported to work. For a while I did PR work on the side for an architecture firm.

That must have been scary.

Well, being a single working mom for ten years taught me that I could stand on my own two feet without a man in the picture to support me. Bob came along much later.

How do you define your style now?

Timeless classics. The best fabrics I can afford, but more importantly, the tailoring and fit. Some trends aren’t right because they don’t flatter my figure.

How has your style evolved over the years?

My style has evolved as my budget has. I always bought the best I could afford and never bought anything that didn’t haunt me; meaning I knew I had to have it and would never part with it.

Favorite designers?

I take a high and low approach to fashion. I like J.Crew and Tory Burch, which are more modestly priced. (Tory’s white jeans and a navy sweaters are my uniform in the summer.) But I also love pricier designer clothes from Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa.

Signature items?

Hermes bags, Chanel watches with large chunky faces and Loubatin shoes. A fun piece of jewelry is my mainstay. I love Ippolita’s slim diamond bangle bracelets all stacked up, and her oversized gold-and-diamond hoop earrings.

Who has influenced your style most?

My husband. He has flawless taste and a discerning eye. He has chosen my most important outfits, including a gown I wore to the White House, the dress I wore when I chaired governor Rick Perry’s inauguration, and one I wore to my 50th birthday party at the Hotel du Cap in the South of France.

Signature perfume?

Shalimar.

Beauty routine?

I use an all-in-one facial cleaner and moisturizer from MD Skincare by Dr. Dennis Gross. And I get regular facials by an MD Skincare specialist. My lipstick is Chantecaille in Guava. It’s a neutral color that goes with everything. I have 7 lipsticks in my bag, but I always reach for that one.

Favorite book?

Any mysteries by Patricia Cornwall, Elizabeth George or James Patterson. Also, historical biography, like The Last Lion, about Churchill.

Who has influenced your style?

Grace Kelly. My father was from Philadelphia, and the Kelly family lived down the street, so I felt like I had a connection. Also, my friend Lynn Wyatt, who looks good in anything.

Greatest indulgence?

Flying to Palm Beach for the weekend and staying at The Breakers. I spend a day in the spa for a mani/pedi and a massage, then head to Frederic Fekkai for a cut, eat lunch at Cafe Boulud at Brazilian Court and then walk along the boardwalk. The ocean revives me.

Favorite wine?

Puligny-Montrachet (Burgundy).

Favorite restaurant in Houston?

I have gone to Tony’s for years. Tony Vallone (the owner) was a friend of my fathers, and we celebrated all our important occasions there. The late society columnist Maxine Mesinger held court there on Saturday nights and you would often see big names like Liza Minelli and Shirley McClain eating there. It’s still the see-and-be-seen place, and the bar is cozy and informal.

How do you rejuvenate?

I ride my horse, Perfect Gentleman, at The Houston Polo Club. I jump; I don’t play polo.

Secret favorite spot in Houston?

Outside at The Bayou Club (next door to the Houston Polo Club) with a cold glass of Chardonnay.

Why do you love Tootsie’s?

I’ve been shopping there for 20 years. Rochelle at Tootsies is my fashion guru. She helps me to not become staid and boring in my style, but she also keeps me from looking like my 22-year-old daughter in law.

What is your passion project?

Three years ago in Houston, a young Hispanic teenager was the victim of a horrendous hate crime. Bleach was thrown on him, and he survived, but eventually committed suicide. In the process of community outreach, I got to know the family and felt that we had to do something to show that our community does not tolerate hate crimes.

I approached Mayor Bill White and asked him to partner in a public/private civic art piece that would depict tolerance, harmony and diversity in Houston. Together, we’ve raised money and signed the artist Jaume Plensa, who created the marvelous Millennium Plaza in Chicago, to create an installation downtown. I’m very excited.

It’s along the Bayou and it’s on a main artery in Houston so we’re really hoping it becomes a destination spot.

Who or what inspires you?

The courage of individuals who have overcome adversity.

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