The gap, though she may not want to say so, may have had something to do with her relationship with Gagosian, which has catapulted her into the uppermost reaches of fashion, art, and society. “I’d prefer not to talk about him,” she demurs, when I ask how they met. “I will say that he has been a great mentor. He’s one of the most stylish people I know, not necessarily in terms of fashion, though I think his fashion sense is interesting, but in terms of art and the way he deals with things. Hopefully a little bit of that has rubbed off.”
These days, Monroque, who says her favorite artists are Richard Prince and Damien Hirst—“the gallery artists, essentially”—hopscotches around the world with Gagosian to his eleven galleries, from London to Athens to Hong Kong (“The sun never sets on my gallery,” he recently said). Monroque has established her own identity within this Valhalla, turning heads with a turban paired with a Jason Wu dress at the CFDA awards, animal prints, and her impeccable fifties fashion by Prada and Chanel (she’s also trying to incorporate some fashion at Gagosian, where she will soon introduce bangles by Delfina Delettrez, of the Fendi family, into the gallery store). “Now when I go to a show, the photographers ask me to stop, and 30 of them start snapping,” she says, covering her face. “It’s a little embarrassing, honestly.” Until recently, she was also editing Pop, an edgy fashion magazine, with Dasha Zhukova, the girlfriend of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovitch; in September, they are launching a new magazine, Garage, named after Zhukova’s gallery in Moscow. She’s thought about college. “James Frey told me I should forget it, though, and just go out into the world,” she says.
Monroque finishes her lunch and steps onto the burning pavement, loading her Prada packages onto a blue cruiser bike locked to a lamppost. She’s just returned from a safari to Botswana and Namibia, and next week, she’ll be back in St. Lucia, on a shoot for Japanese Vogue. Later today, she’s driving to Amagansett, since Gagosian is due back there after a trip. “I love the dogs we have out there, these two big poodles that we got after Larry’s old dogs, a present from Richard Serra, passed away,” she says. “I like to walk them on the ocean, though I don’t always go in the sea.” She smiles. “When everyone in the Hamptons says, ‘The water’s so warm today,’ it’s still too cold for me.”