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Fredrica S. Friedman, President of Fredrica S. Friedman, Inc.

"I think it's important to have a sense of humor. We could also call it flair."

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Where are you going today?
Back to my office at 57th and Lexington. I just had lunch at Michael’s with Donna Hanover. She’s one of my clients.

What do you do?
I run my own literary agency. Before that, I was the editorial director and associate publisher of Little, Brown and Company.

How would you describe your style?
I suppose I could ask my daughter, Vanessa—she’s the fashion editor of the Financial Times. But I guess I’m aware of fashion and I try to inject current elements into a fairly traditional, professional approach. I think it’s important to have a sense of humor. We could also call it flair.

What are you wearing today?
The handbag is Celine—it was a gift from my husband. He’s great at gifts! The coat is from Bergdorf, and the blue tights are an injection of humor and dash. They’re Fogal.

Did your interest in fashion inspire your daughter’s career?
Not really, but for someone like me who spends her time working on manuscripts and dealing with paper and ideas, fashion comes as both aesthetic relief and a sort of avocation. I like to look at art, interior design, fashion. That was something Vanessa shared with me, and her way of looking at it now is that it’s a cultural insight.

What artists do you like?
Color-field and Abstract Expressionist painters. De Kooning, Twombly, Rothko. My tastes exceed my budget.

What are you reading?
Proposals by authors of mine. One is by Amitai Etzioni, who heads the Institute for Communitarian Policy at George Washington University. Also, a manuscript by Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway, the leading female pollsters in America. Their book, What Do Women Really Want?, will be published this fall. Plus, for old time’s sake, I’m reading Faulkner. As I Lay Dying. Just to lighten things up.

What do women really want?
The right to fully participate on equal terms with men. We pay a great deal of lip service to it in this country, and yet we have only 14 percent women in the House and Senate, the lowest proportion of any First World country.


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