Thelma Schnitzer, Opera Lover

Thelma Schnitzer of the Look Book in New York Magazine
Photo: Jake Chessum

What are you up to today?
There was a terrible draft at the opera last night, so I’m not feeling too sharp, but I wanted to walk up Madison Avenue, and to make it at least as far as Valentino.

Where do you live?
In New York, the St. Regis. We always come for the opera, and we get the Astor Suite. They remember things—we like the blankets instead of the duvets, that sort of thing. We have three homes, and I think three is enough.

How would you describe your look?
I guess you would call it fussy. I was brought up in that era of suits and dresses with coats, and that is the way I continue to dress. I have a drawer, and I bet I have 50 pairs of gloves in it. All kinds, from the wrist to above the elbow.

What’s changed most about the city in all these years?
People don’t dress! It’s not just New York. You used to go to Paris and get dressed. Now it’s blue jeans and a Chanel jacket.

Where’d you get your suit?
Chanel—it’s from last season. It looks off-white, but it’s actually beige.

What’s your favorite opera?
An old warhorse: La Traviata.

Do you ever listen to anything other than opera?
Chopin is my great love.

How about rap music?
Rap music! Even my grandchildren are old, you know.

Where’d you get those sunglasses?
I don’t know, but they say Jackie O. inside.

And the lipstick?
I like a red lipstick, specifically Chanel Rose Stone, which they just stopped making. I only have one left.

Who does your hair?
In New York, I always go to the Pierre Hotel. My hairdresser is Toni—a lady named Toni! It looks like a simple hairdo, but it isn’t that easy.

How on earth have you stayed married for 66 years?
It’s just being polite to each other always.

Thelma Schnitzer, Opera Lover