celebrity shopping

What Maguy Le Coze Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Getty

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Maguy Le Coze, co-owner of Le Bernardin, about the $20 alarm clock she brings to every hotel, the pre-distressed white sneakers she buys so she doesn’t have to keep them clean, and the fake orchids “nobody can tell” aren’t the real deal.

I like this clock because it is very, very small so I can fit it in my bag. I have multiple. Generally, there is always one in my suitcase. I have one at home and whenever I travel, I take one too. I bring them to France, to Mustique, when I am on a boat trip. They’re very light and don’t take up too much space. I don’t have much luck with the internet or computer or anything like that, so I don’t like to use my phone. This alarm clock works very well for me because in every hotel room there are alarm clocks with light, and I need total darkness to sleep. So I unplug their alarm, set up my portable, and voilà, I’m good.

Way before you saw women wearing all white, I started wearing all white. Everybody was wearing black, and I was the only one wearing white, so nobody could miss me. I looked like somebody interesting. Although they are very expensive, I buy these sneakers because they are not clean. The first time I bought them, I asked them, “Can I get these clean?” and they looked at me with horror and said, “No. It’s like that.” But now I like them like that because I don’t have to clean them. And they are simply the best-looking sneakers I have found. I used to wear heels. Now I wear sneakers most of the time, even when dressed up.

I am wearing this right now. I can never wear something other than cashmere on my skin (except a bed shirt) because it’s so soft. One of my friends was buying all his cashmere from Uniqlo, so I said, “Let’s take a look.” And I did about three or four years ago. Sometimes I find nice ones in Paris, where I get some cashmere too, but these are not too thick, which I like, so I can wear something else over them. And these are all white too. I wash them at home. My mother showed me how to wash cashmere. You wash them by hand, then roll them in a towel to get the water out, and then they are to be dried flat. I cut a plastic bag, like a garbage bag, that I put on the floor, and then I put down my cashmere flat on that.

I have a lot of white shawls, thick or thinner depending on the weather — maybe five or six. They might have a pattern, but they’re all white. I carry them everywhere because I am always cold. I cannot leave without a shawl. I have plenty in my house, and there is always one in my bag and always one when I travel. This one is perfect because it’s white, it’s cashmere, and it’s big. I can wrap it around my shoulders and cover my upper arms.

I really love orchids, but you have to take very good care of them. They need water but not too much water. If I’m away, then there is nobody to put the water. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work for me. I had only real orchids for many yearsup until three years ago. I was at a friend’s home, admiring her orchids. She told me they weren’t real, and I didn’t believe her. Then I started getting only fake orchids. Nobody can tell. It’s less expensive because you buy them once, and they last forever. I have three of them in my living room.

People say this is the best Champagne. I always have two bottles of Champagne in my fridge: one for everyday and a bottle of Dom Perignon for special occasions — like I had one with my friend to watch the Oscars. The bubbles are very fine, very light, very tight. Each time I drink one, I buy another, so I always have one with me.

This is an investment at first, but the cover is made of leather, so it lasts forever. I’ve had mine for a very long time and when I run out, I go to Hermès and buy the replacement papers to put inside. I write down all my appointments in it — everything that I am doing. I take it with me everywhere. I don’t use a phone for that. Everyone is going to think that I am crazy because everyone uses a phone.

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What Maguy Le Coze Can’t Live Without