Jean wearing an Oscar de la Renta dress at the Botanical Gardens Orchid Dinner

I met Jean for lunch on a spring day at the restaurant Nello's, although she did very little eating as she had to fit into a tight gown for an opera gala that evening. Jean was tardy; yet I understood why - over the past year she cochaired nine dinner galas and is on the board of so many charities I cannot begin to enumerate them. Scheduling an appointment with Jean was no easy task as she was attending Thatcher's funeral in England and upon her return had a host of social obligations.

Finally, we arranged a date where we were able to discuss her life and background starting with her graduation from Columbia Business School and her job in finance. Soon after, she met her husband Martin at a squash club. They have two daughters, one of whom volunteers at an animal shelter and the other who is getting her masters in social work. Her husband Martin is an investment guru on Wall Street and although ostensibly, Martin is the antithesis of Jean, he seems to get a kick out of her aesthetic pursuits. Martin Shafiroff loathes being photographed, and speaks in a quiet voice quickly retiring to another room to ponder more heady topics.

Jean never goes shopping with her husband because she believes shopping is a very personal experience, and she is not sure he would enjoy experiencing the prices she pays for her clothing.


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