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CD Charms – A Fashionable Q&A with Catherine Demarchelier

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Born in Versailles, France, Catherine was always intrigued by the magical land’s gorgeous castle, gardens, and basins. At the age of 16, she was the champion of France leading the International French Swim team to the 1968 Olympics. Upon relocating to the United States and discovering Shelter Island, she again found the place that moved her, a place where she was inspired to build a home and grow her family.

The Demarchelier Restaurant, on the Upper East Side, is an authentic French bistro established in 1978 by her husband and well-known painter, Eric Demarchelier. Eric and Catherine’s daughter, Emily Demarchelier, manages the family-owned restaurant, while Chef Marc Tagournet oversees creating their traditional menu selections.

A Shelter Island, New York, resident since 1979, Catherine has long had a special fondness for and connection with her community. She has always been artistic and innovative, with previous careers as a decorator and a stylist that honed her aesthetic eye.

Catherine Demarchelier hails from an incredibly artistic family. Her husband, Eric Demarchelier, is an international painter with artworks in the world’s best art galleries and showcased on the walls of the Demarchelier Restaurant. Catherine’s brother-in-law, Patrick Demarchelier, is a world-renowned French fashion photographer.

Catherine’s creativity also stems from her love of other paradise islands like St. Barths in the French West Indies, which she enjoys visiting annually with family. CD Charms brings to life one’s love of locales. Each charm represents a favorite island (such as Manhattan or Shelter Island), complements the other charms, and are easily combined with Catherine’s other pieces.

For more information visit: https://cdcharms.com.

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Catherine Demarchelier (Photo Credit – Catherine Demarchelier) COPYRIGHT CLEAREDPortrait of Catherine Demarchelier

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1. How and when did you first realize you wanted to work in your current industry?

I was in St. Barths, eight years ago, and saw little charms symbolizing the island. I wanted one of Shelter Island and reached out to my close friend of 30 years, owner Irene Vitau of Gemveto Jewelers, to craft my very own charm.

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2. What is your biggest career highlight to date?

My first ten charms were sold to friends with homes on Shelter Island, whom love the locale as much as I do.

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3. Any celebrity clients or memorable stories related to your business that you want to share?

A bride from Newport, Rhode Island ordered 13 Rhode Island charms for herself and her bridesmaids. It was a memorable moment because it was my first big sale. I was also invited to attend the wedding where they all wore the charms.

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4. How would you describe your personal style?

According to my entourage, my personal style is “very French.” My style is sophisticated, and you will never catch me wearing yoga gear if I’m not in a yoga class. In my opinion, you never know where you’re going to go and who you’re going to see, so I always dress accordingly.

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5. What is a typical day in your life like?

Taking care of my family is a very important part of my life. I wake up and make breakfast for my husband and my children, if any of them are visiting at the time. My daughter visits often, and I love to have her home.

After I tend to my family and organizing my home, I take care of any CD Charms business. I read my letters and listen to voicemails. I like to know what’s going on and where orders are being sent.

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CD Charms Model (Photo Credit – ©CD Charms) COPYRIGHT CLEAREDCD Charms model

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6. What are three never-miss events on your calendar?

My family’s birthdays, which includes: my husband’s in July, my daughter’s birthday in November, and both my sons were born in May.

Also, my yearly vacation to St. Barths in the winter (either January or February) for two weeks.

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7. What are your three favorite locations in the city you reside in?

  • I spend a lot of my time on the Upper East Side because that’s where our family restaurant, Demarchelier, is located.
  • My husband, Eric Demarchelier, and I like to visit Central Park often during the winter and spring for relaxing walks and to spend time together.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art is in the same neighborhood as the Demarchelier Restaurant. During lunch time, Eric and I visit to see what’s new.

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8. What are your three favorite restaurants?

  • Demarchelier Restaurant in Manhattan – A favorite, for both our guests and me, is the steak tartare, and I enjoy it with a side of french fries.
  • Sunset Beach restaurant on Shelter Island – I love the veal milanese with green salad.
  • Bâoli Miami Restaurant and Lounge – The skirt steak and vegetables are delicious.
  • Sylvano Restaurant in Miami Beach has amazing Italian pizza.

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9. What about your three favorite bars?

  • The Bar at Demarchelier – I normally opt for the gin martini.
  • Rosé wine is my drink of choice everywhere else: Sunset Beach restaurant on Shelter Island, Bâoli Miami Restaurant and Lounge, and Sylvano Restaurant in Miami Beach.

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10. What has been your best New York moment? What about the worst?

The best moment was the birth of my third child, and my first American-born, at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. I love living in America, and it was a wonderful experience to have my first American-born child in New York City.

The 9/11 terrorist attack was the worst moment for me. My daughter worked at the uptown Louis Vuitton office, and they were held under lockdown.  My nephew was in one of the towers, and it was all very scary for me until I learned they were both safe.

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11. Name your go-to:  

a. Outfit – I love summery clothes and I like to shop collections from French fashion designer Thierry Mugler while in St. Barths.

On Madison Avenue in New York City, I go to Velvet by Graham & Spencer for nice casual wear. I like to shop for my husband and daughter at Velvet.

b. Fragrance – Alien from Thierry Mugler.

c. Movie – Dances with Wolves, directed by Kevin Costner.

d. Book – Marie Antoinette, authored by Stefan Zweig.

e. TV show – Versailles TV series.

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Catherine Demarchelier 2 (Photo Credit – Catherine Demarchelier) COPYRIGHT CLEAREDPortrait of Catherine Demarchelier

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12. Name your favorite vacation spot, and the hotel you stay at while there. What makes these spots special?

We travel to St. Barths every year and stay at Le P’tit Morne Hotel in Colombier. The view is spectacular, and the staff is divine. It is always a fun experience.

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13. What are your three most played songs?

I enjoy reggae music and love Bob Marley. I also enjoy the tango argentin music genre.

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14. What are three items you couldn’t live without?

  • My rosé wine is my favorite wine of all time.
  • Monoi Oil is a delicately scented perfume-oil that I buy from Tahiti.
  • A woman NEVER puts her bag on the floor, so I travel with my trusted bag hanger, which I use everywhere.

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15. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

At the age of 16, I was the French swimming champion, so I would love to meet Michael Phelps, the best swimmer in the world.

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16. What is something people might not know about you?

What you see is what you get! And that’s all they need to know.

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17. When did you feel like you had “made it” professionally?

At age 16, I carried the Olympic torch for one kilometer in Paris on its way to the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

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18. Do you have any advice for those aspiring to work in your industry?

GO FOR IT! It’s very rewarding but you must be social and network. My CD Charms are an easy conversation starter.

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19. What changes do you think your industry will undergo in the next 5-10 years?

Well, there will be more islands featured in our CD Charms collection. The internet gives me access to what’s popular and where people are traveling to frequently.

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20. Is there anything else you’d like to share, discuss or promote?

Coming soon to CD Charms are the California and Costa Rica charms.

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- Shelter Island Earrings - Photo Credit - CD CharmsShelter Island Earrings

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PHOTO CREDITS

Lead-In Image (Composite) – Map of Manhattan Courtesy of netsign33 / Shutterstock.com; Manhattan Charm Courtesy of CD Charms;

Catherine Demarchelier Portraits Courtesy of Catherine Demarchelier;

CD Charms Model Courtesy of CD Charms;

Shelter Island Earrings Courtesy of CD Charms.