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Meet Pauline Brown

The Chairman of North America for LVMH Inc. on family, women in leadership, success and fashion

Read Pauline Brown's Style CV and scroll through photos of her beautiful home, family and fashion.



I am convinced that the only way out of the challenges that this earth faces is to see more women in leadership. To see those women who have been disempowered and abused and enslaved in some aspects, to set them free, and to see those women who have the potential to run the world run the co-operations, run the movements, the social movements, to give them all the support and all the recognition they need.

On success…

It takes a lot of effort to succeed and if your just succeeding for the external motivations—for money, for title, for prestige, for fame—you will quickly run out of your ability to exert yourself any further. But I think somehow when you feel that there is something that is bigger than yourself in what your achieving, whether it’s that you’re inventing something that will live past your own time running it or owning it, whether you’re grooming a generation of people who can think and act differently and thereby create some more legacy, whether you’re fighting for a cause that somehow if it doesn’t get solved will make this world a lesser place. These are the roots of real purposeful works and somehow it’s amazing how much more energy you can get back from doing this kind of work. Knowing it is just really not about yourself and your immediate rewards.

On fashion… 

To me, fashion is not about the clothes. Fashion comes down to three C’s: creativity, culture, and craft. Just as even the most cynical individual would never recommend doing away with every museum or every monument, this is a part of the society we live in and it’s an expression of the creative development. Creativity doesn’t come out of nowhere, it very much comes out of societal trends and movements.

On jewelry…

I love jewelry and not a day goes by where I don’t put something on, but when it comes to buying jewelry, I am a tough costumer. The only jewelry I will buy for myself is fun, throw away, it’ll be stuff I pick up when I am travelling, it’ll be stuff I see in gallery. But if I am to spend for serious jewelry, it’s a serious purchase, in part because I have been spoiled with such great pieces that came through my family, and so on the few occasions that I have in the course of a year where I am going to wear these kind of pieces, I want to wear something that comes with the level of meaning that these pieces do.

It also is meaningful simply because I know other women in my family will have worn it before me, and it gives me a lot of joy to know that even long after I’m gone, these will be worn by Arianna, and potentially even her daughters. That’s what is so wonderful about jewelry, that it does last the ages—especially when it’s as fine as these pieces.

On family…

I’ve always taken great pride in my career, but also in my family. I think the biggest challenge —and it comes at very inopportunity time— is the juggling of family demands with professional demands. I know women who decide to overcome that by having children early, such that by the time that they are at the peak of career their children are already less dependent. I know others —myself included — who had children later in life so that by the time I had children who were at the most vulnerable stage I was already at a senior enough level that I could have a little bit more control over my career.

But the reality is there is no right or wrong. And the reality is there is no great time to have children and to be fast tracked. I think those who succeed over time look at it not so much as a way to optimize it in a given period of time, but really how to have the right balance over a very long period of time. Can women have a rewarding career, a demanding career, and, at the same time, a healthy and happy family life? I think so.  But I don’t think it’s doable without a lot of discipline, without making very offset different times, and without an understanding of what really is important and what’s not. 

And lastly…

Worry less about what you’re getting and worry more about what you’re giving, and in the long run, those who give, get. In the short run, those who are looking to get are probably going to undermine themselves.  Careers are a marathon, they are not sprints. So everybody should approach even short-term decisions with a marathoner’s mentality. 

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