Kenneth Sheresky, Lyn’s first husband and the father of her three children, had restaurants in New York and was known to be a ladies’ man. On a vacation in Miami Beach in the late forties, he tried to seduce Lillian Fisher, Lyn’s mother. “My grandmother said, ‘You’re too young for me,’ ” Walker told me as she recounted the story. “She said, ‘I have a daughter who might interest you.’ And that’s how my father met my mother.”
For her wedding, Lyn, who sometimes worked as a model, wore a midcalf gown with subtle beading—lovely, though not opulent. Sheresky was charming, dashing, and a great raconteur. The couple divorced amicably in 1960, and in 1988, when he was 60, Sheresky dropped dead of a heart attack while walking down a New York City street. Lyn helped organize Sheresky’s funeral. “She had an exquisite eye,” their son Jeffrey, 58, confirmed. “She knew what my father would have wanted.”
Lyn’s mother, once again, provided the introduction to her daughter’s next spouse: Lillian’s husband, Larry Fisher, a prominent real estate tycoon, knew Revson, and a date was arranged. Revson had been married twice before and was notoriously difficult and brilliant—the visionary behind the growth of Revlon, which he had started with his brother. Among his business innovations were “matching lips and fingertips.” Before Revson decreed it, no one had thought of coordinating the two by color. In fact, there weren’t many shades available to women until he promoted a wide spectrum of reds, pinks, and oranges with exotic and provocative names. Revson also pioneered perfumes driven by personality—Norell, which he named after the fashion designer, is considered to be the first great American scent—and he ushered in the idea of the supermodel by offering Lauren Hutton an unprecedented $200,000-a-year exclusive deal in 1973, marking the beginning of huge cosmetics contracts.
While Revlon was much larger than Estée Lauder, its closest rival in the industry, it was sold in drugstores and had a mass appeal; Lauder, meanwhile, was purchased in department stores and signified class. Revson, fascinated and compelled by the Lauder image and lifestyle, was jealous: He wanted both mass and class.
In a sense, that was where Lyn came in. Twenty-six years younger than Revson, she projected glamour and allure. Her youth also made her, in Revson’s hands, somewhat malleable. Perhaps because of his fascination and competition with the Lauder clan and its lavish lifestyle, Revson began to direct every aspect of his life—especially the decade he spent with Lyn—toward the invention of a world of grandeur.
The couple wed in February 1964 and celebrated with a reception luncheon held in a private railroad car, followed by a one-month honeymoon in the Caribbean aboard Hollywood producer Sam Spiegel’s yacht. By all accounts, Charles was mad about Lyn—though he insisted she sign a tough prenuptial agreement and, shortly after the wedding, exiled her to a suite at the Stanhope Hotel and had her watched. According to Fire and Ice, the Andrew Tobias biography of Revson, he wanted to make certain that Lyn was no longer seeing the two men she had been dating just before their marriage.