Vanessa Traina: Cool and Connected

An old-fashioned girl with a very modern sensibility.

Traina Snow
Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

Couture Clan You could say that Vanessa Traina Snow was destined for a life in fashion. “My parents were of another time, in a way—quite traditional and very European,” the stylist says. “My sisters and I always wore matching dresses. This was quite formative, as we had to find our own little ways to be individuals.” Matching outfits aside, her family (including eight siblings) was indeed a close-knit one. Her mother, the novelist Danielle Steel, worked from home; and her father, the vintner John Traina (who died in 2011), retired when Traina Snow was a child—so they were “very present,” says the 29-year-old San Francisco native. An avid couture client, Steel would take her daughters to the Paris shows and to her fittings. “We were always playing dress-up. Not in princess clothes, but in our mother’s ’80s Versace and Chanel,” Traina Snow says. But when she married the artist Max Snow, in 2012, she did in fact dress like a princess—in a lace gown by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Haute Couture

Friends in Haute Places Traina Snow is the ultimate fashion insider, consulting for fab friends like Balenciaga’s Alexander Wang (they went to the same high school) and Joseph Altuzarra, whom she met while interning at French Vogue. Her modern aesthetic also keeps her in demand as a stylist and recently catapulted her into a whole new arena: retail. She is the cofounder and creative director of the Line, a lifestyle e-commerce site with a curated selection of clothing, furniture, and beauty essentials. A SoHo loft called the Apartment serves as a showroom and a testing ground, and many pieces are direct descendants of things she has in her home, including an antique rosewood and Calacatta gold marble table designed by Max.

Designed for Living A relic from the New York shop De Vera and a lapis lazuli box from the Line are the latest additions to the eclectic mix in the Snows’ TriBeCa apartment. “We’re slightly obsessed with,” Traina Snow admits. Some of their favorite finds: a Hans Wegner Flagline chair, an 18th-century safe, and a set of Cantu chairs by the midcentury Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues. Nestled between stacks of art books are treasures passed down from her father, including a tiny ruby-eyed pig and several antique cigarette cases. Like her home, her wardrobe is a mix of sleek designer pieces (Balenciaga, Céline, Protagonist), vintage classics (old Levi’s, hand-me-down Hermès bags), and killer accessories. “The main marker of my personal style is comfort,” she says. She isn’t much of a jewelry hound, but the pieces she does wear have special significance—like the engagement ring Max designed with their friend the jeweler James de Givenchy, or the signet ring her father gave her for her sweet 16. “I am drawn to things that have stories behind them, which is probably why I’m so attracted to antiques and odd, vintage trinkets.”

Photos: Vanessa Traina: Cool and Connected

Traina Snow, at the Apartment in SoHo, wears a Céline top and skirt and Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra mules.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

Seating cards at her wedding to Max Snow, 2012. Courtesy of Victoria Traina.

Max in the Traina family car, Napa, California, 2012. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

Family portrait, 1987. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

Max and Vanessa, 2013. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

With her mother in Hawaii, 1985. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

The couple’s wedding day, 2012. Courtesy of Samuel Lippke.

Holiday in Napa, 2011. Courtesy of Victoria Traina.

At Max Snow’s studio in Jersey City; Traina Snow wears a Proenza Schouler dress and Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra mules.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

A favorite Protagonist tunic from fall 2013. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

Snow’s artwork Untitled (Fawn), 2010. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

A Protagonist look for spring. Courtesy of Paul Maffi.

Traina Snow “swiped” these Altuzarra mules while working on the designer’s spring show. Courtesy of CNP Montrose.

Traina Snow and Joseph Altuzarra. Courtesy of Lily Wong.

A ruby-eyed pig from her father.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

Big Sur is a favorite escape. Courtesy of Getty Images.

The family’s coats of arms on ashtrays.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

This couch at the Apartment was inspired by her own Las Venus sofa.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

Art and design objects at the Apartment.

A Jean Prouvé stool. Courtesy of Matt Sprout.

A porcupine dish on a stack of art books in her TriBeCa apartment.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

Frédéric Malle Tuberose candle. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

Her dog, Gidget. Courtesy of Vanessa Traina Snow.

Snow’s Tiger Moth, 2013.

Photographer: Jeff Henrikson

One of Traina Snow’s favorite photo books: Tina Barney Photographs: Theater of Manners. Courtesy of Janet Borden.