Gloria Vanderbilt, now 90, has been famous for many things in the course of an extraordinary and varied life. An artist, actress, heiress, model, socialite and fashion designer, she’s been married four times (to agent and film producer Pat DiCicco, conductor Leopold Stokowski, film director Sidney Lumet and author Wyatt Cooper) and courted by luminaries from Marlon Brando to Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes to Roald Dahl.
As if in contrast, every day she eats the same thing for lunch: a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich and, occasionally, an apple. Yet for this interview, Vanderbilt has agreed to put aside her routine and to go round the corner from her studio to Ze Café. As a kind of quid pro quo, however, she first wants me to come to her studio, a small white room in a ground floor apartment on the far east side of Midtown Manhattan, just below the apartment in which she actually lives.