In the world of broadcast journalism, Alina Cho stands out. An admitted fashion zealot since she first saw Olivia Newton John’s skintight black pants in the film Grease, Cho has been largely responsible for bringing fashion to mainstream news. When Michelle Obama walked into her first inaugural ball, Cho was the correspondent who revealed that a young upstart named Jason Wu had designed her gown.
As editor at large at Ballantine Bantam Dell, she wrangles memoirs out of legends like Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger. More recently, she produced profiles of designer Stella McCartney and model Maye Musk on CBS Sunday Morning, as well as a revealing look at fashion influencers.
LEFT: In the living room, the sofa is by Vladimir Kagan, the cocktail table is by Karl Springer, the table between the armchairs is from Ralph Pucci, and the other side table is by Harvey Probber. The lamp is by Curtis Jeré, the rug is by Luke Irwin, and the curtains are in a Rogers & Goffigon fabric. The artwork is by Adrian Albino. RIGHT: In the dining room, the chairs are by Knoll, and the tablecloth is custom made from a Ralph Lauren fabric. The photograph is by Marilyn Minter, and the plates are by Fornasetti. The paint is Little Piggy on the walls and Decorator’s White on the ceiling, both by Benjamin Moore.
Cho’s own closets are a veritable costume institute unto themselves. She cuts through her pieces like an archivist (“early Marc Jacobs Vuitton, old Alber [Elbaz] Lanvin, Manolo [Blahnik] Mary Janes from that Sex and the City era...”). To house it all, she reconfigured the two bedrooms in her Central Park South apartment with wall-to-wall closets.
“Alina represents the idea that you can be smart and chic,” says longtime friend and designer Michael Kors. “She puts a modern spin on the classically chic style of women like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy.”
Dresses with lively prints from Duro Olowu, Erdem, Altuzarra, and her friend Kors spill from her closet, and Cho wanted the rest of her home to have a similar “joie de vivre.” Well on her way there already with a tricolor Vladimir Kagan sofa, Ashley Hicks totems, and vivid paintings by Renée Demsey, she tapped decorator Bibi Monnahan to complete the job.
“Like all of us gals who express ourselves with what we put on our shoulders, Alina wanted that to carry over in her home,” explains Monnahan, who maintained Cho’s love of intense color with a raspberry velvet–cushioned ottoman and added playful touches, like the framed vintage Vogue photographs of Goldie Hawn and Jane Birkin that line the foyer.
Says Cho: “I love [to be] happy, and I want to be surrounded by things that make me happy.”