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Article: January 2015: Meet Suzanne, Simoné, and Cissy

January 2015: Meet Suzanne, Simoné, and Cissy

Three friends, out and about in winter finery. As in any group of three, there’s distinct roles in play here.

Suzanne, chronic ear-muff-wearer is the first to let you know she’s always been the smallest friend. She walks slightly (and breathlessly) ahead of her two life long accomplices, Simoné and Cissy while looking back at them for approval as if her restless leg syndrome is betraying her natural proclivity to be a follower.

Simoné, born in Rio, is the daughter of the late Sebastiano fa Diabolo de Firenze, a visionary in the field of perfumery. Literally. He won seventeen international genius grant awards in the 1960s and 70s for his work on the gripping photographic campaigns for major perfume brands.

His images evoke scent so powerfully that it is said no scented inserts needed to accompany his ad work. The viewer simply drank in his image and knew what Aqua di Ballone or Nuits de Basque smelled like. Simoné became his muse and model when she was 11, shot fully in the nude.

Interestingly enough, Sebastiano later shot himself (also, while nude) with a hunting riffle. Simoné endured one year of silence as a form of mourning and then went on to become a celebrated perfume model the world over - powerfully conjuring the essence scent through her luscious facial expressions and glowing complexion.

Cissy is the kind of no-nonsense workaholic whose assistant, Jen, is 2 years older than her but shakes a little when Cissy addresses her directly. Eager to check every box that needs checking under 30, Cissy elected to undergo a procedure that allowed her to become pregnant with no paternal involvement, and to give birth with one week maternity leave, returning to a size 2 in time for her first court appearance post partum.

The three met when they were thrown together as infants at their mothers bookclub, which was a front for a powerful feminist organization called SPAN - Stop Penis Angst Now. Sebastian was a rage-aholic, and deeply brooding, egotistical artist who drove his wife, Simoné’s mother, Mia to seek the refuge of other frustrated women.

And Suzanne’s parents were both professors of political science at NYU. Their arguments of basic fundamental abhorrence and disagreement would last sometimes into the first light of dawn while Suzanne would pray frantically before her Herrand figurine of the Mother Mary while waiting for her grandmother’s butler to come collect her in a town car to spend the night uptown. Suzanne encouraged her mother to join SPAN as an outlet for her unbridled fury towards her husband.

Cissy’s mother didn’t have a clear reason to be a feminist, but then again, she also didn’t have a reason to have painted their traditional upper east side brownstone a flagrant turquoise with leopard spots in the 80s either. Her free spirit always outraged the practical and task-driven Cissy.

As you can guess, SPAN did not have a lot of children at most meetings primarily because most of it’s members had had elective hysterectomies or simply did not engage with the opposite sex physically. This meant that Suzanne, Simoné and Cissy were the only three children at the meetings, left to sort out their distinct differences over a pile of gender-neutral, totally, un-fun dolls that did not look remotely like the barbies they were hoping for.

Because of this unusual circumstance for their friendship, they became fiercely close and have remained so to this day, despite Suzanne’s all-consuming dedication to volunteer work, Simoné’s bi-weekly meditative retreats and Cissy’s allegedly grueling hours of case work and/or cycling classes. 

We stopped this dynamic trio for a brief interview. Please enjoy their account of their life and times…. bios of each girl, from left to right:

Name: Suzanne

Age: 27

Profession: speech pathologist, focusing on dead languages at the elite Larsson School, a unique feeder school for the ivy league focusing on ages 24 months to five years.

Spirit Animal: chipmunk and/or designer micro pig


Name: Simoné

Age: does not like to be profiled by an exact number. age is so subjective. what even is time?

Profession: perfume model

Spirit Animal: Gemini



Name: Cissy, short for Constance

Age: 27

Profession: lawyer

Spirit Animal: Jack russel terrier



Where are you off to this afternoon?

Suzanne: “We’re off to Cissy’s son’s baptism! Isn’t that wonderful? Cissy was raised without religion but she wants her son to be grounded in Christ if he isn’t grounded in a duel-parent home”

Simoné: “I told her that Thomas should be raised buddhist and instead she asked me to be the God Mother” {Suzanne smiles nervously, clearly slighted for role of GM}

Cissy: {checking blackberry, which is stashed inside fur muff along with iPhone, but nods that this is accurate}


Cissy, you’re new haircut is beyond, what made you go “Felicity on us and go for the pixie cut?

Cissy: {Blank stare - has not seen Felicity, was at lacrosse camp for all of the 90s}

Suzanne: “Isn’t it adorable? She has the best cheekbones for it!”

Simoné: “She looks like a lesbian! It is fantastic!”


What does change mean to you, as we take our first steps into 2015?

{Cissy and Suzanne both start to speak at once… Cissy gives up and delves back into blackberry, clearly used to this}

Suzanne: “I think it means that it’s time to embrace our best selves! I personally am embarking on Dry-nuary. Which means no alcohol or gluten until February!”

Simoné: “For me, it’s not about change, or newness, I’ve already lived 2015 in my former life. It is a beautiful year. I am happy that it is back”

Cissy: “Now that I have a son, I think it is important in this new year to stay true to strong values as a nation. It’s time for a return to Regan-era stoicism, when men were men. As a powerful woman, I’d like to see my son grow up to have the same earning potential that women are entitled to now.”


What’s one thing you want to do in 2015 and why haven’t you done it before now?

Suzanne: “Fall in love! I guess I haven’t done it before now because I’ve just been so busy. For 27 years. Oh and learn how to make grain, nut, and fruit free granola bars”

Simoné: “Make love on horseback and go big game hunting. I have done these things before. I love them. Why must we do something new? Nothing is new.”

Cissy: “Run an ultra-marathon. I haven’t done one yet because legally you can’t enter an ultra-marathon the same year as a triathlon and or iron man. But I’m taking the year off from tri-training”


What are your three winter must-haves?

Suzanne: “A sense of adventure, hand monogramed Goyard snow boots and anything furry or fluffy! Like these vegan fur earmuffs made by Ears-For-Tears, a not-for-profit group of artisans in Mongolia that benefits the hundreds of people each year who are affected by Under-active Tear Duct Disease”

Simoné: “Three first class airline tickets to: Bali, Rio, and St. Maartin”

Cissy: “preventative botox injections every six weeks, a good nanny and unlimited pass at Soul Cycle”


If you could go any place in the world this January day, where would you go?

Cissy: “To my son’s baptism. Excuse us, we’re late!”

Suzanne: “Shopping with my grandmother at Oscar de la Renta on Madison and then to lunch at Sarabeth’s”

Simoné: “Back to bed with a pound of hand foraged, raw Italian truffles and a case of champagne”


What are your go-to spots for snow nights in the city?

The girls all agree that Simoné’s apartment is the place to be. Her live-in lover/riding instructor, Fiori (Italian born, but raised in France) makes the best rillettes of fois gras (essentially a turducken of expensive fat) this side of the Loire Valley and everyone gets a cashmere and angora throw to take home with them after dinner. Suzanne has, on occasion, shown up with an “appetizer” that she made herself from her Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook. It usually involves goat cheese and pears on small crackers made of nori. Simoné thanks her profusely with double kiss on both cheeks four times and then feeds it to Fiori’s horses who are kept in a state-of-the-art barn occupying the entire seventh floor of their apartment building. (Simoné’s closet takes up the entire sixth floor)


What’s your favorite winter cocktail to keep warm?

Suzanne: “Remember, it’s Dry-nuary!”

Simoné and Cissy both enjoy the penicillin:

2 ounces of blended Scotch whisky

squeeze of fresh lemon juice flown in from Fiori’s lemon groves in Anacapri (said to have been originally cultivated by Napoleon)

¾ ounce of honey

sliced fresh ginger

¼ ounce single malt Scotch

muddle the ginger until it is well mashed, add the blended scotch, lemon, honey and ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Strain into an ice filled glass and pour the single malt over the top.



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