More On: Billionaire Summer Camp
'Billionaire Summer Camp' in Sun Valley shows that money can't buy style
All of the richest people in the country met in Sun Valley, Idaho, for the so-called 'billionaire summer camp,' which happens every year. But these people aren't the top people in America from the time of your grandparents.
These people are probably some of the worst dressed people we know, even worse than Lena Dunham. Can you imagine? Gone are the days when fabulous Gloria Vanderbilt lived in her Gilded Age townhouse, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis walked the streets of Manhattan with her sister Lee Radziwell, and Jerry Hall stripped down to his underwear at Studio 54 while wearing Yves Saint Laurent.
For many of us who know a lot about fashion, we often feel like we miss times we never lived through. There's a reason for this: our current fashion outlook is bad, our elite are ugly, and, to put it bluntly, our culture stinks.
The Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference that happened last week at the Sun Valley Resort is the best example of this. The conference, called "billionaire summer camp," brings together the best people in the country.
Even though they have money, the way they looked at the conference shows that money can't buy style—or sunglasses, for that matter.
Exhibit A is Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, and Tim Cook, the four richest men at the conference. Does it matter if you have billions of dollars if you look like this? Fashion isn't about how much money you have (some of my favorite pieces are secondhand), but it does make it easier to find things to wear.
In this case, it's clear that the person doesn't care about how they look. Whether people like it or not, the way you look really does show who you are as a person and is the first thing people notice about you.
Gates seems to wear the same sweater, pants, and black leather slip-on shoes every day. I like uniforms. The only problem with his is that it looks bad. The sweaters don't fit, the colors are boring, and his pockets are so full that his pants pull in all directions.
Then there is Buffett, who came dressed as a character from Weekend at Bernie's. He wore a medical mask and a lime shirt with lizards on it. Yes, some people still cover their faces with layers of paper. World of Clowns.
Bloomberg looks like he heard the conference was in Idaho and thought, "Huh, I've never been there and don't want to go, so I guess the people there are lumberjacks!" Who wants flannel that would be good for your grandmother's couch pillows?
Tim Cook, who is worth about $2 billion, doesn't dress too badly. It's more that he doesn't seem to realize that he's one of the most successful businesspeople in the world and should dress like it. He appears to be the weakest person in the room. No prestige. That's too bad.
This brings us to Sheryl Sandberg, Anderson Cooper, Gayle King, James Murdoch, Diane von Furstenberg, and her husband Barry Diller.
Sandberg thought it was fine to leave her room at the lodge wearing only flesh-colored clothes. Is this her take on the Kim Kardashian SKIMS style that Kanye West has turned into a brand at Yeezy?
Cooper should know better, since he is Gloria Vanderbilt's son. He and Murdoch don't look like the sons of the most powerful families in the world. Instead, they look like 20-year-old boys trying to get into a Pi Kappa Alpha during rush week.
King looks a mess. There's nothing else to say. It sounds like she went shopping the week before and bought everything in the same shade of lime green. Then she put it all on at once, like a six-year-old.
The fact that Furstenberg and Diller choose to dress so badly is especially surprising. One of the most famous American fashion designers of the 20th century, Diane von Furstenberg is known for her wrap dresses. Since Diller is married to her, wouldn't you be one of the best-dressed people everywhere you go just because you're close to a fashion icon?
It seems not. Furstenberg, well, looks like Furstenberg — that is, someone's crazy aunt. Diller seems to like dressing like a skater boy from the early 2000s. It could be worse, I guess.
Only a few people didn't follow the rules at the conference. Stacey Bendet, who is known for her girly designs at Alice + Olivia, came with a closet full of floral prairie dresses, cowboy hats, and big aviators.
I would have taken off a few of her gold chains, but the rest of her outfit is stylish, especially her yellow wide-brimmed hat and white leggings. She is, without a doubt, the thinnest person at the conference, which helps.
The CEO of Liberty Global, Mike Fries, and his wife, Michelle Malone-Fries, were also not like the rest. His skinny jeans and yellow acetate sunglasses show a subtle sense of style, while her plaid shirt dress (possibly by Burberry), woven clutch, and wedge heels are a well-thought-out look that looks effortless in every way.