no one defines classic, all-american and timeless style more than claiborne swanson frank. not only does she embody it herself, her photography and her work champion it.

i met claiborne last year here in L.A. through some mutual friends. we hit it off instantly. i meet a lot of people i enjoy, but rarely do i meet people i really, really like, and i really, really like claiborne. she has a warmth, and kindness about her that i find rare and refreshing (might i add she also has the most beautiful hair and skin that i think i’ve ever seen).

i had already been a big fan of claiborne’s, i absolutely loved her first book, appropriately titled american beauty/ buy here… a book of portraits of american girls that are not only beautiful and stylish, but are also smart, creative, ambitious, innovative and most important, they are inspiring.

claiborne and i have a lot in common. with my blog i celebrate women and men with all-american style, people that i find interesting and that are modern day versions of style icons we all celebrate from the past. claiborne does the same with her photography and her books- claiborne’s much anticipated second book, titled young hollywood, debuts in september/ pre-order here.

not only do i love claiborne because of who she is as a person, i love her work. i love that she is showing us with her photography and portraits that timeless style and classic elegance still exists, and american beauty lives on!

MDS- How would you define your style?

CSF- Classic American Style



MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that has influenced your style?

CSF- I grew up in California and I feel that being raised in that laid back culture has inspired in me a love of effortless style…that mix of classic and bohemian….a bit undone. I love an easy look that is glamorous with out trying. That fine line. I was also a tomboy most my life so I think that is always a part of my look.



MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?

CSF- Lauren Hutton is a constant inspiration… I love her effortless sense of beauty and style. She defines American Style in every way to me. She always reminds me of the freedom and the power of being comfortable in your own skin.

Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton


MDS- What is the favorite room in your home?

CSF- My favorite room is my living room. I also love my sunroom. The room I spend most of my time in is my dining room- I work there… Spread all my books out…Open the French doors and drink my green tea. I find peace and inspiration there. Among my photos and the breeze that comes from the garden. I feel that the spaces we work in need to inspire.



MDS- Is there anything you obsessively collect?

CSF- I collect coffee table books, both vintage and new, jeans, vintage YSL tuxedo jackets, hats of all kinds.

Claiborne and her fabulous mother-in-law, Cynthia Frank

Claiborne and her fabulous mother-in-law, Cynthia Frank


MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ____________ .”

CSF- Coffee table books or hats.



MDS- Who are your style icons? Who is in your best-dressed hall of fame?

CSF- Lauren Hutton, Katherine Hepburn and Charlotte Rampling for sure.

Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton

Katharine Hepburn- Photograph by Slim Aarons

Katharine Hepburn- Photograph by Slim Aarons

Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling


MDS- What do you want to be known for?

CSF- I hope through my photography is to create iconic portraits that document American culture, style and beauty.



MDS- What’s next for Claiborne?

CSF- The release of my second coffee table book “Young Hollywood,” to be released in September published by Assouline.

MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?

CSF- Freedom, originality, individuality … Finding your own path.


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