Document 161087

ON SAILOR: Dress, REDValentino ($795). Saks Fifth Avenue,
Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington
Station, 350-1100; Stud earrings, Vita Fede
($150). Intermix, 87 Main St., East Hampton, 907-8025; Hoop earrings in 18k gold with diamonds,
Tiffany & Co. ($6,500). 53 Main St., East Hampton,
324-1700; Ring, Khai Khai ($450). London
Jewelers, 2 Main St., East Hampton, 329-3939; Booties, Gucci ($995). Americana
Manhasset, 2060 Northern Blvd., 516-365-0994;
ON CHRISTIE: Shrug, Michael Kors ($695). Americana
Manhasset, 516-365-3512; Gown with
belt, J. Mendel ($4,980). Hirshleifers, Americana
Manhasset, 516-627-3566; Bracelet ($16,250)
and Legacy Collection earrings in platinum with diamonds
($4,200), Tiffany & Co. SEE ABOVE. ON JACK: Jacket, Ralph
Lauren Black Label ($1,495). 31-33 Main St., East Hampton,
324-1222; Shirt, Jil Sander. BrinkleyCook’s own. Pants, Saint Laurent, Brinkley-Cook’s own.
Pocket square, Brunello Cucinelli ($165). 39 Newtown
Lane, East Hampton, 324-3400;
Watch, Rolex. Brinkley-Cook’s own. Shoes, Christian
Louboutin, Brinkley-Cook’s own
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for the
ports Illustrated swimsuit model, Cover Girl spokesperson, and the
inspiration behind Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl,” Christie Brinkley is
undeniably a global success. However, at 59, she’s proving she’s much
more than any one of her accomplishments; more specifically, she’s
a leading activist for environmental issues both in the Hamptons,
where she’s lived for nearly 30 years, and abroad. This past summer, Christie was
honored by Andy Sabin at the South Fork Natural History Museum for her work,
and in September, she and daughter Sailor, 15, traveled to Africa to help bring
awareness to the problem of elephant and rhinoceros poaching. “I thought it was
amazing for my daughter to see activism in action and really experience for herself how people can unite and make a difference,” Brinkley says.
The two were exposed to both the heroes in the fight to end poaching—including conservationist Dex Kotze and his wife, Jenna Clifford—as well as many of the
villains, including the Somali-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab, which attacked
the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, just a day after Christie and Sailor
visited. Their guide’s pregnant friend was killed in the mass shooting. “That created a reality to the whole situation,” Sailor recalls.
Here, Christie and Sailor, who just signed on with IMG Models, are joined by
Christie’s son, Jack, 18—a freshman marketing/entertainment student at Emerson
College in Boston—to talk with Andy Sabin about life in the Hamptons and how
they are making environmental activism a family affair.
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“The government in South Africa needs to adopt strict anti-poaching laws
that punish the poachers, and they’re not doing it, so shame on them.”
ANDY SABIN: You just returned from Africa, why did you go?
CHRISTIE BRINKLEY: I was in New York City during the time I was in
the show Chicago, and I bumped into [communication strategist] Richard
Greene; we went to school together, and he has a radio show where he talks
to celebrities about all their causes. He called me up and said, “We’ve got this
tour to help the elephants and rhinoceroses to support the first lady of
Kenya’s Hands Off Our Elephants campaign.”
AS: Where did you go?
CB: We first flew to Johannesburg and went to a reserve called Entabeni,
and we stayed in a private home in the Legends resort, which has one of
the only rhino orphanages. We got to see firsthand how they are rescuing
the babies, and it’s so heartbreaking. The mother and baby rhinoceros
have a bond so strong that the babies will fight off poachers. When the
poachers come [to take the rhino’s horn], they mutilate these animals in
the most horrendous, cruel, hideous way that makes you ashamed to be a
human. Poachers take an ax or a machete and just start hacking at the horn
as if it were a tree branch, and when a baby [tries to] attack the poacher,
they just take the machete and shoo them away. If it slices the baby rhino’s
face a little bit, they don’t care. Then it usually takes two or three days for
the mother to die, and the baby won’t leave its side, so they’re being found
next to the dead mom, dehydrated, starving, and traumatized—if they’re
found at all.
SAILOR: I learned a lot about poaching. Before going, I really didn’t
understand the concept of poaching until my mom explained it to me and
we watched really emotional videos about it. I think we are going to go on
more trips in the future to continue to raise awareness.
AS: In some cultures, using rhinoceros and elephant horns as status
symbols or for superstitious purposes is something that’s been done for
hundreds of years—that’s the problem.
CB: Many Chinese people vow that as they get a higher standard of
living, part of their tradition is to buy rhino horn as medicine and ivory as
a status symbol, and now there is too much demand. Even if you could
harvest [horns and tusks] without hurting the animal, you’d never [meet
the demand]. The only thing we can do is try to get everyone to understand that there is no status in owning ivory, and that rhinoceros horns
have no magic powers. It is keratin—the same thing as if you grind up hair
and toenails and put that in a pill.
SAILOR: They talked a lot about the statistics while we were there. More
elephants were poached last year—36,000—than are left in Kenya right now.
AS: Who are the heroes in the fight to protect these animals?
CB: Anybody who responds to the message can be a hero. When I went
over there, I posted information on Instagram and Facebook; anybody
who pushed that “share” button, they are a hero in my book. They are
spreading the word. We’ve had, at the very least, 75 baby elephants that
have been adopted by people on my Instagram thread alone.
AS: What can people do to help?
CB: People can sign a petition to say no to ivory on multiple websites:,, or There
are a lot of different ways to come at this. The government in South Africa
needs to adopt strict anti-poaching laws that punish the poachers, and
they’re not doing it, so shame on them. Right now in South Africa, a
person who is caught smoking in a no-smoking zone pays a bigger fine
than a poacher. The other day, I marched from one river to the other in
Manhattan with an elephant on my head—floppy ears, a trunk—and not
one picture in the paper. But a fake story about me selling a little house
I own or doing some sort of revenge tactic on an ex... Google that, and
there are like 45,000 links.
AS: Not many people know you as an advocate for conservation.
How did your interest in saving animals start?
CB: When I was a teenager, I picked up a book my mom was reading, and
it opened to this page that had a very graphic description of the stockyards
in Chicago. I read that, and my stomach just turned. I closed the book and
said, “Well, that’s it. I’m never eating another bite of meat for as long as I
live. I don’t want to be a part of a process that hurts animals.”
AS: When I first met you, you were very involved with Standing for Truth
Against Radiation. You were fighting to close the Shoreham nuclear
power plant...
CB: It wasn’t Shoreham; it was the Brookhaven High Flux Beam Reactor.
Long Islanders needed to be alerted to the fact that we are still living in
the crosshairs of several old, troubled, leaky reactors like Millstone
Nuclear Power Plant, which is about 14 miles from East Hampton. It is
one of the dirtiest nuclear power plants, with a really bad record. And
now with the Fukushima disaster illustrating exactly what we’ve been
screaming about for all these years.... I don’t eat fish anymore. Between
the BP oil spill and Fukushima, we are poisoning our food supplies, we
are poisoning our air, and we are living with reactors that are very dangerous. We’re still passionately involved in trying to raise awareness and
get people to demand they be shut.
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Coat ($4,789) and body suit
($1,757), Azzedine Alaïa. Barneys
New York, 660 Madison Ave., NYC,
212-826-8900; Black
taffeta and organza skirt, Ralph
Lauren Collection ($6,000). 31-33
Main St., East Hampton, 324-1222; Cashmere Firenze
hat, Worth & Worth ($325). 45 West
57th St., Sixth Fl., NYC, 212-2652887;
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11/7/13 12:19 PM
ON CHRISTIE: Coat, Alexander Wang ($875).
Hirshleifers, Americana Manhasset, 2060 Northern
Blvd., 516-627-3566; Sweater,
Thredline. Pants, Brunello Cucinelli
($3,720). 39 Newtown Lane, East Hampton,
324-3400; High boot, Chanel
(price on request). Hirshleifers, SEE ABOVE , 516-6273566; 1815 white-gold gray-sliced
diamond and rose-cut diamond ring, Sutra
($15,900). London Jewelers, 2 E. Main St., East
Hampton, 329-3939; ON SAILOR:
Sweater, Theory ($295) and shorts, Theyskens’
Theory ($1,295). 46 Newtown Lane, Ste. 5, East
Hampton, 324-3285; Earrings, Vita
Fede ($150). Intermix, 87 Main St., East Hampton,
907-8025; Tights, DKNY ($14.50).
Macy’s, Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt Whitman
Road, Huntington Station, 427-7200;
Short boot, Chanel ($1,195). Hirshleifers,
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anied by
LEF T: There’s note wilderness. It’s a noisy silence ting
the musicsofofththe wild! RIGHT: Here I am mee
the sound in South A frica.
the locals
Voyage of a Lifetime
Christie Brinkley’s passion for animals
and conservation led her to embark
on an African excursion to give her
daughter Sailor a firsthand look at
the difference activism can make.
In this special photographic journal
for Hamptons, Brinkley chronicles
their eco-conscious journey to raise
awareness against elephant and
rhinoceros poaching, and aid the
struggle to preserve wildlife.
ABOVE: This little love’s name is Kamok, an
orphaned baby elephant that Sailor and I
met at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
You can adopt a baby elephant by visiting BELOW: We visited
The Rhino Orphanage that rescues, heals,
rehabilitates, and releases these animals.
Please send donations or adopt a rhino
orphan through
074-081_H_Feat_CoverStory_Holiday_13.indd 79
current Irfatpe,oainchin10g continues at the
will be extinct! B years the elephant
with our Masai gELOW: Sailor and I
uide in Kenya.
Our group in
Kenya! CENTER: Trip
organizer Richard
Greene with
actress Bai Ling.
11/7/13 12:20 PM
“I really believe in the power of the individual to make change, and
our family is a real collection of individuals. When I hold a benefit here
at the house, everybody is supportive.”
AS: How long have you lived in the Hamptons?
CB: I moved out here with [then-husband] Billy [ Joel] when I was pregnant
with [older daughter] Alexa. I grew up in Malibu, and he grew up in
Hicksville, New York, and that’s all we knew about raising kids: Open the
door and let them go run and play. We actually took a car and drove from
Maine to Maryland, sticking to the coast the whole way down, and we kept
falling in love with little places. When we got to the Hamptons, we were just
like, “Wow, this is gorgeous; this has it all.”
AS: In those days, you lived on Further Lane.
CB: We rebuilt that old house for just about the entire course of our marriage,
so we mainly lived in a little house in the yard that we also bought after purchasing the old Potter Estate. In the early days, we kept our apartment in the
city, but pretty soon we thought, What do we need that for, so we moved out
here to live full-time.
AS: What was it like growing up in the Hamptons?
JACK BRINKLEY-COOK: I really liked it because you have your space
out here, but at the same time you have the ability to go into the city.
When you’re a teenager, you want to have the active city life. In high
school, I would go once or twice a month.
SAILOR: I don’t really know anything different, so I think it’s great. I love all
the nature and green; I don’t think I would be able to live in the city.
AS: Here in the Hamptons, you are involved in the Ross School, you do a
lot for Ellen Hermanson, SoFo, and others. How does it make you feel to
be so active in all of this?
CB: I’m really proud of my scholarship fund at Ross. It started when I was
honored by Ross; they gave me a scholarship fund in my name, and I’ve
since endowed it. I do what I can, and it feels good. Having been out here
before Ross even existed, I used to wish for a school like that. I could not
believe my dreams were answered and then some. Courtney Ross is a visionary who poured her heart and soul into that school, and all my kids are
thriving with their Ross educations, so I’m so grateful.
AS: Do you want to make philanthropy a family affair with Sailor and Jack?
CB: I really believe in the power of the individual to make change, and our
family is a real collection of individuals. When I hold a benefit here at the
house, everybody is supportive. The opportunity in Africa was amazing
because Sailor has just started modeling, and when I started, it took me
years before I got my first offer to help. And as soon as that happened to
me, it made my job meaningful. When they asked if Sailor would come on
this trip, I thought, if she can go and develop a passion for this cause, she
could bring people together on this issue and make a real difference.
AS: How does your mother influence your choices?
JBC: She encourages me to do the right thing, but doesn’t ever tell me
what I have to do, which is really important. I get to make my own decisions; it was my decision to go to Emerson. My mom encourages me to
follow the right path.
AS: What advice did you give Sailor when she signed on with IMG Models?
CB: With kids, you just shout little snippets here and there when you can, so
it ranges from “Have fun with this job but always be professional” to “Show
up on time and be respectful of everybody else’s time.” Nowadays, you also
have to be aware of the dark part of modeling that comes along with the
shiny, light, bright, happy part. I told her, when you’re in a magazine, buy the
magazine and look at it like 90 percent of the people who are going to see the
story on you; don’t look online because the story will roll right into a comments thread, and those comment threads are an invitation for the bitter and
disenfranchised to hide behind a fake name and try to tear you down—and
nobody needs that in life.
AS: Sailor, how has being the daughter of a famous supermodel affected
your career?
SAILOR: It hasn’t really changed my life in a way that people would think. I
go to school; no one sees me differently. I’ve never been followed by
paparazzi, except when I’m with my mom. It got my foot in the modeling
world, but otherwise it’s pretty normal. As much as people say we’re twins, I
don’t think I look like my mom that much, so I think I can make my own
identity in the modeling industry.
AS: And Jack, what do you want to do after you graduate?
JBC: Something that has to do with media relations because I enjoy that
part of the business. I’ve been exposed to media my entire life just
growing up around my mom, my older sister, and now Sailor is getting
into that world, too.
AS: You’ve been a wonderful mother to your children, taught them great
ethics and values, so what is it like to see them follow in these footsteps
of activism?
CB: It makes me proud. I always say to them: To whom much is given, much
is expected. I also let them know when bad things happen to you, which they
always do, the best way to overcome them is to help someone who is in more
need than you. That way you forget about your own worries quickly. The
more you give, the more you get—it’s a cliché, but it’s really true. H
To join Brinkley’s fight to protect wildlife, follow her on Facebook: christie.brinkley;
and on Instagram: christiebrinkley.
074-081_H_Feat_CoverStory_Holiday_13.indd 80
11/7/13 12:20 PM
Overcoat, Dior Homme ($4,100). Saks
Fifth Avenue, Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt
Whitman Road, Huntington Station, 350-1100; Tee, SCP ($42). Scoop Beach, 51
Newtown Lane, East Hampton, 329-6800; Watch ($7,500), Carl F.
Bucherer. London Jewelers, 2 Main St., East
Hampton, 329-3939; Jeans
($168) and boots ($798), John Varvatos. 54
Newtown Lane, East Hampton, 324-4440; ON SAILOR: Jacket, Helmut
Lang ($1,195). Saks Fifth Avenue, SEE ABOVE ; Sweater, Theory ($375).
Bloomingdale’s, Walt Whitman Shops,
425-6700; Leggings, AG Adriano
Goldschmied ($245). Scoop Beach, 51 Newtown
Lane, East Hampton, 329-6800;
Earrings, Vita Fede ($150). Intermix, 87 Main St.,
East Hampton, 907-8025; Boots,
Prada ($950). Americana Manhasset, 2060
Northern Blvd., Manhasset, 516-365-9700;
Styling by Wayne Scot Lukas
for (Christie),
Lauren Finney (Sailor), and
Connor Childers (Jack)
Retouching by
Hair by Peter Butler for
Wella Professionals/
Makeup by Denise Markey for
Manicure by Aleyda Ceri at 27 Hampton Salon
Flowers by The Bridgehampton Florist
074-081_H_Feat_CoverStory_Holiday_13.indd 81
11/7/13 1:21 PM