Originally from London, Sarah Rutson holds the post of fashion director at Lane Crawford, Hong Kong’s preeminent luxury store—what some would call Asia’s answer to Bergdorf Goodman. She’s the trend and fashion spokesperson for the company—where she identifies trends, new design talent, and ensures each collection is properly represented—and manages to do it all with elegance and grace. Formerly a buyer at Marks & Spencer in the UK, Rutson has now been with Lane Crawford since 1993 (she took a brief hiatus). After returning in 2004, she’s helped usher LC into a new era as Asia’s leading specialty store (and wears killer daily outfits while doing it). Here’s Ms. Rutson’s humbling 10.
ELLE: What is your favorite smell?
Sarah Rutson: A really fresh smell of lemons and limes.
ELLE: What do you consider the epitome of happiness?
SR: My husband Andrew and daughter Eliza—nothing means anything to me without them.
ELLE: How do you define luxury?
SR: My personal luxury is time. Time seems to fly too fast, so I cherish time spent on things that truly matter.
ELLE: What is the last dream you remember?
SR: All my teeth falling out while I was sitting on The Star Ferry! (That’s one for Sigmund Freud).
ELLE: What’s your favorite childhood memory?
SR: My dad making up stories at bedtime. He had the best imagination and he was the best storyteller. He would always fall asleep midway through telling me a story. I would feel so happy and secure.
ELLE: What’s the last book you read and loved?
SR: I love reading biographies because I’m always interested in other people’s lives. I just finished reading about Peter Finch. He was a totally fascinating man and had a great story.
ELLE: Describe your home’s aesthetic.
SR: It is modern mixed with traditional English elements. It’s a home—and that’s the most important aesthetic.
ELLE: What are your vices?
SR: I’ve been told it’s my sarcasm!
ELLE: Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
SR: Humorous, candid, loving, forgiving, loyal.
ELLE: What possession will you never throw away?
SR: All my love letters and notes from my daughter Eliza and my husband Andrew. Everything in my life is disposable and fleeting except for my family.