While her grandmother Nan Kempner may be considered the original “social x-ray,” Tom Wolfe’s term for elite New York socialites in Bonfire of the Vanities, 29-year-old creative director Meggie Kempner sees the world through a lens all her own. Using her compact Canon PowerShot G16, Kempner always documents her travels, which she meticulously plans out herself. “I always do a ton of research before I go anywhere,” explains Kempner. “I like to plan the entire trip out. Ideally, I will reach out to a local, as to avoid tourist traps.”
Kempner’s hands-on vacation strategy comes as little surprise given her role as the creative director and designer at her eponymous fashion brand KEMPNER, which she co-founded with her brother Chris in 2014. Now, Kempner is combining her passions for travel and fashion by infusing travel and lifestyle goods into her brand. “Our dream was always to make KEMPNER a full lifestyle brand,” she says.
In addition to her namesake brand, Kempner also co-founded Kennett Creative, a full service creative agency, and maintains a deep-rooted interest in giving back to the city she calls home. For seven years, Kempner has been involved with planning the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo Party, and is a member of the Greensward Circle, a group of young professionals dedicated to preserving Central Park. “It’s been so good to me that I focus my efforts on giving back to the city in any way that I can.”
When she’s not working to enhance cultural landscapes, Kempner is likely organizing her next trip. “I absolutely love to travel and some of my first [memories] are of traveling, like going to Lyford Cay in the Bahamas… or to Paris with my grandmother,” Kempner recalls. “I was too young to appreciate the fashion at that point, but I do remember having an unforgettable afternoon tea at the Ritz.”
So what’s next on her list? “The two trips I have planned for the summer are Seoul and Aspen,” Kempner says. “Otherwise I am planning to keep it local and spend time at the beach in the Hamptons.”
Her one travel tip: “Over pack!”