I finally had a chance to meet the “rebel heiress” on a warm summer afternoon in the heart of the Upper East Side. Singer, producer, songwriter and philanthropist, one word couldn’t describe her. Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin was exactly as I expected: a delicate blonde with a warm smile and a touch of elegance. She balances a fun extroverted personality with refined manners that a seventh-generation descendant of shipping and railroad tycoon, Cornelius Vanderbilt, would have.
Named after her great grandmother and one of the most famous heiresses in U.S. history, Consuelo lives up to her ancestry. Her great grandmother was astonishingly beautiful and freed herself of the “golden cage” she was born into, and went on to finding meaning in her life by becoming a political activist and starting her own charity.
Born in New York, Consuelo moved with her family to London when she was six years old. She isn’t your typical heiress with an expected list of accomplishments on her resume; she was never seen at debutante balls. “I like to be referred to as a ‘rebel heiress.’ I don’t like those words separately, but together they describe me perfectly well!” Her journey is extraordinary. The single “Body Needs,” broke the Billboard Dance Chart’s Top 5 and her first dance single, “Naked” remained on the Billboard Dance Charts for 16 consecutive weeks and peaked at No. 11. Costin earned Billboard’s No. 2 Breakout Artist award for “Feel So Alive,” the follow up single to “Naked.” While building her successful music career, she juggles new fashion projects and philanthropy. After losing her mother to ovarian cancer, Consuelo is fighting for a cause of The Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Greater California.
“Being a Vanderbilt helps a lot with my philanthropic work, I do my best to bring resources for the community and bring awareness to the fight against ovarian cancer.” Although Consuelo has access to what most of us can only dream about, she is determined to accomplish so much more. Costin is the brand ambassador of Michela Rigucci, and helps them build partnerships and collaborations with other designers and companies, one of which was with Malan Breton. Malan used Rigucci shoes during his Fashion Week show, which was the third most tweeted about show this past New York Fashion Week.
“My short-term plans include expanding my signing career internationally and promoting SohoMuse.com, the professional media platform to promote creativity and talent. We provide a way for artists to powerfully showcase themselves in a global environment.” She has already gained popularity in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Millions saw her performance on a famous German show for ZDF. “My proudest moment was when I performed in front of 250,000 people at Capital Pride in Washington DC.” Consuelo loves giving back, and after her father suffered a heart attack she became involved with the American Heart Association.
“I am looking forward to performing in exciting creative TV and film projects in the near future, perform on Broadway, and possibly start my own charity organization.” Back to her roots, the rebel heiress shares her love for New York. “I love to stroll in the West Village when I get a chance. The NoMad, relaxed and upscale at the same time, is one of my favorite restaurants.” We definitely have that in common… Her rebellious elegance, warmth and energy are very attractive, just like this city. So next time I am in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central, I may feel somehow more connected, thanks to my encounter with the rebel heiress.
Photo Vital Agibalow.
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