Today’s blog post is about a well-known pair of sisters, the Bouvier sisters, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill. The two were undeniably stylish and influential sisters with one complicated relationship. Only three and a half years apart, the two were each others constant companions and also competition, even from a young age. Both sisters achieved great things and are memorable and iconic women in American history.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Everyone knows about Jackie Kennedy Onassis. The more famous of the Bouvier sisters, she became an influential figure after marrying the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. As a young woman, Jackie was known to be extremely intelligent and was very good in school. She was, and is, admired by many people to this day.
Caroline Lee Radziwill
The person that I am most excited to write this post about however, is Lee Radziwill. Lee was an extremely daring, interesting, and talented woman who constantly had to live in the shadow of her less talented (but more famous) sister, Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Lee had a real eye for fashion and design, which is obvious when you consider the fact that she was friends with (and worked for as a special assistant at Harper’s Bazaar) Diana Vreeland, remains friends with Andre Leon Talley, and worked as a public relations executive for Giorgio Armani. Lee was also named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1996.
Lee hated being in Jackie’s shadow and constantly tried to outdo her older sister. She love attention and was the first of the two to be dressed in Paris Couture. Lee was envied by Jackie for her ability to make connections with people and further herself in her endeavors regardless of her associations with other famous and talented people.
And then there is the relation to Little Edie and Big Edie of the infamous Grey Gardens, who were close relatives of Lee and Jackie. Jackie is frequently credited with aiding in the process of renovating the home and helping out Little and Big Edie, when the task was initially brought to her attention by Lee, who discovered the state of things when setting out to make a documentary about her childhood in the Hamptons. According to the people who filmed the process, Lee was the sister who actually had her hands in the renovation, personally cleaning the property. Jackie just happened to be the famous icon of the two sisters who ended up being featured in the documentary more frequently.
Though I respect Jackie Kennedy Onassis and recognize her influence and relevance in fashion and society as a member of a very respectable and memorable first family, I clearly have a much bigger respect for Lee Radziwill and her innate sense of fashion, work ethic, and humanitarian efforts. I hope that this particular post educates readers on the lesser-known, and in my personal opinion, more talented of the Bouvier sisters, Lee Radziwill.