Meet Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the Ego-tamer, Ringmaster and Floor-sweeper of Fashion Week

Fashion’s Power Forward

(Mario Zucca)

(Mario Zucca)

In June of last year, Ms. Wolkoff stepped down as Lincoln Center’s director of fashion to take charge of her own company, SWW Creative. She still oversees the event, but now IMG and Lincoln Center are her clients, along with a number of other companies, including the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Penske Media Corporation and Kapture, an iPhone photo-sharing app.

Setting up shop privately enabled Ms. Wolkoff to dictate her own terms, which include being able to pick her three kids up from school and get home for dinner with her husband, real estate developer David Wolkoff. “I didn’t have children not to be with them,” she said. And even though her daughter Alexi has made the occasional runway appearance, she’s not an aspiring Tavi. “My children do not know the difference between Tar-jay and any other designer brand,” Ms. Wolkoff said proudly.

After bedtime, she typically dives back into work. “I go to sleep once I’ve put my third child to sleep, and I will wake up around 1 o’clock in the morning and work for a couple of hours, and then go back to bed,” she said, pointing to the 1,777 emails that had accrued in the past hour.

Once left alone, Ms. Wolkoff settled back into her seat and began riffling through the stacks of paper spread across her desk. She checked her iPhone and called out to her assistant. It was clear: she may be the first person you see when you enter a room, but she’s also the last to leave.

eepstein@observer.com