Saturday, May 12, 2007

Profile: Tinsley Mortimer

From Park Avenue Peerage:

Tinsley Mortimer was born Tinsley Randolph Mercer in 1976 to George Mercer Jr. and Dale Mercer in Richmond, Virginia. An accomplished tennis player in her youth, she was sent to Bollettieri, a private academy in Florida, to study that sport. She completed her secondary education at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, where she met her husband Robert Livingston Mortimer, colloquially called Topper. Tinsley was graduated from Columbia University; she earned a baccalaureate degree in art history there. She worked at Vogue as an assistant and left that to pursue a career in event planning and public relations at Harrison & Shriftman which she ended upon marrying Topper in 2002.

Tinsley first made her way into photographed New York society as an accompaniment to Topper’ s sister Minnie. Patrick McMullan and his photographers saw the photogenic Tinsley and catapulted her into the limelight, which was only accelerated by her excellent attendance record at charity events and fashionable balls amongst proper New York. Tinsley Mortimer has been the target of a camera since she first made her premiere as the demure but beautiful and fashionable wife of a scion of one of New York’s older families.

The Mortimers are a marriagable clan. Topper is the son of John Jay Mortimer and Senga Mucci Mortimer, whose father was an accomplished Army colonel. John Jay’s brother Stanley Grafton Mortimer Jr. was the first husband of Babe Cushing, a former empress of New York society; by marriage, Babe Paley is Tinsley’s aunt. Topper is the great-grandson of Henry Morgan Tilford, a president of Standard Oil of California. A family chart of Topper and his closest relations is forthcoming.

She is All-American in appearance. Tinsley is fair-skinned and with blonde hair that she usually curls. She often wears shorter skirts and rounded shoes, and her cheeks are rouged; she is the embodiment of playful youth. She has turned her fame into an enterprising business: in winter 2006, she launched a handbag line for Japanese leather goods house Samantha Thavasa.

Tinsley’s best friends in society are Fabiola Beracasa, the daughter of Venezuelan banking magnate Alfredo Beracasa and stepdaughter of publishing heir Randolph Hearst, and her own younger sister Dabney Mercer.

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