Chic Traveler:  Lara Shriftman

Occupation:  Author, Mother, Partner at Harrison & Shriftman Public Relations, Special Events and Marketing

Hometown:  Los Angeles, New York, Miami

Lifestyle, fashion, luxury and entertaining expert Lara Shriftman co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995.  The agency specializes in public relations, special events, marketing and branding, and has 50 employees spanning three offices in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.  Lara has assisted in building brands that include Juicy Couture, Jimmy Choo, LAMB, William Rast, W Hotels, BlackBerry and Grey Goose, and has over 20 years of experience creating and executing A-list celebrity events.  She is the author of four books on entertaining, Fete Accompli, Fete Accompli Workbook, Party Confidential, and Party Confidential:  New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining.

Dream destination?

South Africa

What’s always inside your carry on?

A pair of comfortable socks.

The Stephanie Johnson bag / bags that always make the trip?

The SJ luggage tags and the matching pouches.

Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?

Neatly unpacking and putting everything away.  I always bring things from home for my son Lucas, like books and toys.  And I bring a blanket for my miniature Shih Tzu, Lulu Flynn.

Is there a particular destination that inspires your creativity?

There are several:  We Care in Palm Springs, the Bahamas (so beautiful), Copperfield Bay – David Copperfield’s new island, Southampton, New York (a summer tradition of seeing old friends always inspires), and anywhere new.  I love to explore new places.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited?  Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?

Rome, Italy and then there is always New York City.

If you were introducing a world traveling friend to SJ for the first time, what’s the first piece you’d recommend they buy?

The Jenny Train Case

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

The Riviera Maya bags

What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as a gift?

The Jenny Train Case or the Beach Mat


Is there a favorite possession you’ve acquired during your travels?  What is it?

Sand dollars that I got on the island of Copperfield Bay.

Favorite travel ritual or souvenir: (Do you always visit a local book shop? Hunt down the best cappuccino? Pick up a tree ornament depicting your destination?)

I always get a patch from where ever I am for Lucas.  And of course photos.

Your happy place / Favorite travel destination?

Cuixmala in Careyes, Mexico.  St Barths in the spring, Southampton in the summer.

Do you have a favorite menu item you indulge in when you’re on the road?  Perhaps a dish or a type of cuisine you can’t get back home?

Berocca.  I always have them sent from London or Australia.

How do you pack for a trip? (Are you a list maker? Do you pack in outfits? Throw caution to the wind and shop when you arrive?)

I pack lightly and as organized as I can.  I never bring too many pairs of shoes.  I pack one bag for me and one bag for my son and I always pack his first.  I think about what I will be doing on the trip and I plan accordingly by the day.  I very rarely pack accessories or jewelry.  I always leave room in my suitcase for something I want to buy.

First drink in the air:  H2O, champagne or OJ?

Water always and only water.

Go-to luggage brand?

Filson or T. Anthony

Checked bag or carry-on?

It used to be carry-on but with a five year old it is always checked.

Favorite Airport?  Why?

Fort Lauderdale, there are never any lines.  It’s a small airport and easy to navigate.


On your reading list?

Magic Treehouse books, or any book I am reading for my child.

Favorite in-flight pastime?

Sleep, if possible.

Plane food or bring your own?

Plane food never.  I like to eat before.  Snacks for my son.

Current favorite getaway?

Yellowstone Club in Montana.

Do you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare, or are you the last-minute type always racing to catch your flight?

With plenty of time to spare when traveling with a five year old and sometimes my miniature Shih Tzu.

Any tips for breezing through airport security?

Make sure you don’t have any water bottles.  Pack any liquid items over the 3 oz. limit in your Stephanie Johnson travel case.  And wear shoes that are easy to take on or off.

Window or aisle?


Your flight’s delayed:  best way to kill time at the airport?

Always bring a good book and definitely an iPad.

How often do you fly?

At least once a month.

Go-to flying ‘uniform?’

J Brand jeans and a black sweater.

Any tips that make frequent travel more efficient?

Fly the same airline each time.

Do you work in-flight or use the time to unwind?