Women of Substance

Woman of Substance: Alison Kenworthy.

By: Jen Shoop

My loves, I received such a strong outpouring of love and support in response to my piece on women of substance that I thought I’d try something new: every few weeks, I think I’ll feature a total badass #WOS right here on this little blog, have her answer my Proust Questionnaire Redux, and showcase some beautiful shopping finds that fit her style and taste.

My inaugural #WOS is the beautiful, sharp Alison Kenworthy, a talented producer for Good Morning America who, in addition to being the most sophisticated woman my age that I know (let’s just say that when I think about us standing next to one another, I’m all loose ends and lint, while she’s primped and polished — the type of lady who was born to wear Chanel, is a hostess’s dinner party dream, and has probably been wearing Ponds cold cream since the age of 5), is, most laudably, a poster child for grit and persistence when it comes to climbing the trusty, rusty old career ladder.

Alison and I attended an all-girls high school together in Washington, D.C. (Georgetown Visitation), and, even back then, she operated at a different speed, with a different level of drive, than most of us fledgling women just trying to figure puberty out.  (I, for one, was a true late bloomer.)  You could tell Alison was going places.  And she has, working her way up through the ranks to become a producer for one of the country’s most popular television programs after years of hard work and insane schedules.  (She led a predominantly nocturnal life for many years in the name of career progression, and, though it must have been trying on her social life and possibly quite lonely, she never let on and never gave up.  She is a tough cookie.)  But what stands out to me most about her–what makes me straighten up, throw back my shoulders, and work to be better–is her pre-possessing self-assurance.  She carries herself with aplomb, a trait that is–in my experience–difficult to come by for most women.  So many of us undermine ourselves, downplay our accomplishments, shy away from the limelight.  Alison, on the other hand, is confident in her own skin.  She stands up, poised, looks dead into the camera, and delivers the damn line.

It is stunning to watch.

She is something to see.

{Gorgeous in a vintage Monique L’Huillier gown she found at a thrift shop.}

{Prepping for a segment in front of Times Square on NYE.}

{Interviewing Liev Schreiber at the Golden Globes.  NBD.}

{Adventurous spirit exploring India.}

You can follow her via her epic Instagram account (#wanderlust), or check out this sweet segment that the NYPost picked up of her and her fiance learning to tango across South America.  But there’s probably no better way to get to know her than to check out her answers to my Proust Questionnaire Redux:

Your favorite qualities in a woman.

Kindness, humor, empathy, and grace.

Your favorite heroine.

Eloise. A mischievous six-year old who lives at New York City’s Plaza Hotel and is always looking for an adventure. (On a more serious note–Director Kathryn Bigelow and journalist Lisa Ling).

Your main fault.

I consume more sugar in a day than most people probably eat in a week. I reach for frozen dark chocolate chips first thing in the morning.

Your greatest virtue.


Your idea of happiness.

A day at the beach followed by an outdoor dinner party with the people I love most. No phones allowed!

Your idea of misery.

A world without hope and tolerance. Also–not getting enough sleep.

Currently at the top of your shopping lust list.

Currently looking for the perfect wedding band for my June wedding!

Desert island beauty product.

La Roche-Posay tinted moisturizer. SPF 50.   And a big sun hat!

Last thing you bought.

Beautiful block print textiles and jewelry from India. They have incredible uncut diamonds and other gems for a steal.

I feel most empowered wearing…

A great pair of Levi’s, a white v neck t-shirt, a sassy shoe, and a spritz of my favorite Jo Malone perfume.

Favorite Magpie post.

I loved the wonderful perspective and sentiment from your Something Handwritten post. I remember feeling the same sense of humanity when I lived in Paris.


Channel Alison’s sophistication and confidence with some of these beach must-haves (just click on the items in the little collage below to access product details…pretty nifty, eh?!):

P.S.  You can get the look of that gorgiiiiine frilled bikini for less with this find.  And, people go NUTS over the Eric Javits brand of hats featured above.  A lot of them are packable (genius for breach vacations!)  And, I should note that her pick for sunscreen (La Roche Posay) has a major cult following.

And, for non-beach-attire:

P.S.  The amazing custom, personalized clutch shown above ($325) is actually from a New York-based store I just learned about, Framework.  They have a whole collection of unique clutches and bags that I’m drooling over.  I’m super into this cowhide style!

P.P.S. As I shared on Instagram, I bought those lace-up shoes (under $100!) for myself.  EEE.

P.P.P.S.  These affordable but beautiful cashmere crewneck sweaters ($100) have been raved about time and time again.  I feel like this sort of affordable luxury is just the kind of thing Alison K. is so talented at scouting out.

FINALLY: I’ll be back a little later today with a #minimagpie post for ya!  Double post Thursday.

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5 thoughts on “Woman of Substance: Alison Kenworthy.

  1. Saw this coming when she was only 3 years old and living in NYC—a block from Bloomingdales ! In 1991 after moving to Washington DC, she ascended the outside steps of “our” beautiful Federal home (rectory) in Georgetown she confidently and with a toss of her head announced, ” I’m going back to New York.” Well, she fulfilled that in some big and exciting ways. To our “uptown girl” with love.

    1. I love this, Stuart!!! So sweet. I can totally imagine a mini Alison with the head toss situation. Sassy from the start! xx

  2. Wow ! To think my sister’s sweet kinda shy and quiet daughter now has two daughters who are beautiful and enjoying life around the world whereas your mom grew up in the quiet cool place in Maine! Love Aunt Mooney

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