The Gilded Ones
AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE
There is a special kind of energy that has been the subject of humans for centuries. It is referred to as “prana” in Sanskrit, “élan vital” by western philosophers, and “qi” in traditional Chinese culture. This vibrant life force is confident, passionate, generous, and freedom-loving. It yearns to achieve great things — not only for its own gain, but also for the good of others. This “qi” is neither slow nor wistful. It has no regrets. That’s because within the whirling vortex of this life force, dreams spend very little time in a cloudy state. They are whipped into action plans and reality in short order. If we were given an opportunity to rename this energy, we would call it Chloe Cai.
At the age of 17, Chloe moved from China to the United States to attend college. She left the warmth and comfort of a close-knit family of prominent doctors to make her own way in New York City. Instead of going down the path of medicine (which was very much expected considering her parents and grandparents are all medical doctors), Chloe studied business administration and management — and later, international relations. Yet, Chloe found a way to merge her business degree with the healthcare field by securing an internship in the business and operations side of a fertility clinic. Fast forward a decade later and she’s the chief operating officer of the same fertility clinic.
When her days became predictable, Chloe walked away from her successful and profitable career — but not without a plan! Armed with information gleaned from her time spent in the fertility space, Chloe founded a not-for-profit foundation with the noble goals of educating women about their reproductive health and creating a community in which women can share their experiences and help each other reduce the fear and mystery surrounding fertility matters. Powerful stuff, right? This is just the beginning. We know there’s so much more in store for Chloe — or rather, Chloe has so much more in store for us! Without further ado, please meet our next Gilded One, the unstoppable Chloe Cai!
Home. Sweet. Home. I grew up in Hangzhou, China. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province in eastern China. It is about 100 miles from Shanghai.
School Daze. I went to college in Long Island, New York, and then attended the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City. I studied business administration and management and international public affairs.
The J.O.B. I am the founder of The Move, a not-for-profit corporation devoted to educating and guiding women on matters pertaining to fertility.
Wilding Out: My very first apartment in New York City was in a beautiful landmark building on the Upper East Side. One night, after I had just come back from travels in Asia, I managed to lock myself out of my apartment. Did I mention that this happened in the middle of the night? The building did not have a live-in superintendent and I did not know any of my neighbors’ phone numbers. So I did the only thing that I could think of doing to get back into my apartment: I went from floor to floor, knocking on the doors of the other tenants to see if one of them would let me crawl from their bedroom window onto the fire escape so that I could climb up the side of the building in hopes that my bedroom window was unlocked. Thankfully, someone agreed and my bedroom window was unlocked — so I didn’t have to go back down the same way I went up.
Daytime reverie: I don’t daydream. When I want something, I make it happen.
Sign Language. I am a Sagittarius. I am not sure I am a typical Sag but I do have the following Sag traits: (1) I am definitely an optimist; (2) I have big goals; (3) I am honest and a straight shooter — no bullshit for me; (4) I am fiercely independent; (5) I have a good sense of humor and love to laugh;
(6) I seek freedom constantly — not only for myself, but for others; and (7) I am curious, spontaneous, adventurous, ambitious, and generally enthusiastic about life!
YOU RECENTLY FOUNDED A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION CALLED THE MOVE.
What will The Move offer to women? The Move is a foundation with a mission. We’re building and empowering a community of women. We’re lifting women up and giving them a space to share their challenges. We’re providing them with the necessary resources to take action and control of their reproductive health and, consequentially, their lives.
What inspired you to create The Move? I worked for over 10 years in the fertility industry. I quickly realized that women suffering from fertility issues are in an incredibly vulnerable place. I started The Move because I saw a real lack of communication in the fertility industry and women were suffering as a result. Women need a unique, modern approach to understanding their individual reproductive health — an approach that is neither clinical nor difficult to understand. Additionally, I saw a need for a broader and more inclusive conversation about women’s reproductive health in a way that builds community and empowers women. I want The Move to be a trusted resource for women everywhere. The Move will give women a place where they can share their struggles with each other and with wellness and fertility experts — and in so doing, women will become more informed about, and confident in, their choices regarding their reproductive health. Sharing and listening take the fear and mystery out of fertility matters, which is necessary for all women, regardless of age and status.
What were the initial steps that you took to start the The Move? The Move represents action, putting thoughts into motion. Fertility is still such a taboo subject. I wanted to turn the lack of communication and information about fertility and reproductive health into a meaningful, long-lasting conversation in a way that builds community and one that thrives on empowerment.
What are your plans for The Move in 2020? We’re planning our launch event for early next year, so that’s a big deal for us. We’re also going to roll out regular panel events open to the public in which we speak with a variety of exciting, inspiring wellness experts. We want to start engaging women as soon as possible. Also, we will offer our free baseline testing in the next year.
Where do you see The Move in 2025 — what do you hope to accomplish in five years? In 5 years, I would like to have The Move offices in major cities around the world, such as Paris, Tokyo, and Shanghai. Also, I hope we are able to move our mission forward to help underprivileged women around the world with their reproductive health. There is a lack of knowledge and access to birth control, family planning, and STD prevention information in so many countries. I really want to share what I can with these women to help them live life to their fullest in any way possible. It all begins with knowledge and we are starting the ripple effect here.
YOU HAVE SPENT MORE THAN A DECADE IN THE FERTILITY SPACE. TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK AND EXPERIENCE.
I started out as an intern from college and worked my way up to chief operating officer. As the COO, I ran the day to day operations of the fertility clinic, which means that I made sure that clinic functioned smoothly, that patients were handled with care and respect, and that the doctors received the support that they needed as they attended to their patients.
THE MOVE LAUNCH EVENT WILL BE HELD IN MARCH 2020. WHAT DO YOU HOPE THAT PEOPLE WILL GET OUT OF ATTENDING THE EVENT?
I hope that women will see that they have a place where they are free to share their challenges, ask questions that they may have been too embarrassed or fearful to ask, and to join a community of women who want to understand their choices and take action before it’s too late. I’m referring to the dreaded ‘biological clock,’ of course. I want women to understand that (1) they should think about their fertility in their twenties and early thirties regardless of whether they have partners, and (2) by planning early on, they can reduce or avoid fertility problems later. I also want women to be inspired by our speaking partners and collaborators and engage with us as we grow. We are just getting started.
THE MOVE RECENTLY ENTERED A PARTNERSHIP WITH V FOR VICTORY, A CANCER INITIATIVE FOUNDED BY FELIX FISCHER, THE WORLD-RENOWNED HAIRSTYLIST. TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT COLLABORATION.
Felix Fischer and I share the philosophy that no matter what a woman is going through — whether it’s cancer treatment, infertility issues, or menopause — she should always feel beautiful. Feeling and looking beautiful are acts of self-love. When you feel beautiful, you are happier and more positive. A positive outlook is extremely important no matter what, but especially when you’re dealing with big challenges. Women should not be diminished or ridiculed for wanting to look, and feel, beautiful.
The V For Victory initiative focuses specifically on hair loss resulting from cancer treatment. Felix’s expertise with wigs — how to customize them and how to wear them — offers a short-term solution to hair loss suffered by women undergoing chemo. Cancer and cancer treatments have a direct negative impact on fertility. So, there in that regard, there are common goals shared between V for Victory and The Move. We both want to inform women and guide them through their journey.
WHEN YOU AREN’T IMMERSED IN THE MOVE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND PASTIMES?
I know it’s kind of nerdy, but I’m a huge Lego fan. It’s both relaxing and exciting. I love contemporary art and I really enjoy going to openings and exhibitions. You can never, ever anticipate what you’ll see. I find it really fascinating to discover what people can create and what drives them to do it. I love to travel, and I also love my work so there’s always a big overlap between the two! I always carve out time for sightseeing and for myself. I’m also a major foodie! I love to eat (who doesn’t?) and try new restaurants and different types of food. I think food can be so beautiful. The passion that goes into cooking and presentation is always inspiring. I don’t really cook myself, but maybe one day I’ll delve into the art of cuisine. When I need to blow off some steam, I head to the recreation room in my building where I shoot some pool or bowl!
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN DESCRIBED BY PEOPLE WHO KNOW YOU WELL? DO YOU AGREE WITH THEIR ASSESSMENT?
My really close friends all say that I am, first and foremost, a workaholic. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. They will also say I’m driven and passionate about what I do. And that once I decide on a goal or a mission, I will go full steam ahead until I accomplish the same. I can’t disagree!
WHAT THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I’ve got four words for you.
HOW DOES JEWELRY FIT INTO YOUR DAILY WARDROBE?
I wear jewelry every day. I think it adds the perfect finishing touch to any outfit, whether it's a super professional look for work, a casual, weekend outfit, or a little black dress for an evening out. I never go out without adding a few favorite pieces. I also love that it really helps to define your style; what you wear says a lot about you.
DO YOU TAKE FASHION RISKS? IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?
I wouldn’t really say that I take fashion risks; my taste is more classic. But over the past few years, my style has evolved and become more defined. I used to wear nothing but little shift dresses with cardigans or pencil skirts with simple tops and pumps every day to work. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little older and I know myself better or if I’m just getting more confident in my own skin, but now I have a much more modern, clean aesthetic. I love neutrals, beautiful fabrics, interesting silhouettes with a bit of a twist. But a true fashion risk? I’m getting there.
DO YOU HAVE A STYLE ICON?
Audrey Hepburn. I love Audrey because she always looked beautiful and elegant. She looked perfect in everything she wore because she only wore clothes and accessories that embodied who she was. She was just style perfection!
WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE GO-TO PIECES IN YOUR WARDROBE?
- Saint Laurent leather motorcycle jacket;
- Celine Cashmere sweaters;
- Levis 501 ripped denim jeans;
- Bottega Veneta handbag; and
- Manolo Blahnik pumps.
WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I don’t really have a bucket list. I prefer to decide on something I want to do and then just do it. I feel like putting something on a list for a later time means that it’s never going to happen.
WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT OBSESSIONS?
Right now I only have one obsession, and that’s The Move. It's like my baby and I’m in the early stages with it and all I want to do is spend time with it, nurture it, and do everything I can to watch it grow into something really special.
WHERE WOULD YOU TELL FRIENDS TO GO IN ORDER TO GET YOUR NYC EXPERIENCE?
I don’t know that I have one specific place in NYC because I really think the whole city is very special. You can go to Central Park and visit this incredible green space in the middle of this crazy, busy city. You can go to the South Street Seaport or to the Financial District and see the oldest part of New York. You can go to Times Square for a full-on tourist moment or walk the High Line for an interactive experience that is part of the new New York. We have the best museums, restaurants, shows, and shopping. You really have everything and anything.
TELL US ABOUT ONE UNFORGETTABLE PLACE TO WHICH YOU HAVE TRAVELLED.
One of my favorite places on earth is Kyoto. I always have an incredible time there. It’s a very historic city in Japan, so it’s filled with ancient treasures. One of the things I love about it, besides the fact that it is very beautiful and clean, is that it is very quiet. Kyoto has a calming effect on your soul. This city makes me feel like sitting down wherever I am to meditate. I find Kyoto very soothing and a great place to reconnect with nature.
LIGHTNING ROUND! PICK ONE.
On personal aura: Mystery or Clarity?
On personal style: Minimalist or maximalist?
On interior design: Bold colors or neutral hues?
On NYC apartment living: Huge walk-in closet with seating area or huge laundry room with full-sized washer and dryer?
Huge walk-in closet with seating area. No contest!
On shopping: Online or in-store?
On jewelry: Delicate or Bold?
On jewelry, pt. 2: Arm candy or ring bling?
On travel: Adventure-filled with spartan digs or calm and quiet but supremely luxe?
Calm and quiet but supremely luxe.
On people: Favorite human trait?
On people, pt. 2: Human characteristic that you can do without?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GOLD?
I love how gold looks on my skin. I love the richness of gold – in its value, feel, and weight. Gold is timeless.
WHAT AUVERE PIECES DO YOU LOVE THE MOST?
I am in love with the Open Cuff Bracelet, the Perigee Bracelet, the Byzantium 24K Ring with Rubies, the Maze Ring, and the Slash Ring Polished.
Don’t wait around to fulfill your dreams. Make them happen now!
CHLOE IS WEARING:
Cover: Sweater: Celine; Leather Jacket: Saint Laurent; Plaid Shorts: Saint Laurent; Booties: Louboutin; and Jewelry: Auvere (Heartbeat Ring; Heart Beat Threader Earring, Heartbeat Stud Earring, and Golden Arrow Threader Earring);
Look 1: Skirt and Top: Comme Moi; Shoes: Christian Dior; and Jewelry: Auvere (Heart & Arrows Medallion & Chain, Long Link Chain, Short Maze Cuff, Clean Cut Stack Rings Polished, Small V Neck Stack Rings Polished, and V Neck Earrings Polished);
Look 2: Sweater: Everlane; Pants: Comme Moi; Shoes: Roger Vivier; Jewelry: Auvere (Galactic Hoop Earrings, Astra Bangles, Open Cage Cuff, Wishbone Pendant Polished; Mini Wishbone Pendant Polished; XOXO Band; Triple Barrel Ring Polished, and Double Barrel Ring Polished);
Look 3: Sweater: Celine; Leather Jacket: Saint Laurent; Plaid Shorts: Saint Laurent; Booties: Louboutin; and Jewelry: Auvere (Heartbeat Ring; Heart Beat Threader Earring, Heartbeat Stud Earring, Golden Arrow Threader Earring);
Look 4: Sweater: Loro Piana; Leather Pants: Vince; Coat: Manzoni 24; Booties: Louboutin; Gloves: Bottega Veneta; and Jewelry: Auvere (Galactic III Earrings Polished, Super Star Stud Earring, Colonnade Ring Polished; Double X Ring Polished; Maze Ring Polished; Double Barrel Ring Polished, and Open Cage Cuff);
Look 5: Dress: Saint Laurent; Shoes: Christian Dior; and Jewelry: Auvere (Cone Stud Earrings Polished, Lunar Ear Cuff, Bold Heart Pendant and Long Link Chain, Callen Rings Polished;, Slice Rings Polished, Triple Barrel Ring Polished, Double Barrel Ring Polished, Byzantium 24K Ring Rubies/Polished, Byzantium 24K Ring Satin); and
Look 6: Sweater: Celine; Jeans: Moussy; and Jewelry: Auvere (Cage Pendant & Chain, Perigee Bracelet, Golden Moon Earrings Large/Polished; Golden Moon Earrings Small/Polished; Capture Ring; Slash Ring Polished; and Multifacet Ring).
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