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Chic Traveler:  Emily Procter

Occupation:  Actress

Hometown:  Los Angeles, CA

Emily Procter is an actress, a Mom, and a Libra.  You may know her as Ainsley Hayes from The West Wing or as Calleigh Duquesne from CSI Miami.

She is currently working part time on White Collar and part time as the “room mom” at her daughter Pippa’s school.

What’s always inside your carry-on?

Before Pippa was born (almost 2), I hadn’t checked a bag since the 90’s.  So the answer was:  everything!  Now, it’s makeup, jewelry, raisins and plastic jungle animals.  Oh, and wipes!

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?

Eating the food!  It’s always covered in cheese and I fly American so there are hot cookies.

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

I have an SJ jewelry roll, a makeup brush holder (Grace Brush Case), a Lucy bag and a small square bag with a handle on top.  I always use the jewelry roll and depending on the length of my trip, either the Lucy bag, or the square bag and brush holder.  I have them all in a brown alligator print with light blue trim.  Stephanie invited me to the warehouse years ago and I bought them all at once.

Any travel misadventures you’d like to share?

My all-time favorite travel misadventure/adventure happened in the 80’s.  I was flying to Venezuela on Eastern Airlines.  As soon as I got to Miami from NC, Eastern folded.  By the skin of my teeth I managed to get on another airline, only to arrive in Caracas during the middle of a coup.

Best packing tip to keep you organized during travel?

My best packing tip as of late:  I use plastic bedding bags to separate clothes.  Pippa and I share a suitcase, so I pack my clothes in one bag and her clothes in another.  Comforter bags are rectangular so they easily accommodate folded clothes, and since they are clear, it makes it easy to find things quickly without throwing things about.

Your favorite SJ bag to give as a gift?

The littlest zipper wallet (Zip Case).  A friend gave it to me and I love it.

What’s next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

To get locked in the warehouse with an empty shopping bag and a whole evening to fill it!

This week SJ’s Style Compass is launching the first of a new series called Travel Chic.  For our inaugural post I thought I’d share some of my personal travel tips, loves, and must-have items that help me travel well.  With Travel Chic, I’ll be profiling tastemakers, arbiters of style and famous globetrotters alike and asking them to offer insight into their unique travel style (as well as a peek inside their designer suitcases!).  I hope you enjoy, and as always, travel chic!

Chic traveler:  Stephanie Johnson

Occupation:  Designer and Founder of Stephanie Johnson Cosmetic Bags

Hometown:  Recent New York City transplant (by way of Venice Beach)

How do you pack for a trip?  I’m a list maker but usually for the ‘accessories’ of travel like passport, camera, hat, bathing suit, my favorite Theodora & Callum scarf, etc.  I lay outfits on my bed and place them in the suitcase by order of importance.  If the case is full, anything left lying on the bed stays behind.

Checked bag or carry-on?  I’m going to carry-on 90% of the time unless I’m packing for a ski trip or two weeks abroad.  I like having the flexibility and I’m not a fan of waiting 30 minutes for my bag at baggage claim.

What’s always inside your carry-on?  These days I’m never without my iPad and SJ iPad Case.  It’s sort of genius to tuck my iPhone, power cord, pen, and a credit card into the case and slip it into the seat back pocket.  That way everything is handy if I need to fill out an immigration form, or pay for a snack.

Aisle or window?  After decades of aisle flying I am now all about the window.  I like being tucked inside away from the commotion of the aisle, and it’s not bad having control of the window shade either.

What’s on your plane playlist?  Absolutely nothing!  I’m more likely to tuck into a book or a stack of magazines.

What’s the Stephanie Johnson bag (or bags) that always make the trip?  If it’s a longer trip (requiring check-in), I wouldn’t be caught without my Jenny Train Case.  Lunchbox style, it fits all my toiletries and make up and has a clear pocket where I put cotton balls, q-tips, band aids and the like.  I’m currently using a Jenny from the Riviera Maya collection.

Any tips for making your hotel feel more like home?  As soon as I get to my destination I hang dresses and stack clothes on another bed or desk.  I like to see my stuff and I rarely use drawers when I travel.  I set up my SJ bags in the bathroom and place my iPad and any books next to my bedside.

Favorite travel ritual or souvenir?  If I happen upon a Christmas ornament that is locally made I will buy it.  I also like locally crafted musical instruments that are indigenous to a culture.

What’s your dream destination?  African Safari, hands down.  What could be more beautiful or inspiring?

What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as gift?  I’ve been giving a trio of SJ pouches wrapped in a bow.  These are perfect for stowing your make-up, power cords, receipts, international currency, and the large pouch doubles as a clutch.

On your reading list?  I’m between books and desperate for something new!  I finished the Steve Jobs bio and am considering The Hunger Games trilogy.  Please comment with your suggestions for a summer reading list!

Next destination?  I’m keeping my summer pretty local and don’t have anything too exotic on the books.  I’m heading to Fisher’s Island for a quiet weekend with friends, which sounds pretty perfect to me.  July will bring a Palm Beach wedding celebration and two weeks of biking and hiking in the Rockies.

Paris is always magic and our recent trip was no exception.  Like a creature of habit, I hit some of my all-time favorite restaurants and shops, and because the weather was irresistible, I hopped on a boat and viewed the city from the Seine.


Nothing like the EIFFEL TOWER at night!  I’ve seen it a hundred times and visited the top for the views, but seeing that sparkle on the top of the hour always gets me.

Take a boat tour along the Seine and get on and off to see the sites.  Better than a taxi and more beautiful than the Metro. . .

Paris feels so much more accessible when discovered on a bike.  You can easily get to know the city and feel like a local by renting from any of the bike kiosks stationed around the city.

LOUVRE.  Mona Lisa.  Do I need to say more?


The COSTES K is a longtime favorite.  Boasting some of the bigger rooms in Paris with clean white walls and sheets to match, I love a swim in their indoor pool to cure jet lag, and you can’t beat the view of the Eiffel Tour from your room.  Alas, they are undergoing a major renovation this fall so I’m not sure what the future will bring, but be sure I’ll have to find out!

I stumbled upon HOTEL VILLA MADAME while walking through Saint Germaine des Pres. Unbeatable location and looks fabulous.


Ok, so L’ENTRECOTE DE VENISE now has an American outpost.  It hasn’t made this classic spot for steak frites any less desirable, and it’s still worth the lines to get in.  Steak. Frites. There is no menu; that is all they offer, with a small green salad to start.  I prefer lunch, and I prefer the Malbeuf location.  Oh, and don’t forget the profiteroles for dessert.  Yummy with a capital Y.

Joel Robuchon’s L’ATELIER is an extravagant treat that’s hard to beat.  Try going for lunch and sitting at the bar.  Start with champagne and ask the staff to recommend their favorites.  A truly perfect dining experience.

VOLTAIRE is another favorite for a classic Parisian dining experience.  Be sure to have the deviled egg and ask to sit in the dining room.  Definitely look glamorous and keep an eye out for Sarkozy and his bride.


I have to buy macaroons from LADUREE for everyone at home.  These pastel treats are so delish and the box (costs more!) is gorgeous.  And I hear they have recently found the perfect spot to open their first United States shop on Madison Avenue, so maybe you won’t have to travel as far as France to find them.

BARBARA BUI is my Paris staple.  I swear I could just pop in and order off the mannequin in the window.  Head to toe, I love her designs and find them a refreshing departure from the expected.  On this trip I splurged and bought the most stunning pair of stilettos.  Sexy, classic, and the best part….no one back home will have them!

COLETTE is like shopping an art installation.  A perfectly edited collection of the season’s best along with great music and gift ideas.  Go there for inspiration.

Stroll through the Palais Royal gardens and stop into CORTO MOLTEDO for a cassette laptop clutch, and into PIERRE HARDY for shoes as art.

Can’t get enough Paris?  Check out my Destination Paris collection on ThisNext:  As an added bonus, I’m also sharing some packing tips with you!


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