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How to Shop Like Danielle Steel

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Here at Racked, we're dedicating this week to the kind of fantastical shopping that most of us only get to experience in dreams (or at 80%-off sample sales). Taking a page from casino parlance, we'll be talking a lot about "whales," those big spenders who feel perfectly comfortable dropping tens of thousands of dollars every night on roulette, or, in our case, on Cartier. Welcome to Whale Week 2013.


Danielle Steel and family at the 2009 John Varvatos SF store opening. Photo by Drew Altizer via SFGate

Danielle Steel may not live in her Pacific Heights manse any longer, but we'd be remiss not to honor the queen of romance novels during Whale Week. She lived in the mansion on the hill for decades with a series of husbands while suffering countless drive-by rubberneckers. San Francisco is where she raised her children and penned many of her more than 100 steamy novels.

Though she married several a wildly successful man, she's a self-made woman who built her estimated $600 million net worth with her own hands—hand actually in this case. And even though she exited San Francisco with some harsh words for the local fashion scene ("There's no style, nobody dresses up—you can't be chic there. It's all shorts and hiking books and Tevas—it's as if everyone is dressed to go on a camping trip. I don't think people really care how they look there; and I look like a mess when I'm there, too."), we don't hold a grudge. Quite the opposite, we admire her a great deal, and would give pretty much anything to have the means to adopt her shopping habits. If you also would like to shop like the inimitable Ms. Steele, here's a handy guide:

1. Buy 6,000 pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes. When shopping for other brands (because even with 6,000 you never have enough shoes, obviously) look for chic, sexy, classic styles, especially from Roger Vivier. Make sure your home has an extra room or two to house these as well as styles from Manolo Blahnik, Louis Vuitton, and Giuseppe Zanotti.

2. Stock up on quality basics from Prada, Chanel, Givency, Céline, Jil Sander, and Hermès (for handbags, bien sûr).

3. Make Tiffany amd Van Cleef & Arpels your go-to for jewelry. Keep in mind the under six-figure pieces can be auctioned off later—have some fun with colorful sapphires, coral and citrine! Consider more seriously the six-figure and above acquisitions, as they should be saved as family heirlooms.

4. Frequent European shopping spots that no one has heard of—the more obscure the better. Sorry we can't be more specific.

5. Shop French auction houses, especially Drouot in Paris.

6. Buy fancy soap for the homeless.

7. Stock up on Rochas and Shalimar perfume and wear them together.

8. Take your incredibly stylish daughters, who happen to work in the fashion industry, along shopping with you because they won't let you buy trends that you'll never wear or will look silly. No silly fashion, please.
· Danielle Steele [WSJ]
· Danielle Steele Up for Auction [The Daily Front Row]
· Danielle Steele Is Christian Louboutin's Best Customer [The Cut]