Sharon Seto’s signature style: luxe fabrics, feminine silhouettes and jewel tones as vibrant as her personality. “I love wearing pieces that have flowers because they make me happy,” Seto tells the Gazette. “I also have a favorite color, which is red, because it’s bold and happy and it’s the color of love— if you see me at galas you will see me always in red. That was also my mom’s favorite color because, in Chinese culture, red is the symbol of happiness and good luck.”
For her photoshoot at the “little party pad” she own son Telegraph Hill—where Seto toasts with girlfriends before society galas — the philanthropist chose to honor her late mother, Susan Lee, and her Chinese heritage. Seto wears two looks: an embroidered cheongsam from Dragon Seed in Chinatown, and (below) a gown by Sachin & Babi, procured at Saks.
Each ensemble displays a lovely peony pattern — not a coincidence. “Peonies are important to me because they’re native to Asia and also North America,” says Seto, whose parents immigrated to the Bay Area from Hong Kong.
“The peony itself is the unofficial Chinese national flower symbolizing spring, and it also represents honor and good fortune. It’s a common theme in Asian art.”
Seto, who’s chairing the Dress for Success San Francisco gala on June 6, shares her thoughts on what dressing for success means to her — and it’s solid advice in a town with so much red carpet competition. “Just because other people are wearing the fashion at the moment doesn’t mean that you need to,” she explains. “You should wear something that makes you feel comfortable and reflects who you are. That will bring out both your inner and outer beauty, and that will give you that power.
Seto’s Social Schedule
To call her merely “involved” in the City’s charitable circuit is an understatement. Besides the Dress for Success fundraiser next month, Seto is helping organize the SF Symphony and Arthritis Foundation’s galas this September and October.