Nancy Kukacka Leads the Pack in Fashion and Finance

Nancy Kukacka, photographed by Drew Altizer


Red Carpet Bay Area’s Top Women of Style list includes Nancy Kukacka (pronounced Koo-kotch-ka), or simply “Nan” to her friends. Nan is the founder and chief investment officer of Avalon Global Asset Management, an institutional financial management company. Each time I spot her on the town, I am impressed with her gracious attitude, poise and her wardrobe.

Style Q&A with Nancy Kukacka:
I usually see you on the town in red carpet style; I am curious about what you wear to work everyday.
I wear suits and suit separates to work on most days. If in the office with few meetings or visitors I will wear a comfy Brunello pant and jacket or vest with a sensible Oxford shoe. If I am attending or hosting meetings I will choose a more tailored Dior suit or a dress with a pump. When in New York, I elevate the silhouettes and I am more adventurous, with Chanel, Dior or Louis Vuitton. The looks are peplumed, longer, and include leather jackets paired with high-style Mary Jane shoes or caged booties and distinct accessories.
My casual wardrobe day or night is largely Brunello Cucinelli. It is cozy, luxe and easily accessorized for a day in the office or for cocktails. On weekends I outfit myself in golf attire and play at Mayacama in Healdsburg.

Tell us about some of your current fashion favorites.
My lifestyle and love for fashion affords me the opportunity to embrace a range of styles and silhouettes. If I were to really boil it down to key themes, it would be to always look put-together or polished, elegant, and when appropriate, add a dash of sassy. I rarely wear jeans, I am obsessed with outerwear, and try to avoid overly structured or masculine looks, which are not great for my “built for speed” frame.

How about your style when it comes to evening wear?
When I dress for formal occasions, my first thought is, “is this unique for me?” The second consideration is “will I wear it or will it wear me?” Beyond that, I really like to mix it up.
For casual evenings with friends, I often choose leather leggings with an embellished silk or knit top. I will dress it up with sandals, long gloves and a fur of some sort, or down with oxfords and a car coat. In warmer temps, a twill or relaxed silk pant and similar combo on top. For cultural events I like a dinner dress with fun heels. My safe, go-to look includes evening suit separates or an embellished evening coat and trousers. A ladylike black Dior suit can take you a lot of places when pared with a range of shoes, scarves and clutches. I define fun heels as anything from Alaiia or Tom Ford. Tom Ford’s new lace-ups are current favorites!

You wear so many formal looks I adore. Which are your personal favorites?
I have two real stand-out formal looks that I adore. For Ballet Gala 2015 I wore a black caged Oscar de la Renta gown with a gorgeously adorned bodice and skirt, finished with an awesome Vivier silk caged sandal. It meant a lot to wear a lovely dress that Oscar designed for his final runway collection. The second is a Ralph Rucci gown that I wore to Opera Gala 2012. It was an incredibly unique strapless copper sequined column dress with a gorgeous sheer silk embossed overlay that draped into a lovely train at the back. It is a piece of art for the body, and that baby deserves another night out!

Which events in San Francisco do you most enjoy?
As a trustee of the San Francisco Ballet, my favorite event is the annual opening gala, every January. I enjoy the evening’s mix and pace of socializing over cocktails, then dinner, then a performance.

Which San Francisco restaurants do you like?
My favorite restaurants are established gems including Jardiniere, Prospect, Sons and Daughters, and Cotogna. My neighborhood haunts are Okoze Sushi and Terzo.

Photos by Drew Altizer Photography


Red Carpet Bay Area’s Top Women of Style (in alphabetical order): Joy BianchiLindsay BoltonBarbara BrownKaren CaldwellPaula CaranoCarolyn ChandlerDr. Carolyn ChangJuliet de BaubignySamantha DuVallVanessa GettyAngelique GrieppHasti KashfiaStephanie MarverSonya MolodetskayaDeepa PakianathanYurie PascarellaKomal ShahSobia A. ShaikhOJ ShansbyCharlotte Shultz, Sarah SombergChristine SuppesElizabeth TouwKatie TrainaVicky TsaiDede WilseyVictoria Yeager