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Albright’s Legacy: ‘Read My Pins’

A fashion icon she is not. Nevertheless, Madeleine Albright’s accessories collection could prove to be one of the most influential in American history.

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Some of Albright’s most politically notable pins include an amorphous gold dove pin given to her by Leah Rabin, wife of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; an optimistic enameled blue bird with diamonds that she began to wear with wings downward in 1996 when Fidel Castro’s air force shot down four Cuban-American pilots in international air space off the Florida coast, and her “Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil” trio of pins used to chide Russian President Vladimir Putin for his failure to acknowledge human rights violations committed by the Russian military in the violence-plagued region of Chechnya.

“My niche is to explain foreign policy that average people find interesting,” said Albright, recently back from a speech in Siberia.

She serves as chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and chair and principal of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory company focused on emerging markets.

“Not all foreign policy has to be so foreign,” Albright said. “It tells some of the foreign policy stories I wanted known out there.”

She plans to make an appearance at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York on Tuesday evening for the opening preview of “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection.” The collection will then go on tour at selected venues across the country.

Out of all of her pricy brooches and valuable historical ones, Albright’s favorite is a painted clay heart that her daughter Katie made.

“I wear it every Valentine’s Day,” she said. “People say, ‘Where did you get that?’ and Katie, who’s 40, says, ‘You have got to tell people I made that when I was five.’

 

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