At her 900-acre estate in Italy, TRUDIE STYLER, together with her pop-star husband, STING, has revitalized an ancient hunting lodge’s agricultural output, creating a top-shelf organic extra-virgin olive oil, five varieties of honey, and a range of organic wines.
If you didn’t know better, you might think the expression “I don’t know how she does it” was coined for Trudie Styler.
True, as Styler admits, she leads a free and fabulous life, funded in large part by the fortune of her pop-star husband, Sting, to whom she’s been married for decades and whose new album, The Last Ship — his first full-length recording of original music in 10 years — comes out September 24. With this fortune come certain comforts and conveniences: multiple homes with their gardens and staffs, an entourage of assistants and minders, fabulous frocks and fabulous furniture, and fabulous, well, pretty much everything.
All this could make for a life of languid leisure. But that’s just the sort of life Trudie Styler seems to want nothing to do with — or, at least, almost nothing to do with.
“I don’t have to work; I don’t have to do anything,” Styler tells me over a recent late-afternoon lunch. “I have a gilded life and a beautifully generous husband. But I think Sting will tell you that whenever and wherever I can find something to construct, I will.”
And so construct things she has: She recently founded the production company Maven Pictures, whose first feature, the Kristen Wiig vehicle Girl Most Likely, opened this summer, and whose next two — including the musical Black Nativity, starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Jennifer Hudson — will premiere in the fall. Then there’s her ongoing work as a UNICEF ambassador, fundraising and participating in initiatives to improve the lives of children around the world, and her role as a co-founder and deputy chair of the Rainforest Fund, which has helped indigenous peoples preserve their environments and protect their rights for some 25 years. And did I mention that she’s also produced and starred in a line of yoga DVDs? Or that she’s mom to three 20-somethings? And president of the annual Ischia Film & Music Global Fest?
EVEN WITH ALL THIS COMPETITION, Styler’s passion for constructing things can perhaps best be seen these days at Il Palagio, the 16th-century Italian estate that she and Sting have spent more than a decade restoring, refurbishing both its main house and myriad outbuildings, as well as its 900 acres of fields and forests, gardens and orchards, vineyards, and olive groves. Set amid gently sloping hills about two hours north of Rome, in a relatively quiet corner of Chianti, Il Palagio (Italian for “the palace”) has become what Styler describes as the couple’s “spiritual home.”