I love how Leon says, without an ounce of pretension (after a career as a muse for the legendary designer Rudi Gernreich), that she was never trendy. She arrived in New York City to model in jeans and left in jeans. I “found” Leon in jeans when I came to her home in Pasadena do this feature. I discovered Leon when I read a review of Swans and Pistols in the Style section of the New York Times (that captures, among many things, her successful stint as a ’60s catwalker). Ironically, tracking her down was miraculously effortless. Soon after I saw her book review, I interviewed a fellow model/muse to Rudi, Barbara Flood, and there was my entre to Leon. Leon’s mother was actually the glamourous clothes horse and Leon was the one with the body to wear clothes, but was never big on the consumption of them. Her style is as much about her natural beauty and bone structure as it is about her brain cells. Anything looks good on her, including her photographer boyfriend Gareth Seigel, whom she adoringly refers to as “The Mister” – he is much her junior, and taught her “the meaning of unconditional love.” (She is writing a piece for Vogue on the “gestalt” of their relationship.) Leon left the galaxy of modeling for her current, beyond-passionate writing career – she recently penned an in-depth and first-hand insight into the culture of gangs in the inner cities. She is proof of what a prophet Mr. Gernreich was when he grabbed Leon’s looks for the runway because she “resembled a spy.” Not only has Leon helped to create a look for a time but a social conscience. After reading an article about two black youths shot dead, Leon thought to herself, “this would be on the front page if they were white.” She infiltrated downtown Los Angeles, started to ask questions, invested herself in these youths’ lives, and ended up writing a best-seller. Leon’s Tibetian necklace is one-of-a-kind, as she herself is.