JOSEPH CICIO is a uniquely talented and visionary creative leader in the world of retail, Joseph Cicio’s high-profile positions brought him into contact with leading celebrities of the day. He became close friends with figures such as Lady Nancy Slim Keith, Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, the Kissingers, and Joan Rivers, earning him a fascinating insight into the private lives of people who most can only read about and few were privileged to know intimately. His debut book, Friends**Bearing Gifts is a book about those valued relationships we develop while on this journey called life. It shows us that the best things in life are not things but people. Born in Brooklyn, Joe initially followed monastic studies before graduating from the New York School of Interior Design in New York. He has been Director of Visual Merchandising for the Lord & Taylor branch stores; Corporate Senior Vice President for Creative Services and Product Development at R.H. Macy’s; Chairman and CEO of I. Magnin; President of Retail Development for Donna Karan; President of Retail Development for Sun International; and CEO of Mayors Jewelry, among other positions. He lives in Litchfield County, CT.

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Friends**Bearing Gifts

Biggest literary influencer:

Winston Churchill, Henry Kissinger, Charles Dickens

Last book read:

Scalia Speaks by Antonin Scalia, The Black Prince of Florence by Catherine Fletcher, World Order by Henry Kissinger

Your favorite literary character:

Ebenezer Scrooge. Late in life he discovered that financial gain did not come close to the value of the relationships he had developed throughout his journey. Three ghosts made him realize that the best things in life are not things.

Currently working on:

A personal biography of a totally dysfunctional and abusive childhood that went from Brooklyn to a Benedictine Monastic Monastery onto Corporate America and to being entertained by the Royals at Buckingham Palace for dinner.

Words to live by:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Advice to new and aspiring authors:

Write what comes from your soul with just a little humility.


“Cicio’s new book, chronicles his relationships with bold-faced names such as Joan Rivers, Lady Nancy Keith, Lauren Bacall and Bill Blass, among others, and the treasures they bestowed on him.”

— Sharon Edelson, Women’s Wear Daily

“Inside, its pages are filled with stories of an incredible life (Joe’s) filled with extraordinary friendships.”

— Diane Clehane

“It’s a great book to pour over, but perhaps even better as―you guessed it―a gift.”

Town & Country

“This book is exquisitely beautiful, and the stories that go with the eclectic and meaningful ‘gifts’ are fascinating and heartwarming. Mr. Cicio is obviously a man of quality and depth.”

–Amazon reviewer

“Heartfelt story of an amazing man and his wonderful life defining friendships. Visually beautiful. Could not put it down.”

–Amazon reviewer