Pauline Ducruet doesn’t want the royal treatment.
The 25-year-old New York-based fashion designer — who is the granddaughter of Grace Kelly, niece of reigning monarch Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and 16th in line to the principality’s throne — prefers to keep it real.
“People [here] really care about your art, and what you do and what you create, and not really about who you are,” the Soho resident told The Post at Wednesday’s amfAR benefit for AIDS research, which kicks off New York Fashion Week. “This is what I got in New York.”
Dressed in a low-cut black tux, the discreet entrepreneur and designer of Alter, a unisex label, goes largely unrecognized on the red carpet.
That just might be a welcome relief: Growing up between Monaco and Paris with her mother, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, and older brother Louis and little sister Camille, she was raised in the public eye.
Although the fashion world might have some outrageous characters, it’s no match for Ducruet’s own backstory — or her colorful family. As a child, Ducruet helped train elephants for two years in Switzerland, where her mother was the director of the Circus Knie (and having an affair with the ringmaster). Ducruet was also a champion diver who represented Monaco at the World Junior Diving Championships and the Summer Youth Olympics in 2010.
Her father, Daniel Ducruet, was her mother’s bodyguard, and the couple had two children out of wedlock. They married in 1995, but divorced a year later, after he was photographed cavorting poolside with stripper Fili Houteman. (He subsequently claimed he was set up and sued the beauty queen, the photographer and his assistant, winning damages for breaches of privacy.)
Although Pauline (who does not have a royal title) is understandably low-key, she doesn’t entirely shun the spotlight. The Parsons grad is gearing up to present her second collection for Alter. The show will take place in Paris on Feb. 26, and her family will sit front row, just like at her first show in June 2019.
“The inspiration is New York, the vibe and the nightlife,” she says. The line features streetwear staples like a reworked denim jacket ($450) and more glamorous pieces like a long yellow silk trench coat with wrist ties ($2,100).
“In our time and our society now, genders are not really a thing anymore,” says Ducruet, who is bilingual.
“I wanted to have a line that can talk to men and women at the same time. I dress unisex all the time,” she added, pointing to her suit.
Hardworking Ducruet doesn’t have a royal household or courtiers helping to build her brand.
“I’m the CEO and designer,” she says. “I pretty much handle everything by myself for now.”