It was beautiful and I wanted it but could never have it…When I was younger, my mom used to have bathing suits custom-made for me, and she always took such dear care of not making me feel bad about my body because when I was 13, I looked like, you know, a grownup.The Laura Ashley stuff didn’t fit and the stuff that did fit looked too sexy…A creative soul with a knack for business, the 38-year-old born-and-raised Upper East Sider is also an effervescent personality, the kind of woman who can walk in from a New York City snowstorm (like the one swirling in the air the morning of our interview) and be genuinely cheery to everyone around her.As demanding as it is to oversee a growing fashion company, Gruss also puts in plenty of time and energy towards supporting worthy institutions like the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering (of which she is the chairman of the Associates Committee) and The Blue Card, which provides financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors (a cause she’s deeply connected to as the child of two Holocaust survivors). “My number one job, first and foremost, is being a mom.I’m really excited about the project with Elizabeth Arden. I love the company, and I’m honored to be their Style Director.They’re such an iconic brand—growing up in New York, the Red Door was so glamorous.(a=f);var b=i(a);if(CSS&&! Tell us about some of the different factors that influence your designs.I have no formal design background, but I really feel like I am the customer and not just in designing the fabrics, the prints, and the colors, but also designing the actual shapes.