As the maverick who created New York Fashion Week and so much more, Fern Mallis is a living legend. As she debuts her new book about fellow industry icons, Fashion Icons 2: Fashion Lives With Fern Mallis, we asked the Manhattan maven to share some of her most memorable moments from her series “Fashion Icons With Fern Mallis” at the prestigious 92nd Street Y.
The book features original artwork (pictured: Fern Mallis) by Ruben Baghdasaryan.
Valentino Garavani in 2014 on how he found his sprawling French estate, Château Wideville:
One day on Madison Avenue, I saw a beautiful home in the window. I said, ‘This one is the house that is in my dreams.’ I went to see it in France, and after many conversations, many discussions, this house became mine.
Tim Gunn in 2015 on his suicide attempt in high school, and the doctor who saved his life:
By the time I met Dr. Goldblatt, I had already been in the hospital for three or four months. I thought, ‘I’ll be on Dr. Number Five before you know it.’
He would let me just sit. He wasn’t leaving. Eventually, I figured out that he really cared. I started to open up, and we had an extraordinary relationship. I really do believe I owe my life to him.
Victoria Beckham in 2 015 on why her kids have after-school jobs:
He [son Brooklyn Beckham] has been working for two and a half years at a cafe down the road, where he does the washing up on a Saturday and a Sunday. I had a Saturday job when I was younger. I don’t see why it should be any different for our kids.
Bob Mackie and Cher preparing for her Las Vegas show in 2018
Stan Herman (Southampton resident) in 2016 on almost working with Ralph Lauren to launch his women’s collection:
I went [to meet him for lunch], and there was Ralph in his undershirt. I kept thinking, what am I wearing a tie for? We talked about the possibility, but I was so full of myself at that time. Ralph really always knew what he was doing. Some of us don’t.
Arthur Elgort (Southampton resident) in 2018 on why he loves working on the road with Christy Turlington Burns:
If you have Christy, you get good seats [on the plane] all the time because she knew all the people at Pan Am. Her father was a pilot and her mother was a stewardess.
The cover of Fashion Icons 2: Fashion Lives With Fern Mallis (Rizzoli)
Iris Apfel in 2018 on working with first lady Pat Nixon to restore the textiles in the White House:
We [Iris and her husband Carl Apfel] used to go back and forth to Washington, D.C. Those were the days when there was rationing of heat and everything. The White House was at 60 degrees; it was always freezing. We always got cold salmon and cold soup for lunch.
Christian Siriano in 2018 on his one-week internship at Marc Jacobs:
I copied fabrics, every day for eight hours, for that entire week. I did the thing that you shouldn’t do. I was asked to run an errand and I was so annoyed. I ran that errand… then I didn’t come back. That was kind of rude.
Photography by: FROM TOP: ILLUSTRATION BY RUBEN BAGHDASARYAN/COURTESY OF FERN MALLIS/RIZZOLI; PHOTO: COURTESY OF BOB MACKIE PERSONAL ARCHIVE; PHOTO: COURTESY OF SHAHID/KRAUS & COMPANY