My first job, in August 1981, was working for Fern Mallis Public Relations as Fern’s sole assistant. Fern’s firm focused on spearheading publicity for architects, furniture and product manufacturers. It was the time of the New York Five—Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier, and architects rather than fashion designers were the rock stars of this moment. We did everything from creating amazing press events and launch parties to gift bags that were famous for their wild creativity and great style. We created buzz and excitement in everything we did. We worked with only the best design firms, like Massimo Vignelli, to do events like Designer Saturday, as well as launch IDCNY, the home of the industry in Long Island City, New York. And we did it all…just the two of us.
Fern and I shared office space with an architectural firm called Bromley Jacobsen, which had designed Studio 54. We often went there for fun. Our desk was an “L” and just wide enough to hold my IBM Selectric typewriter, one cup of pencils, a bottle of Wite-Out and a cup of coffee.
I learned a number of lessons. 1. Branding. Each client was a brand and each project had to match the brand DNA. 2. Every detail counts and whatever you do, do it well and with style, including making sure that your staples are straight—not on an angle. My staples have been straight ever since. 3. Do whatever you need to get the job done. To this day, I think nothing of emptying a garbage can or packing a box. 4. Stand strong. Fern was tough, but smart and driven. She toughened me up. 5. Although my desk was small, I learned to think big and there is no greater lesson than that.
Fern eventually became executive director of CFDA. I went on to get my MBA at Columbia and joined Estée Lauder in 1986. We are close friends to this day.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty