As New York City’s cultural institutions continue to return to in-person events, 92Y is planning to bring back “Fashion Icons With Fern Mallis.”
Nearly two years have passed since Mallis was onstage at the Upper East Side Y — and it has been 10 years since she first did a public question-and-answer session there with Norma Kamali. “We were like old pals gabbing and catching up on my living room sofa. We almost forgot that the audience was there,” Mallis said.
Having interviewed 55 fashion designers and insiders in the past decade, Mallis should spring back into action without any hiccups. First up this fall will be Joseph Altuzarra, who is lined up for an Oct. 21 appearance. Touting the upcoming talk with Altuzarra, Mallis noted that he is a classically trained French-American dancer and how Tom Ford, in his interview, called Altuzarra the designer whom he most admired. That was in 2012, but a compliment is a compliment.
Prabal Gurung is also on the docket, having committed to a Nov. 22 sit-down interview at 92Y. With his intercontinental upbringing and global perspective, the New York-based designer is also an advocate for social justice issues including #StopAsianHate.
The third big-name designer who Mallis will be chatting with is Brandon Maxwell on Dec. 15. While millions know him for his designer-stylist connection to Lady Gaga or from his role on “Project Runway,” Maxwell is reaching out to the masses through his creative director role at Walmart.
All of the upcoming designer discussions will be offered at full capacity, and all of the attendees will be required to show vaccination proof and to wear masks. Tickets for the Altuzarra, Gurung and Maxwell talks will go on sale Monday for in-person attendees and online viewers.
In hindsight, Mallis credits her photographer and filmmaker friend Timothy Greenfield-Saunders for putting the series in motion, by introducing her to Betsy Berg. The entertainment executive then connected Mallis with 92Y’s Susan Engel. Mallis expects to have more names to drop for next year’s schedule soon.