Tuesday, September 30, 2014
My Feature in the October Fashion Issue of Elle Decor Magazine
I hope you will be able to check out my feature in the October Fashion issue of Elle Decor magazine which begins on page 95! Editors Michael Boodro and Peter Terzian asked me to talk to ten American fashion designers about their very first apartment in New York City. Peter Som, Stephen Burrows, Anna Sui, Michael Bastian, Betsey Johnson, Ralph Rucci, Jill Stuart, Adam Lippes, Josie Natori, and the the boys at Rag & Bone, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, all shared their very charming memories with me. I hope you enjoy it and the issue.
Talking to the designers reminded me of my first apartment in New York. When I moved to New York I crashed with some acquaintances from Martha's Vineyard in a loft in Tribeca, but my first real apartment was on Second Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets. I had a temporary job at the time working as the chauffeur for Mr. Perry Ellis, which is another story. One morning as I sat waiting for Perry in his bottle-green Jaguar at the curb, I looked through the classifieds (remember those?) in the back of The New York Times and spotted an ad for a three bedroom apartment with a big deck out the back on Second Avenue. It was $1,200. My brother Thom and his high school friend Bob Manogue and I were looking for an apartment together, so I rushed to the corner pay phone (remember those?) on Columbus Avenue and called them, and we met that night at the apartment's open house. There were scores of other groups looking at the apartment. I sought out the superintendent, one Mrs. O'Brien, to whom we politely introduced ourselves.
And we got the apartment!
But Thom and Bob and I did not have the security deposit! I called my friend Abby who was good with this sort of thing and she loaned us the money. We all met at a bar inside the Port Authority bus terminal and then headed over to meet with Mrs. O'Brien, who we subsequently nicknamed Obie.
After we signed the lease and got the keys, the four of us went over to the vacant apartment. It was kind of a strange configuration; two apartments had been combined together, so the kitchen was the hallway which you passed through to get to the bedrooms. We were thrilled to have it. We ordered a pizza and sat on the floor under one light bulb. And there our lives in New York began.