In the Market Report: “7th on Fifth”

You know Abbott and Costello’s famous question: “Who’s on First?” Well, the question last evening was “Who’s on Third?” – The third floor of Saks Fifth Avenue that is. And the correct answer? Almost everyone who is anyone in the world of fashion, because the fashion luminaries came out to toast Fern Mallis’s fabulous coffee table book “Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis” published by Rizzoli ($55). In fact, I suppose you could say it was 7th on Fifth, which is quite fitting since Fern (a game changer and icon herself) created 7th on Sixth.

The book signing cocktail party was also a “coming out” party for Marc Metrick, Saks’s new president, who co-hosted the event. 16 of the store’s windows, including all those that front Fifth Avenue, have been devoted to Fern’s book which draws on her wildly popular and always sold out “Conversations with Fern Mallis” interview series at the 92 Street Y. In each window, the books are stacked up, and mannequins are dressed in outfits from each of the designers included (a quote taken from the book is emblazoned in the window). In the case of a non-designer (like Bill Cunningham and Andre Leon Talley for instance), there was a mannequin dressed to look like them.

Fern Mallis with Calvin Klein

Fern has conducted 19 up close and personal interviews thus far (she is a master at getting people to open up and confide their little secrets). Her first, in 2001, was Norma Kamali followed by Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Polly Mellen, Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Simon Doonan, Andre Leon Talley, Bruce Weber, Isaac Mizrahi, Bill Cunningham, and John Varvatos. Ralph Lauren, who wrote the forward, has yet to sit down for an interview but that will hopefully happen in the future.

Diane von Furstenberg with Marc Metrick

Among those in attendance last night: Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenberg, Francisco Costa, Bill Cunningham, Steven Kolb, Calvin Klein, Ralph Rucci, Peter Copping, Bibhu Mohapatra, Stan Herman, Jeffrey Banks, Martha Stewart, Susan Magrino, John Varvatos, Richard Mishaan and Ty Yorio. Ty, whose security company Citadel, insures New York Fashion Week is kept safe and running smoothly, is looking forward to Men’s Fashion Week in July, and New York Fashion Week in September when we relocate to two new homes.

Steven Kolb

Quite frankly, about the only person who was noticeably absent was Kanye West (who seems to be everywhere else these days, including the cover of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015). As you remember, back in February, Mallis told The New York Post that she was “kind of over” West and was “not a fan of his attitude”. West recoiled using Twitter, and the whole thing exploded into an internet feeding frenzy. But the two have since ‘kissed and made up’ (figuratively anyway) and Kanye said he would be willing to sit down for an interview with Mallis at the Y, when his busy schedule allows.

FYI, when I asked Fern who she has lined up next, she would only say, “I have a terrific guest locked in for June 3rd to be announced by week’s end”. Then I asked the obvious question — who she would like to be interviewed by and at first she did not know, but then replied “maybe Elsa Klensch?’

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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