Derek Blasberg Thinks Miami Could Teach NYC A Thing Or Two About Fashion

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Recently, we caught up with NYC social chronicler Derek Blasberg, at the Moda Operandi party for his new book, Very Classy . The party scene fixture’s biggest takeaway from the evening: A full suit with a vest isn’t really conducive to Miami’s 80-degree fall weather. “What do people wear in this city,” he asked. “I’ve never had a drag queen moment, but tonight I wish I was in a strapless little tube dress. It’s not very classy, but at least I’d keep cool.”
Despite being overdressed on a humid night, Blasberg and bestie Lauren Santo Domingo were out and about in their full, fabulous glory, working the crowd at socialite Loren Ridinger’s Miami Beach home. In between photo opps, we caught up with the man-about-town to dish on Miami’s bad rep, the five things every girl should own, and his social schedule. Click through to check out a Q&A that's very classy, indeed.
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Derek Blasberg with Lauren Santo Domingo
What are your thoughts on Miami fashion?
“You know what, I think Miami gets a bad rep. When you tell people you’re going to Miami, usually you get, ‘Oh, bring your Lucite shoes and tube top!’ But actually, everyone here tonight is so chic. There are some major labels. I’m really impressed.”
If you could change anything about our local fashion, what would it be?
“I don’t want to change anything. In fact, I’d like to bring some of this back to New York, to be honest. In New York, there’s such an emphasis on severe sophistication. Here, I see girls in sequin jackets and shorts. I wouldn’t mind getting some of that excitement back home. Everyone seems to be very energetic down here. And to be honest, If I lived in Miami, I’d probably be a little more energetic, too.”
What’s your best fashion advice for our readers?
Well, my book is all about etiquette. There are 10 chapters: how to dress, how to throw a party, how to travel, how to decorate a room, how to handle a relationship, and so on. But a major emphasis is on appearance. That may sound shallow, but it’s true that we make so many snap judgments based on how people look. So, I always try to advise girls on the five things they should have in their closet: a pair of oversized sunglasses—instant glamour and they hide the effects of a wild night; a trench coat that conceals everything; jeans that make you feel 10 pounds lighter—and they can be $10 or $400, you just have to find the right pair; a smart pair of black pumps; and a cardigan — the cardigan, I think, is the new black jacket.”
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If you weren’t in the fashion industry, what would you be doing?
“You know, I have an older brother who is an accountant. I’ve actually asked him, ‘Okay, I know you wake up. I know you have breakfast and then you go to the office. But what do you do?’ And he’s trying to explain his day to me, but I can’t get past breakfast. So, I really don’t know what I would do. I’ve been really fortunate because I always wanted to work in the fashion industry and I’ve been able to do it.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever ignored?
“When I was younger, someone told me I didn’t have to go out every night of the week. They said I should pick and choose. But I was so gung-ho — you know, I came from Missouri and moved to New York — that I was out every night. And I think I got a reputation as sort of a party boy. Literally, if there was an opening for a phone book, I was there. Now, I do listen to that advice. You appreciate the nights out more when you have a few nights in.”
Photo: Courtesy of Derek Blasberg
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