"It’s more than that. In every far-flung corner of the world that I go to — Bulgaria, Singapore, Lebanon — I meet kids who were first exposed to fashion by Fashion Television. Alexander Wang told me we were his window into fashion when he was growing up in San Francisco. Brad Goreski opens his book talking about how he lived for our show when he was a little kid in small-town Ontario. We took people places they’d never been before — and they grew up to become part of that world."
I know it’s been 27 years of great moments at FT, but can you pinpoint a few that stand out above all the rest?
"Oh, this is so hard. There are so many countless, countless moments. I remember standing on the hood of a car in the snow in front of an old Synagogue on the Lower East Side filming Anna Wintour being locked out of Alexander McQueen’s first New York show with my Hi-8 video camera. And then, I was almost trampled to death trying be the first one to shove my mic into Lindsay Lohan’s face after her design debut for Ungaro. What a total joke! I was very proud that Valentino granted me his first on-camera interview after he announced he was going to retire.
But, I really have to mention Marc Jacobs. Way back in the late ‘80s, shortly after he had gotten through fashion school and was working at Charivari in New York, he got a Canadian-based manufacturing company to partner with him on a little line of sweaters. Anyway, he was coming to Toronto to work with them and a PR friend of mine told me I just had to interview this kid. He was going to be really hot. He was going to be the next big thing. All that. And I was like, “Right, yeah, okay, whatever.” So, fine, I schlepped out to suburbs to this factory to see it for myself. Well, what do you know, there’s this kid with hair down to his elbows, but he was already incredible. His work was already incredible.
Years later, after the poor reception for his “grunge” collection for Perry Ellis, I went to visit him in his little studio in the Village. Robert Duffy was there, and we stood out on his fire escape, talking about his future. Marc vowed that he would never let his business get that big. He just wanted to keep it small and stay true to himself. He was sick of all the hype that went along with the big brands.
When I think about that and how he’s Mr. Louis Vuitton now and how well his brand has done — well, it’s just incredible isn’t it? It’s really been an amazing journey."
Fashion Television and Beker are still online here and those who are interested in a lifetime of fashion stories should pick up her book, Finding Myself In Fashion.
Photo: Courtesy EDIT by Jeanne Beker.
- 2 of 2