On Wednesday, August 3rd, the most fashionable destination in the city was without a doubt, the Art Institute of Atlanta. With programs of study such as fashion design, interior design and culinary arts, the Art Institute is a pretty stylish place on a daily basis, but when they hosted fashion icon, Fern Mallis this week, their style meter shot through the roof.
Fern Mallis spoke to a standing room only audience about [her] early years at the CFDA and how [she] created New York Fashion Week. Before the "conversation" however, Fern graciously spent over an hour greeting guests, giving hugs and taking photos.
In the lecture hall, Fern shared details about herself and career to a very captive audience. As she offered advice to students, it was clear that Fern Mallis is authentic, humbly recognizes her accomplishments and believes in giving back. She is so engaging and lights up when telling stories and talking (and humanizing) her famous designer friends such as Calvin Klein. One of my favorites stories - I've heard twice now! - is about a Michael Kors runway show pre-NYFW. The boom and bass from the massive DJ speakers shook the old building so badly that chunks of the ceiling fell onto the runway during the show. Supermodels, Naomi, Linda, Christy sashayed through the rubble, never missing a beat, after all, they were super-models. A large piece of plaster landed on the lap of fashion editor Suzy Menkes! Priceless, but also unsafe. This was the catalyst for creating a centralized fashion week location... the rest... is fashion history.
Fern spoke passionately and proudly about her book Fashion Lives - a large, hardcover coffee table about the lives of some of the greatest American fashion designers - all who started from nothing, many who now have empires.
I'm not only a fashion blogger but a proud educator at the Art Institute of Atlanta. "A Conversation with Fern Mallis" was a huge fashion moment for us, our students and the Atlanta fashion community.