I’ve been going back and reading old New Yorker profiles the past few weeks. I just finished this 2007 profile on Chanel’s artistic director Karl Lagerfeld. I started the piece knowing nothing about him other than what he looked like and ended with great insight into his creativity and process.
On creativity and moving forward:
Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925. Lagerfeld ripped the drawing from the pad, crushed it in his hands, and tossed it into a large wicker hamper, which, over the course of the evening, filled with similar small masterpieces. “I throw everything away!” he declared. “The most important piece of furniture in a house is the garbage can! I keep no archives of my own, no sketches, no photos, no clothes—nothing! I am supposed to do, I’m not supposed to remember!” He smoothed a gloved hand over the empty page in front of him and visibly relaxed.
The piece mentioned a few times Lagerfeld’s seeming desire to demonstrate his knowledge outside of fashion. I can relate very strongly to his quest for knowledge and endless reading:
Famous among his friends for his capacity to absorb information, Lagerfeld is also renowned for his ability to translate what he consumes into fashion. “Karl reads everything, looks at everything,” the Paris fashion stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington says. “He’s permanently filling himself with independent culture and establishment culture, so basically he knows everything, and he’s like a sampling machine.” Lady Amanda Harlech, Lagerfeld’s “muse,” concurs. “He said to me once, almost in a worried way, that he has to find out everything there is to know, read everything,” she says. “The curiosity is ceaseless.”
This Charlie Rose interview with Millard “Mickey” Drexler, CEO of J. Crew has gotten me all excited. Drexel talks about everything I like: leadership, micro-managing, craftsmanship, the important of information, uniforms, and availability.
After rescuing Gap in the early nineties and turning it into what we know today, he was suddenly ousted in 2002 and quickly moved to J. Crew in 2005 where he has revived another struggling brand. The entire interview is fantastic and full of great quotes and ideas. The interview started me on a journey of articles on Drexler and J. Crew (this Time article is worth reading) and I can’t help but see the parallels between Drexler and Steve Jobs and J. Crew and Apple.
But that’s not surprisingly, really. Drexler has been on Apple’s board since 1999. He keeps getting better and better.
I had the extreme pleasure to get to spend some time at Imogene+Willie, a Nashville clothing store specializing in top quality jeans that are designed and made right in the shop. They use high quality raw denim to make their jeans and each pair can be altered to fit the customer perfectly. They are not only salesmen and designers, they are also well educated in denim and know how to get you the best jean for your lifestyle.
In addition to denim, they also carry a wide range of limited edition and short-run t-shirts, boots, hats, and other apparel and accessories. Each item has been made with care by a skilled craftsman and each piece has an interesting story behind it that they would love to share with you.
Though most of the items are out of my price range right now, I am very interested in one day purchasing a nice pair of raw denim jeans that will last me many years. Imogene+Willie is easily in my top five favorite Nashville shops and if you are ever in the area, it is definitely a place that should be on your list.