When I was a kid, my single, working 80 hours per week mom would reluctantly drag my lil sis and me to the grocery store for our weekly food supply. As any logical single parent does, she let me and Penny (my sister, whose full name in Penny Lane, yep my parents are mega Beatles fans) choose our own nutrition for the week in order to side step the nutrition fight most families endure. The cart would slowly fill up with every type of junk food famous in the 80’s. Fruity Pebbles? Check. Pop Tarts? Check. Fruit Roll Ups? Check. 12 Pack of Dr. Pepper? Check. 12 Pack of Coca Cola? Check. Cheetos Crunchy and Puffy. Doritos Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. The stock of refined and processed “food” was endless. Penny and I existed purely on sugar and trans fats, and I am completely shocked we somehow bypassed diabetes. Our final ritual was our “candy” for the evening in the checkout line. This was always an exciting and antagonizing choice as we had very well developed palettes for all things hershey at the very tender age of eight years old.
One fateful day, during our final candy choosing, I turned my gaze upward to see several gorgeous models gazing upon me with their sexy fashion stares. This was 1987 so the magazine covers were dominated by Cindy Crawford, a baby Brooke Shields and Polina Porizkova. It was all hair and makeup and heavy jewelry. I saw my future. It was like the heavens had opened up and supermodels had suddenly landed there in my local Tom Thumb grocery line. Looking back, I had probably just grown tall enough to see the magazine rack hanging above the candy. And my parents were going through their divorce, so I think I was also desperate for my own fantasy world to escape into for “me” time.
Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Sassy and Allure were my gateway drugs into fashion and magazines. From 1987 on, every book report at school was based on one of my own personal fashion icons. First it was Coco Chanel, obvs. Then I got more existential with my reports doing reviews on photo coffee table books by Arthur Elgort on Christy Turlington or on the latest issue of The Face magazine. I used to carry the coffee table books around my junior high and the other kids thought I was nutzo. But I didn’t give a shit, I was in the fashion zone. I had a sketch book at all times and I would re draw my favorite outfits from Vogue and Sassy with exact measurements of how I wanted them to fit my body. Fashion psycho for sure. My teachers were confused and, sometimes, impressed. But hey, at least I was focused.
And when I quit school after my sophomore year of high school to pursue my fashion career, my mom knew I would figure something out for work considering I had been studying my beloved fashion biz for almost 10 years. I made straight A’s and had a 102 grade point average, so she knew I was no dummy. Since I withdrew from school in 1996, my everyday life has been fashion. Pitiful? Maybe. Exciting? Always. I love what I do and I am so fucking stoked to get to play in fashion. To get to work in fashion. And to be able to work with the people in the fashion business who have been my heroes for the past 30 years.
So you know, just saying. I love fashion and as cheesy and obsessive as it is, I thank my lucky stars that I looked up that day in the grocery store and discovered the fantasy that is the world I now work in. Fashion has allowed me to escape and regroup from some of the most fucked up shit in my personal life. And I am thankful for that everyday. And the fact that I have an OCD personality that latched onto a particular art at a very young age.