Friday, October 23, 2009

Pinch Me...I Met Derek Lam!

As I stepped off the elevator at Saks, the shoe department instantly transformed into a social soiree which served cocktails and little mini hors d'oeuvres to guests. I walked around the various Jimmy Choos, Louboutins, and Manolo Blahnik displays and couldn't help but wonder what it would feel like to own every single pair. My day-dream quickly vanished when I spotted Derek Lam surrounded by flocks of people. I noticed that he was dressed simply, yet sharp, donning dark Levi's jeans, black shoes, navy vest, white collared shirt, and a green tie with pink stripes.

When I noticed no one was around him, I nervously approached him, introduced myself, and asked him a couple questions. He was friendly, down to earth, and I felt like there wasn't any "frills" to him, if that makes sense. I asked him if it was really true that he went to St. Ignatius College Prep in the San Francisco (my high school!) and he said that he did indeed attend and graduated in 1984. He said that his mom gave him his yearbook the other day and he was thumbing through it, recounting his high school days. He noted that his English, Social Studies, and Art teachers were the ones that instilled his love for humanities and the arts. From there, he attended Boston College and majored in business. However, he really wanted to move to New York and enrolled at Parsons where he interned with Michael Kors (another one of my faves).

He mentioned that Michael Kors is his mentor and that they are still friends to this day. I asked if I could expect to see him as a guest judge on Project Runway. Lam said that they have asked him, but he has declined because he doesn't think he would be good on television. I think I respectfully disagree, Mr. Lam!

I asked how he maintained such a busy life--designing for his own line and serving as Creative Director for Tod's. He said that he really doesn't think about balancing-it's just something that happens and evolves into the next thing/project.

I wanted to delve into so much more, but our conversation was cut short (I only managed to ask two questions) due to the fact that he had other people to meet. I completely understood the situation, as I am just a fan with a little blog. I wanted to ask him about the prospect of following in the footsteps of other designers such as Michael Kors or Rachel Roy, who have diffusion lines to reach a broader market. I also wish I could have asked about his designing process, how he came about starting his own line, how he separates his own collection from designing for Tod's, and more importantly, what advice he had for those that wanted to either be a designer or to be on the business side of fashion. Nevertheless, I am very grateful to have met Derek Lam. It was really an honor to be in the presence of someone I really admire.

Thanks to Saks, these past two weeks have been truly a dream come true. Who knew that I would meet Christian Siriano, Derek Lam, Yigal Azrouel, and The Sartorialist all within 9 days?

I can not wait to get my pictures developed, frame them, and put them up on my fashion wall! Project for the weekend!


  1. I had no clue about the sue, thanks for the info. I do wish I had the McQueens but a gift is a gift. :) And these are just too cute not to love em as an equal. ;)

    How have you been, dear?


  2. aw thank you that comment was sweet, I am adjusting to the new backdrop but liking the less humidity! ;)



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