The Fashion Informer is honored to kick off its new weekly column, “Random Questions For...” with our old friend, Simon Doonan. The irrepressible author/Barneys window-dresser/raconteur (and friend of Next Top Models everywhere) is one of our favorite fashion world icons, combining, as he does, kindness, a fearless fashion sensibility, and a wicked sense of humor. But if you’re reading this website, you probably already know that. So, Simon...
What’s your favorite off-duty activity?
I am a big believer in staring into the middle distance.
What’s the last book you read?
“12 Steps Down” by Ruth Rendell - it's a sick murder mystery about a model stalker who repairs gym equipment. Ruth Rendell is a genius.
What’s in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Hank Williams Greatest Hits.
What did you do last weekend, and what are your plans for this weekend?
Last weekend, I enjoyed the sensory deprivation of Palm Beach. Next weekend I am going to a Bat-mitzvah. I love Jewish festivities of any kind.
Favorite getaway spot?
Shelter Island or Palm Beach. We live on a bus route in Manhattan - so I love getting a lung full of fresh air.
Most underrated designer?
Madeleine Vionnet never really got her props. She is obviously more innately talented than Chanel, but Chanel was a great promoter, so fewer people know her [Vionnet's] name.
Favorite character on “Ugly Betty”?
Lucy Liu was fab as the high-powered lawyer.
Tea or coffee?
Tea, always. Coffee gives you heinous breath.
What was your first job out of school?
I worked at a local department store where the motto was "Never Knowingly Undersold” and nobody knew what it meant.
What’s your favorite store in the world?
Barneys. Even if I hadn't worked there for 20 years, I would still be digging it.
What is your favorite work of art?
My Jonny and I have a great collection of Leroy Neiman ceramic plates. They make me happy.
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Oatmeal with blueberries. I am very health foody and lesbian and crunchy. Junk food is the end of civilization.
What’s your dream job (other than your current occupation)?
I would love to be a mystery writer like Ruth Rendell - churning them out with legions of addicted readers all twitching in anticipation of my next book.
When are you happiest?
When I'm answering questions about myself for online fashion websites.
Tune in next Wednesday for Random Questions For...Phillip Lim.