Dispatches from The Fashion Informer: At Lunch with Mr. Mickey
OUR LUNCH DATE: Mickey Boardman, Editorial Director of Paper magazine
WHEN: May 2012
WHERE: Don’s Bogam in Midtown
Lauren David Peden dines with Mr. Mickey, magazine editor, co-star (with Steve Madden) of Taxi TV’s “Crashin’ New York Fashion Week” series, fan of all things sparkly, and Really Big Twit (with 23,000+ Twitter followers).
Like his fashion world colleague, Anna Wintour, Mickey Boardman has long been associated with a single magazine (the downtown culture bible, Paper , where he recently marked his 20th anniversary) and sports a signature look (Lacoste polos, Michael Kors corduroys, Missoni cardigans, sparkly necklaces and his trademark glasses). And while Mr. Mickey (as he’s known to his legions of fans) sometimes wears Prada, he is a longtime vegetarian and does not, unlike Ms. Wintour, wear fur or leather. Which is why we’re meeting at Don’s Bogam, a Korean BBQ joint not far from his office that has plenty of veggie options on the menu.
The effervescent editor orders the Bibimbap before recounting some of his more memorable collections at Parsons (where, after completing his BA in Spanish at Purdue, he studied fashion design while interning at Paper), including a Supremes Go to Shanghai collection and another dubbed Jackie Ho, which Mickey describes as “a Jackie Onassis hip-hop collection inspired by the band Kriss Kross who wore their clothes backwards.”
“There were a few teachers who got me, but mostly they were just confused and didn’t know what to do with me,” he adds with a grin between nibbles of kimchi and salad. “Then I would go to Paper and they loved me and the way I dress. It felt like home – and they really encouraged me, which made me want to work hard.”
Work hard he did, climbing the ladder to Editorial Director, and penning a funny monthly column called “Ask Mr. Mickey,” in which he offers tongue-in-chic fashion and lifestyle advice.
“At first I wasn’t that into Twitter,” the 45-year-old Illinois native admits. “But suddenly it just hit me, like, I love it. It’s kind of the perfect forum for my limited talents.”
His talents are far from limited, as anyone who’s seen his “Crashin’ Fashion Week” series on Taxi TV can attest. But despite his crow-like love of all things shiny (including today’s Ranjana Khan necklace and silver Stella McCartney sneakers), his impressive royal memorabilia collection and a lifelong affection for “the Las Vegas 1960s look,” Mickey is about as far from a shallow fashionista as you can get. He travels constantly (not just for international Fashion Weeks, all of which he attends, but also for his own personal enjoyment), and is very active in both animal and human rights. This Tuesday, for instance, he’s hosting a party to benefit CITTA, which is building a girls’ school and women’s center in Jaisalmer, India (you’re all invited, btw – see below for deets).
“What makes me happy is working with and spending time with people who I think are amazing,” Mickey told me as our lunch wound down. “That’s the best part of my job.”
Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.
The CITTA Fundraiser will take place on Tuesday, May 29th from 7-11PM at the Soho Grand, 310 West Broadway, New York. There’s a $25 minimum donation (open bar from 7-9PM), and no need to RSVP.