A Weekend in New Orleans

We flew to New Orleans for the weekend with 20 members of Fountainhead Arts to visit Prospect 5, a citywide contemporary art triennial.


Visiting the work of Mario Moore, a Fountainhead alum, at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans
Visiting the work of Mario Moore, a Fountainhead alum, at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans
Visiting the home of gallerist Arthur Roger in New Orleans. Actors, writers, directors, and producers from all over the world stay here because it’s so spectacular.

Senior Texting Codes

Teens have their texting codes (LOL, OMG, TTYL, etc.). Not to be outdone by these kids, now senior members have their own short-hand codes.

– At the Doctor’s

– Best Friend’s Funeral

– Bring the Wheelchair

– Bring your own teeth

CUATSC – See You at the Senior Center

DWI – Driving While Incontinent

FWIW – Forgot Where I Was

– Found Your Insulin

GGPBL – Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low

– Got Heartburn Again

LOL – Living on Lipitor

– Texting on Toilet

– Talk to You Louder

– Where are the Prunes?
Hope these help …..

! (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In


Why do they look good at any age?

What’s It Like Living In A Building That’s Constantly Featured On Hulu

I couldn’t help myself, I had to call my girlfriend who lives in the condo apartment building featured in “Only Murders In The Building.” I wanted to get the scoop on the Hulu show. The Belnord, located on the upper west side, was used for exterior shots as the fictional Arconia Building.

Like everything else on TV, and in the movies, I learned that much of what we see on the screen was shot in a studio. A few of the outside shots were taped in two or three days in front of the building,

Yes, the production company paid handsomely for the use of the building but very few people know exactly how much. Typical of New Yorkers, most of the residents felt the deal was a nuisance and they could care less about the notoriety. Bottom line, the fame on Hulu hasn’t increased the value of the condo apartments so far.

New York Times —-warning !!!!! It’s a spoiler

Amy Ryan on the Surprise Finale of ‘Only Murders in the Building’

By Sarah BahrOct. 19, 2021Stay up to date with What to Watch. A few alerts a week.

This interview contains major spoilers from the Season 1 finale of “Only Murders in the Building.”

“Never trust a bassoonist,” Amy Ryan said with a laugh.

She would be the one to know: Ryan plays one in the first season of the whodunit comedy “Only Murders in the Building,” the finale of which arrived to Hulu on Tuesday. And that bassoonist, it turns out, was the maniac behind the central murder of the show’s first season. (The series has already been renewed for a second.)Why Are Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short Working Together? It’s a Mystery.

After numerous twists and red herrings — at one point, the musician Sting is suspected — Jan’s jig is up after the hard-luck Broadway producer Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) realizes that what he thought was a sex toy found in the murder victim Tim Kono’s apartment is actually … a bassoon cleaner. Kono’s older neighbor, it seems, was also his former lover.ADVERTISEMENThttps://edb3c2f7af136cb11d86e831dff55868.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

But she’s not going down before she takes her new flame, the washed-up former TV star Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin), down with her — by way of a handkerchief laced with poison.

“I want you to know this is definitely one of my rougher breakups, Charles,” she coos as she slips a couch pillow under his head after watching him slump to the floor. “I really did fall in love with you.”

It is, of course, not the end for Charles, who is discovered by Oliver and their young partner in true-crime podcasting, Mabel (Selena Gomez). With Charles in a stroller, the three of them manage to reach the boiler room just in time to prevent Jan from gassing the whole building. Then they go to get Charles’s stomach pumped.

Ryan’s role as the cunning murderer down the hall is a big departure from what is perhaps her best-known character, the dorky human resources representative Holly Flax on “The Office.” But the actress has tackled her share of tough-gal roles before, including the Baltimore police officer Beadie Russell on “The Wire” and the hardened welfare mother in “Gone Baby Gone,” which earned her an Oscar nomination. She has also had a notable Broadway career, with Tony nominations for her roles in the 2000 revival of “Uncle Vanya” and the 2005 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

In a recent phone conversation from her home in Brooklyn, she discussed the inspirations for her character on “Only Murders,” mastering the bassoon (sort of) and working with Steve Martin and Martin Short. These are edited excerpts.ADVERTISEMENThttps://edb3c2f7af136cb11d86e831dff55868.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Did you know before you took the role that Jan was the murderer? Or one of them at least?

Yes. Before I joined, [the series co-creator] John Hoffman gave me the outline of the whole series — he didn’t have scripts fully written yet — and shared that I was the murderer.

Did you believe she was capable of murder?

There was an article in The New York Times about a woman — a New Yorker — who went off into a QAnon kind of world from writing comedy. And the dial just turned so slowly for her, for her reality to bend. And I thought, “That could be Jan, too.” Living alone on the Upper West Side, losing your friends one by one. Not that QAnon people are murderers, but just someone not dealing with reality — I thought that could be her way in.

Was Tim Kono her first victim?

No, she’s definitely done it before. In that last scene with Steve when he’s on the floor and she recognizes all the signs — oh, yeah, there goes the slurring, oh, yep, you’re right on target — I think Tim Kono is not her first. [Laughs.]

Is she a psychopath?

I know someone who committed murder — they’re not a close friend — but they snapped. I don’t know what pushes someone closer and closer and closer. And that was a one-time thing, so what is a person who repeats? I imagine they must be a sociopath. So I think that is Jan.

Does she really love Charles? Or is it all just an act?

She knows she’s lying when she’s telling him, “I’m first chair and I have a big performance tonight,” but when she said that, she believed it. I believe, in that moment, she does love Charles. She does.

The fact that she props his head up on a pillow after she poisons him is twistedly romantic.

Yeah. [Laughs.] Charles is probably the most special of the group. He was probably the first one to tell her he loved her back.ADVERTISEMENThttps://edb3c2f7af136cb11d86e831dff55868.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

You have such an ability to manipulate your facial expressions, from the slightest narrowing of your eyes to the tensing of your cheekbones. Do you look in a mirror to practice?

[Laughs.] No. I just haven’t done anything to alter my face — I’ve never been injected with anything. When I was a kid, I used to look in the mirror and practice when I thought I wanted to be an actor, but not now, no.

Did you get a kick out of that all-black power ensemble you’re wearing in the final confrontation scene?

Oh my God, I love it. They gave me that outfit when I left. I don’t know if I can really wear it now — maybe around the house, it might spook people. I love the clothes that they put Jan in. We kept finding shoulders that were femininely cut — lots of puffy shoulders. When I filmed this series last January through April, I came out of sweatpants and got to wear all those clothes, which was such a delight.

How comfortable were you shooting a gun?

I shot a gun quite a bunch on [the 2016 action comedy] “Central Intelligence,” which was not fun. Even fake guns, shooting blanks — the recoil, the vibrations, and you’re doing it for six hours a day. I don’t like it; I don’t like guns. The violence of having to put a gun in Tim’s mouth — that was horrible to do. We’re playing make-believe, but it’s still such a violent gesture, and you want to just get it over quickly. I’m not in full character in that moment where I’m murderous and full of hate. I’m the actor who’s making sure I’m not pulling his necktie too tight to choke him, and that I’m not chipping his tooth when I put this gun in his mouth.

Did you learn to play the bassoon?

There wasn’t time, but I worked with this wonderful musician, Jackie Henderson. I had her record some of the pieces that Jan plays in the show, and then I would study the video of Jackie — when and where she took a breath, and her finger movements on the keys. I would hit the keys and play along with the video, and by the time we filmed it, I would do it at the rhythm like 3-2-1-2-2-3-3-2-2-1, over my fingers. So it was just kind of mimicry.

I’m sure the bassoonists who are watching the show feel seen.

I was watching “Fleabag,” and the nephew character — I was like, “The bassoon! He’s playing the bassoon, oh my God!” I was so excited.

Are you a true-crime person?

I’m not a true-crime fan — I don’t have the patience for it. I’m not a puzzle solver. I want to know right away.

Do you have any fun stories about working with Steve Martin and Martin Short?

I know all Steve Martin’s films; I listened to his albums when I was a kid. My sense of comedy was like, “Oh, I should just try to repeat his.” So there is a moment that I’m there on set, and I can’t shed my 12-year-old self. It’s weird — how do you just be present, and now this just happens to be the actor that you work with, and his name is Steve Martin, and no, that’s not the person who inspired you as a kid? You can’t just geek out on him, but it’s hard.

And the same with Martin Short. I also knew it’s best to keep quiet — just let them do their thing; don’t interject, don’t try to play along when we’re off set. Their banter is so brilliant, and they’re constantly writing and working. You’re just there, and these gems are thrown about the stage. It’s remarkable how fast their brains work.

Any chance you’ll return for Season 2?

Maybe Jan will be back, I’m not sure — someone will have to come bring her a cake in jail, I suppose. Jan can be in a cell with Selena or something, lose her mind.

Of course, she’ll find a way to get her bassoon back and drive all the other prisoners crazy.

That would be amazing.


Sheryl (upper right hand corner) was our first employee at HWH PR 45 years ago,
Closeup of Sheryl who is now one of the most successful investors in the tech business.
Lunch with our cousin Justin Young who now lives in Miami. He grew up in Roslyn, NY and went to college in Ohio. We are 50 years older than him but the conversation and drinking are constant.
Eliot took this photo of himself. His head is in the clouds. (Bottom)

To Seniors From A Senior

And on the 8th day, God created Seniors.

Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom, God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys, and other things, thus doing more walking.

And God looked down and saw that it was good. Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things, requiring them to bend, reach, and stretch.

And God looked down and saw that it was good. Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature, requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise.

God looked down and saw that it was good. So if you find, as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it’s God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.

Nine Important Facts to Remember as We Grow Older:

#9 Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

#8 Life is sexually transmitted.

#7 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

#6 Men have two motivations: hunger and sex, and they can’t tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.

#5 Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

#4 Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

#3 All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

#2 In the 60’s, people took LSD to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.

#1 Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow.

Please share this wisdom with others; I need to go to the bathroom.


Outside my window last night.

Cousin Justin Young now lives in Miami. He grew up in Roslyn, NY and went to college in Ohio. We party together even though he is 50 years younger than us.
A permanent exhibit at the Rubell museum

Enjoy Your Sunday

• The inventor of the treadmill died at the age of 54.

• The inventor of gymnastics died at the age of 57. •

The world bodybuilding champion died at the age of 41.

The best footballer in the world, Maradona, died at the age of 60.

• James Fuller Fixx, credited with helping start America’s fitness revolution by popularizing the sport of running, died of a heart attack while jogging at age 52.

BUT … • The KFC inventor died at 94. • The inventor of the Nutella brand died at the age of 88. •

Cigarette maker Charles Winston died at the age of 102.

• The inventor of opium died at the age of 116, in an earthquake.

• And, the Hennessy Liquor inventor died at 98.

How did smart people come to the conclusion that exercise prolongs life?

The rabbit is always jumping up and down, but it lives for only two years, and the turtle, that doesn’t exercise at all, lives 400 years.

Get some rest, chill, stay cool, eat, drink and enjoy your life


Phyllis Raphael, 86, in her Manhattan apartment, and Stan Leff, 89, have been a couple for six years.


It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love

For Phyllis Raphael, 86, a chance meeting on the street turned into a get-together. Then came a date. A second and third followed. So did a love affair.

By Alix Strauss——-from The New York Times

“It’s Never Too Late” is a series that tells the stories of people who decide to pursue their dreams on their own terms.

In 2015, nine months after her husband died, Phyllis Raphael, now 86, ran into Stan Leff, now 89, while exiting Citarella, a grocery store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“Stan remembered me from a party on Fire Island in 1974. He said I was on a deck serving hors d’oeuvres. But I didn’t remember him,” said Ms. Raphael, a Brooklyn-born writer. “We’d known each other peripherally and seen each other at parties but never spoke to each other until that day.”

By then each had been married twice. Both were widowed. Mr. Leff’s second wife had died a decade earlier, Ms. Raphael’s second husband of 24 years had died of amyloidosis, a rare disease.

“We started talking. A few nights later he called and asked me out,” she said. “He had gotten my number from a mutual friend of ours who thought our getting together was a good idea and encouraged him to call.”

That call turned into a get-together. Then came a date. A second and third followed. So did a relationship. Then a love affair.

Six years later the couple are still deeply committed to each other. Ms. Raphael said they spend some weeknights and weekends together; Mr. Leff sleeps over at her apartment in a stately prewar building on the Upper West Side. A retired bookseller, he lives four blocks away. At the moment, they have no plans to marry. (The following interview with Ms. Raphael has been edited and condensed.)

What was life like after your husband passed away?

I was going to a support group at New York Hospital that was filled with grief, which suited me at the time. I would go to dinner parties, there were always five single women and two men. I didn’t think I’d ever go on Match.com. I was going to throw myself on the mercy of my three kids and my friends. Stan changed everything.

How did the relationship start?

We saw Amy Schumer’s movie “Trainwreck” for our first get-together. I found him very attractive. I liked sitting next to him in the movie. We went to the Lime Leaf for dinner, which is no longer in business. I offered to pay my share; he offered to pay the bill. That established something. We started seeing each other shortly after that.

We went to plays, movies, dinners, and took walks in Riverside Park. I couldn’t understand what we were doing. That November we were watching a movie at my home and I thought the time has come. I put my head on his shoulder. That opened the door. He said to me: ‘Winter is coming. It’s getting cold. I’m not going to want to go home at night.’ I understood what that meant. We became lovers that night.

Did you ever think you’d be in another relationship?

I never dreamed there would be someone else. I knew I would be lonely, but I wasn’t looking for a relationship. When I began seeing Stan, I didn’t think it would evolve to more than widowed neighborhood friends. Once it was happening, I was so surprised. I thought that part of my life was over, but it wasn’t. At my age you think, ‘OK, if this is what life is going to hand me I’m going to take it.’ So I started seeing him seriously.

A few years ago I submitted a piece to Tiny Love Stories about our relationship. I originally wrote it as an exercise, which is what I do when I’m trying to write and can’t get started. I wanted to write something, and Stan was important in my life. He still is.

How is this relationship different than what you had with your second husband?

This is a different kind of love. I loved my husband. We had a very good marriage. I grew to understand him better as time passed, but I don’t believe we were soul mates. Sometimes Stan comes closer. There’s sex, affection and longing for one another. We care deeply about each other. My kids love him and that means a lot. He’s devoted to his children. I couldn’t love someone who wasn’t. This relationship works for both of us. I’m crazy about him. Not the way I used to be with my husband, but differently. When he walks in the door I’m really happy to see him. It’s not euphoric. You can catch your breath, but we would suffer without each other.

What makes this relationship work?

We are two people who have a really good time together. We grew up in the same era. We laugh at the same jokes. We both love show tunes. We remember the same things. He’s my companion, but so much more. Stan’s at the top of my emergency list. I trust him. He makes me feel safe. He’s kind, reliable. We are good physically. I’ve not figured out what love actually is, but this comes pretty close.

What are your future plans?

Stan fits this time in my life. He calls me his girlfriend. I call him my boyfriend. We are more than friends; we are more than lovers. I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to mess with what we have. What we have is really good.

What suggestions can you offer people who feel stuck?

Do something new that you normally wouldn’t do, or something you hadn’t planned on doing, or something you’re passionate about. Take an acting class or a cooking class, or go to a museum. These things let you connect to other people you might not have met ordinarily. It can make your life more lively. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Think of something you want to do and then ask someone if they want to do it with you. Don’t be afraid to let things happen.

Any words of wisdom to share?

Not to expect. I didn’t expect this to happen, or to be with someone for six years. I thought he must have other women in his life, but he didn’t. When I was married I had expectations. I have none of that here. You never know what’s around the corner. That thinking has made me happier.

Life is a gift; it expires. When you get to my age you begin looking back on your life. I feel there are opportunities I’ve missed, but I’ve explored a lot. We all have an expiration date. It’s better to use the gift while you’ve got it.

Biden Vs Trump (We need to make sure he never gets in again! How can you help?

A must read by Andrew Yang

There have been a number of pieces out recently projecting that Trump is going to run in 2024 and that he will be very difficult to stop.

I agree. He’s raised over $100 million. He polls at 65% among Republicans, thirty points higher than others. His base remains fervent. And many of his strongest opponents will choose to sit it out rather than lose their luster among the most partisan.

Nikki Haley has already said that she wouldn’t run against Trump. Ron DeSantis may be the strongest alternative, but Ron is young enough to wait out a cycle rather than risk it all against Trump – and he’s been telling supporters in private he wouldn’t run against Trump. Trump might draw an opponent like Chris Christie and Mike Pence, but it will likely be a cakewalk. The biggest obstacles to this in my view are his health – he is 75 – or an unlikely legal prosecution based upon some of his past financial dealings in New York.

One big variable – does Trump the presidential candidate get his social media megaphones back? It’s hard to exclude the nominee of a major party or even a contender. This is an awful thought, to me, as things have felt saner with him off Twitter.

Let’s say it is Trump. Who will run against him from the Democratic side? The logical choice is Joe Biden, the incumbent who already defeated Trump once. The main issues are that Joe will be 81 and may be visibly flagging by then. Joe also is relatively unpopular right now for a President at this stage in his administration – he’s running at around 43%, though this could obviously rebound over the coming months.

Joe characterized himself as a bridge to the next generation. Does that mean that Kamala Harris would be the most likely candidate in 2024? Some would love the contrast between Kamala and Trump. Kamala, however, regularly polls worse than Joe by a few points. Her one big national foray – her presidential run – underperformed. The team around her is shifting. And she seems to have some elements of the political media that aren’t favorable to her.

Kamala reminds me of Hillary Clinton – a deep blue state Senator who underperformed in a presidential primary and then is appointed to a very senior position by the Democratic President who defeated her. Her native ability to win a national campaign is a total unknown with the existing data points somewhat discouraging. Unlike Kamala though, Hillary had a very deep set of relationships among just about everyone in the Democratic power structure.

Who does that leave? After you go past Joe and Kamala, you’d likely have to run a competitive primary. It’s not like they can just look around and say “Our nominee should be . . . Pete!” even if a critical mass of the party decides that’s what they want. There are also the terrible optics of pushing aside Kamala, unless she were to make it seem that it’s entirely up to her. It would be difficult to run a competitive Democratic primary in 2024 with a sitting President and Vice President right there – it would make the party seem fractious and introduce uncertainty that Democrats wouldn’t enjoy.

In my opinion, the Democrats’ best bet might be a candidate like Jon Ossoff, who is a young Senator from a swing state who could energize a lot of voters. Jon is social media savvy, media friendly and has been through two races that were nationalized with flying colors. But again, Jon would have to go through a competitive primary that Democrats would, I believe, prefer to avoid.

So that leads us back to Joe. I believe the biggest variable is Joe’s health. Joe underperformed in early primary states where there was a lot of retail politicking in part because he wasn’t as strong a campaigner as some others. He did much better in states where it was strictly TV.

Note that I had a front row seat to this. Will he have the strength after 3 years of being President? He would be the incumbent which would have many advantages – most of his campaigning would likely be on television from the White House or other presidential venues.

One thing that many don’t understand is that Joe’s victory in 2020 was razor-thin; 42,000 votes in 3 states – Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – decided the race. Joe’s massive popular vote win was driven up in blue states like New York and California, and that margin is irrelevant.

Joe will also likely be saddled with a Republican Congress after 2022. The in-power party traditionally loses 10 -15 seats in off-cycle elections. Right now the Democratic majority is only 5 seats, likely to be reduced by redistricting. Note also that Democrats surprisingly lost 13 seats against Trump in 2020, in what they were hoping was a wave election.

Betting markets have the Republicans retaking the majority in the House in 2022 as a 74% likelihood. This will almost certainly make Joe’s ability to have major victories to crow about in 2023 and 2024 leading up to the race almost nil.

If you’re a Democrat reading this, perhaps you are shuddering. A lot can change on a dime of course. Maybe the reconciliation package will pass and be so popular that Democrats hold the House. Maybe one of the people we are discussing could have a major health issue tomorrow.

But based on what we know, we are likely looking at Biden vs. Trump II.

I don’t think that would be welcome news to a significant body of Americans who would look up and say, “We’re running this back again?” The advanced age of both candidates would be historic on both sides. It truly would be a sign of how sclerotic our system and institutions are.

But this is where the political incentives will lead.

This isn’t even the main concern. Bill Maher makes the case that the issue isn’t who the Democrats run or even what the vote totals look like – it’s going to be the integrity of the system itself and whether people stay home or take to the streets.

In an environment where millions of Americans don’t trust vote counts and can be encouraged to insurrection, the unthinkable is on the table: widespread violence and a contested election.

The superficial script will be Democrats vs. Republicans. The underlying challenge will be the continuation of a stable Democracy with peaceful transitions vs. an arena of political chaos in a time of record-high institutional mistrust.

You can put me in the camp believing that this is a real possibility.

So what do we do?

People imagine that I am setting up a third party in order to set the stage for a presidential run in 2024. That’s wrong. I’ve founded Forward in order to provide a movement to reform a system that is increasingly setting us up to both fail and turn on each other.

There has to be a positive, unifying political tribe that acts to reform the dysfunctional system in 2022 via ballot initiatives and elevating aligned candidates.

I hope you’ll join us! This is our only chance before 2024 to introduce a different political dynamic and free a critical mass of representatives from complete adherence to party dictates. It may mean the difference between election integrity and civil unrest.

There is the battle between the 2 major parties. And then there is the battle to modernize, preserve and sustain a functioning democracy in the time that we have.

That’s our opportunity. We don’t have long. Let’s spread the word and work hard and fast. 2024 will be here before we know it.

– Andrew

Artist Andoni Bastarrika creates hyper realistic sand sculptures of animals….. These three-dimensional masterpieces look like they’ve crawled onto shore to take a nap

He’s a self-taught artist from the Basque region of Spain—began in 2010 building sand sculptures to entertain children on the beach—one picture went viral and now he’s teaching the art of sand sculpting—it is truly amazing.

Works mainly with his hand and few tools such as toothpicks, etc. add in some realistic touches like real horns, hoofs, etc. He’s actually able to support himself doing sand sculptures. Thank you Michael Sommer for sharing.


Highlights From W Magazine

What’s the update on Donatella Versace, Iman, Manolo Blahnik


Donatella Versace Finds Strength in Failure

byAndrea WhittlePhotographed byMert Alas and Marcus Piggott10.12.21

Donatella Versace wears her own clothing  and jewelry. Retouching: Dreamer Post.

Donatella Versace wears her own clothing and jewelry. Retouching: Dreamer Post.

For our annual “The Originals” issue, we asked creatives—pioneers in the fields of art, design, fashion, comedy, activism, and more—to share their insights on staying true to themselves. Read all of this year’s interviews here

Looking back at your career, what do you consider some of the biggest barriers you have broken as a fashion designer?null

To be honest, I do not think there were many fashion barriers left after my brother Gianni. If anything, I am still trying to inspire confidence in men and women through my collections. We live in a moment in which the barriers we need to overcome are discrimination, hate against race or sexual orientation, body shaming.

What does originality mean to you?

Being unapologetic to yourself.

Do you have a style icon?

If I have to select a single person, out of the ones I’ve been lucky enough to meet in my life, I would choose Prince! He understood the power of fashion, the power of one’s image, like no other. In many ways he reminded me of Gianni, because they both lived in a time when there were a lot of taboos and impermissible behaviors and views around fashion, and neither of them gave any importance to that. Prince was a “pure” artist in that sense. He did not allow others’ opinions to affect him or his fashion choices. All he cared about was his art, his music, and being himself. If that entailed wearing high heels and makeup, then so be it.

Who was the first person who made you realize you could break the rules?

I had to get to that conclusion by myself. I did not choose this career path; it was forced on me because of what happened to my brother. In many ways, I felt like I owed it to him, that I was supposed to continue what he started and celebrate his work and what he created. But no one believed I could actually do it. For many years, I felt like everyone was expecting me to fail. And I did fail! But today I know that failing is just part of the process, and the challenging part is making sure you pick yourself up. Every time I did, I felt stronger. Once I made peace with my past, I was able to find my own voice. That’s when I really started to do what I wanted. I brought back the iconic prints of Gianni in my own way, and created new ones. Today I can say that what you see on the runway is truly an expression of who I am.

What is the most unoriginal thing people ask you?

“How do you pronounce ‘Versace’?”

What inspires you about your children’s generation?

Their ability to comprehend technology, and to make it fun and so easy to use. Well, it’s also kind of unnerving. I mean, I love technology, but I am not very good at it. I try, but still… I feel the younger generations were born with a smartphone in their hands, and what they do with technology is amazing. Take virtual reality, AI, or special effects, for example. These have now become part of our daily reality in many ways. I also admire how so many have had the courage to use technology to amplify their voice and beliefs. They have made us stop and think about the impact we have in this world. I love how involved they are with their communities and how they have utilized different platforms to debate and educate the public on subjects like sustainability, diversity, and climate change. They understand that our communities and planet need to be nourished, because that’s the one they will inherit. It’s amazing, don’t you think?


Iman Has Spent a Lifetime Building Her Own Seat at the Table

The legendary supermodel has broken barriers in the modeling, fashion, and beauty industries for decades. By no means is she done yet.byClover HopePhotographed byCampbell AddyStyled byChristina Holevas10.12.21

Iman wears a Marc Jacobs sweater and hat.

Iman wears a Marc Jacobs sweater and hat. 

For our annual “The Originals” issue, we asked creatives—pioneers in the fields of art, design, fashion, comedy, activism, and more—to share their insights on staying true to themselves. Read all of this year’s interviews here

You’ve been an icon for decades: You became a boundary-breaking supermodel in the 1970s, and established yourself as a businesswoman and humanitarian in the years since. In 1994, you launched IMAN Cosmetics for women of color, but only recently has the beauty industry caught up and become more inclusive. Why did it take so long?

First, we should give due credit to the ’70s makeup brand Fashion Fair, which was exclusively for Black women. What I created was for women of color. And let’s not forget Rihanna; she’s the one who came with 40 shades of foundation for Fenty Beauty. We have always been the masters of our own destinies. We force people to change. Less than 10 years ago, five years ago, you know, there was the idea that you had to be invited to the table. Nobody cares now. I can buy my own table. I can build my own table. And it’s not just about using models. It’s about hiring Black creatives, putting people in decision-making positions. We’re owning how we want to be seen, not how people “should” see us.

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve broken as a model?

A couple of months after I arrived in the United States, in 1975, I found out they were paying Black models less than our counterparts, and I said, “I’m not doing this.” If I’m doing the same job as the white model, I have to be compensated. I went on strike for three months. And then, of course, they raised my rate.

What made you decide to speak up?

Being a foreigner and majoring in political science and coming from Somalia, where all of us are Black, I’ve never thought of myself as less than anybody. When you have that instilled in you, you’re not coming from a place of want. You’re coming from a place of, I have something to offer you.

What does originality mean to you?

Refusal. Independent thinking. Walking away. The person I always thought of—and this was way before we met—was my husband [the late David Bowie]. I used to go to all his shows, and I never met him until we were set up years later. He was the first artist that I thought, Wow, how original. And he’s still original.

Who’s a new trailblazer in fashion to you?

Anok Yai is an original. She is unapologetically herself. She’s creating a space for herself. When you see her, you say, “There goes somebody different.”

What does it take to be a successful model today?

There is this argument that a lot of young models who have followers in the millions—the Kendalls or the Hadids—have not gone through the same arduous steps as others. That’s true. But let’s not forget that these models are also hard workers. There’s only so much the followers can do for you. I’m not from the school of people saying, “Oh, they don’t make models as they used to.” Oh no, they do! And they make them better! You have to move out of the door to let other people in. When Naomi Campbell was interviewing me once, she said, “Why did you retire?” I said, “You bitches were coming right behind me!” [Laughs] “You, Linda—it was time for me to exit gracefully.”

Where do you see your influence in the beauty world?

The new generation should know where things came from. If you want to be a great model, start looking at old magazines—Black models, specifically, women of color like Naomi Sims and Donyale Luna. Naomi Sims’s pictures are just as elegant and beautiful today. There is a rich history behind us.

Iman wears a Marc Jacobs jumpsuit and shoes.
Marc Jacobs jumpsuit and shoes.Hair by Derick Monroe; makeup by Keita Moore for Iman Cosmetics and Armani Beauty at the Only Agency; photo assistants: Stephen Wordie, Patrick Lyn, Alex Kalb; retouching: Post Apollo; fashion assistant: Amir La Sure.

Who has been your style icon over the years?

Isabella Rossellini. She’s beautiful, and she’s a very dear friend of mine, but what I love about her is that as she’s aged, she created this uniform. When you’re talking to her, you don’t see the clothes, jewelry, whatever. I love that. I have the attention span of an ant. I need to change all the time. But to me, she’s a star and somebody who’s still as arresting as when she was 20 years old. She has a singular style.

What was your first major fashion purchase?

The first big check I spent was on 10 pieces of Louis Vuitton luggage. Some of the trunks are like tables. I bought them in the late ’70s, and I still travel with them.

What’s the most prized possession in your closet?

My husband bought me a black alligator Birkin bag. I have several Birkin bags, but that one is unique



Manolo Blahnik Is Ready for the Return of Elegance

byJenny ComitaPhotographed byMisan Harriman10.12.21

Manolo Blahnik wears his own clothing and accessories.

Manolo Blahnik wears his own clothing and accessories.SEE MORE FROMThe Originals Issue 2021

For our annual “The Originals” issue, we asked creatives—pioneers in the fields of art, design, fashion, comedy, activism, and more—to share their insights on staying true to themselves. Read all of this year’s interviews here

It’s been a big year for you! Not only did you celebrate your 50th year in business, but you opened a big new store on Madison Avenue in New York this past spring. How did you manage to pull that off in the midst of the pandemic?

Well, I haven’t really left home in two years, so I haven’t even visited my bloody store! Can you imagine how tragic? It’s been done by Zoom with the architect, who was in Paris giving orders to people in New York. It’s been quite, quite, quite exhausting! But I really like it, based on the pictures, and I hope I can visit soon. I love New York. I always feel at home there as soon as I arrive. At the airport, all the ladies in customs say, “Oh, Mr. Blaaw-nik, when you have a sale, let me know!” It’s just fantastic.

What are some of your best New York memories?

I have so many, but my favorite was visiting Rumpelmayer’s, the soda fountain on Central Park South. My friends and I would go there sometimes twice a day! Everything was so beautiful and clean, and the people would say, “Oh, hi, Manolo! How are you?” When it closed, I was devastated. I thought, This is something I will never, ever have again. There was Studio 54 and all of that, but Rumpelmayer’s was my New York. A tuna fish sandwich and three milkshakes—heaven!

Manolo Blahnik, pictured with a dog, wears his own clothing and accessories.

In the absence of those milkshakes, how are you indulging yourself these days?

Books! I have them up to my eyeballs in all of my homes. I don’t know where to put them anymore—soon I will be buried alive! Right now I’m reading about the French Revolution, 1920s first editions in the original language. Extraordinary! And I have all the letters of Saint Teresa of Ávila, and it’s wonderful—in a very old Spanish, but I understand it. I have English things, too. About 20 Lord Byron books from the 1870s that are beautiful. And a first edition of Myra Breckinridge, by Gore Vidal—signed! Once, I met Gore Vidal. He was sweet.

Whose style do you most admire these days?

I still love girls like Shalom Harlow. They’re not so young anymore—I don’t like those new girls now. The first time I saw Shalom, I was doing the shoes for Isaac Mizrahi—this was 100 years ago—and I saw this girl coming along, skinny, with that hair! And I thought, Oh my god, who is that? And Isaac said, “Oh, it’s my new girl, Shalom!” That first impression was extraordinary—the way she moves… Not long ago, I saw a video of her dancing, and she still has it. And then, of course, the chicest woman in Europe is Amanda Harlech. She can put on a little mingy dress from Kmart, but she has divine shoes and divine hats, and that, to me, is elegance. Anything she puts on, the cheapest thing, she makes it fabulous.

Do you think elegance will make a comeback after these many months of sweatpants and sneakers?

I do. In London, people are now dressed up and going to Savile Row to have suits made. Not everyone is wearing those hideous trainers and things like that. It gives me hope that young people will go back to some kind of style. Don’t forget, as long as we are human, we will want to be decorated—for ourselves; not for other people so much. When I wake up in the morning and say, I’m going to wear happy colors today, that is for myself! You can tell immediately when a person is dressing for someone other than themselves. Ugh, you can smell it in seconds!

Manolo Blahnik, pictured with a dog, wears his own clothing and accessories.

What are your dreams for the future?

I just want to be healthy and keep doing things. I don’t want anything else. I have everything I want, and I have wonderful memories. My life has only been full of fantastic things, actually. Or maybe there have been horrible things, but I don’t remember them. Either way, really, it’s fantastic.

How Can One Man Survive Such Tsuris?

Everything You’ll Want to Know About Donald Trump’s Legal Woes | DCReport.org

My question to you is how does he get away with it? How can anyone, who is being accused of so much, be a possible candidate for the President of the United States? I know some of the answers but I’m not going to write them here. We can discuss anytime you want. It’s a short conversation.


Thank you Dick Krain for the article.


It’s Not Sustainable’: What America’s Port Crisis Looks Like Up Close

This is another major situation that doesn’t seem to have a satisfactory solution. What the heck is going on?