New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis has brought her 92nd Street Y interview series to shelves with her recently released book, Fashion Lives. And she’ll give audiences the scoop about her chats with household names, from Tom Ford to Bill Cunningham, when she sits down with curator Michelle Finamore on May 13 at the MFA.

 Well, I’m hoping that they will appreciate and understand what it takes to be successful in the fashion industry and that they will get to know these people better as human beings and not just a name on a label.

 I mean, all of them. From Calvin [Klein] talking about his addictions [to] Michael Kors sharing funny stories about starting a dry cleaning business at summer camp because he didn’t like the way the clothes were coming back from the laundry. You know, all sorts of things. Betsey Johnson, I never knew she was a Phi Beta Kappa at Syracuse. Andre Leon Talley shared that he got a birthday present from Karl Lagerfeld on his 50th birthday, and it was $50,000.

 My favorite advice to everybody starting out—and beyond—is to be nice. I think that that’s underappreciated. It’s important to stay true and humble. There are so many people doing everything in this world, so many designers trying to vie for that same piece of the business and relationships. And at the end of the day, you really want to work with the people that you like and who are nice. I find no reason to have to put up with people who are difficult or who think they’re something more than they are. And I find nice generally wins out.

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