The New Social Order

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The rockin’ fashion designer holds forth on carrots, bath mats, Obama, and rose-gold Rolexes.

Name your poison, and why?
A beer. It’s an honest drink for an honest man. I grew up trawling the local pubs in my small village of Borough Green, and you know what they say: You can take the boy out of England but you can’t take England out of the boy.

What makes you happier than anything?
Sleep. Or more accurately the actual moment you get into bed after a tough day and your bones relax. That’s when I finally start to breathe. Alternatively, travel, taking an adventure to somewhere new, somewhere off the beaten path. I always prefer to  go somewhere where there are no other tourists and where you can immerse yourself in the local culture, cuisine, and traditions (also somewhere with no e-mail).

Tell us something you were told as a child that wasn’t true.
That carrots make you see well in the dark. Either I’m not eating enough carrots or this is a myth.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
I haven’t really had anything truly embarrassing happen to me, but the most emotional moment of my life so far was crying like a baby when I saw my wife walk down the aisle towards me.

What’s your “stripper’s name”? Take the name of your first pet as your first name and your first street name as your last?
Donna Lendon.

If you could be any other occupation than you are, what would it be, and why?
An architect, furniture designer, or maybe even a car designer. I actually fell into fashion. I was really just interested in the whole concept of design. I used to love to draw. My final answer for this question would be: I would choose to be a conceptual landscape architect–someone that can change the silhouette of a skyline.

Describe what your “last meal” would consist of, from appetizer to dessert, and drink of choice.
I’m a man of simple taste so I would definitely start with an organic salad seasoned with cranberries, walnuts, pine nuts, olive oil, and aged balsamic. My main course would consist of a Bisteca Fiorentina that had been cooked in a wood-burning fire, seasoned simply with salt so that it had a crusted exterior-and served with rosemary- seasoned roasted potatoes and haricot verts. Desert would consist of a golden toasted creme brulee, which would wreak havoc with my stomach, but I wouldn’t care, as it would be my last meal! On the side, I would have a serving of fresh strawberries with aged balsamic vinegar (an odd combination to most, but you have to try it). Lastly, I would finish the meal with an assortment of French cheeses (cow, goat, and sheep).

If you could purchase anything today, what would it be? Describe.
I recently found a vintage, rose-gold Rolex from 1966 (incidentally the last and only time England won the World Cup). I have such particular taste in many things, and rarely find things that I just feel I can’t live without. This watch has the perfect blend of exclusivity (as it’s vintage and rare), sophistication, and timelessness (no pun intended).

Where does your ultimate road trip take you?

I see my life as a continual road trip.  My ultimate road trip or life destination would be to raise a loving family and take long holidays in a custom-built house in Mexico. I dream of designing and building a house in a tranquil part of Mexico where the forest meets the ocean. The entrance of the house would be accessed from the woods along a single track. As you arrived at the house, it would appear as a single story “Farnsworth”-style house, with a library and study facing the woods where one could contemplate life. As you moved through the house there would be floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto a private beach.

What well-known person do you most look up to, and why?
Right now, and I hate to sound cliché, but it would have to be President Obama. As a European I have grown up with very different values from the ones set forth in America over the last eight years. Obama’s election signaled a new and revived sense of hope not only to Americans but also to the entire world. I was finally proud to say that I lived in America, and felt positive that important and fundamental changes would occur that would not only help me and my future children, but the lives of all Americans, rich or poor. I look up to him because he is extremely eloquent, he’s articulate, and because he is courageous.

If you could spend an evening with one of these famous recluses-Harper Lee, Greto Garbo or J.D. Salinger–which would it be?
I’m going to have to cross J.D. Salinger off the list immediately. I’d spend an evening with Holden Caulfield, but not neccesarily with Salinger himself. There was a great story of NPR recently about a man who waited for hours outside of Salinger’s house, only to be let in when it started raining. The man describes sitting across from Salinger on his porch in silence. It appears that we was a recluse for a reason. Considering that I wrote Obama as the answer to the last question, I guess I should say Harper Lee. I think my wife secretly has ‘Atticus’ on her list of baby names.

What item(s) have you stolen from a hotel room?
I once took a bath mat. I was in Italy and stepped out of the shower one morning onto the deep-pile bath mat that I instantly knew was coming home with me.

If you knew that the world was ending soon, where would you go, and what cherished item would you take with you?
As mundane as it sounds, I would stay at home. I think that in this time of crisis you would want to be in the most comfortable environment you know. My apartment is my sanctuary from the noise of the city. Strangely I have no fear of death and I know it is inevitable. Maybe I’d crank the on my vintage stereo so when the moment came, I’d feel like I went out with a crescendo or at least with a bang!