When fashion week comes to New York, there are only two things that I can always count on...stampeding supermodels as they rush from show to show and Olivier Zahm texting me the day's pics from his room at The Standard, High Line.
You'll remember that last time Zahm let us into his suitcase to take a peek, but this time, I wanted to get a little bit more personal. First I asked him to share his favorite pictures which he has taken at The Standards (check the slideshow above), and then I cornered him and forced him to tell me everything he never would want anyone to know...well, almost everything. Read for yourself.
Stan: What's something that might surprise us if we looked in your closet?
Olivier: Maybe the number of leather jackets!!! I get at least a new one each year since 25 years, and I love to keep them even if they are too old and too destroyed. I got so many of them that I have to bring them to the Purple office to make some room in the closet.
The last time we spoke, you said you always travel with your vintage cologne, camera and a beautiful woman. Care to add anything to the list?
I would add 3 to 5 different pairs of Ray Bans, tainted prescription glasses in different colors and densities, for different situations. I lost my glasses in the ocean in Mexico once... It was a disaster to spend vacation without being able to see farther than one meter.
You've thrown a lot of amazing parties at The Standards over the years. What is the recipe for a great event?
Simple. All my friends, fun girls and no marketing...Brands are killing the nightlife by overbranding the party they organise or sponsor.
What's your favorite room at The Standard? Why?
End of the corridor on the top floor (from 13 to 15 floors) always facing the city (versus the river). I love falling a sleep looking at the illuminated Empire State Buliding and waking up looking at the NY architectural emblem.
Where do you see fashion these days? Are we in the middle of something? The end? The brink of something new?
In the middle of a process of total digitilisazion of life, including fashion. Instagram is the latest place for fashion where everyone can share his own vision of style, his inspiration, his taste and create trends, anytime and anywhere, with the possibility of taking a picture as good as Steven Meisel. A serious competition for photographers and magazine editors like myself!
Are you a nostalgic person?
Yes, I allow myself to be nostalgic, sometimes. Even sad or depressed by the way times evolve. Without accepting these negative emotions you can never be truly happy or open to exciting surprises and discovery.
What's your favorite époque?
The seventies without a doubt ... from 1968 to 1977, from May 68 to the Sex Pistols. A decade where I discovered music, cinema, sex and philosophy ... A decade which tried to change the political mafia money game. A decade of total creativity and idealism. A decade of pure experimentation, illusion and fantasmagory, as well as the decade of sexual revolution. I also loved the 90s, which were more my decade. But it was already a nostalgia of the decade. I hated the superficiality and arrogance of the 80s obsessed by success, power and money (except for fashion!).
What's the greatest misconception people have about you?
People tend to see me as a fashion icon ... Strange to me because it's only one side of my life. People see me like a sex addict, and I'm actually very romantic. People see me as a visual person. I'm more conceptual etc...
What's something that's inspiring you right now: TV, movie, music, fashion, a person, a place, a piece of art, furniture… ?
Instagram! It's the new Polaroid where you can share all your visual notes. It's the future of something.
To view all of Olivier's photos taken at The Standard head here.