Simon Doonan's Guide to Bad Taste
Simon Doonan is the bestselling author of Gay Men Don't Get Fat, Wacky Chicks and Confessions of a Window Dresser. In addition to his role as creative ambassador of Barney's New York, Simon writes the "Simon Says" column for The New York Observer and "Doonan" for Slate. He frequently contributes observations and opinions to myriad other publications and television shows. He is a regular commentator on VH1, the Trio network, and Full Frontal Fashion. He lives in New York City with his partner, Jonathan Adler, and his Norwich terrier, Liberace.
I don’t think of myself as a taste maker. I think of myself more as a bad taste maker. I’m very pro-bad taste. Bad taste is very important. It’s like a little dash of paprika, you know, you need it.
Good taste doesn’t really exist. It’s like a subjective concept. So I’m very pro bad taste and that’s essentially how I’ve made my career, always doing something that was counter-intuitive, always doing something that was naughty. When I got involved in window display in the 70s, I used to think what do people never ever do in windows and how can I do that? And the goal was to just keep myself interested and creatively stimulated, but it also led to a career that’s lasted quite a long time in window display.
And then from there I went into corporate retail in the 80s and 90s and had a very interesting career dealing with advertising, marketing, all aspects of retail and communication. So I wouldn’t say I was a fashion wiz, I’m more of a retail wiz, I love selling things.
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