Michael Kors hit Bergdorf Goodman on Thursday to celebrate his 35th anniversary selling at the store and the release of the new photography and essay book “Slim Aarons: Women” by Getty and Abrams. BG’s Linda Fargo, Betty Halbreich, and Bruce Pask were on hand to toast the man of the hour, who told us why the late photographer’s work still endures.
Slim has been a huge influence on your work.
From the beginning! The reality of it all is that he loved sea and he loved ski, and I love sea and I love ski! The amazing thing about these photographs is that it’s about the individual. They aren’t styled. These are these women. They weren’t put together. They capture the best heightened reality. That’s what I do as a designer. What I do is pragmatic and useful, but very glamourous. That’s very Slim Aarons.
His work was really celebrated some time after much of it was shot. What took people so long?
You don’t know what you’re missing until it’s gone. People crave glamour. Maybe when we were living in a more glamorous era, people didn’t assess it and say, “Wait a minute! This is really special!” In retrospect, every photo that you see in this book is still how every girl wants to look when a photographer comes around a party and shoots her. It stands the test of time. At the time, maybe people didn’t appreciate how spectacular they were. It’s a life that people still dream of. This is Instagram before Instagram!