Michael has quiet elegance & great wit. His tall slender frame is frequently fitted in handsomely tailored power suits and their gentlemanly accouterments. Michael has dedicated his life to style which explains his stylish client list.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider significant in your career
I love show houses – they are always fun – and when they are great, they are amazing, transporting, and inspiring. I feel lucky to have directed PR for two of the best show house franchises: Kips Bay and Hearst Magazines’ Designer Visions. Kips Bay, the original and the best, was an incredible experience. In the two years that I got to work on it, the house saw rooms designed by Celerie Kemble, Brad Ford, Brett Beldock, Elizabeth Pyne, Katie Ridder, Richard Mishaan, Harry Heissmann, Amanda Nisbett and so many more tremendous talents. The Designer Visions show houses were really special and different because every year three talented designers are featured, each of whom curates an entire apartment. Working with Jamie Drake, Alessandra Branca, Matthew Patrick Smyth and David Rockwell on these projects was an amazing experience.
What are the rewards from your work
Even after almost 20 years in the PR business, nothing excites me more than opening a magazine, newspaper or web page and seeing my clients’ in there, knowing that millions of people are also seeing their work. I still run to the newsstand first thing every morning when I know that one of my clients will be in print that day. It’s the most exciting thing.
|Richard Mishaan for Kips Bay
If there was a movie produced about your life – who would play you
I used to do an ok Andy Warhol (my go-to Halloween costume for years) so I think I’d like to see how he would play me.
Which philanthropic organizations have you been connected to
Can you share your motto or mantra
Never complain, never explain.
What book are you currently reading
I’m “reading” Vogue’s Book of Houses, Gardens, People – love.
Who is your secret celebrity crush
Not so secret, but my first celebrity crush was Lynda Carter – followed by Morrissey – and now, Justin Theroux, whom I met once and fell in love mostly with his eyebrows.
What is your favorite time of day
Whatever time I wake up is always my favorite. In warm weather, especially on weekends, I like to get up and out early while everything is still wet with dew and the flowers are most fragrant.
Do you know your heritage
Mostly Irish, with some Welsh, Scottish, Scandinavian and Spanish
Are you fluent in other languages
Passable in Spanish. Very rusty.
Do you follow astrology – What is your zodiac sign
I am casually obsessed with Susan Miller’s AstrologyZone. I am a LEO, and though I am a bit of a skeptic, Susan Miller’s horoscopes are eerily accurate.
|Illustration by Lynnie Zulu
What would your DJ Name be
I actually was a DJ! I wasn’t very good, but had the best time. My name was Michael Madison, and I did a couple of weekly parties with my friends who, like me, also took New York street names for their monikers: Luxury Lex and David Delancey. We started out at an amazing bar on Houston Street that no longer exists, called Idlewild. The interior was decorated to look like a 1960s PanAm jet. I think the seats and tray tables – which could be adjusted to upright and locked positions (!) – really were from a jet – as were the toilets, judging from their diminutive size. We called our night The Mile High Club, and booked everyone from Amanda Lepore to the World Famous Bob to perform burlesque numbers between our sets of poorly mixed music. From there we moved to the Chelsea Hotel and its fabulous bar called Serena, the eponymous establishment of the wonderful Serena Bass. We started out on Monday nights and graduated to Thursdays. A big deal! Our last ‘do was called Hot Fruit and that was at the old Wonder Bar on East Sixth Street. It was a thrill to DJ in a place that I had frequented for years – from my earliest days in New York.
Do you have a favorite number
I have always liked 31. I was born on July 31 – the Halloween of the summertime. (It really is a pagan holiday celebrating the first harvest of the year. I’m not religious, but always thought that was cool. Also, it’s the birthday of Shakespeare’s Juliet, which has symbolic importance related to that holiday I mentioned…AND I was 31 when I met my husband, David Duncan.)
Do you have a favorite fashion magazine
ELLE. It was one of my first magazine clients and I loved getting to work with them. The editor in chief Robbie Myers and fashion news editor Anne Slowey were amazing to work with and are still there and continue to put out one of the smartest magazines. It’s much more than fashion.
What is your “go-to” fashion brand
If we were to peek in your closet, what is the dominant color
After years of black, I have graduated to blue. I love blue in every shade, from pale to midnight and especially peacock.
What is your present state of mind
It’s 6pm at your favorite bar or restaurant, what drink do you order
I have been on a major Negroni kick. Hendricks Negronis, with Aperol.
Do you awake with or without an alarm
I wake every day without an alarm. When I’m traveling I always set one, but am so nervous about missing a flight I usually wake up several times and wind up not needing one in the end.
Do you have a favorite social media outlet
If you could be a background singer, dancer or musician – which entertainer (living or dead) would you choose as the star
Madonna. I always thought her backup singers/dancers Niki Haris and Donna De Lory looked like they were having so much fun, especially on the Blond Ambition tour. Pose!
What is the last photo you took with your cell phone
For Instagram, I snapped an illustration by Rene Gruau from an amazing book of his work that I just found.
One of the best lessons my parents taught me is to
My parents have always instilled in me the importance of being happy in my career. They never pressured me into a particular profession (though I think they hoped I would be a special agent in the FBI, like my dad), but always said no matter what, be happy with what you do. And I am!
What is your favorite work of art
That is so hard. Anything by Sargent.
What is your favorite building in Manhattan
My new favorite is 25 Broadway – the Cunard building – which recently hosted the New York School of Interior Design benefit. Incredible architecture and decoration and I could stare up at those ceilings forever.