The following output was transcribed from our audio recording.
Although the transcription is largely accurate, it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
It is posted to aid in understanding the interview but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Mindy Cohn 00:00
Hello there and welcome to another edition of Mondays with Monday. Still coming to you safe at home with my co host co producer and co pilot Christian Brescia.
Christian Brescia 00:10
Mindy Cohn 00:11
Today we get gab with a man who personifies creativity. Mickey Boardman. He is the editorial editor for Paper Magazine. He's also a writer, teacher, speaker and host. He's an active commentator on the New York social and fashion scenes and has been the go-to fashion guru for VH1, A&E, E! television and CNN style channel. Mickey graduated from Purdue University and then attended the Parsons School of Design for fashion design since 1993. He has written his advice column, asked Mr. Mickey for paper and has had numerous other articles published in New York Magazine, Out, and German Vogue, among others. He's also the one responsible for the infamous shoot when Kim Kardashian broke the internet...remember?
Christian Brescia 00:56
I forgot about it till I was like reading up on him again. It was like Oh wow. This is his big moment. One of them
Mindy Cohn 01:02
Yes and he's had many! some of the most iconic celebrity photoshoots have come from between Mickey Boardman's ears. it's kind of amazing. Anyway we will talk about that and many other amazing photographs that have made him a celebrity's choice to art direct their shoots. He was recognized as one of New York Magazine's Most photographed faces in New York and voted by Fashion Week daily as one of the most invited people. He has been written about with the same frequency that he writes. And I have to say there's nothing quite like sitting front row with Mickey Boardman. I have met more of my favorite icons being Mickey's plus one. Also a philanthropist, Mickey has been active in many charitable efforts including his famous sidewalk sale at Screaming Mimi's and so benefiting CITTA that's C-I-T-T-A. It's a charity that builds schools, clinics and women's cooperatives in India and Nepal.
Christian Brescia 01:53
Mindy Cohn 01:53
We'll talk more about that because he is extremely passionate about that and makes at least two trips to India each year. His love of India and travel fashion in New York City and his healthy obsession with everything to do with European and Russian Royals makes him one of the most fascinating friends that I have. This last year with his deep dive into Weight Watchers and yoga. Mickey has become one of BOF's 500 professional index of people shaping the fashion industry. He talks and writes about his current weight loss, positive body image and fitness journey and how in his 50s he's embracing his body like never before. Christian ––– I can't wait to start today's conversation with Mickey Boardman!
Christian Brescia 02:36
Ladies and gentlemen, Mickey Boardman!
Mindy Cohn 02:41
Namaste! Hello, gorgeous. How are you?
Mickey Boardman 02:46
Hello! I'm glad this is such a high quality video I have to say.
Mindy Cohn 02:47
You know I'm doing okay, I better see your face. That's for sure. Okay, so thank you to your gorgeous living room. We always start each episode where Christian and I kind of came up with these 20 questions. I'm gonna randomly pick five.
Mickey Boardman 03:06
from the Jonathan Adler pill bottle or box.
Mindy Cohn 03:12
Yeah, I had to have it I thought, you know, just to be politically correct, I won't get like the quaaludes.
Christian Brescia 03:18
they're kind of one in the same.
Mindy Cohn 03:23
Yes. Question number one. What's your favorite place to travel to? And why?
Mickey Boardman 03:29
Well, I have several, you know, I'm a Libra. So, I mean, I know, I love wonderful destinations. I mean, I think I have to say India because it's a place that I really love. And I've been, I wouldn't say I've been there the most. I've probably been more to Paris and London and maybe LA. But um, I mean, the thing about India that's great is it's like the United United States and that there are so many different things within it. You know, there are so many different types of places there are beaches and cities and mountains and rivers and countries have rivers and mountains who knew. But so i think on that level and I love the people and it's a spiritual home and I love the colors and the chaos. So I love it really there but maybe close second would be Spain or that anywhere in Europe. But the truth is, I'm happy to go any place. You know, I love discovering new places, it expands your mind. You opened your mind. It also makes me appreciate New York more. I'm never happier to live in New York than when I've just come back from a trip to someplace totally different. And as I'm riding across the bridge into Manhattan from the airport and I just think God, I can't believe I live here. I'm so lucky. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 04:36
Yeah. How are things they're? opening up? Not really.
Mickey Boardman 04:41
No, they are opening up a little bit and you know, I've been riding I joined Citi bikes which I still can't believe exist and I...
Mindy Cohn 04:48
truly the world has tilted on it and it makes me happy that you are on a Citi Bike!
Christian Brescia 04:53
I mean...I'm afraid to ride the Citi bikes.
Mickey Boardman 04:57
Well, why are you afraid?
Christian Brescia 04:58
I just like in New York city like I can get around really well, I used to live there, and I love it, but the idea of being on a bicycle there gives me like a palpitation
Mindy Cohn 05:07
Oh, there's no traffic right now!
Christian Brescia 05:08
Mickey Boardman 05:09
Mindy is right. Check back with me once traffic is back to normal, although, in certain places like where you certain streets are more crowded than others and certain streets that are even, you know, like going into the tunnel The other day I was riding by where you go into the tunnel to New Jersey. And there was traffic and I was a little shocked. But as Mindy said, it's you know, the streets are basically empty. And I think people also have the attitude like people are walking in the street a little bit or, you know, we kind of instead of immediately thinking like, get the BLEEP out of my way. Everybody, you know, I think we're kind of in a more of a neighborly kind of a mood. And it's a great exercise and I hadn't, you know, they're things. They're amazing bike paths all the way around Manhattan and you know, great greenery and flower beds and things that I hadn't really ever seen so much before. So because I hadn't really I don't think I've ever ridden the bike and knew So I've written I ride bikes a lot when I go to Miami or when I go to, like in Leipzig, Germany, we rented bikes, I like to rent a bike and kind of get around. But um, it's been really, really, really fun I have to say, and it's great exercise. Who knows? I mean, I just feel like quarantine is the time to do things you've never done and kind of live a different type of your life
Christian Brescia 06:19
Mindy Cohn 06:21
We're going to get to the other things that you end up doing and I'm just so fascinated by Okay, next question. When was the last time you cried?
Mickey Boardman 06:30
probably yesterday I don't know if I've cried today but if you know, I am a big believer in crying. I think it's a wonderful thing. I think it's, you know, the tears cleanse your soul and I cry when I'm happy I cry when I'm sad. I cry sort of anything really sort of rich with emotion makes me cry. And you see so many sweet things on the internet these days. I have to say whether it's like I don't even know what I'm trying to think of specifically what it would be like, just something that's really sweet like, you know, a little kid at a protest or somebody being kind To an old person. You know just anything really sort of just really gets me and you know there are so many crazy bad things happening right now and so many and still humans are I think in their heart many humans not all but many are really good. So when you kind of see I'm and I'm reminded of either one of those things I cry. I can't think of physically what it was that made me cry But um, but often I know, scrolling through Instagram I cry.
Mindy Cohn 07:25
Yes, yes, same, I tend to cry more over happiness than sad things anyway. Um, okay. Uh oh. So this is the question that definitely will harkin to one of the other new things that you have been doing in quarantine. Can you cook (the answer now is yes, I know that already). And what is your favorite dish to make and if you don't cook, what is your favorite dish to consume? I want you to answer it all.
Mickey Boardman 07:51
Okay, you want it all. I've never cooked until now until quarantine. I used to get letters From ConEd, the gas company saying either our meter, either the meter is broken, or you've never used your stove. Because it says zero. Can we disconnect you? And I've always said no, don't I want you to disconnect me. I had I think in my 25 years in this apartment, I have twice made Weight Watchers garden vegetable soup because it has zero weight watcher points, and that's just chopping up vegetables and putting them in the pot so that I mean that is cooking in a way. But otherwise, I'd never used my stove. So my new thought belief during quarantine is you can do anything. And all you need to do is know how to Google and watch a YouTube tutorial like then you can do anything and that's very true. I today made hard boiled eggs in my Instant Pot, which I bought on target.com. And they're amazing. I have to say because I had had hard boiled eggs in quarantine, like since quarantine started and had to google it of course and I google it every time because I forget what to do better. It's easier in the instant pot to do it and they're just exactly how I like them. But I had to watch two YouTube videos for that just to figure out how to put the lid on the pot, which I did. And now I know how to do it, but I'll probably forget before next time, so But I will say that you
Mindy Cohn 09:10
so you have a lot more accoutrements to that kitchen?
I bought instant pot and I bought you know, I then I was like that's it. And the thing is, I don't have space in my kitchen really. So on my kitchen table, which I've also reorganized my whole house, I've gone through every closet and every drawer almost. I still have one problem I have underneath the bathroom sink. I mean, I haven't gone through and it's like literally stacked. It's like you know, you it's like, you open the door and it's like fully it's like a hoarder image in there. It's like totally from bottom to top where everything is so wedged in but um, which I will go through maybe this weekend who knows. So in my kitchen table used to just be for storage and everything like I cleaned out underneath my kitchen table and I found like a pair of rollerblades I don't know whose they were under there. I find hundreds of gay porn unopened gay porn DVDs, because I've I'm always I've been on the press list for gay porn. I've worked with porn stars. Over the years for, you know, for in the magazine, and I sort of didn't want to throw them away, and I used to give them housing work, some incredible organization that has thrift stores and bookstores and all the money goes to homeless people with HIV and AIDS, they used to take the adult DVDs, but they don't anymore. So I sort of whatever. So I just had to throw those away. I apologize. But anyway, so I made room in the kitchen table for the instant pot. And then I really love gazpacho. It's one of my favorite things in the world. And I thought, you know, I want to make a gazpacho, but I was like, Can I do it without Can I just chop it up? And finally, my friend, Jamel, who's an amazing chef, he's French of Algerian descent, but born in France lives in London. He was like I said, I should sort of convinced me to get sort of a blender because originally I was like, trying to get a little Cuisinart, which I like, I kind of didn't want to be that gay also, who suddenly like okay, now I'm going to buy every appliance. I don't even know. I didn't want to be that gay. But the gazpacho was amazing because you don't have to cook, you just chop. Although I did chop my finger the other day, because that's not nice. Chopping I bought a vegetable peeler and was taking it out of the package and I gouged myself but I'll be fine but anyway the point of the whole the whole part of the whole point of the whole story being um yeah so the gazpacho was super easy to make and I got a KitchenAid Blender also from Target.com. I'm not paid by Target, I'm just telling you that's where I got it.
Mickey Boardman 11:16
And but otherwise my favorite thing I made was a combination, which originally I was going to make in the instant pot, but then I did FaceTime with my friend in India Shitage and we did half cooking on the stovetop and half in the instant pot. I mean, some probably cooked a mixture of rice and lentils and on the stove we cooked like all the vegetables and spices and made this thing called kitschy or kedgeree. It has many different names and Asian which was pretty complicated I have to say, but also extremely delicious and vegetarian. And you can see it on my highlights on my Instagram. And I've done pasta but so I would say Indian as my favorite, although that was extremely labor intensive and also the thing about cooking isn't even I've done pasta. I've done tacos one day. It's just all the dishes and the cleanup and stuff. It's so good. Every person. I've come through this quarantine and everyone who's responsible for dishwashing or house cleaning, or homemaking of any kind, I got down to them and I have such a new respect. Although I will say my favorite thing to do, my favorite way to spend the day now besides city biking is to vacuum because I have a new vacuum cleaner, a Dyson vacuum cleaner and if I did it was as if I was gonna buy a house or a car. I BLEEP, excuse me can I say the F word? I'm sorry. I was like, I gotta get a Dyson because they're cool. They're cute, and I'm sort of having a crush on Mr. Dyson. Although he was in favor of Brexit, which made me then reevaluate my whole Dyson thing. Yes, but I was like, I'm gonna get a Dyson and they have them on QVC. QVC which is affordable. And then I tweeted like I'm gonna get a vacuum because then the thing is I had a vacuum, but it was kind of big and bulky and kind of didn't really serve my needs and it didn't do so well on the wood floor. It just did okay on the carpet. So anyway, so I tweeted out I need a new vacuum because I'm Harry's homemaker and I think I'm gonna get a Dyson but I can't decide. And everybody on Twitter said don't get a Dyson. They look great, but they break down and get a Miele which is German. Yes. So then I was like, Oh my god, so I should get that and so anyway, then I was looking at those and I just didn't like the look as much although whatever, you know, I
Mindy Cohn 13:23
yeah, they're not bad.
Mickey Boardman 13:24
So anyway, in the end, then I've talked to a million people and tortured them every night. And I look, I read testimonials on QVC comm which I never have given a BLEEP what anybody said about anything. like Yelp. I've never read Yelp except as sort of a joke to see how crazy people are people who go on Yelp, crazy lunatics, like what is wrong with these people. And so anyway, so there were 500 good evaluations for this. Dyson vacuum that was on sale. And a friend of mine, Jacob Brown had said all he does all day long is vacuum. He's obsessed with this vacuum, and he had a Dyson and it made him so happy. So I took the plunge and I bought it. And I'm so happy that I did because I don't even put it on the highest suction and it does all it does the trick. And I'm also obsessed. I have a terrible black thumb and I'm terrible with plants.
Christian Brescia 14:11
Mickey Boardman 14:12
So of course, I've decided to clear out like every window cell in my house to make it like a garden special.
Mindy Cohn 14:17
I know, but I've seen some of your Instagram posts. I mean, you've got going on now.
Mickey Boardman 14:17
I've killed a few. But again, I just google How do you care for mums? My mum's look dry. What do I do? You know stuff like that. And I will say one of my oldest friends from college Paul has a living gay homosexual boyfriend, Josh is his name. And he works. He's like an agriculture expert. Like he studied agriculture. I just when I know, I went to the place I go regularly, the way I used to go to the drug dealer. I go now to the plants that are open, because there's a couple and I just, you know, I always tell myself to get succulents. You cannot kill a succulent, it's really hard to kill...
Christian Brescia 14:57
it can be done!
Mickey Boardman 14:57
Well there you go, you know, but um, I have like My bedroom in my bedroom I have a whole table and now I you know I have the shade up in my bedroom, which I've never had. It's just to be dark all the time in case I take it out. Now, in the daytime, it's up. So. But anyway, you go to the plant store and then of course you're like, well, the succulents are fine, but look at these African daisies. They're saying, Yeah, I mean, I bought the African daisies and I will tell you my African daisies are not doing so great. But I'm trying. I'm mostly sticking with the succulents, but those are fine. But we're I don't know what this whole thing got to me. So I love to vacuum. I love to do all these things. Because the thing is, it's like we're stuck in our houses, we might as well make the most of it. You know what I mean? I have been ordering frames from Etsy, like and framing things myself, which I had never done. Let me like I don't think I can reach it. I could show you later. I have this thing I framed which I actually am not happy with. I'm going to put something else in the frame but it's like a big drippy gold frame that I'm excited about.
Mindy Cohn 15:56
Wow. All right. So Well, we've now gone on to home decorating and gardening. So I appreciate that. Yeah. I think you might have answered this question with the Dyson vacuum cleaner. But let's just see, what's your guilty pleasure?
Mickey Boardman 16:13
Well, I'm rarely guilty about any pleasure. I am guilty. If I'm not doing I'd love to say, you know, I interviewed Marc Jacobs, the designer and he has a tattoo that says shameless and you know, shameless can sort of have two meanings where You're shameless like you do whatever you want and say BLEEP you to everybody, or shameless like in a way that you just you aren't ashamed or embarrassed and it's a good thing and I've he means it in a good way. But also both ways are fun. I feel like if something gives you pleasure, you gotta go hard and fast and that and whether that and that means embracing your inner nerd like I'm obsessed with what people are nerds about like, and I was gonna do like a story at once or a book. I don't know. I've just been here for a long time. I'm obsessed with asking people like what their guilty pleasure is or something that people would be surprised about. Like, I love royal history. Not that that's such a shock to people but I'm like, I'm an expert. Queen Victoria's children and grandchildren I like to be experts. Okay. And I'm not bragging I just am and whatever it is a fact Yeah, like, I mean I have different friends like I have this friend who's a at the time was a hipster photographer now he's an old hipster photographer. And I said to him, like, Is there anything you're into? That's a little strange. And he said, Well, nobody knows. But I'm an expert in origami. And I said, Oh my god, that's so funny. Like I that's a great way and he said, kinda like me with royal history. No one I knew was into it. So I it was something that sort of just lived in my head. And then I knew the internet was an amazing thing. Because at first when like, the internet came out, because I'm an old person. I was like, oh, wow, great. You know what I mean? What's the big day and even before Google came even before Netscape, I did a search because I'd always like to be in used bookstores, which I really don't care that much for frankly, because they're dusty and smell and the people aren't usually very friendly. I have to say in my experience, but I'm always looking for these old royal biographies that are history books, you know, things that are out of print, and so I would scour the Used bookstores anyway. So I there was I did a Google search for this one book that I'd always been looking for I'd never been able to find. And I found this guy in Canada who basically had almost every book I ever wanted, like he was a royal freak himself. And in addition to having all these books, he also organized royal history tours. And so I signed up for the Nicholas and Alexander tour of St. Petersburg like the minute I found this guy in Mississauga, Ontario which is just outside Toronto.
Mindy Cohn 18:26
Oh my gosh, I do you know where that is!
Mickey Boardman 18:28
So I went on his trip to St. Petersburg Russia where I'd never been and then ended up my dad came with that's a whole other story because I put on I put the deposit down using my emergency credit card that I still had although actually had expired and I haven't whatever but and my parents paid for it but I still technically have one although it's I haven't reactivated the new one just to not because I don't want to use it. This is like two years I haven't would use it anyway. So it's probably not doesn't work anymore, even if I did reactivate it but the point of the story being so my dad said he asked if he could go because I had said you know I put down the non refundable deposit for the trip. And I have no money to pay for it. Can you for my birthday or Christmas sort of help me and by help me I mean pay for the whole thing. My mom, my dad was like, my mom was like, well, your dad said he, he'll pay for the whole thing if he can go with and I was like, What is he giving a BLEEP about royal history? And then I had no idea because my mother hates to travel. But my dad had always dreamt of traveling to wonderful distant lands. Yes. But he never went anywhere. Because my mother didn't like to travel. I was like, Who knew? So anyway, so he went, and it was the first time in my life I ever spoke out loud about these things. And let me tell you, the Royal history nuts are the biggest freaks in the world. I mean,
Mindy Cohn 19:40
I've heard you go on a couple rants before!
Mickey Boardman 19:42
Yeah. And I am a freak. And so that was an incredible experience. So and I just think you know, and who cares if people if it's not the cool thing to be into. I relate to people most when I kind of hear what they're obsessed with whether it's speaking of vacuums, I mean, now I relate to this in a bigger way. I remember once I saw on the road Rosie O'Donnell show which might be celebrating its 25th anniversary today. I remember there was a kid on the show whose parents had said when he was like 11 and kind of he reminded me of myself he was like a little chunky and a little awkward, but kind of a genius, but kind of like, you know, a regular kid. And his parents had said, if you get all A's, we will take you to Disneyland on your report card if you get all A's and so he did get all A's and he said to them, You know, I got all A's but instead of Disneyland Can we go to the Hoover vacuum factory? Because he's obsessed with vacuum cleaners and he had like 100 vacuum cleaners by this point. Always for his birthday or Christmas. He would ask for vacuum cleaners how and I like that is and so they did take him to the Hoover vacuum factory. So I was like a kid who would rather go to that factory than Disneyland really I can relate to and I can get behind and support so anyway. So but my, my guilty pleasure is to just lie and do nothing because I have a real sloth side to me. I can really just flop and watch soap operas, non-stop and I'm not guilty about watching soap operas. I love them. But I sometimes could be doing more constructive things with my life and then flopping there.
Mindy Cohn 21:09
Whatever. It's all good. Okay, last question. What's the best advice you've been given? And who gave it?
Mickey Boardman 21:17
Well, I always when I'm talking to students or young people, I always say you're not going to believe me but everything your mother ever told you is true. Every piece of advice your mother gave you you read you argued with and you fought No Mom, you don't get it. You've never been young. You've never been in love with a guy who treats you like BLEEP you've never without you know, they've done it all. You just think it happen and you when you get to be our age, you realize your mother was I mean, it's just it's all the cliches but there's your Be yourself is number one, because of all the superstars of the world I find I mean, and maybe I don't know like in show business, you can tell me better than I can. But you know, you know, the superstars of life to me are people who are just themselves who like except themselves celebrate themselves and they're gorgeous and they're fabulous. And that's the same if they are big boobs are small boobs are gorgeous or funny looking or whatever, you gotta embrace yourself and just be who you are and I always tell the story that when I was a kid I was obsessed for a minute I was obsessed with Mia Farrow and Rosemary's Baby like I thought me affair oh my god I want to be Mia Farrow I want to be like have a pixie cut and everybody thinks I'm cute be so fashion and all the guys want to BLEEP me but I'm good for fashion stories you know, to me, like all that stuff. And I was watching Rosemary's Baby one and Ruth Gordon walks in or maybe it's when she's at the door and like they looked at his garden and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm never gonna be Mia Farrow.
Mindy Cohn 22:33
Mickey Boardman 22:33
I'm Ruth Gordon. I am Ruth Gordon!
Mindy Cohn 22:35
Mickey Boardman 22:36
And you know what I am. We are as Ruth Gordon as Ruth Gordon on her best day we don't we've got the clothes. We've got the look, we've got everything. We're already there. And the thing is, there's nothing wrong with being Ruth Gordon. In fact, being Ruth Gordon is better than being Mia Farrow in many ways. But unless you're spending your whole day thinking I want to be Mia Farrow, you gotta own it. You gotta love it. You got to be excited. Ruth Gordon is the one who won an Oscar not Mia Farrow. Ruth Gordon's the one who people remember. Ruth Gordon steals the scenes. You have to sort of really see who you are. Love it and go with it. That's what I think. I have to say it's been the gift of my 12 step program is to learn and know that it was not a program for self improvement, but self acceptance. And the older I get, the more I just accept myself and like I have fallen a little in love with myself. I gotta say, it does come with age. Yeah, I fell in love with you, too. You know, that is a magical thing. Because nothing is more attractive also than confidence or self love, self acceptance. And so it's like, that's the people who you're who are you're driven to, and it's not, you know, and there's a whole other separate kind of thing that comes with being unhappy with who you are striving to be something else or pretending I don't have to pretend anything and it's so relaxing. I mean, it's so relaxing, to not have to pretend to be somebody else or to pretend to know something you don't. So many people think they have to act like they have to know to be experts in everything and I Experts are an expert in the things I'm an expert in. And there are other things I am happy to say I'm an idiot. I don't know how to do it. I have to Google. I have to Google a YouTube tutorial on how to put the instance online.
Mindy Cohn 24:14
Also just being a creative, I think, at least for me, I'm curious to hear what you say . It helps in that journey.
Mickey Boardman 24:20
Mindy Cohn 24:21
When you really start to express yourself or surround yourself with people that are like minded.
Mickey Boardman 24:25
Yeah. And I think if you're not, you know, when you look around you and you're not like, wow, I'm in the best place in the world, you're in the wrong place like and if you're if the people who you hang out with are the people you're with, whether they're your family or your friends, don't think you're the greatest thing ever. You're with the wrong people. There are people out there who think you are perfection exactly as you are. And I don't mean necessarily just for sex, but I mean, just just for everything. It's like, there are people out there, you know, and if that's one reason I don't understand why people kind of where I was born. I was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Hanover Park, Illinois, and a lot of people who I grew up with never left. You know, they I still live there and it's a great I love to go visit it's it's a great place and everything but it's an accident of birth it's a geographical accident that you're born How could you like so to me it's like I've got like I said when I go around the world I'm grateful that I live in New York because it makes me appreciate it in a way but how you know it's one thing to me go try other places and then you say you know what, Hanover Park Illinois really the place for me I'm going to go back so many people never leave and so I don't relate to that at all. I think you got to get out there and see the world and try different things and clear advice I give to people is don't be afraid to fall on your face and don't be afraid to look like you don't know what you're doing because I'm at my happiest when I'm dropped in a situation like doing yoga for example, I do yoga now, which I haven't although I haven't the past two weeks because I've been riding my bike instead. But not that you can't do both but between the vacuuming and the Instant Pot YouTube tutorials. With yoga is like the first time I went to yoga. It's like I didn't have the right clothes. I didn't know what I'd never done it and you're in there with people who are like being the human pretzel and stuff like that. And I was like, Oh my god, I was in India for this yoga intensive thing. Ohh god I'll bring my chanel but I have this Chanel nylon bag that I hadn't really used I was like I have Chanel will be my yoga bag. I'm gonna be so fast and then they're like going in this dump cared like what Chanel what they didn't know, they didn't care. They're like, Who's this freak with his like, his nylon bag and it you know, there's nothing no one expected anything from me and then that's a very liberating moment, but nobody expects anything from you. And I think so I love to be in those situations where that's where you really learn. But again, it's whatever your mother's whatever your mother said. Although he knows maybe some people out there have crazy mothers who gave them terrible advice. Well, not mine.
Mindy Cohn 26:47
Christian Brescia 26:50
If you don't mind, I'm gonna give everyone a chance to take a little break and just put a little business in here for our audience just to remind everyone that if they haven't gone to MondayWithMindy.com yet, please do! Not only will you find links to connect with the podcast on all the major podcast networks, you'll be able to watch us and link up with us on YouTube. If you do watch us on YouTube and you like what you see, please give us a thumbs up, hit the subscribe button, come back for more. We're always reading your comments. So if you've got any comments, please add those in there too. If you have any questions about our guests, or you want to learn a little bit more about him, MondayWithMindy.com, there's going to be a whole section featuring Mr. Mickey. So you can learn a little bit about him, you'll have all of his social media handles if you want to connect with him directly or follow Him and learn a little bit more. That being said, I'm going to now transition into an advertisement and since we don't have a sponsor yet, we've decided that paper magazine will be our honorary sponsor for this episode of Monday's with Mindy. Paper magazine is a New York City based magazine, focusing on fashion, pop culture, nightlife, music, art and film. Its mission is to introduce their readers to groundbreaking people and ideas that will influence the trends of tomorrow. Get your subscription today by going to papermag.com that link is also on MondayWithMindy.com. So you can grab it there, too.
Mindy Cohn 28:04
How about them apples? I mean, did we score points or did we score points? Look at you taking care of business! Mindy, you already have the maximum paper points allotted. So deep dive into kind of the reason...not deep, maybe we'll just do a little backstroke into it. The reason Christian and I kind of started this whole thing was that, especially during this time I need it's necessary for me to be around creatives. And I get inspired and do what I do and percolate ideas. So we just miss doing that. So we want to talk to you about your creative process, whatever that means to you and how you define it and your trajectory into becoming kind of the writer that you are and the creative that you are. So how do you define it?
Mickey Boardman 28:53
Well, I'm a big procrastinator, which I'm working on and at 53 Fingers crossed, I get a grip on that, but I You know, I just you know creativity to me It can be a little messy and can be a little spontaneous, but at the same time working in a magazine, you know, there is a time there are time frames So, so you have to sort of be able to turn it on and do it of all people that I'm going to quote Clare Boothe Luce once said, The only thing really you need to do to write is to be like to like, apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair, I just said, You know, I always thought like, Oh, she's a crazy she doesn't get it. She's a crazy BLEEP. But it's really true you kind of sometimes you have to do it. And so I do love creative people again, may can be a little bit messy. I also am in awe of people who have another type of brain and who like I can't even look at an Excel spreadsheet. It just gives me hives and I can't read it and it's just a nightmare but there are people who like to look at an Excel spreadsheet and it's like they're looking at the most beautiful Dyson vacuum.
Christian Brescia 29:45
I'm one of them!
Mindy Cohn 29:47
yes! or computer code is their porn.
Mickey Boardman 29:50
Yeah, the world needs all types of people. But um, so but you know, I'm working. I've been working on this book for a little while and I'm worse I will do anything to I will make this gazpacho, I would BLEEP with my succulents before I said that I need to be better about that I have to say and I've actually been going to I've been working with a hypnotist who I also is in my highlights on my Instagram, Morgan Yakus, who @mind__waves is her Instagram handle. She's a human cartographer, and deals with hypnosis, kind of just to sort of be better about sort of applying myself to work because also I'm the type of person who like I try to do like I do my work work I tried it I tried to do everything before I do stuff that's not really necessarily fun, but sort of personal so I think I need to sort of be better about that. But um, but I do love her.
Mindy Cohn 30:35
Mickey Boardman 30:35
I love telling stories and I feel like I do have a flair for it. And everyone in my family has a wonderful flair for telling stories and is very funny and they're all freaks and attics and etc. But they're also very smart and amusing and good storytellers. So I and Kim Hastreiter who started paper Yes, told me once like when I first read that paper, I was an intern and I was kind of the star intern. I had a great I had a BA in Spanish from Purdue, and then I come to New York to get a BFA at Parsons in fashion design, and ended up failing a class my senior year. So never finished. But so I did three and I did three and a half years. And it's seven and a half years of college and something that doesn't, things that have nothing to do with my job. So think about this. It's great. It's all personal growth. But anyway, so when I was an intern are the woman who gave me a job was the managing editor at the time Wendy Gabriel asked me if I would interview Vanessa Paradis she was married to I don't know if she was married to Johnny Depp at the time this was 1992 not maybe not yet That time I was obsessed with pop culture I still am in a way but I knew every new book and movie and actor and when I was you know obsessed and I was obsessed with her Of course I said, you know, but I'm not I'm not a writer. I really and they're like, you know, you know, it doesn't matter if you're a writer and because Kim said if you can talk you can write.
Mindy Cohn 31:46
Mickey Boardman 31:46
That is completely true. And um, yes, you need fact checking Yes, you need editing, etc. But it's like, but you know, I sort of thought it and I was like, No, no, you know, no, I can't so I kept saying no, and I mean, I looking back I could be I could have hung out probably like at the Royalton Hotel. To know, tell her something for the day with Vanessa Paradis and that would have been a fun great thing in 1992. For me, I would have felt very excited about it. But I talked myself talk them out of it. And then again like a month later, Wendy again, Lord lover for pushing me further. They needed someone to interview Rupert Everett, the actor who had written a book called Hello, darling, are you working? He was I think he was openly gay at the time. I mean, and he again, I was obsessed. So I but again, I said, you know, I'm not a writer, I don't know. Right? And so finally, when he just said, Listen, I met pretend you've already interviewed him and sit down and write the introductory paragraph of what you would say about the interview, like what you would write you would write and we'll look at it together and I promise if it's terrible, I will not make you do it. But I know it won't be terrible. I know you can do it. Just do it. So I did that sort of just to shut her up. And she was like, of course it was paragraph only about me. I hardly even mentioned Rupert Everett it was just about like me. So she was like, No, I insist you do you have to so i skipped a half a day of school. My studio draping in class and met him on the roof of the peninsula hotel and he was in like a mesh tank top and a swimsuit. And we talked about jockstraps. And it was so gay was like the greatest thing ever. And I, you know, wrote the story, it was a teeny little, like, quarter page news thing or something and got like, paid $35 for it. And it was amazing. And so at the time at Parsons, they were not I was not doing very well, they were not into me, I was not into them. I was a bit of a drug addict. So I was like, a mess. And I thought, like, Here I am going to school where nobody is excited to see me.
Mindy Cohn 33:29
Mickey Boardman 33:30
And being miserable. But here on this other side, you know, I could hang out on the roof of the peninsula hotel with Rupert Everett in swimwear, like talking about jockstraps and get paid $35 it's like, this is a dream come true. So that's sort of how I became a writer and oh, you know, for years would be like, Well, I'm not really a writer I do. I just know how to talk so I can sort of gotten forced into it and, or, you know, lead into it. And I'm so glad that I was because here I am today.
Mindy Cohn 33:53
What's the trajectory then that made you then become and you are, you know, one of the most beloved fashion figures, people want you around. And that goes for editors and designers. And everyone wants you around. How did that? When did it sort of dawn on you that like, Oh, this is my thing, and I'm really good at it.
Mickey Boardman 34:13
I can't remember exactly when because, you know, I mean, I think we all have I mean, I certainly had imposter syndrome where I'd be like, Oh, no, like, I always really was insistent about sitting in my official assigned seat of the fashion show because I thought someone was going to come and kick me out. Even if I really had the invite. I always wanted to have the invite and how you know, I would RSVP and right okay to make sure I look at your look, you know, but um, who knows, I just sort of concerned Yeah, where I come from nobody did anything really creative for a lot for a job everyone's parent. My dad was a pharmacist, people worked in offices, people, you know, you know, but I never knew anyone whose family was involved in anything kind of remotely creative.
Mindy Cohn 34:51
Well, the fact that you still stay such a fan, and I don't mean like a gaga goo goo fan, but a true like plugged into it and an appreciative generally not generally...
Christian Brescia 35:01
Mindy Cohn 35:02
Yeah! all the time. Genuinely, thanks! Okay, guys mind fart there. Sorry about that...it's ok, we're not stroking. I'm thinking that, you know, I see it when I'm around you. I mean people sense that about you.
Mickey Boardman 35:16
Yeah. Well to me, like we're, you know, we're going through some terrible times and I recognize that and I can confront terrible things, but at the same time, the world is so magical. I mean, here we are worth the fact that we're friends magic and meant to be destiny, the fact that we have the technology to sit here and have a conversation, which we love to do anyway, this is our job today is to do this, like I would pay to do this, you know, I mean, same, I would trade my KitchenAid Blender for this, you know, but um, you know, and, you know, in a way, to me, the most important part of it was going to paper for the first time because we had to do an internship when I was at Parsons, right. And obviously, because I was in fashion, everyone sort of did an internship at like Michael Kors, or someplace fashion and this is again, before the The internet and I swear to God I went in a room and there was like a bulletin board with like index cards with internships written on them, you know, sort of for people to apply to and I saw there was one I don't even. And there was one for Francesco Scavullo the photographer, yes now deceased, who was a legend, who shot all the covers of Cosmo and and I had I, you know, I knew of him and was like Francesco Scavullo imagine working there, that would be amazing knowing nothing about photography anyway, so I make an appointment and I go in there and they rely I get there and they're like, okay, so you're from Parsons. So you're a photography student, and I was like, No, I'm, I'm in fashion design and they were like. They were horrified and confused, and they're like, Well, why would you want to work here if you're not a photographer? I was like, I just think he's work is amazing. And I think it would be really an interesting place to work. And they, the woman who interviewed me was not, did not agree with my assessment of the situation. And so anyway, I didn't get that job. And then I when I had lived my junior year of Purdue in Madrid, because I was a Spanish major, then I graduated and went back and graduated a semester early. My parents had moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. I worked for a semester at the Hawaiian tropics suntan lotion factory on the night shift. That's like a whole other story. But back then when crazy like you don't even know like beyond, but they loved me, I have to say I definitely I scale the heights, I got so many raises and just like the four months I was there, but I ended I think when I left, I was making $5 and 95 cents an hour or whatever. It was fabulous and fascinating. So I went back to Madrid again. And while I was in Madrid again, that's when I decided that I was going to study fashion design and move to New York. And while I was in Madrid I lived in this kind of pensee own kind of thing where people do we shared a kitchen and bathrooms and things like that. And one of the women who lived there was friends with Wendy, the woman I mentioned who gave me the writing stuff. So when I came back when I moved to New York, you know, this girl who I'd lived with, went to Barnard with Wendy and introduced us socially and I remember I discovered paper at that point and was obsessed with it. I would like go to the newsstand and be like, Oh my God is the new issue of paper here and they're like you were here a week ago and just got it to give us a BLEEP month stop bothering so anyway so she said oh, you know you should be an intern If you really love paper and I was like, and it wasn't and I you know, when I did I don't know if that was that must have been after the Francesco Scavullo thing but whatever again, I didn't even realize everybody had interns right I don't know what I was thinking so anyway. So I went in and like they ended up hiring me but I was again so afraid that I wasn't cool enough and they hired me and I kind of was so happy to be there. And I was having this parallel experience of at Parsons being like a bit of a freak and now Parsons is amazing Parsons. Like they Yeah, you're a freak. They say like, be freaky. Do your thing.
Mindy Cohn 36:56
Yeah, they embrace it.
Mickey Boardman 37:58
At that time they were like do NOT be a freak you had like Michael Kors is as freaky as you can be like Marc Jacobs, and they even thought like,
Mindy Cohn 38:51
as I talked to Isaac about it was a lot of beige and ecru.
Mickey Boardman 38:53
Totally, totally. Like, and so the people you know, so I'm a little bit of a freak and so I really was Not celebrated there or accepted or, you know, I was, you know, I was not. It was not the best experience. Although, you know, you learn a lot. I learned a lot anyway, but he went, yeah, I did crazy that But anyway, so then I was having that experience and like I said with Rupert Everett in swimwear, I went to paper, and they like, loved my crazy clothes. You know, they were so welcoming. And I just felt like, these are my people. You know what I mean? Like, I feel right at home here. And that could have been that could have been at Morgan Stanley. Right. And I would have been like I would be doing a hedge fund now I still don't understand that. You're gonna make money from lose, lose, but you know what I mean, but it's so that was really it. So I think you got to find out if you're, that's why I also say that the advice I give to kids is like, think of your fantasy dream place to be right. And that could be the White House that could not know, or maybe now, or the Hoover vacuum factory, or, you know, and I found that at paper and that sort of made me blossom and I had always loved fashion. And, you know, my mentor was Kim and she was the fashion editor and she had founded it and So I kind of, you know, followed in her footsteps and I became the photo editor not really knowing anything about photography, take that Francesco Scavullo!
Mindy Cohn 40:06
I was just going to say, and yet you have been the mastermind behind some of the most iconic shoots ever.
Mickey Boardman 40:12
And we worked with Francesco Scavullo a few times after that. So yeah, I think just really sort of fitting in and, you know, I ended up going to shows and I, you know, it's it's such a weird abstract job to do like to go to a fashion show and to like, write about fashion or to you know,
Mindy Cohn 40:28
But, it's more about that. You also profile people and you know...
Mickey Boardman 40:33
Mindy Cohn 40:34
I wanted to ask you, Mickey, what, what inspires you currently, like, right now, in this moment, what do you know or who inspires you? Because I know it changes obviously along the way.
Mickey Boardman 40:45
Yeah, well, I still love fashion and I will even though there are lots of necessary changes happening in fashion. I like I mean, there's nothing like an incredible fashion show like to really just get your juices flowing. It's kind of like, you know, what can you do? It's just really kind of amazing and And so I still consider myself a fashion person even though we have a fashion director now who deals with that stuff really full time. I love to do this body positivity column that I don't do as often as I should call fat and all that and that I love. Yes, I love so I love sort of just, I guess it's always been about people so I love people giving people a voice or giving people you know, shining a light on something that's amazing whether that's I love theater, I love doing theater. Yeah, I love royal history. And I love current Royals, I love kind of showcasing fabulous people who wouldn't necessarily fit in, you know, a certain certain box and always be showcased. So that can be somebody who's a drag queen, that can be somebody who's a theatre actor, that could be someone who's just a fabulous fat person, you know what I mean? So in the end, it's really sort of the people and I again, I love great photos. I love sort of sort of telling stories, I guess is the thing too. I mean, that as we were talking about because I am a storyteller so...
Mindy Cohn 41:54
You have always been very vocal about your sobriety, but really, it's only The last couple of years that you have kind of gone on this personal journey that you're now writing about and touching, I mean, millions of people through this decision to join Weight Watchers, you know, doing the deep dive yoga.
Mickey Boardman 42:12
Yeah. Well, you know, the thing is, too, you know, I have gone to Weight Watchers off and on for like, decades, and I've been sober for 23 years. So it's the kind of thing also that, you know, I always thought like, Oh, you know, I mean, you don't, we can't really talk about open like, not because it's bad. But I think, you know, I thought like, well, I don't know, I just didn't, people didn't seem to talk about it. And I remember the first time I posted like, several years ago about a photo of myself from when I was using it when I was a heroin addict. And I just remember thinking like, Oh, I don't know if it's okay for me to like, talk about a maybe like, or being sober. Maybe some people will think it's bad and get upset, because, you know, it's an anonymous program, but I just was like, Well, you know BLEEP it, this is how I feel this is what it is. And people responded very positively to that. And I don't certainly ever share about other people's experience, who I see there who's enough. But you know, it's just it seems natural to me to talk about those things. And the same way about About my weight and you know my I always say that this fat and all that column that I do I only do it because drew Eliot who was the editor of paper at the time, but is now at Mac cosmetics, you know, suggested and I was like, I don't know who's gonna care about me talking about like, I ate the french fries. I didn't eat the french fries. And meanwhile, it's the defining issue of my life in many ways, because even I found that like, when you peel away the sobriety, I was a crystal meth addict of you know, because that made me skinny and so that that skinniness and fatness was really wrapped up in my drug addiction too.
Mindy Cohn 43:29
really you just put yourself so out there. I mean, it was very brave, Mickey I mean, gorgeous to it. Really. It's very unusual that someone does that to the level you're doing.
Mickey Boardman 43:41
Well, it's crazy. You should all do it. Everybody should be open about everything. Because the thing is, it's so liberating. And again, it's sort of what I was saying about how when you kind of just surrender to not knowing what you're doing, and you're kind of just like, okay, who cares? How am I gonna look and I sort of learned that going to foreign countries because and again, why travel is so great, like you're going to get stared at no matter what like, we Get like I go to India, I go to Indian places where they've never seen a white person and they like climb up. And they want to have their picture taken with me not because they know what paper magazine is like in big cities, but they just look like a white person. So you're already going to be looked at. So you're sort of like, well, I might as well then carry my favorite handbag, if they're gonna look at anyway, who cares? You know what I mean? And I think the same in terms of being open. It's like the things that you really find the things that I don't want to talk about. And now specifically, like the issues that we're all surrounded with now, it's like, people are like, Oh, these conversations are so hard. It's like, it's hard. That's the sign you gotta do it, like, even conversations don't do BLEEP. It's really sort of hard conversations that are that are important. And it's not hard for me to talk about anything really. I mean, there are topics that I don't know what to say about. There are a few but I could say look, this is how I feel. I don't know what to say. But like, I am an expert in being fat because I've been fat for a long time. That doesn't mean my experience is the same as everybody else's. And I was like I was such a devoted drug addict. I was like I would have gotten In A+ if they graded the drug addict because I put that before everything else, I jeopardized everything for, you know, for drug addiction, and I sort of Wish I could dedicate myself to this book they way I dedicated myself to drugs I wish I had that dedication. That's the goal. It's funny, cuz people are like, Oh, you're brave, oh, it's good that you're being vulnerable. And it's like, I just feel like I'm just being honest. I'm just telling people what I think and what I've gone through. And especially, I think it's because you know, these people who haven't been heard, whether it's fat people, whether it's people of color, whether it's black people, you know, these people need to be heard. And they like, if you're not heard for a long time, it's like such a relief to be heard. And that's like, where the healing can start...
Mindy Cohn 45:37
Well and also that you're not alone.
Mickey Boardman 45:40
Yeah, totally. And I have, you know, people have people who've responded to things I've written about like food issues. I'm completely shocked by and because it's, you know, people like friend of ours, Mindy, who's like, super muscly, and like, has an incredible body. I really never thought twice about anything like that. And he said, he said, oh my god that really struck me that really touched me so much. And I was like, Well, how could you even relate? And he said, I've been starving for 25 years. And it's like, that makes sense! everybody is thinking, everyone with big boobs. Not everyone, but most people with big boobs think I wish they were smaller. Most people with small boobs. Thinks, God, why can't I have big boobs? Everyone is kind of like playing this game. It's like, something's missing from me, what's wrong, and you can't everybody lose at that game.
Mindy Cohn 46:21
I have to say it's been incredibly inspirational for me to see you go from using straps, you know, to stretching yourself to doing a friggin backbend Mickey. So it's like what I'm saying is, whether it's courageous or not, whatever, but it is incredibly inspirational and aspirational. And I look at those things in my life because my natural state is to laze.
Mickey Boardman 46:45
Well, you've been working since you were like 12...
Mindy Cohn 46:49
ha, yes. I'm very busy from the neck up. But the bottom line, like you don't want to just laze and be fed grapes. So having said that, I want to thank you, I adore you. Thank you for this. You are always an inspiration. I cherish you so much, and I can't wait to squeeze your person.
Christian Brescia 47:10
Thank you, right back at you!
Mickey Boardman 47:11
you can get as many squeezes as you need! mwah! Thank you both. Thank you.
Christian Brescia 47:11
Soon, hopefully. Thank you, Mickey. Thank you for joining us. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Mickey Boardman.
Mindy Cohn 47:20
Ah, what a pleasure!
Christian Brescia 47:22
Alright, Mindy. Well, that was a very interesting conversation. I'm so grateful to hear how open he was and how inspiring some of those stories are. Because, you know, I know Mickey, as well as a lot of information that I didn't really realize it's especially in this particular day and age to have somebody that's so transparent. And kind of what that shows us maybe sometimes how closed off we are, and how if we just open up a little bit more to other people, it's a bright light for more to see. So I think this was a really interesting conversation.
Mindy Cohn 47:51
Yeah, agreed. I'm, I'm so grateful that he took time out of his busy schedule vacuuming and cooking, and he could talk to us but he really is like such a...in my life, and I, you know, just a constant inspiration. And he's become very aspirational in his middle age.
Christian Brescia 48:08
Yeah, I like it.
Mindy Cohn 48:09
Gotta say with the cooking and the yoga and...yeah.
Christian Brescia 48:12
It's just nice to see the universe kicking him in the pants to try new things. I mean, that's good for all of us, right?
Mindy Cohn 48:17
Yeah, definitely. Most definitely so. Well, thank you, my friend.
Christian Brescia 48:21
Thank you. Thank you for another great show. Thank you to our listeners and our viewers for watching and for tuning into us. We are grateful to have you for yet another week. We're looking forward to coming back to you next week with Mondays with Mindy, like I said earlier if you want to check us out, go to MondayWithMindy.com. There's lots of information about Mickey there. There's a little bit more information about both Mindy and I. You can follow up on our previous guests as well as connect to all the other podcasts, our YouTube channel, etc, etc. We are, like I said, so appreciative that you're coming along on this ride in this journey with us and we look forward to talking and seeing you next week. Bye, everybody.