Fashion Force

Mickey Boardman, Paper magazine

At this point in time, Ikram Goldman could quite possibly be the most important figure in the American fashion world. The Chicago boutique owner is responsible for outfitting Michelle Obama, and thus catapulting designers like Jason Wu, Isabel Toledo, Thakoon and Narciso Rodriguez into the national spotlight. This week, she'll be in town for New York Fashion Week, scoping out wares for her eponymous store, and most likely for the First Lady as well. While she was 100 percent mum when it came to discussing Michelle, feel free to read into whatever you'd like in the interview below.

You do New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Why New York?
New York is essential for American fashion because it has incredible, emerging young talents such as Proenza Schouler, Thakoon and Narciso Rodriguez, as well as more established (though perhaps less well known) designers like Zero + Maria Cornejo and Isabel Toledo.

Do your customers seem to prefer American designers?
Our clients don't care where the clothes are from as long as they're gorgeous. However, it is always a treat for them to know they're wearing American designers.

Is there really such a thing as "American Fashion"? And if so, what is it? Which designers do you think best represent it?
Yes, there is such a thing as American fashion. It's much sportier and not so fashion forward. Designers like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Michael Kors are the epitome of American fashion. However, there is also a new American fashion, which is more sophisticated and more forward like Rodarte and Joseph Altuzzara.

What shows are you most looking forward to?
I love seeing all shows, but I am most looking forward to seeing Rodarte.

Is there an area where New York is really strong fashion-wise?
Jeans. Americans really know how to make a gorgeous denim collection.

Is it fun to come to New York or is it a headache with all the traffic, noise, etc.?
There is nothing like New York. The energy, culture and the diversity of people make New York even that much more fun.

Any plans to expand your store to other cities?
Always thinking of ways to expand.

Have you changed your personal look since you now have babies drooling on your Lanvin?
My uniform is still Lanvin and Gaultier, but now Chrome Hearts leather diapers for the boys.

Love you and can't wait to see you!!!
And I love you and can't wait to see you!

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