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One Is the Loveliest Color


Karim Rashid
Industrial Designer. White half the time, pink half the time.

Why white?
In college, I was obsessed with wearing all white. I felt angelic and free. But then, in the early eighties, I started wearing black. That was status quo in the avant-garde. If you were interesting—a designer, an architect—you wore all black.

How long did that last?
I went to Rome to do my master’s in ’82. I wore all black, with pink hair. But that was considered Fascist. I had to tone down my dress.

Why didn’t you return to black back in New York?
Every profession has dress codes. In 2000, I was on a panel with nine architects, and I wore a white suit. Everyone was wearing black except me. I felt detached from the incestuous profession.

Now you also wear pink. Why?
Sometimes I think it’s because my mother dressed me in pink when I was a child. She wanted me to be a girl.

How do people react to a grown man in pink?
I make them smile. They say, “You make me happy.”

What about underwear?
The only place in the world that sells men’s pink underwear is American Apparel.

How do you keep your clothes clean?
I carry Tide to Go. If I spill red wine, I just rub it off. I should write a book about wearing white.

Do people try to convince you to wear other colors?
I was shopping in Europe with a couple friends, and they talked me into trying on a black shirt and black jeans. If you look good in white, you look really good in black.

But you didn’t buy the jeans?
My statement is, Be who you are. Do what turns you on.

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