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Zac Posen, Designer, b. 1980

“Madonna shut down Spring Street.”

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I watched the change of Soho. It had been a very small artistic community—the kids that I grew up with selling lemonade. I started my company with lemonade money. My mom and I would get the lemons and the sugar, and I’d set up the table with signs on Spring Street, with a gingham tablecloth totally inspired by Judy Garland and Dorothy. I was so little my mom was scared that I would be kidnapped, so she would sit with me and read a book. Lemonade was 25 cents, and the trick to it was that my mom could run up in the elevator when I needed refills. I remember one day walking back from school past the Comme des Garçons store, and I saw this wild-looking woman with a white top trying on these sort of loafers with a big pink pouf on them. I don’t know how I mustered the nerve to tell her I liked the shoes, and she introduced herself, and it was Polly Mellen.

I would stare outside and watch all the supermodels living on Mercer and Greene Street and get a peek of Cindy Crawford or of Naomi Campbell. I remember when Madonna would go to the doctor, who was in the ground floor of my building. I mean, the street parted. She shut down Spring Street.


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