The legendary New York designer (and close confidant of socialites
everywhere) sold his company in late 1999, but the name Bill Blass
is still very much a force in the world of fashion. The collection
is now designed by critics' darling Lars Nilsson; the profits from
the label's forty different licenses are still strong; and Blass
himself is currently at work on a tell-all memoir scheduled to appear
in bookstores this fall. Full Frontal Fashion's Judy Licht
sat down with Blass at both his Manhattan apartment and his Connecticut
estate to talk about his life in design. Tune in to MetroTV on February
3 at 8pm for the full interview. What to expect? Here's Blass on
On his forthcoming book: "It's entitled Bare Blass, which indicates that I'm going to tell all. Obviously, I'm too much of a gent to really tell everything. It'll all be factual, of course, but I don't believe in blatantly writing about yourself in that way. By that I mean this whole sexual thing has got to be, at some point, addressed, but it doesn't have to be embroidered to the degree that I'm uncomfortable -- and so would the reader be."
On the Blass label's new designer, Lars Nilsson: "I have no intention of ever going back and doing collections again, but it does have my name on it, I still have tremendous pride, and who's designing the clothes is important to me. The young man, Lars, who's there now, is a good boy, and he listens, and I think he has a grasp of my philosophy about clothes."
On color: "I'm sick of women in black and in drab colors. Now more than ever I think they want colors that uplift them and the people they're around."
On his recent illness: "I don't advise getting cancer, but on the other hand it sure does take the pounds off."
On retirement: "There comes a moment when you must step back. You know, there's something terribly sad about old fashion editors, old designers. People in our business never leave until they're struck down with death. I think they must leave - it's the only dignified way to disappear. I think that you have to get out after a while. I don't think in the same way as young people, and young people must take over."
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