Aces Interview: Simon Doonan Talks The Asylum & Bon Qui Qui

Last week, the inimitable Simon Doonan stopped by Barneys New York Seattle to talk shop and sign his new book, The AsylumA Collage of Couture Reminiscences...and Hysteria.

What a treat and a rarity to have Simon in our midst twice in one summer! I had the opportunity to talk with Simon at his book signing, and kept it short and sweet so as not take up too much time from other stylish fans in the building. We spent a few minutes on our shared love for Anjelah Johnson and Bon Qui Qui before diving head first into business.

Simon Doonan-The Asylum-Barneys New York
Simon Doonan-The Asylum-Barneys New York

I was so hyped he remembered who I was from the media breakfast earlier this summer, and he was just as charming, personal and hilarious as ever.

Simon is by far one of my favorite celebrities I've interviewed so far! Enjoy:

You guest-starred in Alexander Wang's spring '13 video trailer with Anjelah Johnson, who reprised her famous 'Bon Qui Qui' character role for the video. What was it like working with Bon Qui Qui?

Alexander and I have been pals since he started. When he was concepting the video, he sent me a link to her (Anjelah)'s work. I loved it. She's a real talent. Brilliant. Clever. Very impressive. She's very serious, but you have to be to be that creative. I'm unoffenable. When we met, she was already calling me "Osh Kosh b'Gosh, lookin' like a wallflower with that shirt." By the end of the day, she was imitating my accent really well!

(Simon also kept saying "SECURRRITY" in Bon Qui Qui voice. I couldn't stop giggling :))

I saw the press release but want to hear from your own words. What is The Asylum about?

It's my love letter to the fashion world!

I've had a very stimulating career in the industry, and a lot of memorable stories to tell. People love stories. It's very funny :)

Simon Doonan-The Asylum-Barneys New York
Simon Doonan-The Asylum-Barneys New York

You already know, Simon!

What are some of your favorite stories in the book?

  • The time I auditioned for Devil Wears Prada
  • The time the ceiling fell in at the Michael Kors show and Anna Wintour remained totally calm about it, and
  • The time Tom Ford gave me a wedgie.

Haha! Well there you have it, folks.

Check out Simon Doonan's The Asylum for your next fall read.

Read all of my Aces interviews here.