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Thereâ��s More To â��MR. BLACKWELLâ�� Than Meets The Eye
In a rare interview, Mimi Makabi tries to discover who the man behind the trademark label â��MR. BLACKWELLâ�� really is.
By: Mimi Makabi
True legends need no introduction, only a moniker. The mere mention of "Mr. Blackwell” (which is a household name around the world) brings to mind: internationally famous Hollywood fashion designer, pop culture critic, stage sensation, television favorite, successful author, and the acid-etched voice behind the most celebrated, imitated and quoted Top Ten List in the last 40 years- “The Worst Dressed Women List”. But behind the flamboyant façade is a very different man-shaped by a dark past, he personifies the pure spirit of a survivor and has an incredible story. In a rare interview, Mr. Blackwell graciously invited me into his stunningly palatial home, and allowed me to discover who the man behind the trademark label “Mr. Blackwell” really is.
After spending hours contemplating on the right outfit to wear to meet fashion’s most influential and intriguing legend, I finally arrived at Mr. Blackwell’s home- dressed to impress. From the moment the door opened, I knew I was about to step into the glamorous and exotic world of high style. I thought I had stepped into The Ritz in Paris or the Louvre Museum- actually both at once. From his priceless art and antique collections, to his eclectic finds and treasures from around the world, his home embodied his own personal style- timeless and elegant. With his gentle, friendly and gracious demeanor, I was welcomed and immediately put to ease. His eyes, deeper than any sea and his natural magnetism, captivated me instantly. I couldn’t wait to begin my journey into the world of Mr. Blackwell- and more importantly, to see it through his eyes.
Mr. Blackwell’s high-fashion life belies his humble beginnings. His childhood surely didn’t begin with a silver spoon in his mouth- in fact, quite the contrary. He was born Richard Selzer to Eva and Henry Selzer. At least that’s what he thought until several years later when he discovered otherwise. Mr. Blackwell explained, “I never knew my real father. Didn’t want to really. I was a love child. I’m not one of those people that thinks I have to find my father. He should have found me…but he never did.”
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