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What is necessary
for creativity? Great light, and wall space for all of my images. Whenever I find something that speaks to me, it goes up on the board. Nothing ever comes down; I’m always layering one image over another. I brought these Saarinen and Eames chairs from home when I got the job because those designers are really important to me—and I dislike my desk.
What kills creativity? When you’re tied to a relentless schedule, you can lose your eye. If a layout isn’t working, I’ll walk away, maybe hit the vending machine.
Any essential office supplies?
I like having a specific pen and kind of paper, but I lose several pens a day. My lists are written in black, green and blue pen or in pencil. It’s more collagelike, more me.
What gets you through
the day? Mint tea. I have to have
my tea by my side.
What’s necessary for creativity? Quiet. I think of this as my living room, my library, my storage space. I sit on the couch, never behind the desk. No one ever comes in here. I take about 150 calls a day—while in transit, never in here.
How do you work? I’m always looking for things to stimulate my eye. There’s something really frozen about a still-life room. If I live with something for more than three months and get tired of it, I move it someplace else. The whole office gets redecorated every six to eight months. It used to be totally white—I think that felt safer, more formal. Now it’s more confident and fun.
Any essential office supplies? Xerox paper and black Pentel pens for sketching. I use really inexpensive materials—nothing precious. It has to feel easy and throwaway, or I can’t get started.
Whose taste do you trust? My wife’s. She has that European sensibility—taking something for what it is, without caring who made it or how much it cost. She will ask me, if you didn’t know who did it, would you like it?
How do you work? Collaboratively. I had this table built so I could spread out with my team. I can’t have anything messy, so I put up fabrics, sequins and old buttons on blank canvases. I’ll come in with a germ of an idea for a collection—for this fall, it was the English countryside—and encourage different points of view.
What kills creativity? Ugly things. I had a fax machine that was really useful but terribly ugly, so it had to go. I have to be surrounded by beautiful things, like those Conran coffee cups.
Any essential office supplies? I love the design of my Apple, but I need to craft things. I have to use a mechanical pencil and HB lead. I write out my speeches on a block of Smythson’s paper. I love that color blue.
What’s in the credenza?
Loads of stuff, but I don’t have to see it. You know me, neat.