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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simon Doonan
Born1952 (age 71–72)
Occupation(s)Fashion designer, television personality, writer
(m. 2008)

Simon Doonan (born 1952[2]) is an author, television personality, and the former Creative Director of Barneys NY.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Fashion Conversations: Reed Krakoff and Simon Doonan | Parsons The New School for Design



Doonan comes from the English town of Reading. His first retail job was a summer position at Heelas, a department store in Reading, now owned by the John Lewis Partnership. After returning to work at the same store after university, he first got involved in the art of window dressing. He later left Reading for London and dressed windows at Aquascutum before moving to Nutters of Savile Row.[3]

Invited to dress his windows by the proprietor of Maxfield, a department store in Los Angeles, Doonan moved to the United States in 1978.

In 1984, he designed the gallery scene for the hit movie Beverly Hills Cop.

In 1985, he worked for Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum.

He joined the Barneys staff in 1986 as a window dresser. His windows became a tourist attraction in New York City. He continued to work for Barneys NY until it closed in 2019. He was awarded the prestigious CFDA award for his work at Barneys. In 2011 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Fashion Institute of Technology.

While working at Barneys he consulted on various other projects including The Warhol Look exhibit at The Whitney Museum in 1997 and the Christie's auction of the estate of Marilyn Monroe in 2000. He helped decorate the White House for the first Obama Christmas in 2009.

In 1998 Callaway/Viking published his memoir Confessions of a Window Dresser. This began his writing career. In addition to writing books, he has written regular columns for The New York Observer and Slate.

In 2008, his second memoir, Beautiful People, became a BBC TV series starring Olivia Colman, Layton Williams and Brenda Fricker.

In September 2008, he married ceramicist and designer Jonathan Adler in California. They currently reside in Florida and Shelter Island, New York with their rescue terrier FoxyLady.


Doonan has made appearances on VH1's I Love the series, offering social commentary on each decade.[4]

He has also been a guest star on America's Next Top Model seasons 2, 3, and 5 to teach the models about style.

Doonan has appeared on Bravo's Fashion Hunters to authenticate an Issey Miyake piece.

Doonan's memoir Beautiful People has been adapted for TV and began airing on BBC Two in the UK on 2 October 2008 as Beautiful People.

For The Moth podcasts, he read "Fear of Squat"[5] on 20 September 2006 and "Every Expense was Spared"[6] on 9 February 2012 about his wedding to Adler.

Doonan appeared as a judge on Iron Chef America for Battle Sparkling Wine.[7]

In Gossip Girl's fifth season (third episode: "The Jewel of Denial"), he escorted Blair Waldorf on Jenny Packham's show.

Doonan used to dress up as the UK's Queen Elizabeth II, and impersonate her at public appearances, and has written about being born in the same year as Elizabeth's accession to the throne (1952) and his affinity with Elizabeth's pet name, "Brenda".[2]

In January 2013, Doonan made a cameo in an Alexander Wang advertisement. The advertisement takes place in Wang's flagship store in New York, where Doonan is falsely accused by Anjelah Johnson's character Bon Qui Qui for trying to steal a handbag.[8]

He is also a judge for the NBC show Making It hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

See also


  • Confessions of a Window Dresser: Tales from the Life of Fashion (2001) ISBN 0-14-100362-6 (Memoir)
  • Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women (2005) Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-7432-5789-8
  • Beautiful People (also published as Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints) (2005) ISBN 978-0-00-726954-9
  • Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You (2008) Simon & Schuster ISBN 1-4165-3543-8
  • Gay Men Don't Get Fat (2012) Blue Rider Press ISBN 978-0-399-15873-5
  • The Asylum: True Tales of Madness From a Life In Fashion (2015) Blue Rider Press ISBN 978-0-399-17371-4
  • Soccer Style: The Magic and Madness (2018) Laurence King Publishing ISBN 978-1-786-27202-7
  • DRAG: The Complete Story (2019) Laurence King Publishing ISBN 978-1-78627-423-6
  • How To Be Yourself: Life-Changing Advice From a Reckless Contrarian (2020) Phaidon Press ISBN 978-1-83866-141-0
  • Keith Haring (Lives of Artists) (2021) Laurence King Publishing ISBN 978-1-78627-787-9
  • Transformer: A Story of Glitter, Glam Rock, and Loving Lou Reed (2022) HarperOne ISBN 978-0-06-325951-5


  1. ^ "Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler". The New York Times. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Meet the Most Fashionable Woman in the World: The Queen of England. The Queen's Jubilee: Why she's the most fashionable woman in the world., Simon Doonan, Slate, 15 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012
  3. ^ Burton, Laura (25 September 2008). "Fashion should be funny". Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Simon Doonan –". Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  5. ^ "The Moth | Fear of Squat". The Moth.
  6. ^ "The Moth | Every Expense Was Spared". The Moth.
  7. ^ Jose Garces vs Mike Lata in Iron Chef Battle Sparkling Wine, Raphael Brion, Eater, Monday, 6 December 2010
  8. ^ A$AP Rocky and Bon Qui Qui Star in a Hilarious Alexander Wang Ad (Video)

External links

This page was last edited on 27 March 2024, at 05:29
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