“I was one of Geoffrey’s oddball friends,” said Paper magazine founder Kim Hastreiter on Monday evening at the Diane von Furstenberg store in the meatpacking district, where she sat behind a long desk signing copies of her new book, Geoffrey Beene: An American Fashion Rebel, for guests like Erin Fetherston, Yigal Azrouël and Narciso Rodriguez.
“He was a very fancy uptown designer showing at the Pierre when we first met, and I was like this ragged downtown artist with no money,” recalled Ms. Hastreiter. “I remember he invited me to one of his shows and sat me in the front row with all the rich ladies and I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ But he befriended me and I got to know him in this other way. He took me to lunch once, and I realized that he was actually a very offbeat guy. He loved downtown, he loved the kids.”
As gallerist Jeffrey Deitch came over to say hello to his old friend Ms. Hastreiter, the Transom intercepted him to ask whether he was nervous about turnout at the art fairs this year. But Mr. Deitch seemed quite excited for Art Basel Miami Beach in December. “We try to bring the spirit of the gallery down there; one year, we brought 65 people!” Mr. Deitch told the Transom. “We have a tradition of bringing bands with us, too, to perform at Miami Basel for the art community, and this year, we’re bringing my favorite band, the Gossip.”
Also standing in line to purchase a copy was designer Gilles Mendel. We wondered what the title of his biography would be.
“Mine would be Gilles Mendel: A French Man in New York,” he said. “Like An American in Paris, but I would be the French man in New York.”
And Ms. von Furstenberg’s?
“Diane von Furstenberg: An Inspiring Life!” said the designer. Ms. von Furstenberg informed the Transom that she will be departing for a big trip to Asia this month—opening a second Tokyo shop, putting on a show in Korea. Is the market in Asia still booming, in contrast to here?
“Nothing is really totally booming right now,” she said.