We all know Mikhail Gherman is a fantastic ideas man – as a creative director at Publicis Mojo and Karen Walker he does some of the slickest advertising campaigns I’ve ever seen. (Including the KW Eyewear campaign to the right.) What I didn’t know though, was that he’s also a fantastic story teller. I managed to stop him for a few moments at the Karen Walker show on Friday night to hear a few tales. It went a little something like this:
Me: Have you managed to get to any shows?
Mikhail Gherman: It’s like being a chef. You spend so much time in the kitchen, you don’t wanna go and walk around the tables. You don’t go and check out the other restaurants unless someone’s coming out with some new crazy shit. If we were in Paris and we get an invite to Yves Saint Laurent we’ll go, but otherwise no. 15 years ago Karen and I used to go to Paris a lot. She was 23 and we were so excited. We had a friend who was a photographer for a lot of the Conde Nast publications and he used to have a big suitcase full of invites. He’d say I don’t want to go to those parties with these young girls. I knew their parents. Do you guys want the tickets? We were like kids in a candy shop (laughs)!
Me: Things must be so much busier having a baby now.
MG: Having a baby changes the way you design. The clothes are better. You don’t get to overlove everything because you don’t have the time anymore. And your first ideas are usually the best so you don’t overlove and lose track so your clothes are better.
Me: So will you have more children?
MG: I love being a dad. With Valentina she used to be so quiet travelling, she’d sleep the whole way. But now she’s all what’s this? What’s that? I think two (children) is good. After that, I don’t know how you’d do it (the business).
At that point Mikhail had to run off to talk to someone else, but a few minutes later I ran into him again. This time, he was with Simon Lock (both pictured above).
MG: You know this guy (Simon Lock) and Karen go way back. They’ve known each other for a very long time.
Me: Tell me about it!
MG: Well his agency was the one we were with whe we first went to New York.
Me: That’s Spin Agency right?
Simon Lock: Yeah we were in New York before we even knew what we were doing (laughs).
MG: And Simon had this guy Michael Bragg working for him in New York who really opened up all the doors for us there. Simon found Karen years ago.
SL: Yeah I found Karen, I got Nom*D from Dunedin, and Zambesi. And you know, this guy (Mikhail) is a genius. You know the greatest idea, the craziest show I’ve ever been to was when he decided to give everyone headphones so they were listening to their own music in their ears.
MG: Yeah and we recorded the show and somebody’s phone went off and someone in the audience said “turn that fucking thing off!” and since they had headphones on they thought they were being quiet but they were really loud. And people were bitching about each other and you could hear everything they were saying (laughs)!
SL: And the models were laughing they could hear themselves walking and the photographers were loving it.
MG: (Laughs) Yeah there was this Czech model who was walking down the runway and this one photographer was yelling at her, saying “You’re a real credit to your industry, love!”