"We were going with the flow. The whole process was very organic," Dean told StyleList. "We didn't have a business plan or future goals. We were just doing what we did and calling the people that we liked and it worked.
In the ensuing 20, the magazine has spawned two spin-offs, V Magazine and VMan, and it's founders were awarded the first "Future of Fashion" award at the YMA's Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala, Tuesday evening at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
And even though they're older now, the trio still plays it loose. "We still don't know what's coming next. It's a mystery to us. We've got some fun issues in the works, but it's a very organic process how we work," Dean explained. "We're all about the young kids out there because they are the future. It's all about whose coming up next."
The event served as a celebration for the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund's awarding each of the 100 fashion students in attendance a $5,000 scholarship. In addition, eight students competed Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship in which they had to design the "Store of the future." Four of them walked away with $25,000 while the remaining four each received $10,000 for their efforts.
And the future of fashion seemed to be the theme of the evening. Hostess Mary Alice Stephenson drove the point home by first appearing on the stage in a bathrobe and Jimmy Choos.
"It's showing what life would be like if I could not find a dress," Stephenson explained to StyleList. "To stand in front of 1,000 people wearing just a bathrobe is a scary prospect for me, but I will do it to prove a point. I will do it for the art that the kids are going to make. Without the kids here tonight, there is no future."
Also honored were Manny Chirico, the chairman and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen and Jeff Kantor, the president of merchandising at Macys.com.