reed krakoff simon doonan parsons

Simon Doonan, left, and Reed Krakoff. Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images | Mike Coppola, Getty Images for IMG


Reed Krakoff
doesn't go to work.

"If you love what you do, you're never going to work a day in your life," the President and Executive Creative Director of Coach--and now his own namesake collection--told students at Parsons The New School for Design Monday evening. "I love what I do. I think that's mine and no one can take that from me. Loving what I do is a high point in my career."

Krakoff was joined by Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys New York, to speak as part of the school's Conversation series, which has featured such designers as Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui, Derek Lam, J. Crew's Jenna Lyons and Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai of Vena Cava.

Further, Krakoff admitted that he doesn't make traditional designer inspiration boards for each collection. Instead, he finds motivation in working. "I do the board after the collection," he said, generally only because a media outlet wants to photograph it.

Doonan originally saw the fashion world as a refuge. "I saw fashion as this transformative escape," he said. "I was fixated and mesmerized. I had to get a job and the most important thing was to have a job that would allow you to buy something to wear on Friday night." What a perfect fashion fit.

The evening was filled with bon mots and recollections from the duo, who have been friends since they served on a panel on Oprah to discuss dressing for every age, which Doonan dismisses as "obscenely silly. The older you get, the more insane you should dress," he added.

And the best advice of the evening? "You can never go wrong if you work hard," Krakoff said. "Always take on more."