21 Questions With Fashion Writer Lynn Yaeger

21 Questions With Fashion Writer Lynn Yaeger

Photo-Illustration: Curbed; Photo: Courtesy of Ana Martins Communications

New York’s “21 Questions” is back with an eye on creative New Yorkers. Lynn Yaeger is a fashion writer for Vogue, Town & Country, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Mickey Boardman, of the live Instagram show The Mickey & Lynn Show every Friday at 6 p.m.

Name: Lynn Yaeger
Neighborhood: West Village
Occupation: Writer

What’s hanging above your couch? 
There’s a window sill, and on it right now there is a rag doll, three monkeys, a Donald Duck, a bear, a dog, and another bear.

What’s the first job you had in New York?
Oh my God, I got fired from so many jobs. The very first one might have been the college bookstore I got fired from, or it might have been Saks Fifth Avenue during Christmas vacation.

What color are you always drawn to?
Sadly, in terms of fashion, I feel like it is always black, although I try hard not to just stick to black.

What art or artifact are you most surprised you own?
I am surprised I own all of this crap. I own three Volland Raggedy Ann dolls, which are the original Raggedy Anns that were made after the book came out in 1918. They are very rare, and I thought I would never have one, and I have three.

Which New Yorker would you want to hang out with?
Patti Smith. I am very intimidated when I see Patti in the neighborhood. I have never gone up to her, and sometimes when I am clothes shopping, I think, Would Patti Smith wear this? Now the truth is I don’t have anything Patti Smith would ever wear, and yet to me, Patti Smith is the most iconically fabulous New Yorker; it’s embarrassing, but I kind of idolize Patti Smith.
What’s the last thing you made with your hands?
I can’t make anything with my hands. Maybe I tried to repair a vintage slip or something, but it looks like a 4-year-old sewed it.

Is there one thing you own multiple versions of?
That is hilarious. Well, if you consider 400 toy monkeys, 111 bears, and 1,300 rag dolls. There are multiples, yeah.

What New York City museum do you always go back to? 
I never go to museums. If forced with a gun to my head, I will go to the gift shop or the restaurant. I don’t like to look at things I can’t have.

What do you always have next to your computer?
There’s a pitcher with three little pigs on it and a wolf handle along with a little doll-hat stand from the 1920s, two porcelain elves, and, oh, a Mickey Mouse tea set that I bought in Vienna a couple of weeks ago, which I don’t feel is shown off to its best advantage right now.

Where is the best view of the city?
For me, it’s from a plane; I think it’s when the plane is going south and it goes over the whole city and you can practically see your building, and sometimes the buildings have the number of the building on the roof — to me, that is unbelievable.

What building or object do you want to redesign every time you see it?
There are probably a lot of them. I sort of hate that blue glass thing by Astor Place. I think that wavy blue thing is not like, “Welcome to the East Village.” I am also not thrilled with this new residential building between 12th and 13th on University Place, where the bowling alley used to be, but I wouldn’t want to redesign it; I just want it to go away. 

What’s one thing you would change about your field?
Well, I wish the fashion world wasn’t so hierarchical, but everybody seems to think that is changing. I also think everybody should get paid more.

If you could live anywhere in New York City, where would it be?
I guess in a hotel — the Pierre. Very bohemian, right? A big room with all the toys. Or, in terms of location, I always had a fantasy of being on the water, directly on the Hudson.

What would you hoard if it stopped being produced?
None of this shit that I have has been produced in a hundred years, okay? And I’m hoarding all of it. I’m hoarding everything here; it’s the museum of the past.

What do you do to get out of a creative rut?
I probably walk around stores, which is what I do anyway. You know, take a nice store break.
Where was your first NYC apartment, and how much was the rent?
The first one I had by myself was on East 9th Street between First and Second Avenue, and I think it was $135 a month, and I think my salary was $115 a week, so it was a bit of a stretch.

Where in the city do you go to be alone?
During the pandemic, I would walk over to the Christopher Street Piers.

Worst piece of career advice you’ve ever gotten
Probably “Try to look normal.” “Maybe you should tone it down?” “Maybe it’s a bit outré; maybe it’s affecting your employment possibilities?”

What have you given away to someone that you wish you could get back?Everything, and this is really a problem for me; I can’t stand to give it to a friend because if they wear it, then I just want to snatch it back. Even if I put it on the Real Real, I can’t even look at the page because then I want it back. It makes it really hard if you have too many things. It’s really a dilemma about everything.

What’s your favorite NYC restaurant and regular order?
I am not a big restaurant person; I am a thing person. I go to Bar Six a lot because they know me, and it’s down the block, and it’s easy, and I probably get a burger .

Descriptive phrase you want on your obit headline?
I was just joking with Mr. Mickey Boardman about this. Now what was it that I said? Oh, I said it should be “It was disappointing.”