>When I got an email from Robin Smith with the subject line “Someone we both love,” I thought, oh God, I really cannot handle another death right now. But I perked right up when I opened it and saw that rather than an obituary, it was a link to a New York Times article about My Secret Boyfriend.
But I’ve decided to promote Tim Gunn from Secret Boyfriend to Middle-Aged Role Model because he’s an example of how someone can make a big career shift in the autumn of one’s life, moving from the academic slog of deaning to the high-stakes glamor of brand management. Of course, he had a television show to help him do it, whereas I only have you, dear readers. On the other hand, I have a boyfriend, so ha ha ha ha ha ha Mr.-I’m-So-Alone-Gunn.
Wouldn’t that be a great job, though? I mean in publishing? Gunn’s new job at Liz Claiborne is to “to bring a sense of excitement about fashion to a corporate culture known for blandness and to effect a change in the perception of its brands, from outdated to fashionable.” The difference in publishing–a considerable one, I think–is that it’s a business where fashionable has become what it’s all about, so my job would be instead to get them to straighten up and fly right. To paraphrase Paul Hazard, give them books, give them wings. Let Tim Gunn be the fashion spinmeister; I’ll go out and prove you don’t have to stick fleurchons all over a book to make kids like it.