Triad City Beat: I have to say, I enjoyed the book endlessly; frankly, I felt like much of it validated my own approach to style and fashion. For example, I can look across the room and see my madras jacket with a plum pocket square that my editors make fun of me for, and while I’d already told them, “F*** off; I like it,” it was refreshing to read those thoughts on paper.
Anyway, brass tacks.
Simple question: Why did you write this book?
Mark McNairy: For the money.
TCB: How involved were you in the book’s design process?
MMN: More than I wanted to be.
TCB: When did your “F*** Off” vision for counter-Ivy League/Supreme fashion start taking shape?
MMN: When people started to refer to my style as “Ivy.” I love elements of Ivy League style, but I am about as far from “Ivy League” as you can get. And I have the utmost respect for Supreme, but I really cannot comprehend why the f*** someone would stand in line for like forever buy a f***in’ T-shirt.
TCB: Some of your apparent style icons — Sinatra, McQueen, Bogart, Johnny Rotten, Cary Grant — are pictured in the book, but who are some others?
MMN: Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart.
TCB: Why Levi’s jeans?
MMN: ’Cause Wrangler blew it. And [Levi’s Vintage Clothing] is the s***.
TCB: Do you have thoughts on cologne?
MMN: Why yes, I do! The size of the industry proves just how f***ing stupid people are. With that said, I am working on a few fragrances myself.
TCB: You implore people to “Read a book, and I do not mean this one.” You clearly like Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. It’s TCB‘s books issue, so I can’t help but ask: Is it your favorite? What do you like about it?
MMN: Stand and deliver!
TCB: Do you align with Rand politically, or just with her concept of personal individualism?
MMN: I ain’t smart enough to really know what the f*** she talkin’ about.
TCB: What are some other favorite books/authors of yours?
MMN: I like this one a bunch:
TCB: Tell us about your life in Greensboro. Where’d you grow up? Where’d you go to school? What’d you do for fun? All that stuff.
MMN: I have not growed up. I went to Page High School. I threw up all over town.
TCB: In your book, you say you “learned more about history and life from listening to rock ‘n’ roll than [you] ever learned in school.” What did you listen to back then? Who do you listen to now?
MMN: Justin Beiber, Bruce Springsteen, Sturgill Simpson, Kanye, Miles Davis, Radiohead, Anderson East, Dylan LeBlanc, Eliot Sumner, REM, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Outlaws, Elvis Costello, Jonny Greenwood, the Del Lords.
TCB: Where did you get a start in fashion sales down here?
MMN: Started at Sports & Hobbies, a sporting goods store in Lawndale Shopping Center. Then Jess Grassi, a family friend, gave me a job as a road salesman, selling Ann Michele originals.
TCB: What was the catalyzing event that drew you up to New York?
MMN: My soul was already there, so I had to align my body with my spirit.
TCB: Why did you relocate to Los Angeles?
TCB: When was the last time you visited Greensboro? Do you miss anything about North Carolina?
TCB: Aside from, perhaps, “Get out while you still can,” what advice would you give a young Triad fashionista?
MMN: To vote. And get that f***in’ buffoon governor out of office.
TCB: Any additional comments?
MMN: Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.