Fashionista Desk Side with Mickey Boardman: Paper's Editorial Director Takes Us Inside His Office, Leaves Us in Hysterics

Welcome back to our new column, Desk Side! Sorry, PRs, we stole your lingo and in this new feature we'll go to the desks of some of your favorite des
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Welcome back to our new column, Desk Side! Sorry, PRs, we stole your lingo and in this new feature we'll go to the desks of some of your favorite des
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Welcome back to our new column, Desk Side! Sorry, PRs, we stole your lingo and in this new feature we'll go to the desks of some of your favorite designers, editors, stylists and assorted industry insiders to see where the magic happens–and then share it with you!

For our second column (we gawked at Pamela Love's work space last time), we busted into Paper magazine's offices to document editorial director Mickey Boardman (aka Mr. Mickey) in his work surroundings. We laughed a lot. Mr. Mickey, in all his polo-shirt and necklace wearing, bon-mot tweeting awesomeness is one of the most beloved personalities in the fashion biz. Read on and you'll understand why. How long have you been at Paper and what's your favorite thing about your job? I've been at Paper for 20 years. How insane is that? I started as an intern in April of 1992. My favorite thing about my job is that I get to work on a magazine that I'm a big fan of. It's fun and rewarding to be involved in a product you believe in. Plus, I get to really be myself and mingle with Kim Kardashian, Marc Jacobs, socialites and gay porn stars. All my favorites!

What was your first-ever job? I worked in an aluminum siding factory in Elk Grove Village, Illinois the summer after freshman year in college. My mother hooked me up with the job. I later worked at the Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion factory in Tomoka Estates, Florida. So I'm a real working class cutie!

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You give great advice to people in your long-running column "Ask Mr. Mickey." What's the best advice you've ever received? It's cliche, but the best advice is to 'be yourself'. By the time you get to be my age (45), you realize that you can't change who you are and there's no use being unhappy about it, so you should just embrace it. The advice I always give is to be nice to everybody. Nobody likes an asshole, and someday your behavior comes back to you.

You're quite well known for your sense of style, particularly your signature bold neckware and Lacoste Polo shirts. Which is your most prized necklace and how many Polos do you own? I think I have about 60 Lacoste shirts. I have about 15 navy blue ones and frankly I would wear navy blue every day if I had my way. I love a uniform and I love American sportswear shapes like a polo shirt. Lacoste being French and a fashion classic is a nice bonus. I have hundreds of necklaces and my favorites these days are by Ranjana Khan. They were gifts from my friend Ikram Goldman and gifts are always my most treasured fashion possesions. I also have 3 or 4 Lanvin necklaces that are super spectacular and a lot of necklaces by Dana Lorenz for Fenton that really mean a lot to me.

Is there anything you would never be caught dead wearing? I'm a little bit lazy. In the old days I would wear sequins every day year round. I need to get back in that swing. But no matter how lazy I get, I don't think I could ever wear sweat pants or Crocs. Although I love a challenge and I'm sure I could make a cute look with those items.

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Lacoste Polos and necklaces aside, are you an avid collector of anything else? I noticed quite a few British Royalty themed items on your desk. I'm a big collector of all sorts of things. I do have a major collection of royalty collectibles. My focus is Queen Victoria, her children and grandchildren but really anything royal of the past 200 years is fair game. My latest craze is royalty busts. I've got some great ones. I also collect art that looks like food and am obsessed with felt food that I buy on Etsy. I also have a truckload of glassware by Georges Briard and some Fiestaware. I had a lot of Fenton art glass candy dishes that got broken when my wall unit collapsed. I don't like to talk about it.

Who created the amazing portrait painting that hangs above your desk? What's the story behind that? My best friend artist Scott Lifshutz painted it. He also did the portraits of Paper co-founders Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits that are in the lobby at Paper. He did a show of portraits years ago that my portrait was part of. Vogue ran a two-page spread of the portraits and that's the only time a photo of me has run in American Vogue (I've been mentioned in stories other times).

If we opened your desk drawers, what would we find? Your guess is a good as mine. I do know that one drawer is full of electronics--old phones, chargers, a Kindle someone gave me as a gift that I've never used. Otherwise I never open the drawers.

What can you never say no to? A cute boy or a sparkly fashion separate.

What's one song that's guaranteed to make you want to get up and dance? 212 by Azealia Banks or anything by Bananarama.

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If you were a rapper, what would your name be? Chunky D.

What's your motto? Life is a banquet.

All photos: Ashley Jahncke