<p><span></span>Back in June, <strong>Malcolm Harris</strong> who designs under the name of Mal Sirrah hung up on Angelina Jolie, TWICE. He thought the call was a prank and not the pouty lipped actress who was just trying to order a One-Dress. We sat down recently with Malcolm to get the skinny on the phone call and the frock Angelina ordered that can be worn multiple ways. </p>
First lets get the 800lb Gorilla out of the room. You hung up on Angelina Jolie. You must be sick of telling this story-but do tell again: Okay short story made even shorter... (laughing)... I was surprised to hear a woman's voice on the other end of the telephone saying, "Hello, may I speak to Malcolm Harris? This is Angelina Jolie." So of course, I naturally assumed this was a friend perpetrating a prank as it is known to all of my closest friends that I beyond admire Angelina Jolie, particularly for her humanitarian achievements. But unfortunately, it took two more telephone calls and a well placed publicist before I was convinced it was the real Angelina. When we finally spoke, Angelina not only ordered three of our newly launched One-Dress wraps but she promised to stay in touch regarding our combined efforts on behalf of the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency). However, once the media got a hold of this story (thanks to the aforementioned "well placed publicist" no doubt), the incident was quickly dubbed "the hang-up heard across the globe..." as well as "The One-Dress Angelina Jolie Really Wanted"... How embarrassing... Personally, I have dubbed it "The debacle turned miracle."
Amen to that. You call your company Mal Sirrah, where does the name come from? Does it have any meaning? The name Mal Sirrah is a pseudonym and represents my own self-reflection and journey. The first name Mal is short for Malcolm and the last name "Sirrah" is actually my given/sir name "Harris" spelled in reverse or the way it would read if viewed through a mirror. I truly do believe that all the answers we seek are found in the face staring back at us in the mirror we call life.
Tell us about your UN project: I am honored and humbled to have been working with the good-folks at the United Nations since the inception of my charitable organization Designers for Darfur in 2006. It is through my desire to raise awareness to pressing world issues through the common thread that is known as "fashion" that I continue to partner with the United Nations on various initiatives targeted to end poverty and genocide across the globe. It's amazing what can be achieved by a slogan on a t-shirt or a call to action by an army of women in a One-Dress.
We love the One-Dress, it is a genius idea. Not only can this dress be worn multiple ways for a completely different look each time you slip it on, but a portion of the profits go to charity. How did this idea evolve? To be quite honest, I have equated the One-Dress movement to a simple recipe: 1 cup - Ms. Celie's One Size Fits All Pants from Oprah Winfrey's "The Color Purple", 2 cups - Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, 1 cup - Diane Von Furstenberg's Wrap Dress , 2 Tablespoons - One Campaign to End World Hunger and Poverty.
What do you find inspiring? I am mostly inspired by the human condition. Therefore, I'm always inspired to find ways to resolve conflict in fashion or to find solutions to make a woman's life less complicated.
What is the most treasured item in your closet? My Hermes beach blanket. Even if I don't get to use it on the beach as I often as I would like, I can always look at it and find myself instantly transported to some exotic remote island - away from it all...
Do you have any fashion heroes? Yves Saint Laurent and Ossie Clark. True visionaries. As a designer I strived to achieve the rigid tailoring of YSL and the carefree draping and whimsy of Ossie Clark.
What is your favorite fashion time period? The Youth Quake - The 60's were a very adventurous and rebellious time in fashion. This was truly the period of incredible innovation in textiles, design and production. It was the birth of what we now know as ready-to-wear (the true beginning to the great democratization of fashion). J'adore the 60's!!!
What do you think will be the must have item for every women this Fall? Let me think... Ummm.... The One-Dress of course... Yes the One-Dress accessorized by a beautiful piece of jewelry from the Amrita Singh collection.
We LOVE Amrita Singh at ideeli! Famous last words? With great personal luxury comes greater social responsibility.
Pictured above: Joi and Paige from ideeli wearing the same One Dress but wrapped differently. Pictured below: Paige getting wrapped by the designer Malcolm Harris.
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