Simon Doonan’s Fashion Week Survival Kit Includes Diet Pepsi

Simon Doonan, the creative ambassador-at-large of Barneys, has too much creativity running through his veins to just sit still. Which is why the first time he saw the new Diet Pepsi Skinny Can, he knew immediately had to make a shoe out of it. A really, really big shoe.

Doonan consulted on the new can, a taller, slimmer update on the iconic 12 oz vessel. It’s is being introduced on Friday at the Diet Pepsi Style Studio in SoHo, where Doonan’s shoe — and other pieces of pieces of fashion interpreted through the great medium of Diet Pepsi cans — will be on display.

“The can is so gorgeous. When you have millions of them together, they look really sensational,” he told us over the phone. “The look is sort of very futuristic and glamorous.”

Doonan said he’s not worried about people misinterpreting the new skinny can as a suggestion that they need to get in shape, too.

“You have to remember we’re not applying the word to a person in a judgmental way. This is an adjective that is now ubiquitous in our culture. Skinny jeans, skinny lattes,” he said. “All the young girls I know are so confident and so into fashion, they really aren’t intimidated by words. They can handle it.”

But what they might not be able to handle is the stress of New York Fashion Week, the most important — and the most overproduced — event in the industry. We asked Doonan, who’s made the rounds at fashion week a few times before, about how he gets through it all.

“The way to manage to the craziness of fashion week is to remind oneself that this is not like doing a tour in Afghanistan,” he said. “We’re not curing cancer here. It’s a glorified, glamorous trade show. So don’t get it twisted, as Tyra Banks would say.”

Even though Lincoln Center is a far cry from a warzone, it can be mentally and physically draining, so Doonan advocates carrying healthy snacks packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.

“You know what’s great? Dried apricots,” he said. “Three dried apricots have as much iron in them as a bit of steak. So organic dried apricots from Whole Foods are great. You might be a little bit gassy, but at least you’ll have plenty of iron in your system.”

“You need healthy things,” he added, “and then you can indulge in a little Diet Pepsi without feeling like you’ve undermined your health.”

Doonan’s minions setting up the Diet Pepsi Style Studio.

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