You Say Cafe Au LaitPart of: NYC
August 26, 2003 –“ WELL-known for his obsession with muted hues (mostly white), Calvin Klein's color concerns spilled over to his company. He dictated that only white calla lilies could be placed in its reception areas and only white orchids could adorn personal spaces. Offenders got Post-It notes reminding them to remove the imperfect posies. Former Post reporter Lisa Marsh exposes these idiosyncracies [idiosyncrasies]and more in "The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy and a Business Obsession," which hits stores this week. Our fave is Calvin's coffee standard. To ensure he'd get just the right mix of coffee and milk, he kept a Pantone color swatch on the kitchen wall so that whoever was making it would get the ratio right. Marsh will be signing books at BookHampton in East Hampton this Saturday from 5:30 p.m.” PageSix
Tiffany speaks: I don’t read PageSix every day or even every week, but what I have read of late has been boring. It’s not juicy gossip revealing that Calvin Klein insists on all white flowers—this isn’t unusual. In fact, I find it cliché. I would never mention this sort of detail in a story. It seems very 1980’s to be so matchy. (I’m sure it was something that a character in “Dynasty” did.)
PageSix’s ‘fave’ is Klein’s way of ensuring he gets his coffee the way he likes it. It’s much better than sending someone back multiple times to get his coffee the right mixture. I’m sure he’s saved many assistants and interns from crying by keeping that Pantone color swatch on the kitchen wall.
One of my favorite coffee houses in New York City (on Carmine, east of Bleeker St.) has a large picture at the counter with different shades of coffee with milk. I thought this was a brilliant idea. This coffee house, The Gray Dog, reminds me of a shop in Boulder, Colorado. It’s the opposite of a chi-chi coffee place. I believe the famed coffee café, Olives (in Soho) may do this as well. Klein most assuredly didn’t come up with this.