Apple had only launched themselves into the world two years prior, so the very idea of desktop publishing wasn't quite a thing yet. But it was coming, and the writing was all over the screen. There was one little Apple in an extra cubicle at Korey Kay, and on occasion somebody might use it to set some type for an ad mock-up. Nobody really knew what to do with it, so the agency bullpen remained as traditional as it got. Now instead of my drawing table being in the laundry room, it was among the three in the back studio, complete with job file envelopes, the print production office, and the art supplies to do the mechanicals and comps for the ads and promotions the agency was billing tens of thousands for. I'd been doing mechanicals and pre-press print production since high school. The bullpen housed the Junior Art Directors who needed to pay their dues before being promoted to 'outside' the proverbial box and into the cubicle area - never mind an office. Offices were for the Creative Director, Head Copywriter, Account Managers, the Producer, and of course Allen and Lois. At Korey Kay, there was one other office that seemed to bridge the executive front ones and the creative back ones. This was the office of the agency's other VP Creative Director, Mr. John Klimo. John only worked, with Lois Korey, on the beauty and cosmetics accounts for the agency. Elle and Vogue were both their inspiration and their portfolio.
While the rest of the guys in the bullpen were wearing Mr. Bubble t-shirts and Doc Martins, I started from day one wearing a suit. No tie. After all, it was Lower Fifth. If you were to look into the bullpen, you'd think I had been put in a time-out, and it wasn't long before Allen called me into his office. Lois and John were there when Allen began to tell me that, "There are two types of Art Directors: the 'headline visual' type that do the traditional advertising design, the way you have been trained, and then there are the 'fashion beauty' Art Directors who work in more of a fantasy world." He went on to say, "There are few, if any, Art Directors who can do both - traditional and fashion. Going forward, you'll be John's Art Director, working only on his projects..." for Revlon’s Almay Cosmetics and Prestige Fragrances, which included Halston Perfumes. That marker rendering of an ad I had put in my book a year and a half earlier - it was one of John's.
I now had a cubicle, the one with the Apple, and a new teacher, life coach, mentor, and in many ways, father figure. John was easy to look up to, as he stood over six feet tall. He was long and lean, with white hair, tortoise shell, Polo, Lennon-style glasses. John only wore Ralph Lauren Purple Label pinstripe suits with suspenders, crisp cotton shirts from Barney's, hand-tied bowties, and Paul Stewart brown suede oxford shoes. In every shade. He smoked unfiltered Gitanes cigarettes, the blue box, a lot, and took his coffee with milk and two sugars - every morning with a jelly doughnut from Andrew's Diner downstairs from the office. On occasion, when feeling the need for inspiration, we would take a break and walk to Barney's on 17th Street and browse men's and women's fashion, as well as the fragrance and cosmetic department. When it came to my own wardrobe, John started by buying me socks, and was soon advising on my look for the role I was now playing as his personal assistant. It wasn't long before we were producing an ad campaign for Almay that required us to be on location at The Beverly Hills Hotel for a photo shoot with French fashion photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, Stephanie Seymour. It was my first time back in LA since graduating two years earlier, and it was business before pleasure, but this Cirkus had come to town.