Yesterday I had the opportunity to interview the fabulous Tim Gunn. I am not exaggerating when I say he was one of the most fascinating and kind people I have ever spoken with (and trust me, I am not quick to compliment.) If you don't believe me you can see for yourself: Tim will be hosting a fashion show at the Nordstrom’s in Washington Square this Saturday at 1 pm. Lucky Brand jeans will be walking the runway, and you may even get the chance to meet the man, the legend, himself (Tim Gunn, duh!).

So mark your calendars for Saturday the 12th at 1 pm, because you know how much we love to give you the opportunity to meet famous people.

MERCURY: I know I speak for all of Portland when I say we are so excited to have you in town. I personally am thrilled to be able to attend the fashion show next Saturday! As the Chief Creative Officer of Fifth & Pacific, you must attend a ton of these kind of shows. Can you talk a bit about what the show will be like? I know it's not quite just a classic runway show, correct?

TIM GUNN: Of course! This fashion show will be featuring Lucky Brand jeans, and the models are really just everyday people! The point is to highlight the great jeans and tee shirts, and offer tips on how to style with these items and make them more interesting, while staying classic. These fashion shows provide people with more information about the brand, while imparting to everyone that you should find your own personal style. What I want everyone to walk away with is the fact that however you want to dress, you should be able to! Embrace your own style! This may sound selfish, but I always come away from these shows feeling just wonderful!

Being a teacher was a very important part of your past, and your professional career. I’m sure your upcoming book,Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, will have some great advice for anyone in the fashion industry, but I'm just wondering if you have any words of wisdom for young people trying to break into the fashion business—especially for those of us living in a smaller city like Portland?

You know, Maya, you really have an advantage coming from smaller city, especially if you stay in Portland, because you can create a more profound impact early on. There really is more success in a city such as Portland rather than in New York. Making your way on your own in New York is much more difficult. Portland, even in the woodwork of the larger Northwest, holds such a highly educated and creative population. It doesn’t surprise me at all that there is such talent coming from Portland!

I’m sure you are aware that people in Portland are very earth friendly and conscious. I know you are very anti-fur, but where does this view stem from?

You’re right, I am extremely anti-fur, and have spent a lot of time working closely with PETA. Because Parsons is a high-end design school, the fashion department had a strong relationship with the fur trade association for years. When I became head of the fashion department, I was put in touch with PETA to exposed my students what is really going on in the fur industry. I wanted to inform them, and help make them aware so they could start to form their own opinions and make their own creative decisions. Fashion isn’t always about looking forward, you always have to be looking behind your shoulder.

Unfortunately, it’s time to wrap up, but I just have one last question: I was reading in your bio that you were a champion swimmer in high school! How did that come about?

Oh, yes! That is something that I am very proud of. When I was in school, we had to choose a sport, so naturally I chose swimming! And you know why? Because it was clean and you don’t sweat.

Oh Tim, you were even more fantastic than I could have imagined.