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Andy Warhol is one of our biggest influences here at thirteen:fourteen. His art, his life and his view on the world give us endless amounts of inspiration.
So when we heard that Natasha Fraser - Cavassoni, who was the last ever person that Andy employed before his death, had written a new book all about her experiences with the main man, we knew we needed it in our life.

And we weren’t disappointed, the book is everything we hoped it would be and more.  We get to hear all about the Warhol era and Andy but we also get to learn more about Natasha and her really amazing life. Not only is she an author, she is also the former European editor of Harper's Bazaar and she used to assist Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, so there are glamorous stories galore.

This is a beautiful collection of words weaved together about one of the most talked about and mysterious times in recent history. We enjoyed the book so much that we spoke with Natasha to find out more about Andy and her life....

1.  What inspired you to write After Andy?
It was after seeing Warhol’s giant Mao at Chicago’s Art Institute.  The painting was such a shock – so present and so threatening - and suddenly my Andy memories flooded back that began in 1980 when I was sixteen.

2.  What is your favourite memory about Andy?
My favourite Andy memory is when he turned to me and said, ‘you should write a Mommie Dearest about your childhood.’ It was in 1984 and I was sitting next to him at a charity dinner in New York. Mommie Dearest – the first of its type - was the shocking memoir at the time. Andy did like to provoke!

3.  You stayed in New York for three years after Andy’s death, did the creative and art world in the city change after Andy was gone?
Manhattan did become a different place because Andy was one of those rare social figures who went out endlessly and could seamlessly swim between Uptown and Downtown. He remained significant because he worked 24/7. Andy’s Blue Collar dictum was ‘I’ve got to keep the lights on.’ He was also very helpful to young artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. Andy encouraged him to paint more and stop taking drugs. 

4.  The ‘Warhol era’ looked like such a special moment in history, there hasn’t been another artist or celebrity who has really captured a time or place quite like Andy did.  What do you think it was that made Andy so iconic?
Andy remains iconic because he was a remarkable and authentic talent as well as firing on every imaginable cylinder. Entrenched in social media before anyone else, he defined creative yet high profile by being photographed with his celebrity friends, publishing a hip monthly magazine as well as painting portraits of iconic figures and starring in his own TV programme for MTV.

5.  Interview was and is such an original magazine.  What was it like working for the publication?
It was a hotbed for the creative – I met the then unknown photographer David LaChapelle. Shelley Wanger - the new editor-in-chief – set the tone. She organised memorable covers with Sam Shepard, John Malkovich, Meryl Streep and Jodie Foster. Writing-wise, I did interviews with actors Patricia Arquette, Julie Delpy, Michelle Shocked as well as pen my own monthly column Anglofile that covered the NY social beat from 1988 - 1989.

6.  Being surrounded by the most legendary names and famous faces at Interview must have been inspiring, who was your favourite person you encountered there?
To be honest, I met more legendary names such as Halston, Debbie Harry and Basquiat at Warhol’s studio where I worked just before Interview magazine. (Both places were owned by the late artist and so they shared a building.) But at Interview, it was the actress and comedian Carrie Fisher. She was just so accessible and hysterically funny.

7.  It feels like Andy is still having such a profound effect on society with the rise of everyone documenting their day to day lives on social media and ordinary people becoming stars, like Andy pioneered. What do you think Andy would make of our selfie obsessed culture today?
I think he would be amused and filming it all. That was the next step in his career. Andy planned to return by making a movie of Slaves of New York, a book of short stories that he had just purchased.

8. And finally, thirteen:fourteen is all about empowering and inspiring each other.  Can you share with us who has been your biggest inspiration in life?
My mother – the writer Antonia Fraser – likes to tease that it’s Mick Jagger who I was romantically entwined with during the early 80s…Actually, it’s Karl Lagerfeld who, like Andy, has an extraordinary work ethic and generosity of spirit. I assisted Karl at the Chanel Studio from 1989 – 1991. During that period, it was all about Linda Evangelista and the other supermodels and Karl kept it exciting, fashion forward and relevant. Twenty-eight years on, he continues to do this. Karl keeps fashion fun.

After Andy – Adventures in Warhol Land by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni is published by Blue Rider Press, You can buy it here on Wordery.