Soak Test

Andy Warhol Collaborator Bob Colacello on Identity and Reinvention

A man standing outside.
Writer Bob Colacello. Photography by Philip Howard.

What are the key ingredients to a great career?

Andy always said, “Keep it fast, cheap, easy, and modern,” which is another way of saying, do what comes naturally to you. If you are trying too hard, you’ve probably taken a wrong turn.

Was there a time that you wanted to quit?

After working with Warhol for 13 years, I resigned as executive editor of Interview magazine in 1983. It was hard, because the Factory was like a family. But you can only stay close to a genius for so long before you start to lose any identity of your own. I’ve always heard that when you close one door, another one opens. Within a couple of months, Condé Nast relaunched Vanity Fair and I landed an exclusive writer’s contract that ran for 35 years.

How important is reinvention to you? How important is progress?

Reinvention only works if it’s authentic. Progress is a function of continuing curiosity.