Lena Dunham’s First-Ever Interview With Vogue Was in 1998
On the day her first Vogue cover hit newsstands, Lena Dunham premiered season three of Girls in London. Before going into the Cineworld Haymarket, Dunham posed for photos with co-stars Allison Williams (in Alexander McQueen) and Zosia Mamet, as well as guest-star Richard E Grant (Clifford from Spice World).
To coincide with the cover, Vogue re-released a 1998 interview British journalist Plum Sykes conducted with young Dunham and her school chum, Jemima Kirke (who plays Jessa in the HBO series). In the piece, Sykes revealed the expensive tastes of New York’s wealthiest children and their taste in fashion.
“I really like Jil Sander, but it’s so expensive,” an 11-year-old Dunham, who aspired to be a fashion designer at the time, told Sykes. “I find Calvin Klein really hard to respect because he’s everywhere. I view him as a clothesmonger . . . . Manolo is really classy.”
However, Dunham’s parents kept her honest by tightening the purse strings, thus making it impossible for her to join classmates at Bergdorf.
“But five dollars a week [i.e., her allowance] isn’t really enough. I’m just looking.”
Kirke’s mother, an interior designer, told Sykes that her daughters lectured her on name brands.
“My daughters tell me Prada is too expensive,” Lorraine Kirke said. “They say, ‘Would you have bought that if it wasn’t Prada, Mom?'”
My 11-year-old self can totally relate to the girls, except I’d need to swap out Prada and Jil Sander for Limited Too and Contempo Casuals.