Frontline Whisperer! Where Mario Abad gets all his fashion tea


If you’re not following @MarioAbad, Paper’s fashion editor, do yourself a favor and hit the blue button. Abad and his routinely hilarious Instagram Stories are noted for their hilarity and honesty when it comes to dissecting the who-what-why of the fashion world. Keeping a finger on the pulse of an industry that never, ever seems to take a mental health day or PTO isn’t easy—so we were eager to learn where he gets his tips. Pull up a chair…

You are always on the beat! Where do you get your spoons?
I hide a lot on TheFashionSpot. Those forums are full of fashion media spoons. I check Twitter 20 times an hour because, god forbid, I’m late for some important fashion news! In real life, the best tea happens over drinks with colleagues, fellow editors, publicist friends and designers.

What do your DMs look like? Do people send you tips/gossip?
People will mostly forward me fashion stuff asking for my thoughts and opinions, but every now and then someone will randomly spill something interesting. I knew Linda/British Vogue The September cover was happening long ago thanks to a tip. I don’t repost many of them—I’m not trying to be DeuxMoi!—but it’s nice to have a little insider knowledge.

What has been your favorite juicy thing this year?
That beloved female designer who was supposed to launch her own brand this year? It doesn’t happen. Allegedly for a very serious reason…which I will never share publicly!

The most unexpected fashion scoop of the year?
It is thought to have been quite lukewarm compared to last year. The Yeezy Gap x Balenciaga news was pretty big. I am very curious to see what Maximilian Davis does at Ferragamo.

You are one of the few who aren’t afraid to challenge traditional brands/PR when breaking news. Why is she?
I guess I still feel quite removed from the industry, even though I technically work in it. Actually, I think a better word would be me participate in it, but I’m not so entrenched in the system where I feel trustworthy to anyone. For example, I’m not part of that group of media elites who travel the world for Cruise shows, so I’m able to observe from a distance in a way. Although some fancy PRs seem to like what I do!

We do too. Do you really drink tea? If so, how do you get it?
No! Not even coffee!

Who is your favorite person to sit next to at NYFW or at a fashion dinner?
In the show, Tyler McCall, Ana Colón, Mickey Boardman. At dinner: Kevin Ponce, Ty Gaskins and YOU. For the international circuit, hands down Chido Obasi! He always makes me laugh and always drinks tea.

What do you think is the hardest/biggest thing in the industry?
Maybe cheating with all those relationships. I’m a natural people pleaser so it’s hard to say no without feeling like I’m letting someone down. Also some brands pay me dust no matter what I do or how hard I try to build something.

What did you like this NYFW?
Peter Do’s show, my friend Marcelo Gaia’s runway debut for Mirror Palais and Elena Velez.

What got you into the relentless NYFW schedule this season?
The desire to see and be seen.

What’s your favorite fashion party cocktail?
Anything pink and in a martini glass.

Do you think fashion parties are more fun?
I’m much more selective with holidays these days, as I learned as my first season will show how staying out all night is detrimental to getting any work done. I prefer dinners to parties. Saks always throws the best parties, and Bergdorf Goodman.

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