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FEBRUARY 11–12, 2017

Sally Singer Jane Pratt Steven Klein Stellene Volandes Laura Brown Marc Ecko Michele Promaulayko JOHN MALKOVICH

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CAT MARNELL WEIGHS IN ON vous!

MEDIA moves!


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SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS UP 75%*

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UNIQUES UP 64%*

*Year over year **Among competitive set ***Women’s fashion edit †12–24 Competitive Set: Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, Glamour, People, StyleWatch, InStyle. SOURCES: MediaRadar Jan–Dec 2016; Fall 2016 MRI; AAM June 2016; Sharablee, November 2016; comScore Multiplatform: December 2015–December 2016.

CAR AND DRIVER | COSMOPOLITAN | COUNTRY LIVING | DR. OZ THE GOOD LIFE | ELLE | ELLE DECOR | ESQUIRE | FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING | HARPER’S BAZAAR | HGTV MAGAZINE | HOUSE BEAUTIFUL | MARIE CLAIRE | O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE | POPULAR MECHANICS REDBOOK | ROAD & TRACK | SEVENTEEN | TOWN & COUNTRY | VERANDA | WOMAN’S DAY | ICROSSING | PLUS 25 DIGITAL BUSINESSES AND GROWING

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CHICMoments SCENE

Marielle Hadid, Sammy Aflalo, and Alana Hadid

Caroline Vreeland and Shea Marie

In a nod to venice beach, the affair included flame throwers and a drum circle.

Kris Jenner

Lady Gaga

Presley and Kaia Gerber

Fergie

SEEN

Tommy TAKES CALI!

After receiving a bouquet of yellow roses, gigi hadid was spotted jumping into the back of lady gaga’s white rolls-royce.

Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid combined L.A. scenesters, imported fashion editors, a pop-up carnival, and some seriously fun clothes in a see-now, buy-now TommyxGigi extravaganza that made Venice Beach the hottest place to get a head start on NYFW.

Dylan Jagger Lee and Brandon Thomas Lee

Bella Hadid

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Jasmine Sanders and Dee Ocleppo


CHICMoments

Clara McGregor

THE DAILY X LIFEWTR TAKE KOLA HOUSE!

Mia Kang

On Thursday night, The Daily and LIFEWTR took over Kola House for an NYFW kickoff party that was truly one for the ages. More than 500 chicsters, undeterred by the snow, joined together to celebrate fashion’s most inspired. From Clara McGregor to Rainey Qualley, emerging talents loomed large, and as guests let loose and danced to music from the Misshapes, the consensus was clear: Fashion Week, you’d better bring it.

Robyn Lawley

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ryAN LIU Nadja Bender

Jason Woodside

Hopper Penn and Dylan Penn

“Normally I work out, chill, grocery shop, see my friends, go to a museum” —Nadja Bender, on her DAILY activities

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Nicholas Elliott and friends


“I’m really into the new XX. Not all of it can be played out, but it’s a nice album to listen to with my baby.” —Leigh Lezark

Dr. Mike Niamh Adkins

GIVE GOOD GIFT! With Ty Hunter

Tell us about your creative pursuits! I had a moment where I was painting, and I have canvas and paint now. I was so good that I sketched a picture of my friend, and he was in awe. I still got it, but I have to get back to that space. Beyoncé basically broke the Internet when she announced she was having twins. How did you hear the news? The same way you guys did! I was in awe. We communicate, but finding out like everyone else was a beautiful thing. I hit her up right away and told her I was so happy to be an uncle. It’s such great news. Does Beyoncé ever ask you fashion advice for Blue Ivy? No, and she does a great job. Blue is so smart and amazing. Do you have any ideas of what you’re going to get the twins when they’re born? If I tell you, it’s going to ruin it! Does that mean Beyoncé reads us? Whenever I say something about her to you guys or whomever, it goes all over the place. [Laughs] Plus, I don’t know if it’s two boys, two girls, one boy, or one girl. I need to get more information on that before I buy a gift.

Tucker Gurley

Ty Hunter

“I did a gallery show back in 2015. It was called ‘Visible Man.’ It was 10 huge paintings of me that were in the Driscoll Babbock galleries next to Andy Warhol paintings.” —Shaun Ross

Sophie Sumner

Francisco “Chico” Lachowski

Avie Acosta Cindy Bruna

Shaun Ross

Mark Tevis and Brad Jakeman

Twan Kuijper, Eric Rutherford, and Garrett Neff

Daymond John and Olga Osminkina-Jones

SPECIAL THANKS To those who fueled the party: Tito’s Pop! Champagne Kim Crawford Jose Cuervo Peroni

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OVERHEARD AT MR. CHOW…

“I have to say, I’m having a lot less sex since Trump became president.”

Ellie Goulding Di Mondo

—A GORGEOUS GENT, discussing his Grindr habits

amfar gala Amber Valetta

SCENE

Naomi Campbell

Donatella Versace

Diane Kruger

“I’m very honored to be here tonight. amfAR is an amazing organization.

The Daily Wonders… What comes to mind when you hear the words “Donatella Versace?”

—donatella versace

Zoë Kravitz

Maye Musk: “The forefront of exciting fashion.”

Madison Beer

Kenneth Cole: “If I tell you, you have to promise that you don-a-tella! Not sure what the translation of Donatella is, but she just has this extraordinary energy and presence about her, and she’s resilient and perseverant. To see what she’s done with that family masthead and taking it to a whole other place is very impressive.” Andreja PejiC: “Rich! [Laughs] And timeless sex appeal. And the Amalfi Coast, and pin-straight hair down to the waist. And a fierce runway walk!”

Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson

PROMOTION

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FASHION’S MOST INSPIRED!

With Thaddeus O’Neil, who co-hosted The Daily x Lifewtr party

What inspires you most on the design front these days? This last collection was very baroque disco punk meets (NASA) Voyager Golden Record. Design for me is always a big thought experiment. The most exciting thing for me is to witness how these uncanny and offhand things come together in a collection with a sense of necessity and logic. You’re a serious surfer. What’s your favorite destination? I’m walking out the door as soon as I finish these questions to catch the incoming tide at Rockaway. I grew up surfing Long Island, and when it’s good, it’s as good as almost anywhere in the world. What are you thirsty for? Life. The sea and nature. My family. My friends. Words. And as beings of water, we should protect and honor and steward all the sources and cycles of water. Water is life.

SHOE OF THE DAILY We’re over the rainbow for Stuart Weitzman’s Swiftkeel sandals, which pair a Lucite block heel—a SW signature—with a ruched vamp. Wide ankle-wrap straps crafted from sumptuous suede in a contrasting hue lend a color-blocked effect. Wear with fluid culottes or an accordion midi skirt. $445, stuartweitzman.com

g ett y i ma g e s ( 1 4 ) ; s h u tter s toc k ( 5 ) ; a l l other s co u rte s y

Brrrr! NYFW got off to a snowy start thanks to 14 inches of frozen moisture from Mother Nature. Good thing Net-a-porter offers same-day delivery on Sorels. • But before the whiteout, amFAR gathered the chic set for its annual Fashion Week New York gala at Cipriani Wall Street, which honored Donatella Versace and Scarlett Johansson and featured a spirited performance by Ellie Goulding.


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Introducing LIFEWTR. Inspiration on the outside. Hydration on the inside. Discover our Series 1 artists at LIFEWTR.COM


Brandusa Niro

Editor in Chief, CEO

“Today was pretty tough considering I’m wearing a silk spaghetti-strap dress and pumps. But for the sake of fashion, I kept them on.”—Olivia Culpo at Thakoon. • “Everybody! It’s going to be a great week.”—Anna Wintour, on what she’s looking forward to this season, at Brock. • Everyone was buzzing about the looks at La Perla, which showed its inaugural NYFW ready-to-wear show on every top model from Naomi and Lindsey to Sasha and Kendall. The casting? Sublime. The front row? Stocked with Gwyneth Paltrow. The clothes? Can’t wait to hear Cathy Horyn’s take...

MEMORY LANE!

RETOUCHED BY AN ANGEL! What if Alexander Wang and

With J.Crew’s Somsack Sikhounmuong

Raf Simons switched looks?

Edie Parker, $695

Giuseppe Zanotti, $340

#pretty influential Look We Love! Loving the party style of Erin and Sara Foster, who are talking fashion (and more!) in their daily NYFW show, “Pretty Influential"? Get the look—and watch the show at THEOUTNET.COM.

Erin and Sara Foster at The Daily x LIFEWTR party

Moschino, $124

Congrats on your fourth season! What were you like at age 4? I was a terror at home and an angel in public. My mom was constantly in my wake with a sponge and a bottle of Mr. Clean, scrubbing doodles of ball gowns and ponies off our walls. What’s the scoop on your Fall collection? It’s never one thing, but a big pot of a lot of things, as usual—Balmoral, camo, twins, teams and clans, coronations and balls, Meryl and Robert in Deer Hunter, old school mixed with new school. Top five favorite people in fashion? Iris Apfel, Jenna Lyons, Linda Evangelista, Queen Elizabeth II, and Miss Piggy. Among Somsack them all, they hold 99 percent Sikhounmuong of the world’s supply of style!

ALL ABOUT THE 360 EXPERIENCE!

With Sam Dolnick, associate editor, “The New York Times”

What’s your role at the Times? For all the new stuff that the Times is doing, I’m often running around trying to figure out what that is, and how to be Times-ian while still being really innovative in new Still from 59 Rescues, by Ismail Ferdous, platforms. Part of what’s great about these projects is that Veda Shastri, and Kaitlyn Mullin each of them is really powered by the entire newsroom. How does The Daily 360 video channel work, operationally? We published our first VR film in November 2015, when we distributed a million Google cardboards to our subscribers. The technology is moving so quickly that six months later, it was an utterly new landscape. There were now these relatively inexpensive, consumer-grade cameras that could produce high-quality 360 video. Sam Dolnick Now, when a journalist goes out on an assignment, we can give them a little 360 camera to shoot 360 footage for us. Our 360 producers are constantly talking with every editor about which stories are in motion, and which ones would be good candidates for 360. When 360 can take you somewhere that you cannot go on your own, it feels like magic. Some of the most successful videos were shot inside a Donald Trump rally, for instance—a lot of people haven’t experienced that, and during the campaign, and even afterward, you could feel the experience of those rallies in a way that you couldn’t in another medium. Do you have a sense of how many Samsung Gear 360 cameras are at work on a given day? We’ve got close to 200 in our pool, and they’re deployed all over the globe. Bureaus around the world—Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris, Nairobi—all have 360 cameras, and we have a pool of them here in our New York headquarters that we distribute to journalists as they go out on assignment. FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

Mark Tevis Publisher

Executive Sales Director Stephen Savage Account Manager Cristina Graham Director of Marketing & Special Events Alex Dickerson Digital Director Daniel Chivu Publishing Manager Carey Cassidy Manufacturing Operations Michael Esposito, Amy Taylor

getty images the official photo agency of The daily front row

The Daily Front Row is a Daily Front Row Inc. publication. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Requests for reprints must be submitted in writing to: The Daily, Attn: Tangie Silva, 250 West 57th Street, Ste. 301, New York, NY 10107.

On the cover: Photo collage by The Daily Front Row. All photos by Getty Images.

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heard

LA PERLA

Deputy Editor Eddie Roche Executive Editor Ashley Baker Managing Editor Tangie Silva Design Director Jill Serra Wilde Fashion Editor Paige Reddinger Senior Editor Kristen Heinzinger Associate Editor Sydney Sadick Art Director Magdalena Long Designer Sean Talbot Contributing Photo Editor Hannah Turner-Harts Contributing Photographer Giorgio Niro Contributing Copy Editor Joseph Manghise Imaging Specialists RJ Hamilton, George Maier


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©2017 Maybelline LLC.


runwayReport

ADeAM Gothic Lolita! Hanako Maeda is at her best when infusing elements of Japanese culture into contemporary silhouettes; and for Fall ’17, she interpreted Harajuku through a ’90s lens. Platform Mary Janes, ring chokers, and dramatically proportioned sleeves are nothing especially new, but Maeda’s twists and tweaks ensure that novelty is always achieved. Dark romance came courtesy of a mash-up of pearls, silks, and lace, while crisp shirtdresses and fur-trimmed outerwear will appeal to clients who’ve had enough of the sweetness. To celebrate her brand’s fifth year, Maeda ended the show with a bang: Japanese artist Shishido Kavka performed a set on the drums to hammer home this designer’s powerful attitude.

Laura Vassar and Kris Brock already have a few solid hits on their hands, and they’re wise to remain loyal to the brand’s DNA. Especially successful? Romantic floralprint dresses with puff sleeves and deliciously lush mink coats that tie, trenchlike, at the waist. (They look best worn with jeans, BTW.) A short version of the mink coat is stunning but steep, and will cost the profoundly deep-pocketed among us something like $13K. Don’t be fooled by Brock’s casual elegance—these are serious clothes indeed. The accolades—and client base— are well-deserved.

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BEAUTY TREND alert!

EDWARDIAN ROMANCE

By Benjamin Puckey for MAYBELLINE NEW YORK

getty images (11); shutterstock (1)

Brock Collection


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©2017 Maybe be elline LLC.


runwayReport

ADAM SELMAN Adam Selman’s inspo trio? Mariel and Margaux Hemingway at Studio 54, a reverential tome titled American Denim, and classic spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Moving on: The general vibe was cool-girl party attire for savvy twentysomethings who rarely venture above Houston. The highlights were rose-embroidered denim jumpsuits, sexy knee-high stockings paired with flirty chiffon dresses, and a slouchy peachy pink suit paired with sneakers and a graphic tee. Coif-wise, it was all about the slightly askew topknot. But it wouldn’t be a Selman show without a little costuming, so floral and net veils made a few (unnecessary) appearances.

Thanks for the brief break from the ’90s, chérie. In her first runway show, Ulla Johnson looked to the disco decade for a little escapism from these tumultuous times. The most obvious reference was a deep-V metallic number that is destined for dinner at Bea. But Johnson remains known and loved for her knits, and true to form, she offered up a striped coat you’ll live in, along with ample cozy sweaters. The structured outerwear, especially a sumptuous shearling, left us wishing this had been delivered before the (ultimately ephemeral) blizzard. Still, we’re willing to wait.

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ULlA JOHNSON


NICOLEMILLER.COM

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@NICOLEMILLERNYC


basicsInstinct

getty into the groove She may be a former model (and wife of actor Balthazar), but Rosetta Getty is happiest these days behind the scenes at the helm of her eponymous label—known for its sculptural modern lines and chic fan base. And the lady has earned her success: She launched three years ago after two decades of designing, two former labels, and (count ’em) four little Getty children. By paige reddinger Photography by chuck grant When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer? As a very young girl, I always expressed myself through the way I dressed. I talked my neighbor into teaching me how to sew in exchange for taking care of her little kids. I was always drawn to clothes, and I would lose myself in that world of creativity. Do you remember the first piece you ever made? I’m pretty sure it was a pair of fuchsia spandex tights with a matching leotard and wrap skirt. I have a childhood photo in the getup with a side ponytail. You started modeling at 15. What was it like being thrown into the business at that age? It was such a shock to my world in so many different ways. Looking back on it, I think, “Oh, my God, what were these grown-ups thinking?” I remember arriving in Paris and my agent handing me some addresses and telling me to go meet people. It was sink or swim. Tell us about your very first show. It was this huge Trocadero show in Paris, and it was the biggest production, thousands of people. You were shot by Bruce Weber in Azzedine Alaïa’s first book. What was that like? Well, I first worked with Bruce on some other projects. I worked with that group a lot, and they’re just the greatest, down-to-earth and loving and creative. I haven’t spent so much time with Azzedine, but he’s such an incredible designer and visionary. It’s just a pleasure to even be in the same room. When did you start to dip into design? It was sort of an accident. I’m an introvert, and it

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COURTESY

became clear at a certain point that I didn’t want to be the center of attention. Also, my focus on design had developed while living in these fashion capitals. I ended up helping a friend with a wedding, and we were looking for flower girl dresses, which at the time were these huge poufy polyester things. We just wanted something simple in nice fabrics. So I ended up making a dress called the 107 that sort of led this moment in children’s wear. There happened to be someone at the wedding who was in the industry and she said, “I have to have this.” Two years later, we were shipping to 350 stores across the country. That’s so fast. Well, we learned everything the very, very hard way. Nevertheless, we ended up becoming a rather large company very quickly. But I decided I wanted to get married and have kids, and so about nine years into it, I licensed it out. For me, having children wasn’t very simple. I had some issues so I wasn’t able to also work, which was why I licensed it out. Eventually, you started a label called Riser Goodwyn. Why did you decide to get back into the business? I was always making clothes anyway. My friends were always asking me to make things, and I already had a small team in place, so I was in the position to take it a step further. What I learned from that experience is that without an infrastructure, fulfilling the demand is not possible. Here in Los Angeles at the time, the level of sewing just wasn’t enough to fill the demand for the product. Once 2008 hit and I got pregnant for a fourth time, I decided I really wanted to do it right and set it up as a global brand. So I started planning, raising money, setting up global production, and putting an incredible team together and doing all those things that I knew would be necessary in order to take a luxury brand into a global distribution position. It took a few years to set it all up, but thank God I did because there’s always a thousand problems anyway, so if you don’t have the basic foundation, it’s not possible. From the beginning, did you know the aesthetic you wanted? I knew. It was very clear to me what the DNA of the brand was going to be: minimal, elegant, luxury, eccentric, and a bit tomboy. As an entrepreneur and busy mom, what are the wardrobe essentials that make your life work? Everything needs to look and feel easy in the construction and the fabrication. But even though it’s easy, you should be able to see it walking down the street and know that it’s not Zara. It should come across as thoughtfully designed. Things need to travel and move from day into night; they shouldn’t be specific to occasion. In this day and age, we need versatility. You are often inspired by art. Who was inspiring you this season? I’ve been following this artist for a long time, and we’ve gotten to know each other over the past two years: Her name is Alicja Kwade. She’s moving into mid-career and showing in the best galleries. I have been speaking with her about ways to collaborate and can’t wait to reveal the final installation. It’s really exciting, and I think it feels very modern. I want the concepts to be as creative as the clothes. How has social media affected your brand? I think it’s affected everything. It’s affected the whole world, the way everyone sees everything. It’s even affecting the way kids are growing up and interacting with their peers. But as far as actually reaching my customers, I think it’s so great because you have

“It’s minimal, elegant, luxury, eccentric, and a bit tomboy.... this day and age, we need versatility.”

wearable art Slices of skin, draping done right: three looks from Getty’s pre-Fall presentation.

an intimate way to really talk to them directly. Who was the first retailer to pick up your label? Our first season we were picked up by Ikram, Susan, A’maree’s, Forty Five Ten, DNA, and Montaigne Market. We had a really nice reception. Net-a-Porter came in the second season, but really strong and really fast. We have a great relationship with them. Now we are pretty set with our stockists. We’ve got everyone that we were looking to have. Where do you make your clothes? Between New York and Italy for the most part. All our fabrics, except for a few coming out of Japan, are from Europe. We’re looking for the best. What’s up next? In the next five years, we’ll continue to grow our wholesale business. In a few years, we’ll probably roll out some kind of retail concept. But it won’t be an old-

fashioned traditional retail concept. It will be online, but with some kind of component that lives. You’ve walked the runways, you live in L.A., and your last name is Getty. Has all that made it easier for you, or harder? I anticipated backlash, so the way I presented the brand reflected that. It’s not only having a last name that has a lot of connotations attached; it’s just a tough crowd. So I was careful to let everyone know that I actually have been in this business for more than 20 years and I have definitely paid my dues, and that this is really who I am and what I do. I’m not just having a weird passion and throwing a bunch of money toward it. Some backlash may have existed for a second, but I think people really understood once they saw the care and contemplation that went into the collections. And once they saw the clothes. ß

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actingOut

CREATING JOHN MALKOVICH The celebrated actor has made almost 100 films, with another five coming out in 2017 alone. In his spare time? He’s also a designer. His eponymous label (his third line, by the way) debuted this year, and he plans to take it global. Proof he’s serious: He bought a Super Bowl ad! By PAIGE Reddinger This is your third foray into fashion, after Uncle Kimono and Technobohemian. How is your eponymous label different? Well, each time the design changes, but my general point of view about things doesn’t change so profoundly. The big difference is now we’ll be online. Did you feel there was a gap in the market for menswear? I don’t really follow enough what other people are doing. Trends don’t really interest me very much. I do the things that I find interesting. In your short film for the brand on the website, you make fun of the reaction your friends had to the line. Was that art mimicking life? Not really, no. Let’s call that dramatic license. A number of my friends wear things that I’ve designed over the years. I’ve had a lot of positive responses. I’m sure there are people who go, “What are you doing?” But not from friends of mine. You debuted a commercial for your line during the Super Bowl. Was your domain name really already taken? Oh, yeah, it wasn’t a joke at all. In fact, I have a couple of court cases [about it]. Someone took it in France and used it for a clothing line. You know, the French aren’t very industrious about ascertaining whom the domain names should be given out to. You studied some costume design at school. Is that where you learned to sketch? I took costuming classes, but my degree was in

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theater. Really, I learned the same way I learn everything, which is by doing. We hear you collect fabrics. Generally, I don’t think most designers do it personally. They have people do it for them. Some lines can certainly afford to have exclusive fabrics that they design. Of course, I can’t really afford that because I don’t do big amounts. But twice a year, I go to Première Vision outside of Paris to collect fabric. Do you have any rare pieces you will never use? Many. Most of those are North African, especially Moroccan, but also some Syrian, some Pakistani, some Persian or Turkish, Ottoman or Uzbeki. I had a very nice one that I had sent to Puerto Rico for a TV series I was working on. I had bought about 13 meters of the fabric in Lake Como at a company called Canepa. It was quite fancy, so it was something I probably wouldn’t wear to have it made into a costume. But in the end, we couldn’t find the right thing for it, and it was pretty heavy, and Puerto Rico is 50 billion degrees. I ended up leaving it in the closet of the house we had rented. Where are you making the clothing for your new label? All around. We did my first label in Japan and the second one in Italy. But we’re doing this in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy, and we may start doing some in Poland, which I hope to visit. There is a town there that has worked in that industry for years called Lodz. In Italy, it was hard because we produced such small quantities that it was too chaotic.

Do you have the same partners as on your previous labels? No, each time I’ve had different partners. For my first label it was a young Italian guy, Francesco Rulli, who worked for a fabric company called Fedora. My second partner, Riccardo Rami, was also Italian and worked out of Prato, which has some terrific fabric makers. My current partners, Liliana and Francesco Ferri, are French. The Webster in Miami is one of your main stockists. Are you friends with Laure HériardDubreuil? Yes, she’s a friend and I like her very much. I love her store. She’s one of the few retailers who really got the line. There’s also a very good shop in Amsterdam that carries us called Margriet Nannings. I hope other stores will catch on. But I’ve also felt it was critical that we have an online presence, which I never did before. Without an online presence, it’s very difficult for me to judge whether or not this can work commercially. I never really tried very hard to make it work commercially in the past. And that wasn’t out of any particular snobbiness…not that I’m not snobby. I did 23 or 24 collections without any presence on the Internet, and that was stupid. Squarespace has done a great job with our movie, the site, the commercials, and the release of it. If for whatever reason it doesn’t fly in the next year or two as an actual business, then that’s okay. Businesses fail all the time.


“trends don’t really interest me very much. I do the things that I find interesting.”

TECH TALK

courtesy

Squarespace’s chief creative officer David Lee fills us in on why he decided to collaborate with Malkovich.

Have you learned anything about your clientele? Not yet. Someone wrote to me the other day—a professional hockey player in Montreal that I had met—and he said, “You know what pisses me off about you?” And I said, “I have no idea, probably lots of stuff.” He said, “I love your clothes, but I can’t buy them anywhere.” He found out he can have them delivered in Maine, and he drives there to go pick them up. I’m hoping to get set up [globally] quickly and simply. If you had the time to explore another creative outlet, what would it be? I’ve been meeting with architects to solve various issues at our house, and I like furniture, tiles, and all those kind of things. I wish I had more time to draw or paint, but I don’t know that I’ll ever have that kind of time. Right after the fabric fair, I start rehearsals for a new opera/theater hybrid. I work a lot in classical music, which I’ve done for years. I’ve done various things, from writing and adapting things to directing or acting in them. I go on with my little life, doing my little things, but it’s a pretty busy life, all in all. ß

How did you team up with John? I first met John when we collaborated on playinglynch.com. We got into a casual chat about his desire to launch a menswear collection under his own name. At first, I was surprised, until I realized that John’s journey was the same kind of career transition we’ve seen in so many of our Squarespace customers. His background in costume design, theater, and acting all came together in a cohesive, unique vision for his collection. For him, this business wasn’t just a side project—it was the next stage of his career. This presented the opportunity for us to co-design a beautiful e-commerce template to bring John’s vision to life and launch his collection, and is now something anyone could use as a starting point for their own online store. How does that work? We turned the design into a collaborative template called Jaunt, which is now available to all Squarespace customers as a starting point for their own passion. What’s surprised you most about John’s vision? I had the opportunity of going through his early sketches, fabrics, and textiles. It was amazing to see how he draws insights from his travels and his time on set as he lives vicariously through other characters. He uses all this inspiration to inform his vision for the fashion line. If you’re getting a piece from his collection, you’re getting a small story from his life.

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


digitalFirst

As Vogue’s digital creative director, Sally Singer has spearheaded the creation of a vibrant, provocative online home for the most iconic brand in fashion media. From captivating runway content to saucy first-person essays about politics, the boudoir, and more, vogue.com is expanding the brand’s universe for audiences all over the world. From her office at 1WTC, Singer explains the vision. BY ASHLEY BAKER

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

Vogue.com’s subject matter seems to be more millennial-focused and broader that what we see in the magazine. How do you explain the audience? Well, we know that a significant portion of our audience is digital-only, but it doesn’t skew younger than the print, in any way. It’s just a different door into the world of Vogue. I don’t think of online as more millennial, I think of it as an absolute essential amplification of what Vogue does. I’ve always seen Vogue, in its print form, as covering the arts and politics and culture and sociology, and being as well the magazine of record for fashion in English. Online, we cover all those same verticals, but to the tune of 70 to 110 posts a day. How is your staff integrated with the print team? Everyone is helping out on everything; digital writers are now writing for the print magazine, and the print editors also write for digital. That’s not the case at some publishing companies. What are the primary advantages of Vogue’s approach? Vogue is not strictly a journalistic project. Vogue is a massive cultural institution that does lots of different things in the world. It does no one any good to be siloed. I can’t imagine what that would be like. Everything Vogue does has to be nuanced and exquisite and thoughtful about the world. It doesn’t always have to be beautiful, because the world isn’t always beautiful, but it has to be thoughtful. It’s interesting to see the gutsy side of Vogue’s personality play itself out a bit more online— your sex coverage, your political coverage… what excites you about that? Karley Sciortino was probably the first online columnist that we hired when I came back [to Vogue after a two-year stint editing The New York Times Style Magazine]. Karley is a cool girl: She’s smart and funny, and her column might start with a very cheeky headline: “Would you sleep with a Republican?” I think was one recently. But she’s essentially asking a deeper question: How important are your worldview and ethics in your sex life? Her entry point is humor, and that humor is right for the digital age, I think, without ever crossing any sort of line. We don’t aggregate, and we’re not following other people’s newsfeeds— we’re in tune with the rhythm of the Internet and the discussions that are going on, but we’re not beholden to them. There are points we don’t have to make, and if we’re going to bother to say something, we better have something to say. I value original reporting. In October, we had people covering Standing Rock for nearly two weeks. We have credibility in that argument, because we sent a team of three people there to report when not a lot of reporters were there. But that’s very Vogue—American Vogue has a history of trying to be where things are happening. Joan Didion wrote for American Vogue, Lee Miller covered the war…. We’re living in an unprecedented time, politically speaking. How are you approaching it? We’re approaching it as it unfolds. We sent teams to both the Democratic and Republican conventions. We covered the inauguration and the [Women’s] March with probably an equal number of posts.

singer: cass bird

RIDE, SALLY, RIDE!


Every day and every hour, we watch and write what feels right in that moment. It’s very intuitive; it’s always respectful. There’s no sarcasm or cheap humor. There’s not a place for that in Vogue. But obviously, there are issues that we firmly believe in and that we’ve been there for, like the Dakota Access Pipeline and issues around reproductive rights. We’ve been very, very strong on issues around gun control, even before the nightclub shooting in Orlando. Our staff stands by their principles and their ideals. What’s the visual strategy? I’ve always liked very in-your-face pictures, where people speak right to the camera and can be themselves. Fashion should empower you to be smarter and clearer. How does it allow you to get dressed in the morning so that instead of thinking about what you’re wearing, you’re thinking about the world? You’re not worrying if you got it right, because you know that you got it right. I’ve always liked images of fashion in its least precious aspects; in non-picture pictures. That’s actually the history of American Vogue as done by Anna Wintour. Her first cover was Michaela Bercu in the street. It’s always been about, how can fashion costume a life that’s much bigger than fashion? It’s much more culturally, politically, and sociologically concerned. On the website and social streams, we have the ability to really play that up, because we can allow people to be themselves and speak their minds and show off their world without a lot of intervention or artifice. Have show reviews become less important? No. Integrating style.com into vogue.com was substantial, because style.com reviewed a vast number of shows, and we had to think about how much of that we were going to continue. As the publication of record for fashion in English, it was important for Vogue to retain the scale and depth of that coverage. As fashion has become more a part of mainstream culture, the ability to have a point of view or an edit on it is even more important. What’s clickbait in the vogue.com universe? I hope nothing. I think of clickbait as something that promises a headline and doesn’t deliver. Everything should deliver. What are the most popular types of stories? People endlessly love celebrity style and beauty, and they love access to a very extended world of style setters. And it doesn’t have to be women—when Tyler, The Creator has launched things or talked about his line with us, it’s been huge.

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“everything vogue does has to be nuanced and exquisite and thoughtful about the world.” Vogue.com has done some really interesting offline experiences, like bringing Pat McGrath and her gold makeup to a park in Paris. I’m really interested in how events in the real world— we call them “actual reality”—can be magical to those who are there, as well as magical online and in social media. How do you make something that’s kind of extraordinary, tell that story in every possible way, and then let the world tell it back to you? From a business perspective, it’s difficult to monetize digital properties and social media. How do you see that evolving? I see it evolving as everyone else sees it evolving. Everyone is just watching and waiting and seeing. And hoping! Reading behaviors are changing, content behaviors are changing. That’s the great challenge of the Internet—how do you get people to understand that great content is worth something? Ask musicians, ask filmmakers—literally, ask anyone in the arts right now. This is the problem the Interweb has not solved. Well, The New York Times gives us reason to hope. Yeah, it does. But with a vast investment to get those results. They’ve done it well, for a long time. Can you give us a sense how the site has grown under your leadership? A lot. There have been two things that have happened that have probably shifted the numbers: One, we redesigned the site in the first year or so that I was here. When it was built, it was very much like a beautiful digital representation of the print edition. We built a site that was much more about UX and UI capabilities and the flow for the reader. And then

things to discuss! Some of vogue.com’s irresistible headlines…

“Which Sex and the City woman Are You When It Comes to Your Lingerie?”

adding Vogue Runway certainly grew our global authority. When I started [in this role], I don’t even know if we had 300 followers on Instagram. It’s been a huge platform shift and partnership for us. How is Vogue celebrating its 125th anniversary? We’re starting the celebration of it with the March issue; there are a large number of special collaborations and initiatives. They tend to be things that have a lasting value and grow into larger things; they should move Vogue forward. Some involve philanthropy and women of accomplishment. There is now a rose named Vogue. Digitally, we have an incredible archive that we play with all the time to illustrate our stories. We have much more happening with it this year, from mini videos to looking back at our cover girls and having designers talk about their first fashion moments. Magazine-affiliated websites aside, what are some of your favorite digital brands or destinations? Well, in my house, it’s going to end up being FreshDirect. I spend most of my time ordering groceries for my three sons, who eat everything in sight. I probably could not live without FreshDirect, which is terrible but true. Although they should diminish their packaging. Other than FreshDirect, I do get the Times in print and online and I read The Guardian online. I like live music, so BrooklynVegan is pretty important when I’m looking for tickets for upcoming shows. What’s the best show you’ve seen lately? So many. Immediately everything I didn’t like has come to mind. Seu Jorge’s show at Town Hall was extraordinary—he did the David Bowie covers that were in The Life Aquatic. Do you still ride your bike to work? Yeah. How’s the commute? It’s fine. It’s along the West Side Highway; it suits, it’s a bike path. I mean, I could gripe about it, but it’s much better than riding up Eighth Avenue. The Sally Singer on Instagram is decidedly not you. Do you have a secret account? No. Why is that? Because I feel like I have so many social media accounts here, I don’t need to have social media for myself. I have no social media accounts at all, secret or nonsecret. I don’t need to construct myself online. This is what I do. ß

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her Turn

BRinging Sexy Back When the role of editor in chief of Cosmo opened up last year, the gig went to its onetime executive editor Michele Promaulayko, who had spent nearly a decade at the title. She welcomed us into her cushy office at Hearst to dish on all her plans—and the proper way to pronounce her last name. Take notes! BY EDDIE ROCHE PHOTOGRAPHY BY SASHA ISRAEL After spending so many years with the brand, how does it feel to be elevated to EIC? I never completely allowed myself to think I’d be sitting in this chair. It’s only been occupied by four other people. When I think about it in those terms it blows my mind, so it’s a dream come true. I feel super grateful. It’s great, it’s incredible, it’s fun, it’s challenging, I could go on and on with the adjectives. I’m still pinching myself. How has the magazine changed since you were last there? It’s evolved, as all long-standing brands need to do. The world’s evolved. The audience has become more fragmented and that means that Cosmo needs to be expanded onto a lot of different platforms, so that’s one thing that’s changed. It’s more inclusive. Young women are more sexually fluid today and Cosmo acknowledges that. We also champion body-type diversity and acceptance. FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

What does Cosmo look like under your direction? It’s still taking shape. The April issue will be the first one that I’ll have planned in its entirety. Cosmo has been influential in every incarnation under every editor, and each has brought her own strengths and perspectives to it. My ambition is to make it the best Cosmo for right now and to make sure that we continue to drive the important conversations that impact young women today, such as reproductive freedom and equal pay. Cosmo is the obvious authority when it comes to relationships, but it’s also a beauty and fashion powerhouse. Another one of my ambitious is to elevate guys who are deserving of elevation. It’s easy to point out bad behavior—and it exists—but we’re not about pitting the sexes against each other. I also want to revive some of the tasteful humor, cleverness, and irreverence Cosmo is known for, while maintaining its sophistication. We could all stand to laugh more these days.

Are you bringing the sexy back? Cosmo is known as the relationship bible, so that’s an inherent part of its DNA. The sex Q&A has existed the whole way through, but one of Cosmo’s great strengths is its ability to have those kinds of frank conversations with readers. So, absolutely. I always say that Cosmopolitan is unapologetically sexy. How did you first start at the magazine? When I first came, I was a deputy editor and within a year I was promoted to executive editor. I had just turned 30. So in hindsight I feel like I was pretty young. So young. And green for that job. But Kate White, who was the editor at the time, didn’t think about age. She didn’t think about sort of appropriateness at that level. She just looked at the work, and we had a great working relationship, so she elevated me. She gave me that incredible opportunity and it changed my life. I call


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being the executive editor of Cosmo editor-in-chief boot camp. Kate is a legend. What did you learn from her? How much time do you have? Kate taught me to go with your “informed gut”—meaning, do research, but also tune in to your intuition. Also, to edit to one reader, if you can; to try to find the intersection of the universal and the specific. Another thing she impressed upon me was how important it is to build in time to think about the big picture for the magazine because it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. What is she up to these days? She’s on the speaking circuit, still writing novels, and built a house in Uruguay. As one does. As one does! She’s got her place in Pennsylvania, she’s got her place in Manhattan, and her place in Uruguay. When it’s cold here, it’s warm in South America, so she did it right. She thought that one through. You began the job with reality cameras on you for the E! So Cosmo show. It is not an exaggeration to say that I was miked my first hour on the job. What was that like? It was intense and not entirely natural, but I wasn’t miked the whole time because the show is really centered on the young fashion-and-beauty editors here for the most part. I think I’ll have a peripheral role, and they absolutely wanted to show the transition of power and the kind of handing off of the baton as the editor in chief. And Joanna [Coles] is an executive producer of the show; she’s a big part of it. It took up a lot of time, because they have to film a lot to get a little. I did have the balance of participating in the show and getting to know the people outside of that. But they were here every day for weeks. People were conscious of their presence. Any trepidation about appearing on television? It’s different than doing the Today show, right? I’ve done Today and Good Morning America and Doctor Oz and all these shows that you go on as a magazine editor talking about an article that you’ve done. I’m comfortable doing that; this is different than that. So, there was trepidation in that it’s new. But more than that, I don’t know how they’re going to edit it. So the thing you always fear with a quote unquote reality show, and, by the way, they call it a “docu-series.” Noted! I’m responsible for what comes out of my mouth. What they do with those words in post, who knows! I feel like I’m in good hands. I’m an Aries, I’m a boss, I like to have control. This process definitely taught me to surrender. I had to go with the flow. It’s a great opportunity for the brand. Presumably they asked the staff, “What do you think of the new boss?” on your first day? Oh, they definitely did! It’s safe to say that’s going to be part of the story line. I can’t tell you what the responses were. I’ll find out when everyone else finds out. But they should do a post interview because now they know me really well. Thoughts on former editor Joanna Coles? She’s a force. Although I report to David Carey, she’s the chief content officer, so I’m sure we’re going to be collaborating on things, and she’s definitely cultivating and fostering more collaboration across brands. It’s a good thing. What’s your all-time favorite Cosmo cover line? They are too many to choose. The ones that stand out are the over-the-top funny ones from the past, such as “What to Do With an Iffy Stiffy.” It still makes me laugh out loud. I can’t believe what we got away with!

“I’m an aries, I’m a boss, i like to have controL. this process definitely taught me to surrendEr. i had to go with the flow.” You are also editorial director at Seventeen magazine. How do you manage both responsibilities? I spend about 70 percent of my time on Cosmo. It’s helmed in large part by its terrific executive editor, Joey Bartolomeo. Seventeen is now in a decreased publishing frequency, so it’s five times a year plus prom. You gotta have prom! Do you think having the word “prom” in your last name helped you get the job? [Laughs] It probably didn’t hurt. And my social handle is MichProm, so…. It’s so fun when we’re doing the prom issue, because the entire fashion closet was a sea of prom dresses. They have changed so much! I haven’t looked at a prom dress in, you know, 20-plus years, and they are much more stylish now. There’s like crop tops with a skirt! They’re all these different incarnations that are super stylish! What was your prom dress like? Looking back it was hideous. I went to the prom twice. One moment was a very big puffy-sleeved, like royal blue, big Talbots number of some sort, and I had crazy big hair. And then another one was more of a Madonna-esque moment. It was lace, like kind of mini-skirt lace. I’m pretty sure I had fingerless pink lace gloves and some pearls. I’m not going to surface any evidence of those. That was going to be my next question. They’re in a storage unit, somewhere. What were you like as a 17-year-old? I was very well rounded because I was on the soccer team. I was on student council, but yet I hung out with a lot of partyers. And my boyfriend was kind of a burnout. So I’d like to say I was very well rounded. How do you pronounce your last name? They pronounce it in all sorts of ways. So, if you take the U out, it’s phonetic. That U really trips people up. So it’s Prom-ah-lay-koh. People like to add letters sometimes. Like they’ll add an N, and I’ll be like, “There’s 11 letters, there’s no need to add in there.” What are you like as a boss? I find that such a hard question to answer. It feels like it’s for other people to answer, and maybe I should be taking a poll to find out. I hope I’m approachable. I’m very direct. I try to be a clear communicator. I don’t dance around things; I just tell you what I want. I hope I provide some kind of inspiration. I like to have fun too, so I hope I’m seen as a fun boss. You seem like you would be. I hope so! I mean, if we’re not going to have fun, then what’s the point? Final question, do you know how to make a cosmopolitan drink? I don’t! Just Cosmo, the magazine. I know how to make one of those. ß

SEX SELLS From confrontational headlines to inyour-face photographs, Cosmo has a long, rich tradition as newsstand gold.

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


INCrowd

As the newly minted editrix of InStyle, lovely Aussie Laura Brown claims to spend her day “skipping on rainbows.” As she readies the release of her March issue, Brown joins us here on Earth long enough to talk digital, advertisers, and her colony of cool-girl new hires. By Eddie Roche Photography by sasha israel

Congratulations on the job, darling. How did it all come about? Thank you! Well, Ariel [Foxman] resigned, as you know, and gloriously swanned off, which I thought was fabulous for him. There was a little phone call—a little flirtation, I guess? You know, standard-issue meetings. I met with a lot of people here. And I did my ideas memo. What’s that process like? Basically me sitting in my pajamas for a whole day at home and trying to work out how to put pictures into Apple Pages. [They knew] I could put a magazine together, obviously, but it’s the social media and digital stuff that they’re also super keen on, so that was very key. I could do the whole pie. Eat the whole FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

pie! [Laughs] What was it like leaving Bazaar? Hard. I mean, Glenda [Bailey] and I are really close. We were all off away—I was in Boston on the way to Maine, she was on vacation, so I had to ring her, and I was sick about it. But she was just brilliant. Right away she said, “Congratulations, you deserve this! You’ve really earned it.” She gets really proud of her staffers who have gone on to be editors in chief. I think I’m No. 14. One more Glenda question: What did you learn from her? Tenacity. Tenacity! I call Glenda “Tenacious G.” I had to explain to her who Tenacious D was, and she went, “Oh, I like that.” Which was freakin’ brilliant. Ha! You do a good Glenda impression. Yeah, I do! You know? A very fond Glenda impression. I learned from her to push, push, dream bigger, make something greater. Don’t settle for magazine fodder. You know, go out, speak up, be straightforward. So, InStyle. March is looking great. Yes! I’m going to make myself a cardboard tiara. Just worn about town. Why did you go with Emily Ratajkowski on the cover? I love Emily. What I’m doing at InStyle is making fashion and celebrity more allied, and she’s this hybrid vehicle. A celebrity, a model, and an actress.

Also, we collaborated with Virgil Abloh for this T-shirt, which says “In” on the front and “Style” on the back. Those are the two most powerful words in fashion, and they’re our name. It’s been really touching, all the people who have shown up for InStyle, for the March issue, and for me. Such as? Michelle Dockery, who I’ve known for a long time. She hasn’t done any magazine press for a while, because sadly, she lost her fiancé. I went over and did her shoot and wrote the story with her. I turned up at the opening of a damn door. If they’d turn up for me, I’d turn up for them. And Christy Turlington and Pia Paolo—I am proud to say that I introduced them. Lena [Dunham] was the first person to commit to writing a piece for me, just to annoy people, basically. Hari Nef has also written a great piece. During the election, there was a lot of stuff online like, “You can’t put up fashion right now!” And Hari’s argument is that fashion helps us in whatever way it does­—you can still have a voice in the political cycle and like Gucci. The Contributors pages are a spread. Fiftythree people! I like to treat models like actual people, and it’s amazing how responsive they’ve been. We’re getting really big girls because they’re, “Oh, yeah— you appreciate that I have something to say.” I’m like, “Yeah...’cause you do!” And it’s been really cool to see the excitement of the staff. Anybody that does

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WIZARD OF OZ


something really great gets a clip-on koala. A clip-on koala? [Goes into koala stash in drawer] You can have one! Which color do you want? The red one. For whatever it’s worth, it means a lot to me. They may be like, “Oh, God, I’ve got another f**king koala!” But anyway, I have more koalas than a Sydney airport, and I think I’ll get more. I’m going to litter this office with koalas. Make that the bloody pull quote! You’re hilarious. Are you going to be bringing

more humor into InStyle? Yes! With funny essays or funny concepts for shoots. I’ll do more art stuff, and I’ll do some more really high-concept stuff, too. But you know, it’s also making this friendly and accessible and fun. But also, the other part of my humor stuff is obviously video. That sort of shtick I really enjoy. Is it hard to be a funny, accessible boss? That’s a good question. Yes and no. I will be funny and accessible, and if we all do our work and do our work well, we can skip on rainbows all day, have a glass of wine, go home to our loved ones, and start all over again. I hope people like me and think I’m fun but respect me and want to work hard because I empower them. Tell us about your new hires. Sarah Cristobal, for starters. My lovely Sarah! She’s got equally a features brain and a fashion brain. She’s taking a bit of the load off me. She’s executive features director. It’s so funny— you run out of titles. It’s like one of those fridge magnet things, you know? I tried to hire [site director] Ruthie Friedlander after three days of being here. I was like, “I’m fixing the Internet.” She’s brilliant; she was my intern like 10 years ago. We call her the baby genius. That felt like doing eight hires in one. Jessie Heymen was, again, an intern of mine; she was formerly at vogue.com. She’s going to get a lot more writers on the site. And Faye Penn, by this time, is an executive editor. And she’s like an amazing producer, line editor, grown-up. She was my boss for a hot second at the New York Post. I love her. Leigh Belz Ray, my features director...I just have this great core of people. I joke to the girls that I’m building a colony of cool ladies. What is your digital plan? We are redesigning the site. There will be a big hero image at the start, and you’ll be able to navigate it. It’s going to go top to bottom, as opposed to before, where there were all these boxes [arranged] like a buffet. My favorite new thing that we’re doing is

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU Brown’s vision for InStyle relies on clean visuals, grabby cover lines, and intriguing yet approachable subject matter.

“i’m going to litter this office with koalas. make that the bloody pull quote!” called “Who Won Fashion Today,” because fashion is clearly about winning. We’ll really push that out. And like, if it’s Alexa Chung, we’ll tell Alexa. She’ll be like, “Wow!” or not, who cares? I think it’s funny—you may be at home with a headache, but you won fashion today! There’s a ton of original video. Ruthie’s doing that, along with advertising collaborations and native. And if they’re having an ideas meeting for digital, I’m like, “Go get the features department from the magazine.” I don’t care where the idea comes from as long as it’s good. Cool. What’s your relationship like with your publisher, Kevin Martinez? Great! I call him my work husband. I call him Kevy. I call him Kramer, too, because he comes racing through my door, and I’m like, “Right on, Kramer.” We talk 15 times a day. We worked together at Bazaar, years ago. I’m thrilled Céline and Valentino turned up in the March issue. People who have never been in the magazine before, like Bottega… a ton of people! Are you cool with going on advertising meetings? Yeah, of course. I like to meet people that I work with. I can’t work in a vacuum. I like to show people what we’re doing. I always say I’m the dog and the pony and the performing seal. What else are you really proud of? StyleIn. It was literally InStyle backward. It’s not done yet; it’s like the younger little mini-mag we’re working on. That’s my baby. She’s lovely! I want to do that as often as I can. This will potentially be sponsorable; I just wanted to do one to show that we could. DVF is now interviewing people. Diane herself? Yep. On occasion. And there’s Joan Juliet Buck. Why do you think Australians are so successful in fashion? It sounds pat, but I think we’re happy to be here. There’s an optimism, I guess—friendliness, a lack of cynicism, originality. We packed our bags and moved here to a big strange place that we all thought was very glamorous and exciting, our Oz. And somebody employed us, and we proved ourselves. I never contrived anything. I never sat down and wrote a list. I just would turn up to places that I was interested in, or work in places that I wanted to go to. Totally. Well, thank you for the koala. We will treasure it. Please put it on your computer or something. It will really make you happy. ß FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


forever Sassy

JANE SAYS Ever since she was named launch editor of Sassy at age 24, Jane Pratt has been entertaining and provoking young women in a way that few, if any, of her peers have mastered. Now, she finds herself a free agent after exiting Time Inc. in December, where the fate of her latest launches, XOJane and XOVain, remain in question. Just because she’s required to remain mum on that particular front doesn’t mean we’re not going to grill her about everything else! BY ASHLEY BAKER It’s been ages since we last caught up. What is it like for the coolest expert on teenage girls to be the mother of a teenage girl? She doesn’t think I’m the coolest, but I feel really lucky that I somehow managed to be the mom who gets to sit in the school cafeteria and have breakfast with all these teenage girls every day. They tell me what’s going on in their lives, and it’s kind of amazing—I don’t know how I got granted that amazing access, but they welcome me. Back when I was doing Sassy, people would always say to me, “Oh, you would feel differently if you were the parent of a teenage daughter—you wouldn’t want to be seeing them getting this information.” It’s easy to become a hypocrite, but the truth is, I would be thrilled for my daughter to be reading something that had all the honest information Sassy had in it. By the way, I went to the dentist for something else but I ended up having my teeth whitened, which means I can’t drink coffee for three days. I feel lousy, and my FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


p r at t: p h oto g r a p h e d b y j a k e r o s e n t h a l ; c o u r t e s y

brain is not functioning, so if we don’t get good stuff out of this, just promise me that we can reconvene. I’ll take you to Stumptown and put 65 cups of Hair Bender in you, and we’ll be all good. Stumptown! My fave. So the question on everyone’s mind: XOJane and XOVain had strong, super-engaged millennial audiences. Great traffic. So basically exactly the kinds of things that we’d all expect to be really successful on the Internet. Why didn’t they work? It’s an interim period right now, and I won’t go too much into what’s happening with it. But I definitely feel like there is room for a place online where women can really deeply connect with one another. That’s always been my thing—when I was moving recently, I saw an old Sassy spine line that said, “Should Jane Get a Nose Ring?” I was desperately trying to do social media before we had the technology to do it. Obviously, there are reasons why the site is not live right now, but it wasn’t necessarily the formula or whatever that didn’t work. Every season, we do a Media Issue, and every season, I ask editors the same question: What does it take to make a truly successful digital brand? From a business perspective, it doesn’t seem like many people are making it work. A successful digital brand also means a brand that makes money, but I feel like the engagement piece doesn’t get nearly enough focus. When I say engagement, I don’t mean the number of comments or how long each visitor spends on the site. I’m talking about engagement that translates into realworld actions, whether that is buying a product or marching in protest. To do that effectively, I think the people producing it have to engage with the audience too, and that’s what creates a really deep connection. But I do feel like people haven’t figured out how to monetize those numbers. I think the future of digital media for women will be about merging a truly, deeply engaged community with e-commerce. A lot of major publishing houses have tried to do some version of this, with very mixed results. Why is it so hard for many women’s media brands? It’s about having a combination of the right people who get the e-commerce side of it. But without having a real trust factor with the site that is promoting these products, it’s not going to work. You’re not going to be able to sell better than Amazon can sell. We’ve seen this work with brands like Goop. For sure. I feel like there have always been these two ways to reach women—one is more of a numbers game, where you scatter information in a way that a lot of people will be drawn to momentarily. And then there’s been the way of really connecting very strongly with your readers through a first person they can actually know and they trust. That approach doesn’t usually get the huge numbers, but you can really use it to sell products, among other things. Not that selling products is the be all and end all. I’d rather change things in the world. Isn’t it interesting how marketing is starting to respond a little more to the idea of the microinfluencer? It’s no longer all about the blogger with 5 million followers—it’s about that person in your Instagram feed who doesn’t seem like they’re for sale. Totally. At various points in my career in digital,

“now it feels like there’s A DESPERATE SCRAMBLE, AND IN THAT, A LOT OF THE UNIQUENESS HAS GOTTEN LOST.” people said, “Do you want to get a network of influencers?” Like getting their numbers, on top of your numbers, is going to amplify your message by X amount. I don’t feel like that’s how it really works—in the real world, if you’re close to the people you’re writing for or talking to, you have influence in a much more organic way. Do you ever get tired of that word, “organic”? I use that word a lot when I’m talking about our traffic on XOJane, because we had no marketing budget, and we weren’t part of a company that had other sites whose traffic could funnel into ours. The only way to grow the site and get the numbers was through organic growth—I don’t know how else to say it! I mean, the word that bugs me more than “organic” is “authentic.” Ugh. Come on. Someone who says “authentic” just reminds me of someone who says “to be honest….” Just do it. Totally. Okay, time for your thoughts on print media. The newsstand is a tough place to be right now. Where do you see it all going? Well, I think there is always going to be a place for print magazines. Not so much because they serve a purpose in disseminating information, but because they produce emotional responses and provide visuals that you don’t get in other ways. I do think that there will continue to be this thinning out of the number of titles, and consumers will be required to pay more for the titles that they do get. Maybe frequencies will be dropped further. But great publications are still going to be there—the ones that are really meaningful to their readers, giving them something they’re not getting from other places. And a lot of that is the visual thing. People can’t just curl up in bed with their favorite website in the same way. Which titles are meaning ful to you now? Every month there are probably 10, 15, 20 magazines that I have to get, because of a story in them, or because I see something that’s appealing to me on the newsstand. It could be everything from New York to Vanity Fair to Vogue…if I think a cover is absolutely beautiful, I want to just have it. Do you feel like there’s a lot of sameness out there? Absolutely, and especially when it’s content that you can get so much more quickly online. A lot of the shifts lately have been toward more sameness; less distinct voices. There was a phase there, in the ’90s and early 2000s, where I felt like each title was getting a more

distinct voice. Now it feels like there’s a desperate scramble, and in that, a lot of the uniqueness has gotten lost. It’s like, “Okay, what works? What’s going to work? What can we do inexpensively that’s going to sell?” In a lot of them, it feels like the care that used to go into them is lost. Do you think so too? Yeah. I think that’s why people are gravitating even more toward what’s happening online. Yes, it’s immediate and happening all the time on your phone, but the content itself is often a little more addictive. I’m not saying they’re all doing this, but when you go to open a print magazine and the quality of the writing, the legitimacy of the research that went into the writing, and the visuals are no better than what you’re getting on your phone much more quickly and free…well, then, forget it. There’s no point. Print needs to stay focused on what it’s good at. Even some of the design of print over the past 10 years or so has gone toward a more digital look, which I think is a huge mistake. And why is the language trying to be the kind of language that people use online? People use it online because they don’t have the space. You don’t need to do all that LOL kind of language in print. If someone were to give you a print title today, to edit, would you want to do it? And if so, what are the first changes you’d make? Whether or not I would do it would really depend on the brand. If there was room to do something really different from what’s out there, then I would be interested. I would also be interested in creating a new title, because I’ve had an idea for that for years and have not done it yet. Starting my own would be the most interesting. A lot of what I would do with a print title would actually seem to be a little bit retro, in the sense that it would be going back to

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


Jane FOR PRESIDENT

PRATT’S PERSPECTIVE The editor’s media brands are powered by a heady mix of reporting, humor, and personality.

strengthening what is potentially so strong about print, while bringing in all those elements that we all now know about in a quantifiable way, thanks to the precise feedback we get from our online properties, can help drive subscriptions and newsstand sales. I

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

know the trend is to treat print magazines as merely another extension of “the brand,” but I think it’s important to focus more on what is so unique and special about them, and how different the experience they create is from any other media, including their digital counterparts. In fashion, we’re having a real ’90s moment among millennials. Does it ever surprise you how women can have such nostalgia and appetite for periods in history they never lived through? Yeah, it’s funny—a lot of times when they talk about the ’90s, I know that they’re actually talking about the late ’80s. The price of Sassy magazine just went up exponentially on eBay about five years ago, when people started getting really into the ’90s. I wanted to get a [full] collection of them and I didn’t want to pay those kinds of crazy prices! I love talking to people who weren’t around for the ’90s yet who have this sense how great those years were. It reminds me of how I felt about the ’60s! We certainly didn’t think it was anything great back then. We weren’t having a fashion moment—possibly, a music moment. Possibly. But even that seemed like a big mess at the time. But anyway, it was fun. What do you think are the most prominent ways that teenage girls have changed since you were a teenage girl? I see a lot through the lens of my daughter and her friends, and the fundamental emotions are the same, I think, but the exteriors are tougher, and more calculated. That’s a social media influence, phenomenon. They’re excellent marketers of themselves, but it creates a little bit of a barrier— they’re one step removed from revealing their true selves. That’s always been a natural instinct of teenage girls anyway, but now, they’re better at it. Are you stoked about this body positivity movement in fashion? I really, really am! And not that there isn’t still a long way to go, in terms of allowing women to feel really free and great about themselves. But it’s a tremendous step, and it’s tremendous that marketers found out that it sells, too. As someone who’s championed women and girls for your entire career slash life, how were you feeling on November 9th? What’s going on right now is so incredibly devastating that it makes it almost difficult for me to even talk to you about anything else right now. The steps backward, and the direction that the country is going in, is horrific—and not just for women and girls, but for anyone with differences. At times, I feel desperate, and at times, I feel like I really don’t want to allow my mind or my work to focus on anything other than changing that. It’s that important. But you know, then we go on—we use the platforms that we have to try and create that change. Any plans to run for office? Jane for president, 2020? [Laughs] That would be awesome! We did do something back in Jane magazine where we did something about “Jane for President.” The bumper stickers said something like, “Let’s have a real bush in the White House!” I might be more qualified than Trump is, but that’s not saying much. ß

PRATT’S PROJECTS

SASSY

PRATT’S TENURE 1988–1994

SAMPLE COVERLINES

“The Sad Story of a 17-Year-Old Stripper,” “23 Celebrities Not to Dress Like,” “Resisting the Wiles of the Male Sleaze,” “Be a Bearable Vegetarian”

NOTABLE STAFFERS

Spike Jonze, Chloë Sevigny, François Nars, Carter Smith

SIDE PROJECT

Chia Pet, Sassy’s in-house band, which featured Pratt on violin and Christina Kelly, who went on to edit YM and ELLE Girl, on vocals. They once opened for the Lemonheads at CBGB.

JANE

PRATT’S TENURE 1997–2005

SAMPLE COVERLINES

“Drunk With the Goo Goo Dolls,” “12 Genius Sex Tricks That Won’t Seem Like They Came From a Magazine,” “What the Hell is Wrong With Angelina Jolie?”

NOTABLE STAFFERS

Gigi Guerra, Jane Larkworthy, Stephanie Trong, Jeff Johnson

XOJANE & XOVAIN

PRATT’S TENURE 2011–?

SAMPLE HEADLINES

“You Beautiful Rule-Breaking Moth: Makeup Looks Inspired by the Compliments of Leslie Knope,” “A Catcaller Motivated Me to Snap Out of My New-Mom Self-Pity,” “S**t to Buy When You’re Drunk, Reluctant Traveler Edition”

NOTABLE CONTRIBUTORS Courtney Love, Cat Marnell, Kelly Osbourne

g e t t y i m a g es ( 4 ) ; p a t r i c k m c m u l l an . c o m ( 2 ) ; c o u r t esy ( 4 )

forever Sassy


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1/25/17 4:45 PM


newEra

talk of the town

There are few people who might have been better prepared to run Town & Country than Stellene Volandes. When she was appointed editor in chief of the 170-year-old Hearst glossy in March 2016, she had already been the magazine’s executive style director for the past two years. Plus, with eight years at Departures, three years at Vogue, and a master’s in English lit from Columbia—she was an obvious choice. And did we mention she’s a jewelry guru with a recently published tome by Rizzoli? Volandes fills us in on her rise to the top. By paige reddinger Photography by William Jess Laird What was it like making the transition from style director to editor in chief? The thing about being the style director at Town & Country is that style really infiltrates every single thing we cover. Even though the title of style director at some magazines is very fashion or jewelry focused, style actually informs how we cover real estate and society, and politics, and art, so I really had my hand in so many different areas. It was smoother than it probably would have been otherwise. I was also lucky enough that so many of my editors now were my great colleagues before. They really rallied around me from the moment the announcement was made. You have always been both a writer and an editor. Exactly. I think our magazine is about amazing visuals and beautiful photography. But it’s as much about great journalism and great writing, and I think we cover a world and certain subjects that some people

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

see as frivolous, but we cover them with as much intelligence and integrity as we do anything else. And that has always been so important to me. How did you celebrate when you got the job? I went with a few of my colleagues to Marea and had aperol spritz in the afternoon and ordered every dessert on the menu. And I have friends who were so generous. People like David Monn, Richard Story, Brooke Neidich, and Cornelia Guest threw me a wonderful series of parties, for what seemed like months after. It was a really wonderful time. How did you choose to decorate your office? Will Kahn, our fashion market and accessories director, decorated my office. I became editor in chief, and three days later I was out of the office for about a week at the Baselworld watch show. I came back and my office had been completely transformed. I’m not a neat editor, at all. Will comes in here and

establishes order. Usually, there are shoes on the floor and the desk has coffee, Smartwater, and a million newspapers, so don’t be deceived. What was the scariest part about becoming editor in chief? The fear was equaled by the excitement. When we all got here six years ago, we all believed so much in the magazine and we worked hard to make it into what we knew it could be. I was so grateful to continue with the same staff. We all love Town & Country, and I hope it shows. It helps that I have a family of colleagues. How involved is former EIC Jay Fielden? No one could have prepared me for this job better than Jay. He has taught me how to do this job, without him here in the office. We both work so well together, and I feel so lucky that he’s a phone call or three floors away. It is a huge privilege.


You really built your early career at Departures. What did you learn from Richard David Story? I was actually his and Michael Boodro’s assistant at Vogue for three years first. Then I left publishing and went to grad school for English literature. I taught at LaGuardia High School for two and a half years. But when I wanted to come back to publishing, Richard was the one who welcomed me back at Departures, where he had become editor in chief. Richard has been the EIC of Departures for many years and he is still as enthusiastic about the magazine, the stories, and the writers as the day I first started working there. If that enthusiasm dampens, it’s evident on the pages and Richard’s has not. And I hope mine never will. Departures really exposed me to the world of luxury. He was really adamant, as am I now, about separating what is quality and what is really sort of frivolous and ridiculous. You want to treat your audience with respect. If you’re writing about a million-dollar necklace, you need to explain why that necklace is worth a million dollars. Richard’s influence on my career, my life, and really my taste, is immeasurable. What has been the most exciting story “get” since you’ve been here? The 170th anniversary issue for October 2016 was probably the biggest challenge of my first year, but also the most exciting. It was all hands on deck, and the staff came together like we’ve never come together before. We didn’t take no for an answer from anybody and assembled a dream cast of contributors. Also looking at our March issue, and seeing Naomi Campbell on the cover is something that means so much to us. The richness of those visuals is so Town & Country. There’s another story in the March issue that I love on the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris. I went there last Fashion Week and met a wonderful writer, James McAuley, who’s based in Paris and is the American correspondent to the Washington Post. He wrote one of the most tragic family stories I have ever read. The family owned the museum, it was their house, but the last remaining family members were wiped out by the Holocaust. They were really important collectors, and their family tree ended in 1943. It’s very much a story about how important a collection can be to your legacy.

“You want to treat your audience with respect. if you’re writing about a million-dollar necklace,you need to explain why that necklace is worth a million dollars.” In that issue, you also did an impressive package on T&C’s Guide to Living. How did that come together? That essay collection might be one of my favorite things we’ve done. It was a way to take the idea of etiquette and turn it on its head and make it about behavior and modern-day crises, and the people who live them day-to-day tell you how they navigate it. We had Martha Stewart on self-reliance. Jessica Seinfeld on your kid getting rejected from kindergarten. Johnny Pigozzi on how to be the life of the party. That’s what T&C has always been. It’s a world of voices and personalities and authority, but always told with a little bit of humor. You don’t want to fall back into how to fold a napkin. Our readers know that. We look at the feats and the follies of the 1 percent, and both are really fun. Speaking of! We also love the Manners & Misdemeanors column. Did you read “The Seven Stages of Etiquette Rebellion”? That’s one of my favorites of last year. David [Netto] is a great friend of the magazine, and the tone is perfect for T&C. If someone agrees to pick you up at the airport and isn’t there when you get off the plane, can you leave? It’s straight talk. Ultimately, that’s what people want.

Do you have any etiquette things that you’re a stickler about in the office? I think what I’m a stickler about is Instagram, and I really try to lead by example. We’re so lucky to be invited to the most amazing places, the most fun parties, and to give our readers that access on a daily basis. I think it’s part of our responsibility as editors. I’m also sort of crazy about what a hed is on a piece of jewelry or a really beautiful shoe. I really hate cliché display. If you’re going to tell your reader to pay attention to a bag that costs $6,000, the display should also be $6,000 display. You recently published a book on jewelry. Did you finish it before you took on the EIC role? It looked like it happened at the same time, but it didn’t really. Thank goodness! I had submitted my completed manuscript to Rizzoli about a week before it was announced that Jay was going to Esquire. I went on no weekend brunches for a year. It wasn’t ducking out of the office to see James de Givenchy for an hour—it was spending a whole weekend with him as he sorted stones. It let me also pay tribute to jewelers. I’m sort of a jewelry evangelist, I think. What’s the most amazing piece of jewelry that you’ve featured in T&C? The first big piece I wrote for Town & Country

COVER Shot

courtesy

Since taking over the helm of Town & Country, Stellene Volandes has created some memorable covers. We’re partial to Prince Harry, but we’ll let you decide.

Town & Country, March 2017, Naomi Campbell

Town & Country, December 2016/ January 2017, Nicole Kidman

Town & Country, February 2017, Prince Harry

Town & Country, 170th Anniversary Issue, October 2016, Christy Turlington FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


newEra

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

meet the team!

Volandes has developed top talent on the beauty and fashion fronts.

JAMIE ROSEN, BEAUTY DIRECTOR

WHITNEY ROBINSON, STYLE DIRECTOR

JAMIE ROSEN, BEAUTY DIRECTOR

STAFFER SINCE: 2010 PRIMARY PURSUITS: “All things beauty, health,

and wellness, and keeping Stellene in Frederic Malle.” READERSHIP REVERENCE: “They are far and away the most sophisticated and knowledgeable audience, and they are not afraid to experiment in the name of feeling and looking good, so we love presenting them with the most effective ways to do that.” FAVORITE PROJECT: “Last year’s May issue was devoted entirely to beauty, but seen through the T&C lens, so there were stories about business, science, society, fashion, and health, all with a beauty bent.” DREAM STORY: “Dr. Rosenberg’s annotated patient list; Kate Middleton’s medicine cabinet.” USEFUL DISCOVERY: “In one of my first issues here, we profiled Melanie Simon, who went on to create the most effective beauty gadget out there, Ziip, which works via an app that sends nanocurrent treatments from your phone to a little handheld device. I do it once a week.” MOST T&C QUALITY: “I grew up in Philadelphia, the hometown of Grace Kelly.”

WHITNEY ROBINSON, STYLE DIRECTOR

STAFFER SINCE: “I originally joined the staff

in 2011 as senior editor. I left in 2013 to start an arts and culture website in Doha, Qatar. When I returned stateside in 2015, I became a contributing editor, and in 2016 I became style director after Stellene was promoted to editor in chief.” FAVORITE PROJECT: “Recently, I traveled to Jaipur, India, to chronicle the next generation of the Kasliwal family, owner of the famed jeweler Gem Palace. That, and a much-Instagrammed Aman Resort world tour.” MOST T&C QUALITY: “Our beloved Standard Poodle, Fritz.”

AND! MICHAEL CLINTON WEIGHS IN!

Town & Country has been around since the dawn of time. As president, marketing, and publishing director, how have you seen the magazine evolve?

Town & Country turned 170 years old last year. Its editorial craftsmanship reflects the times. When Jay [Fielden] first went in there, he created the new voice that was a bit more contemporary, a bit cheekier, a bit more edgy. The affluent consumer is very engaged in social media, and very engaged in lots of other ways to do resourcing on luxury experiences and products. That was the next generation of Town & Country, which he established. What does the title mean to Hearst?

We have six magazines that are over 100 years old. Harper’s Bazaar is 150 this year. The company has always believed in iconic brands. Town & Country is one of the great jewels in the crown. Why did you decide to promote Stellene?

We had a lot of people raise their hand for the job. When Stellene came in and presented her vision of the magazine, she just completely nailed it. She was the obvious choice for the position, and don’t forget she had been working with Jay for several years, so she was really on the inside. Hearst magazines are killing it. What’s your secret?

We had a fantastic year in 2016. First of all, we’re very proud to be a print company. Since 2008, Hearst has launched three magazines—Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, and Dr. Oz The Good Life—all in the top 10 on newsstands. This year, the company will launch The Pioneer Woman magazine and Airbnb magazine. We are aggressive in building out our digital audiences, and we have 120 million followers now on social media. We have a very distinct vision, and we have an innovation platform in the company called “Unbound,” our company-wide mantra. First to market, innovation, take a risk, be bold… all that is paying off.

courtesy

was on Golconda diamonds. It also tells the story of jewelry in a way that I wish people would understand. The Golconda diamond mines are depleted, but they are considered the holy grail of diamonds. You realize that jewelry is a natural wonder. When the mines are depleted, that’s it. The reason we wrote that story is because suddenly Golcondas were fetching these insane prices at auction. Suddenly, people were marketing type 2A diamonds, which have the same sort of chemical makeup as Golconda, but they’re not from the historical mine. There was this controversy and this sudden rush for Golconda and that intersection is really the heart of what makes a Town & Country story. The other one was meeting Lauren Adriana, thanks to Rebecca Selva at Fred Leighton, who is my jewelry fairy godmother. Lauren just turned 30, and is making some of the pieces that I think will be the masterpieces of the century. The Prince Harry cover was quite a get. Alexei Hay, the photographer, and Klara Glowczewska, who wrote the story, really made this one happen. Klara had spearheaded a series of stories for us with notable philanthropists. We’ve gone to Haiti with President Bill Clinton, Batswana with Uma Thurman, and we did a water.org trip with Matt Damon. Klara found out that Prince Harry takes this conservation movement seriously, and African Parks Network came to Klara with this story, because of the other stories that she’s done, and invited Klara up to Malawi to accompany Prince Harry. What did Klara tell everyone at the office about Prince Harry? She said that he’s beautiful! And that he is as charming as you would expect. Was it hard to choose the cover photo of him? Well, look at the cover. What do you think? [Laughs] There were about 20,000 images, but I think you would agree, the cover shot was an easy choice. What’s been your hardest story to procure? The hardest, but ultimately one of our most successful, is the profile we did in October on Thomas Keller. It was the hardest in that we really wanted it to be a very frank and honest conversation. It came about a few days after that New York Times review. I got out of a cab in front of the Time Warner building and he was there, walking into Per Se, and I just thought, “My God! After that review, how do you go back into the kitchen?” We knew that it was a Town & Country story. Our readers are great clients of his, but it’s also for our readers who occupy the highest places in their industry, because it is also a very real story about getting kicked in the teeth and getting back up again. We worked really hard to make sure that Chef Keller would be honest and open with the writer, Gabe Ulla. It was the first time he really talked about how he felt, and how he communicated to his staff after that review. It did really well in the magazine, but it also did well online and it was a 3,000-word story. It’s nice to know how to get back in the kitchen, so to speak. How much do you have to think about print stories being shareable online? I don’t feel pressure. We don’t assign stories in print thinking, “This will do well online.” One of the top performing stories on our website this year has been our print story about the Romanov family written by Simon Sebag Montefiore, who is an expert on the family. It’s not a top-10 list, and there are no cats in it. A great story is a great story, in print and online. ß


Feel the difference.


coolFactor

A COMPLEX MIND

In a classic modern-day-media deal, Hearst and Verizon scooped up street culture fave Complex in 2016. Just a year later, it folded print ops, heralding a new day at the entertainment group. Marc Ecko, the original visionaire, sounds off on life after acquisition. BY KRISTEN HEINZINGER PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILLIAM JESS LAIRD How did the talks with Hearst and Verizon come about, and what were they like? We were in an investment cycle [for Ecko Unlimited], and we became friendly with the folks at Hearst. We got to meet Neeraj [Khemlani, president and group head of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication] and became fast friends. We got to know Steve [R. Swartz], the COO and president. They saw us as entrepreneurs, asymmetric from a typical media entity. We’ve always believed in distributed media—we were early adopters of that—and I think they liked our chops. They came to us for our intellectual property, our creative and executive leadership, and our skill set. In the bouquet of holdings that they have, we are an interesting play. They can’t produce what we’re doing from scratch, and they depend on us to figure this thing out. We thought, let’s help fine-tune some of the brands that they were trying to launch and better arm the brands that we have. Complex was never the big media darling in the way of anyone who is touching the hot button of digital media—the BuzzFeeds or the Voxs or Vices of the world. But I can tell you this: We’ve always had a great P&L, and we know how to run a great business. We built a differentiated brand that no one else has been able to replicate. Had you considered merging with a large corporation before? There was momentum in the marketplace around FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

consolidation, and we were trying to be good observers of that. The disintermediation of traditional cable TV by the Netflixes of the world and all these other paradigms shifts—we were very aware of that. We knew that, like any great tectonic shift, there’s the right side of the earth to be on and there’s the wrong side. In the distributed media landscape and how things are going to realign, this partnership made a lot of sense. Frankly, they are a lot more progressive than people will give them credit for. They, as the parents, really give us room and give life to this endeavor. It’s a new day for us at Complex. What does that look like? About three years ago, we started an initiative that we called Project Panda. It was sort of a send-up from Anchorman. This was our first endeavor into operating a news and video production service. We made that happen with very few resources, and it grew very fast. We have aspirations for a whole host of things, like scripted, animation, mumblecore, all different forms of comedies. This joint venture with Hearst and Verizon has us basically overnight in those businesses. We just did a show called Embeds, which is one of our first scripted shows; Megyn Kelly was a producer. Suddenly, we’re developing scripted series, and that puts us in the licensing business. It really expedited our resources. So expect to see a lot more of that. Within a couple of years, we’re hoping to put out 300

hours [of video content a year], which is conceivably enough for a cable channel or two. That’s how we’re thinking about it. We have the ability to really disrupt things. What were your stipulations going into the deal? The stipulation for me was creative agency. It’s that sense of creative fulfillment. But I’m a big kid— I’ve got a lot of gray hair, despite the $9 hair dye— and I know that it’s being creatively fulfilled on one hand, but also being a responsible operator on the other. Does it bother you when Complex is compared to Vice? It doesn’t. In every business that I’ve done, I’ve been in front of building marketplaces. When it was my fashion business, there was an emerging genre. The retailers, the buyers, and the manufacturers didn’t know how to deal with us. It’s the same thing now. It’s this new generation of whatever you want to call us; digital media types, kids who have sort of a punk rock or hip-hop attitude or came from some strata of the subculture, who are now growing up in media. This is what human beings do—they organize us like packaged goods, and if it helps people to understand our model by bringing up Vice, then good for us, and I guess good for Vice. But our philosophy is to meet our audience where they are, which is everywhere.


g e t t y i m a g e s ( 2 ) ; to m m y b r o c h e r t ( 2 ) ; m i c h a e l m e n d oz a ( 2 ) ; g r e g n o i r e ( 1 ) ; m i c h a e l m e lwa n i ( 1 )

In that way, we’re a little bit more distributionally agnostic. The future is sort of a Wild West in media, so who knows where the opportunities lie. Who do you view as your competition? I’m not really one to give a f**k about the competition. We’re focusing on executing our job well. The greatest competition is ourselves—our pride, our hubris, our s**tty self-image, how much we believe in ourselves. When someone says “Don’t compare me to this one” or “I’m more like this one,” I’m like, just shut the f**k up—let’s just worry about being the best version of ourselves. But I’m also not going to be running around waving a flag saying, look at me! There’s a lot of doom and gloom surrounding print media. Is that part of the reason Complex magazine folded? Like every other good chef, you’re just as good as the last meal you served—it’s the burden of being a creator. In the year that we shut down the magazine, we also launched ComplexCon. You can’t do everything awesome—there’s just not enough time and energy. But I would never say print is dead. Divine things happen with man and words. It’s an important part of who we are. But 99 percent of our activity happened online, so we just couldn’t focus on the print piece—which was not losing money, by the way. Listen, I think we’ll probably print s**t again. It’s never done. But the business mechanism will be different. What kind of content will Complex focus on? Many different species. Now I have to think about vertical and horizontal, about social-first, the role of talent. Not everything can be done inside the four walls of our offices, and that’s a whole new mentality. We never really had a lot of thirdparty operators in the way that we do now. It’s basically an ecosystem—collaborators, writers, directors, and producers. My focus is on building great IP that expresses the spirit of our brands. I don’t discriminate on the form factor. In fact, some things come from the most unconventional places. What were some of the magazines that you read growing up? Heavy Metal magazine, which is a great graphic novel/ magazine. It was so naughty—it was on the edge. I was into GQ, jazz magazines, Airbrush Action, which they published in Lakewood, New Jersey, where I grew up. My aggregate view is broad, but my interests are niche, and I think that’s what Complex is all about—organizing those fractured conversations.

What fashion brands are you watching right now? I love John Elliott and how he’s direct-to-consumer. A lot of people parrot what he does. I love the young, emerging, streetwear brands that are basically doing a complete reset on the classicism of fashion. The power of hip-hop culture is just unbelievable to help reshape the landscape or the notion of what luxury is. What Virgil Abloh is doing is great. What A$AP Bari did at ComplexCon, and at Art Basel with Nike. Seeing what brands like Antisocial Social Club are doing, and Supreme and Louis Vuitton. There’s a great vintage retailer for streetwear in L.A., called Round Two. They really brought tremendous energy back to all the relevant s**t from the late ’80s to the early and mid ’90s. That store has a line outside of it more than stores that have a new brand drop. What’s your involvement in Ecko Unlimited? The Iconix guys run it. They give me updates, but I haven’t been operationally involved in the fashion business for almost five years now. When was the last time you were at New York Fashion Week? Oh, goodness, a decade ago. My staff and a lot of people I work with go, and I get the reports. It’s good to see that people are stirring the pot and trying to rethink the model. I wrote about that in my book in my early years. I desperately worked to try to make it work in fashion. Are you on social media? Not really. I occasionally will check in. I’ve never been good at it. It’s never been who I am. I am a much more discreet and low-key person. Now the million-dollar question: What’s your take on the future of media? I’ve watched many different industries over the years, and just like the cells in your body, every seven years you shed them and become a different person. I think it’s totally okay that these things happen. Sometimes you bloom as a butterfly, and sometimes you don’t. For me, I practice trying to be the best version of myself. You’d be surprised how powerful that is. It sounds pokey, like some new age or spirit journey. Well, guess what—it is. When I make good stuff is when the people around me are united and focused on running our own race. Media will be fine. People have got to get s**t together and communicate. There’s no such thing as mind-reading. Maybe people should put down their f**king phones for a minute and talk…as I go and make things to distract you on your phone. ß

THE UNCONVENTIONAL CONVENTION Complex took things beyond its former millennial media ways with ComplexCon, a convention-slash-festival that launched last year. On the lineup? Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams, to name just a few.

FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


nextAct

“It’s an opportunity… if people have high expectations, you’re already in a fortunate place.”

village person After leaving the halls of Hearst Tower, Stephen Mooallem is taking on editor-in-chief duties at The Village Voice. Over coffee at Gild Hall in Fidi, he unveils his plan to step up the paper’s fashion game—keeping its early fans and turning on a new generation of readers, too.

This is a bit of a homecoming for you, no? I worked at The Village Voice for three months in 1999, filling in for somebody at the national news desk. I was just out of college, and it was a window into New York: a mix of cultural criticism, rigorous reportage, and advocacy journalism. It was how I thought you were supposed to cover culture, and it had a sense of community. When the opportunity came [to be editor in chief], I got all these messages from people telling me how meaningful The Village Voice was to them. That was really compelling to me, and I ended up going back. You were the EIC of Interview before going to Hearst. How does it feel to return to the realm of editors in chief? It’s a unique opportunity to take over something that has been around for more than 60 years. The more distance I had from being editor at Interview, the more I thought I would like to do it again. Interview became very close to my taste, my voice, my sensibility, and Harper’s Bazaar was an opportunity to work with a lot of different people. I learned a lot. You started at the end of December—have you made any changes yet? I haven’t really had the chance to get my hands in it. There are a lot of really smart people here, so I thought we should address Inauguration Week and what this moment means. I am a big believer in looking forward. Stuff happens—maybe it’s not what you agree with—but the productive thing isn’t to stare into the abyss. There is a lot of work to be done. Do you think the Interview and Bazaar approach to fashion will translate? I didn’t come into Interview as a fashion person. Ingrid [Sischy], who was my editor, taught me how fashion is also a cultural thing. Interview in the ’70s treated designers the way they treated filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians, which is as creative people with agency. Today, the worlds of fashion and art and entertainment have kind of collapsed into one another. At Bazaar, I picked up the more service-y aspect of fashion and other important parts. FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

fashion’s new voice Mooallem’s commitment to fashion: “It will become a part of what we cover in film, music, and art.... Designers are changing the culture in so many ways.”

So how will you approach fashion? With a step forward, not a redesign. We’re really picking up the thread as opposed to inventing something new. The Village Voice has covered fashion since the ’50s and ’60s during post-war culture, when fashion grew and a counterculture was flourishing. In the ’80s, The Voice ran a test issue called Vue, with photographers like Nan Goldin and Larry Fink. The Voice has always been about rigorous journalism and reportage, relentless critical authority, and a sense of independence. Lynn Yaeger, who was the pioneer of fashion journalism at The Voice, wrote about fashion every single week until it reduced its staff significantly. Fashion will become part of what we cover in film, music, and art, both online and in print. How will you cover New York Fashion Week? My vision is to use Fashion Week as a time to tell stories and embrace the industry. Sometimes it will be shopping-focused, sometimes it will be about people, and sometimes it will be perspective. For this Fashion Week issue, we focused on how fashion connects to the rest of the world, the idea of fashion as art, culture, politics, a mode of living. Will you focus on emerging designers or is there room for established houses, too? Emerging talent is always important to The Voice, but I envision space to include other houses. They are

changing the culture in so many ways. I am fascinated by Raf Simons at Calvin Klein— that is a huge storyline for New York fashion. When we talk about American masters, like Warhol, they created these visions; when you are doing work that is affecting the way people live, you’re a fashion designer, but you’re also in the realm of people like Warhol. In the late ’60s and ’70s when The Voice was covering what was going on in New York, it was also weighing in on things happening in the country. Then we shied away from it. This time I don’t think we will shy away from it; we’ll embrace it. What staff will cover fashion? Full-time editors, columnists, freelancers? It will be a mix. We’ll shoot clothes and products, which requires people on staff. I’m also interested in having journalists who haven’t written about it explore it. I’m trying to find an interesting take. Will we see a return of signature voices, like Michael Musto? Michael Musto has come back! My hope is that a lot of people who invested their lives and did great work at The Voice will want to come back. Tell us about the new product, “Voice,” and the plan for digital and social media content. We’re just experimenting, and it’s a little too premature to get into that. Digital is something we are exploring. But The Village Voice [in print] isn’t going anywhere—it’s here. On the digital side, there’s so much to do—Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. We are planning to make it feel more like 2017. How will The Voice attract millennials? It’s not about targeting a certain age, it’s more about having people in our office who are in the demographic and understand the thoughts, concerns, and anxieties of those people, and listening to them as we develop covers and stories. Any designers you’re excited about this NYFW? The usual suspects: Marc [Jacobs]; I’m curious about [Jonathan Saunders at] DVF; Michael Kors. And Raf at Calvin. Alex Wang. The girl who opened his show last season is full-on Lynn Yaeger—the hair, the makeup. Lynn is an icon, but she’s still got this resonance. Do you feel the least bit overwhelmed? This kind of stuff doesn’t really make me feel that way. I seek out these kinds of challenges. It’s an opportunity to do something that means something to people. Those stakes are important to me, and it’s why I love to do what I do. If people have high expectations, you’re already in a fortunate place. ß

mooallem: photographed by william jess laird; all others courtesy

By kristen heinzinger


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nextGen

teen angel

In a little over a year, Phillip Picardi has not only brought a 224 percent increase in traffic to teenvogue.com, he’s brought the title into the political conversation with articles that have caught the attention of unlikely readers, like Dan Rather. We sat down with the adorable and charming 25-year-old digital director at Chalk Point Kitchen to talk about his meteoric rise to the top. BY EDDIE ROCHE PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILLIAM JESS LAIRD

Let’s start with your background. I’m from North Andover, Massachusetts, and I was brought up in a big Italian family with four siblings. I had a lovely and normal childhood. I came to New York at 18 to attend NYU’s Gallatin program, where you can build your own major. Coming out of high school, I knew I wanted to do a lot of things, like work in fashion, but I hadn’t honed what I wanted my profession to be. I was really attracted to magazines and publishing, and the allure of the industry. My major ended up as beauty. There were a lot of classes about women’s studies, classes about the representation of women in media, art history. What was your first internship? It was for Racked. I read it in high school. Now it’s this huge website, but when I read it, it covered a lot of sample sales. I reached out to Izzy Grinspan, who now works for The Cut, and I made a résumé and sent a cover letter. We had a phone interview and I got the internship. During my first week at NYU, I was at the Alexandre Herchcovitch show. Where did you sit? In the front row. You’re now digital director at Teen Vogue. How did that happen? I was an intern there in college, and I had also interned at vogue.com and gq.com. I loved Condé Nast. Then I was working at a defunct website called lifestylemirror.com and I ran into [now Teen Vogue editor] Elaine Welteroth backstage at a fashion show, and we had what she calls an “instant soul connection.” A few months later, Condé Nast called and asked if I wanted to be the assistant beauty editor at Teen Vogue. I got the job; I was promoted to digital beauty editor six months later. Then I went to Refinery29 as senior beauty editor. Months after that, I was approached by Condé about being site director at Teen Vogue. Elaine had to take me to lunch to sell me on the opportunity. Initially, I was really FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


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weary. I loved beauty and thought that was going to be my field, but I started envisioning what the role could be, and I got the job. I thought that maybe I was too young for this, but my age has always been a motivating factor—I’m constantly rising to the occasion. Are you intimidated to lead a team where people are older than you? No. I’m lucky to work in a very open-minded environment. Age is never a factor, and it shouldn’t be. As long as there is mutual respect, you can get a lot of great work done. Working at Teen Vogue puts you in a unique position, because you’re talking to young people. My age is an advantage. What kind of material is teenvogue.com covering under your reign? A little bit of everything—it’s a young women’s guide to life. We have great roots in fashion and beauty, which we pride ourselves on and love, but we’ve expanded our coverage. We’ve launched a wellness vertical, and that’s everything from sexual health and orientation, to gender health, mental health, and nutrition. When I first got there, I launched the brand’s first sexual health series called “Love Your Lady Parts,” and it won an award from Planned Parenthood for excellence in media. We also dipped our toes into politics when I first started. Digitally, we’ve been able to experiment a lot and dig into the topics that we know our readers care about, and we have data to show how engaged our audience is with these issues. We can take that to our print team and say, “Look what’s happening here!” The print product has changed as a result. It’s been an awesome experience to lead a team that supports that charge. Teen Vogue has become a part of the political conversation—even Dan Rather is sharing your stories. He wrote, “There you have it…” In early 2016 I hired Lauren Duca, whom I first saw on Twitter and found her to be so smart. She lived up to her expectations. One morning in December, Intelligence officials released their report saying they believed that Russia had essentially tampered with the election. Before Lauren started writing that news piece, she said to me that it’s really hard, because we’re going to write this and half of the people in America are going to think this is false and designed to subvert Trump in some way. We started talking about that and how fact has become seen as partisan. What has happened to facts? Lauren said it’s like we’re being gaslit, and she submitted the op-ed to me to review. The piece did well, but then it spiked so high that it was off the charts. Now it’s the most-read article in our site’s history. What made people see it? When Dan Rather shared it, we saw a big spike. People who weren’t following @TeenVogue started talking about it. We had write-ups in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian. I hate this phrase, but it was the tip of the iceberg. We had been following politics with the same voice, but it goes to show you that it takes one piece for people to pay attention. What kind of leader are you? I have very high expectations, but I have a very specific view of what I want teenvogue.com to be. My boyfriend came to visit me at the office and met my team and when we were on our way home he said, “It’s so great. You didn’t go to business school, but you know the cardinal rule of management.” I said, “What’s that?” “You hired a bunch of people who are smarter than you.” It was a backhanded compliment, but the secret to the sauce is you have to let people do their work with a strong point of view so they can

“age is never a factor, and it shouldn’t be. as long as there is mutual respect,you can get a lot of great work done.”

JAM SESSION From incisive political commentary to musings on contemporary culture, teenvogue.com is expanding on its bread-and-butter coverage of fashion and beauty.

carry out their own vision of what this brand can be. Trusting people to do their work and doing their thing has been my big management tool. Once you have people who understand what the goal is, and rally behind that goal, it’s easy to watch magic happen. You’re so charming. Were you class president growing up? A woman was our president, and I was very happy to be her VP. What have you learned from Anna Wintour? So much. When I was a teenager getting interested in fashion, I bought Vogue, and in one of her letters from the editor, she wrote about marriage equality. That was a huge turning point for me. When I was promoted, I had the opportunity to tell her about that moment, and she said, “You have to stand for something!” I’ve watched her live that mantra, and now, I’m trying to make it my own.

What did you learn from working for Eva Chen? Our roles as editors are not just fixed from our job descriptions or titles. She was always going above and beyond. It’s important to respond to your readers. She responded to her tweets and every single e-mail. How do you connect with teens? I put my e-mail in my bio in all my social media accounts. You can e-mail me if you want to talk. I try my best to respond to everyone who reaches out. Which websites do you read? NPR is one of my favorite things ever, BuzzFeed news, The New York Times, Vice, Vox, Refinery29. I usually read things via newsletter, because I’m so busy during the day. Why do you think you’ve been successful in this role? I’ve been interacting with Teen Vogue on and off for seven years, and it feels like it’s in my blood. I’ve seen the brand from a 360-degree perspective: I was an assistant, I worked in print, and I worked in digital when it was much smaller. Now, I feel ownership over what I’m producing, I also see a clear vision for its future. I know exactly who I want our reader to be, and what kinds of things I want her to be interacting with. I want it to be an enriching place for young women, and it’s been cool to see that come to fruition. What do your parents think of all this? My parents always wanted me to work somewhere like GQ, but as the job has gotten more intense, my parents are really proud. When Dan Rather shared that article, my dad was down for the cause. I didn’t even know how much he loved Dan Rather. What’s your goal? You’re in a good spot now… [Laughs] I barely expected to be here by 30, let alone 25, so I’m trying to focus on this for the moment! ß FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


campaignRhetoric

The Klein Factor

Equinox is not afraid to get a touch confrontational in its provocative Commit to Something campaign, so once again, the powerhouse brand reunited with photographer Steven Klein for the project. Klein, whose images are the stuff of fashion world legend, explains how it came together. BY EDDIE ROCHE Why did shooting for Equinox appeal to you? All the concepts they presented to me were really interesting, because they had to do with social issues and norms. They told stories, so it was idea-driven, rather than product-driven. What were some of the issues you addressed? Overall, it was about the ideas of individualism and staying committed to something. There was one about transgender, another about self-obsession—I think people are really self-obsessed, thanks to their phones. One of the big issues we covered was breast cancer. It was a taboo topic many years ago— mastectomies were very mysterious, and nobody would show them. It was brave of [artist] Samantha Paige [who displays her double mastectomy scars] to be open about it. How did the image of Brian Shimansky being pampered come together? FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

They agreed to do him nude, but we didn’t want to do full-frontal nudity. The mirror in his hand was a lastminute idea. Brian played the narcissist, and to me, he has the perfect body, the perfect everything, but his personality is anything but narcissistic. We built a character who was a combination of a character from American Psycho and somebody else. It’s like shooting a scene for a movie—you define it and then work out the details. There was a lot of buzz over the image of a breastfeeding Lydia Hearst. Why were people hot and bothered over that one? Breastfeeding in public is controversial to begin with. If a woman, especially a beautiful one, went to a restaurant and decided to breastfeed, it would be shocking to some people. It’s not considered acceptable. We exaggerated it; it was very in-yourface. I didn’t think it would be a problem, but it

bothered people. A woman like that would have nannies and wouldn’t need to bring her children to a restaurant. There’s a truth about these images, but there’s a wit about them. People take things too seriously and the things they should take more seriously, they don’t. Did you follow the controversy? No. I didn’t even know about it. What’s going on in the Jessica Stam image? They wanted to comment on the marijuana industry. Instead of doing it in an industrial way, we photographed her as more of a Connecticut woman who grows weed in her greenhouse. What other photos are you especially proud of? The bee one. It’s about someone who feels passionate about something and is brave enough to go through any means to pursue it.


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“I’m committed to my work, my family, and trying to make the world a better place in ways that can inspire people.” Did you shoot with real bees? They were real. We considered so many people for that image, but I chose Diego [Villarreal]. There’s something about his body type. He looked insect-like to me, in a beautiful way. When he came to set, he told me he was obsessed with bees and honey. He had no fear of having thousands of bees on him. Were you afraid of being stung when you shot this? Not at all. Mel Ottenberg styled the campaign. What’s it like to work with him? The combination of his film and fashion backgrounds makes him a good stylist, because he can see the fashion point, but he also understands the idea of being cinematic. He knows when to push it and when to pull back, almost like a character in a film. Is this a form of photojournalism for you? I wouldn’t call it that. If I did it in a photojournalistic way, I would have approached it completely differently. I’m approaching these images the way I approach most, and that’s through storytelling. A lot of my pictures are based on fiction. Any photograph has some kind of truth and some kind of lie in it. I’m commenting on something, but people should look at it and not take it as completely truthful, but as that person’s truth. Samantha’s truth is her truth. I was telling her story, but in my way.

Where did you shoot the campaign? The West Coast because most of the locations were there. The time of the year worked better for us to be outside. We went from clubs in Los Angeles to houses on the coast. How long did it take to shoot everything? Three days. It was ambitious. That’s why you have to work out a lot of the production issues beforehand. Do you like talking about your images? I like explaining. When things are misinterpreted or misread in a negative way, I like to explain why I do something and the origin. I shot Kylie Jenner in a wheelchair for the cover of Interview and that got a lot of negative and positive reviews. The negative reviews were about her being in a wheelchair. So many people sent pictures to the both of us of women in wheelchairs that looked beautiful and were beautiful. There’s a stigma that if you lead your life in a wheelchair, you can’t be beautiful or sexy. What are you committed to? Making my deadlines! I’m committed to my work, my family, and trying to make the world a better place in ways that can inspire people. What’s your workout? I’d call it high-intensity strength training. I like to sweat. I work out for an hour and a half six days a

week. I also ride horses two days a week late at night when I’m finished working. You can’t take everything on, but what you do take on, you have to treat it pretty seriously. What else do you have coming up? I just finished up one of the Franca Sozzani’s last issues for Italian Vogue, which is out this month. You’ve said that Franca made you who you are. What was so special about her? She was only interested in a few people, and she respected talent. She made me who I am because she challenged me. She would always say things like, “Do more things like film” or “Think about photojournalism.” She always made me think about what I was doing and not just produce pictures. She helped me develop my voice as a photographer. She ran a fashion magazine, but for her, image and photography were more important. Her relationships were really with photographers. She will be missed. We sidetracked… I’m working on a feature film, books, an exhibition, and hopefully making the world a better place through my work. We love the campaign! I’m glad you like it. It’s always hard to tell because you look at it so many times that you never really know how it affects people. I’m the last to hear! ß FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M


CHICSpree

SHOPPING PROMOTION

commando We spoke with Commando designer and founder Kerry O’Brien to find out from an expert how underwear is styled with ready-to-wear.

Kerry O’Brien, Commando designer and founder

CROWN BRALETTE “It’s not about hiding your bra when wearing an open back top. Show it off!” ($68)

PHOTO-OP THONG “Have fun and get fierce. Nude isn’t necessary unless you’re wearing white.” ($26)

MINI CAMI SLIP “Women sometimes forget what a versatile piece a slip is. They make sheer looks wearable and smooth everything out.” ($78)

STRIPPED BRALETTE “Strappy bralettes are the new statement piece when wearing an open shoulder or open back styles. ($68)

BALLET BODY MOCKNECK BODYSUIT THONG “This perfectly matte black second-skin layer is so very chic with wideleg pants or a highwaisted skirt.” ($74)

Available at wearcommando.com FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

HIGH-RISE DOUBLE-TAKE BIKINI “We work with some amazing designers who have used a variation of this style for their runway shows for several seasons now.” ($38)

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HIGHRISE PANTY “It’s high time for high-rise! Designers and stylists love using this style everywhere from the runways to the red carpet.” ($34)


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cat scan

After reading her delicious memoir, How to Murder Your Life, we became convinced that the fearless mag freak Cat Marnell was the best possible person to weigh in on what’s really happening at the newsstand. How does your glossy fare in her scathing critique? “It’s all about moments. That’s what will save print!”

C California Style Overall thoughts: This automatically gets an A-plus from me, because the cover girl is Elle Fanning, star of one of my favorite movies, The Neon Demon. Favorite story: The cover profile, which features photos of Elle shot at the 1920s Paramour Estate, which was also featured in The Neon Demon! It’s where the model-cannibals attack Elle in the empty pool and eat her, remember? Oh, spoiler alert. Photography: The black-and-white photos of L.A.based model Elaine Irwin are nice. She looks great at 47, but if she ever wants to look really great, the only thing to do is eat a virgin. That’s a beauty tip. I could do without… The boring last page, about a “digital influencer” and her “online lifestyle publication that taps [her] extensive bicoastal network of friends.” Snooze! Use this page for something killer…like the eyeball that the model burps up at the end of Neon Demon.

FEELING BLUE Cat Marnell in all her finery.

Playboy Overall thoughts: Sometimes I like what Playboy has been doing lately— trendy girls. Like, I really wanted that Sky Ferreira issue…and I love Ashley Smith. This one has a creepy rabbit man on the cover. Writing: I can’t read these manly essays. Don’t make me! Fine, I’ll read one sentence from this Navy SEAL story: “The cathode ray tubes spooled down and faded into black.” Kill me! Photography: Eh, all the models look alike. Symmetrical, straight parts, L.A. models doing L.A. things. I miss the old Playboy here. I mean, remember naked Naomi Campbell with all the fruit? Design: I’ve never known a magazine with such wide pages. Favorite story: The long-form Q&A interview is always the best thing in Playboy, even when it’s with Matthew McConaughey. Did you know that he thought that “the vagina faced east-west” until he was 15? I could do without… “The Globalist’s Guide to Drinking Gin.” Ack. I detest gin. My Mimi pours it in her Ensure shakes, though.

Rachael Ray Every Day Overall thoughts: I eat pre-sliced apples and peanut butter from 7-11 every day, so this magazine is exciting! Writing: Colorful! I like the Letter from Rach: “We’ve got wings: smokin’-hot, curried, chipotle’d, pepperypesto’d, and beer-and-pretzeled—these wingers are real humdingers!” Photography: A bit…gory. So many wings! Those poor little chickens. Favorite story: “Romaine.” It’s about lettuce. Did you know you’re supposed to avoid romaine with a big butt? FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M

That’s what Rach calls “the root.” I could do without… A layout of six salad spinners. Just tell me Rachael’s favorite one, man!

DuJour Overall thoughts: I’m preparing myself for 15 watch ads. Writing: Magazines like this never have any personality; they’re not supposed to. Photography: Juergen Teller shot the Jake Gyllenhaal cover, but you’d never guess it. The photo of Jake on the inside hiding behind an arm load of pink hydrangeas would have been my pick for the cover. It’s all about moments. That’s what will save print! Favorite story: “Golden Girls!” Real old ladies looking all pre-bust Ruth Madoff in Brooks Brothers and Bally furs, modeling enormous jewelry on their withered hands! Very dope. Those Trump-y Palm Beach tans look authentic, too.

OK! Overall thoughts: This is an out-of-date issue of the worst tabloid, but where I live in Chinatown, you can’t even get this at the nail salons, so, sure, I’ll read it. Favorite story: “From Rags to Riches!” which is five interesting pages about celebs who grew up crazypoor. Oprah wore potato sacks to school? Really!? God, that’s dark. Writing: It’s not fun to read, because none of it seems true—not even in a People magazine “Let’s just run the publicists’ version of the truth” way. I could do without… The “spot the difference” puzzle. If print wants to last, it can’t waste space like this. Make up a juicy item about Jennifer Lawrence!

MONEY, HONEY! Marnell, a former Lucky editor, reportedly nabbed a $500,000 advance.

What don’t you talk about in your book? I cut 3,000 words about this sociopath socialite whom my exboyfriend dated after me. I was an intern at [Redacted], and she got a gig in the fashion closet there just so she could print slutty party photos of me on company computers and leave them in the printer for everyone to see. Humiliating! What did you do with your six-figure advance? I bought a teepee and crystals. I went to see Babyshambles in London, I went to Art Basel, I bought a Brigid Berlin–embroidered New York Post pillow, I paid obscene rent, I went to the fab Hope Rehab in Thailand…and I didn’t pay my taxes. I was high! Now all my checks go right to the IRS. What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Candy corn and Cosplay wigs! And I’ve been buying cigarettes again—so bad. Signature libation? I like booze on the go— lately I’ve been buying these cute electric-pinkand-lavender cans of rosé called Lila. What do your parents think of the book? I don’t know, because all they ever say is, “Caitlin, you must pay the IRS and get health insurance.” Who gave you the best advice? My friend Nancy Jo Sales, who writes for Vanity Fair, told me, “Just ignore your editor when you don’t agree with her and write the book you want.” And I did! What’s your next book going to be about? A saucy pill head in her early thirties who loves Britney Spears and wears clown makeup. ß

m a r n e l l : c h r i s to s k at s i a o u n i ; a l l ot h e r s c o u r t e s y

Ask Cat!


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Victoria Dipiazza ‘16 Fashion Merchandising Digital Merchandise Assistant, Women’s Contemporary Saks Fifth Avenue

9/1/16 10:39 AM


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