Actually, that photograph there is probably my new favorite,” John Demsey says, pointing to a Bert Stern portrait of Elizabeth Taylor circa 1960 vamping in full Cleopatra regalia. Demsey is on the second floor of his townhouse in New York’s east sixties, a building that both Teddy Roosevelt and Montgomery Clift once called home. In addition to housing the Estée Lauder Cos. group president, his young daughter and three cats, the abode is also home to Demsey’s vast photography collection, which hangs amid a Willy Wonka–worthy trove of pop ephemera.
“Talk about a score,” Demsey says of the Taylor shot. “[Stern] signed that a week before he died... Not to make anybody nervous about selling me anything.”
Not 10 minutes prior, he had estimated that another recent acquisition, a William Klein shot of Muhammad Ali, was his favorite. He pauses to think and the truth emerges: “It’s whatever’s the newest.”
Given Demsey’s knack for recognizing the next great cool thing, it makes sense that he’d spend his off hours hunting out such iconography. Demsey is perched on a couch, a giant 1980-something Patrick McMullan print of Grace Jones hanging over his shoulder. Nearby is Delmar Watson’s much-reproduced shot of Sophia Loren catching a sideways glance of Jayne Mansfield’s decolletage. The collection weaves from David Bailey’s Sixties Mods to Ron Galella’s paparazzi work in the Seventies to modern-day fashion photography by the likes of Miles Aldridge, Steven Klein and Terry Richardson. The whole thing is an overstimulized pop dream punctuated by the 650 Fornasetti plates that also hang around the house.
Demsey wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mention that certain professionals prefer to leave their work at the office, Demsey scoffs. “Most of our art directors live in minimalist environments,” he laughs in concession.
The collection’s two urtexts hang on the third floor. First is a portrait of Demsey at age 18 taken by the 20th century master Yousuf Karsh, commissioned by his father. The second is a black-and-white publicity still of Brigitte Bardot as a brunette that Demsey found in a Paris flea market.
“I was a fan of pop culture... I bought old publicity photos,” he says of that very first acquisition. “When you’re in college, you can’t really afford very much.”
Presumably, Demsey’s budget is a bit larger these days.
“I’ve been known to buy art sitting in a boring meeting on my Blackberry,” he smiles.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews