IN RECENT YEARS, VANITY FAIR HAS BEEN closely associated with Hollywood, but the magazine’s roots are firmly planted in New York.
It stands to reason, then, that the magazine would choose Manhattan as the backdrop for the kickoff of “Vanity Fair: The Portraits, A Century of Iconic Images,” a book featuring the best photography from the publication.
Campaign New York, a 12-day series of editorial and advertiser-sponsored events in and around the city, begins today with editor in chief Graydon Carter signing books at Barneys New York. Photos from the book also will be displayed in 98 stores along Madison Avenue.
The book contains the work of photographers past and present, from Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose haunting view of Paris is romantic and mysterious, to a photograph of the Versace family, pre-Gianni’s death. There are shots of legends such as Liza Minnelli looking vulnerable and Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow cavorting in happy times.
Vanity Fair partnered with the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District to create the blocks-long alternative museum exhibition along the shopping thoroughfare.
“Graydon and I were talking about how to handle the book launch in New York and how to best get those images out there,” said Edward Menicheschi, vice president and publisher of Vanity Fair. “We wondered what we could do that would be different and make a real statement. Then we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we could turn New York into a gallery space?”
As well as the store displays of the photos, an audio walking tour recorded by David Friend, the title’s editor of creative development, with an introduction by Carter, can be downloaded at vanityfair.com. The magazine estimated that more than 25,000 people will view the portraits and browse the stores at tonight’s events. The retailers will remain open until 9 p.m. and will donate 10 percent of this evening’s sales to the Whitney Museum of American Art’s photography program, collection and special exhibitions.
Carter said Madison Avenue was chosen because it’s “at the crossroads of culture, sophistication and luxury — and I suppose the same could be said of Vanity Fair.” He added that many Vanity Fair advertisers have outposts on Madison Avenue, and the magazine’s readers are “shoppers,” making the synergies impossible to ignore. “This is what publishers call ‘integrated partnership marketing,’” he said.
Other invitation-only events during the 12 days include an “in conversation” with Christopher Hitchens and former President Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers on Sept. 24; a private dinner with David Bouley’s newly renovated TriBeCa restaurant, and, on Tuesday, the work of photographer Mark Seliger, who photographed the fall St. John campaign, will be feted at his studio, 401 Projects.
“This was put in place before things got so tough in retail,” said Menicheschi. “This is something that can get people out into the streets. It makes sense, especially now.”
The project also helped increase ad sales. Vanity Fair said 120 ad pages were sold based on Campaign New York, with 27 of those representing new business.
As part of the program, 27 exclusive items will be available to American Express card members, including a Lambertson Truex limited edition bag, “Index of Happiness,” created in partnership with Donald Baechler. American Express is the presenting sponsor, Jaguar is the automotive sponsor and Moët Hennessy is the official spirit of Campaign New York. Jaguar will supply a fleet of its cars to shuttle shoppers between stores. Vanity Fair created a Manhattan Fall Culture Guide, sponsored by American Express, that can be seen on the magazine’s Web site or downloaded to a mobile phone application.
Menicheschi said, “The idea of using culture as a driver for where we’re at right now” is a powerful weapon. “Culture has the ability to cut through a lot of the noise. Retailers are looking for that silver bullet. We feel we have a pretty good handle on culture.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia