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.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
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