CONDE NAST AS CHILD’S PLAY: Before he died in late 2007, Steve Florio, the former president and chief executive officer of Condé Nast, was working on a book. The pages he wrote were never published, but now his daughter, Kelly Florio Kasouf, has written her own version of her years spent at 4 Times Square. She grew up visiting her father’s office and later worked at Vogue and Vanity Fair.
But don’t expect a gossipy tell-all about Florio’s exit, old rivalries or the company’s inner workings. Florio Kasouf, a mother of two, has written a modern-day Eloise-style children’s book, titled “The Super Adventures of Sophie and the City: All in a Day’s Work,” that follows a little girl who sneaks into a publishing company to visit her father and gets whisked away to different worlds (or magazines, such as Vogue, Brides, Vanity Fair and Condé Nast Traveler). These titles aren’t named, but they are clear. At the beginning of the book, André Leon Talley appears (or at least, his likeness, wearing a Louis Vuitton cloak). In one section, Isaac Mizrahi is sketched as a fashion fairy godmother, in Swarovski crystal wings.
This story first appeared in the October 27, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I used to visit the building a lot, running around those halls,” she said, recalling that, at age 10, she had her first one-on-one lunch with Anna Wintour. “She asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, ‘I’m going to take your job.’ Apparently she had said the same thing early on in her life, so she thought it was cute.”
Her father had always wanted to write a book and Florio Kasouf said this was her way of helping him out. “Well, he wanted to write a book about leadership. But it’s fun to see dad in this light.”
And a Florio is clearly always a Florio when it comes to marketing: Florio Kasouf has created an app for the book and the tome will be sold exclusively at Barneys.