DARK SHADOWS: New Yorkers are not used to seeing City Council speaker and presumptive mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn playing the glamour puss. So New York magazine’s cover this week was bound to cause a strong reaction.
Quinn is shot in key light, her round face perfectly framed by an immaculate bob and the raised collar of her black jacket, shooting a devastating come-hither look straight ahead.
This story first appeared in the January 30, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Tuesday, the New York Post delivered the inevitable zinger: “Mayor Dracula,” read the paper’s front page. “Queen of Goth-am” was the headline online.
The image was not the result of Quinn’s campaign seeking to soften her image, said New York photo director Jody Quon. The magazine set the tone for the shoot from the start. “We wanted to capture Christine in a way she’d never been seen before. We wanted her more stylized, more glamorous. Not so much so that she would be so different that you wouldn’t recognize her,” Quon said. “A little more polished, a little more camera-ready.”
Quon chose fashion photographer Ruven Afanador to shoot the cover, and assigned another photographer, Pari Dukovic, to follow Quinn around for the inside photos that would accompany the Jonathan Van Meter-penned profile.
Quon and Afanador agreed Quinn’s red hair would be a central focus of the image. Quinn brought her own hairstylist, as well as some of her own clothing. The black coat that ended up on the cover, however, belonged to New York. Quon did not know the brand.
Quon said the speaker’s team was completely in support of the styling and the shoot.
“They were there every step of the way. Everyone was moving towards the same goal. It was kind of a lovefest,” she said.
Quinn told the Post: “I was hoping that I would look pretty and thin, not particularly jowly, which is how I usually look in pictures. I wasn’t in any shape or form managing the photo shoot.”
Asked by WWD if the photo made the speaker look like a Bond villain or a femme fatale, Quon disagreed.
“A woman wearing a black coat with a collar up does not connote femme fatale. It’s an old-fashioned view of what really is a professional woman looking very elegant. Men have a very different view when it comes to something like this,” she said.
And if it stands out on the newsstand, all the better. “We wanted to make a very memorable and arresting cover. This is what we thought was the best way to do that,” Quon said.