A VIEW FROM THE TOP: Oscar de la Renta appreciates a good view. On Wednesday, the designer accepted the first-ever Biella: The Art of Excellence Award at a party hosted by Esquire, the Italian Trade Commission and Italian region of Biella on the airy 44th floor of the Hearst Tower, where guests enjoyed a sun-drenched view of Central Park and the Hudson River. After Esquire publisher Kevin O’Malley gushed like a docent about the towers eco-friendly features and Lord Norman Foster design, de la Renta referred to the tower as a “spectacular place” and added there was double meaning to O’Malley’s informative description of the tower. “I think you were trying to tell us this building cost a lot of money,” he said. Biella singled out de la Renta for his work two days after the designer shared this year’s CFDA award for Womenswear Designer of the Year with Proenza Schouler. Of the tie, de la Renta felt “it was so great and terrific to be sharing the award with such young and talented designers,” but admitted he was especially fond of Proenza designer and co-founder Lazaro Hernandez, since they both hail from the same part of the world. When asked if Hernandez was also Dominican, the designer said, “No, I think he’s Puerto Rican. But it’s all the same,” he laughed. Hernandez actually is Cuban and was raised in Miami. — Stephanie D. Smith
WE DID IT FOR THE READER: Bonnie Fuller has a long list of celebrities she’d like to thank for making her job easier. Near the top of her list sits Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise and his “ridiculous couch-jumping incident.” Fuller, who had a bad case of strep throat, spoke to a group of magazine editors and wannabes on Wednesday night at Mo Pitkins, as part of an event for the networking group Ed2010.
This story first appeared in the June 8, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
At the gathering, young, mainly female, magazine hopefuls sipped cocktails called The Bonnie, in honor of Fuller. The drink had a mix of Stoli citrus and vanilla vodka, fresh lemon juice, with a touch of sugar and mango juice. Fuller, who passed on the drink for hot tea, said, “Eat your heart out Paris Hilton because you’re not going to be able to have one tonight.”
During her talk, Fuller referred to her new book several times (and signed copies for interns who spent a good chunk of their weekly paychecks to buy it). She also imparted the “you can do it” pep talk, by recalling her own beginnings, including how she was denied entry into journalism school in Toronto but was accepted into law school, so she went for one year. After she quit, she approached the Toronto Star for a general reporting job, but the only open position was for a fashion reporter. The “knobby-kneed, no style” Fuller took on the assignment, although she was “fashion-impaired.” As for her current role at American Media Operations, Fuller refused to answer questions about Janice Min‘s recent “Faux Biz” attack on competing celebrity tabloids and tried to steer clear of the recent retouched Star cover, “Jen’s $5 Million Tell-All!” that showed Jennifer Aniston holding a stack of papers that, when retouched, could double as a manuscript. Fuller’s defense? “The type [on the paper stack] was distracting and blurry.” — Amy Wicks
SUMMER CROP: Intern season marks a time when editorial assistants finally have someone on whom to look down, a halcyon time of brownnosing and connections-mongering, of angling for thankless tasks. Magazines, no strangers to nepotism, have invited in the usual mix of strivers and the well-placed. At Teen Vogue, Arthur Demarchelier (son of Patrick) is installed in the design department, while Vanessa Williams’ daughter Melanie Hervey is interning at Allure. Michael Loeb, whose grandfather Marshall edited Fortune, Money and the Columbia Journalism Review, broke with the family dynasty to intern at Business Week, while Lily Newhouse is interning on the business side at Allure.
For the rest of the intern pack, there’s the new Intern Memo, an e-mail newsletter started by brothers Will and Theodore Bressman, both media-savvy recent graduates of Harvard — the former a manager at video broadband site LXTV.com, the latter a freelance writer and former New York Observer intern. Perhaps that explains why the thrice-weekly newsletter, which includes tips and interviews, also features the travails of a certain Intern Samantha. She works at a travel magazine for a “lunatic boss, who laughed like a hyena and couldn’t stop talking about how print media is a dinosaur.” (Before travel magazine editors start narrowing their eyes at their recent arrivals, it may be helpful to know the brothers say “Samantha” is a composite of several people’s experiences.) Through no marketing except word of mouth and a Facebook group, the list is nearly 3,000 strong into its second week. “We felt that [the newsletter] shouldn’t be just utilitarian or didactic, but that there was something universal about the experience of being an intern,” said Will Bressman. “The combination of feeling at times like you’re a spare part, at times like they’re counting on you to do the work that they don’t want to do, and of pretending to know what you’re doing.” — Irin Carmon and S.D.S.
SHINING CITY: The July issue of Vogue will be the first magazine to showcase Escada’s new fall/winter ad campaign. Photographer Greg Lotus shot Swedish model Elin Skoghagen with a glittering nighttime New York cityscape at a penthouse in Chelsea and the Cunard Building. The campaign will integrate all product lines — Escada, Escada Sport, accessories and eyewear. Sara Maino of Italian Vogue and Escada creative director Damiano Biella styled the campaign, which will run in other fashion, lifestyle and society magazines later this fall. — A.W.