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GET THE RUST OUT: Moonlighting: just for frustrated desk jockeys and wage earners looking to make an extra buck? Not necessarily. By day, Mark Seliger is a top photographer, shooting covers and feature stories for magazines like Vanity Fair and GQ (like WWD, part of Advance Publications Inc.) and advertising campaigns for companies like Rocawear (see item below). But tonight, he and his alt-country band, Rusty Truck, will play a free gig on the Lower East Side. The group includes L.A.-based musicians Andy Gibson, Michael Duff, Joey Peters, Ben Peeler, Kristin Mooney and Sheldon Gomberg and toured with Kenny Wayne Shepherd last fall. Their first album, “Broken Promises,” was recorded in 2003, with Gillian Welch, Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Jakob Dylan and Sheryl Crow chiming in on some of the tracks.

“It’s the best thing for your soul,” the ambi-talented Seliger said of songwriting. Discussing tonight’s gig, he added, “We’ll be playing a couple new songs and a couple songs off of our record. It should be fun. We’re expecting some important people to come up and play.”

Rusty Truck goes on at 9 p.m. at the Living Room on Ludlow Street.
— Sara James

ROCAWEAR CATCHES THE VIBE: Rocawear’s fall advertising campaign, starring the brand’s co-founder Jay-Z, launches in September books, but only Vibe magazine will feature a whopping 24-page insert in its September fall fashion issue dubbed “The Juice Issue.” The ad campaign, entitled “We Run the Strip,” is the first to showcase the multiplatinum hip-hop phenom.

“[This ad] makes a very public statement about the direction of Rocawear and the return of Jay-Z in a more hands-on way,” said Kenard Gibbs, president of Vibe. “This is a very visible way of getting the message out. The brand remains aspirational, but retains its street cred.” In addition to Jay Z, the ads will feature Roc-A-Fella artists Memphis Bleek, Teairra Mari, Young Gunz and nine-year-old Christopher Wallace Jr., better known as the son of the late Christopher “Notorious B.I.G” Wallace.

This story first appeared in the July 14, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The resemblance is chilling,” noted Jameel Spencer, chief marketing officer for Rocawear.

The concept “We Run the Strip” is a double entendre, said Spencer. “In fashion, the strip is the runway, but in the urban setting, the strip is the street,” he said. The campaign, shot by Mark Seliger in Los Angeles, features models Ana Beatriz and Jessica White flanked by recording artists posing on gritty street corners, with Jay Z poised in a director’s chair. “He’s not in every shot, but he was actually directing every shot,” Spencer said.

Jay-Z, Vibe and Rocawear will commemorate the partnership tonight with a party at the Lowe Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif. And with all the speculation over Rocawear’s ownership, the question is: Will Damon Dash and Rachel Roy make an appearance, too?
— Lauren DeCarlo

LEGAL BRIEF: Gruner + Jahr USA may be selling its titles, but it has a least one thing left: a lawsuit. Despite the deal to sell Inc. and Fast Company, which is expected to close in a few weeks, and another reached in May to sell its women’s magazines to Meredith Corp., G+J continues to pursue its complaint against Publishers Communications Systems, a subscription agent based in Coral Springs, Fla. G+J filed the suit in January, alleging fraud and breach of contract, and asking for $10 million in damages. PCS subsequently filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the southern district of Florida to dismiss the suit. The two parties have been awaiting a ruling on that motion for several months, according to Yvette Miller, G+J’s general counsel. Miller’s position, like those of other G+J executives, has been slated for elimination, but she will stay on in a consulting capacity to resolve existing litigation, primarily the PCS suit.
— Jeff Bercovici

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