TAKING SPACE: The New York Observer is intensifying its efforts to position itself as a player in the real estate world, per the interests of its new owner, Jared Kushner. An eight-day arts collaboration with real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is in the works, involving installations and possibly a fashion component in a Cushman & Wakefield retail space in SoHo. One representative for the project said it would be called “The New York Observatory,” and that the editorial side of the paper would be involved, possibly with a limited daily edition. — Irin Carmon

GEARING UP: Portfolio editor in chief Joanne Lipman “does not want for confidence,” notes Mark Fass in a story in New York magazine this week. In the article, Lipman says of her stint at The Wall Street Journal and the launch of its Weekend Journal section: “Every single thing we were doing was completely brand new….I reinvented the wheel.” As for the naysayers who doubt the upcoming launch on April 16, Portfolio deputy editor Amy Stevens has a name for them — “The Schadenfreude Squad.” Condé Nast Publications chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. tells New York: “Launches involve a considerable amount of risk. It’s something to get excited about. The outlook is favorable, but life is a gamble.” (WWD is also owned by Condé Nast Publications.) But he stresses the company is in it for the long haul, adding of Portfolio: “There’s not, in our thinking, a time limit on it. We’re going to make it work.” — I.C.

NEW STYLE: In Style has tapped Maria Eliason as its new executive director, international fashion, ad sales. She will oversee the magazine’s international fashion advertising and report to associate publisher Lisa Jordan Helms. Eliason, who took up her new position on Thursday, joined In Style from Vanity Fair, where she held the same title. Eliason spent seven years at the Condé Nast title; prior to that she was the fashion and jewelry manager at both Mirabella and Marie Claire. In Style group publisher Lynette Harrison said Eliason will help strengthen In Style’s “ties in the domestic and European fashion communities.” — Stephanie D. Smith

This story first appeared in the April 9, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

AN EPIPHANY AT GRENOUILLE: The choice of La Grenouille for Thursday night’s dinner party for new House & Garden design director Wendy Goodman was no accident. “When [editor in chief] Dominique [Browning] and I first met, I told her about how, when I went to La Grenouille as a fashion editor, I was completely intrigued by this building, a former carriage house,” recalled Goodman. That curiosity grew into a story in New York magazine about the building and restaurant’s storied history that “changed my life, and changed my career,” she said. “I thought, this is exactly what I want to do. I want to explore the way people live and why they live the way they do. Last night I was looking at that room and thought, who would have ever thought?” Conversation among guests, who included architect Richard Meier and designers Robert Couturier and Miles Redd, touched on how the changing media landscape affects their work. “I think there’s really a feeling that we’re on the verge of a sea change in the way that we show projects, because there’s so much information and alternative media now,” said Goodman. “Everything’s changing really quickly, and it’s a wonderful challenge to the magazine, how to present and shoot stories.” — I.C.

GUZZLING PAIR: Seems some Hollywood stars aren’t afraid of a few extra calories. Actresses Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel, co-stars in the teen flick “John Tucker Must Die,” knocked back a few at the Best Life Vail Film Festival, which ran March 29 through April 1. Bush emphatically declared her love for Stella Artois beer, despite the current trend in Hollywood for actresses to stay as slim as possible. “All Hollywood girls are like, ‘No beer for me, it makes me fat.’ But I love beer and Stella is my favorite!” Bush and Kebell mingled with D.B. Sweeney and Giancarlo Esposito in the Best Life Lodge, where celebrities enjoyed après-ski festivities hosted by sponsors Epson, Shiseido, Calvin Klein and Swiss Army Apparel. — S.D.S.

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