REMEMBERING CLAY: At the memorial for New York magazine founder Clay Felker on Monday night, Milton Glaser described him as being interested in “the rich, the talented and the perverse…in fact, I can’t think of anything Clay wasn’t interested in, except introspection.” The men and women that had also interested Felker as writers, editors and art directors gathered at the Society for Ethical Culture to engage in some retrospection about the late editor, who died in July. Among them were Gloria Steinem (who called Felker “the greatest editor I have ever known,”), Lesley Stahl, Tom Wolfe and Felker’s wife, the journalist Gail Sheehy.
“From my first moment at New York, Clay pretty much moved into a room in my brain,” said current New York editor in chief Adam Moss. “He became my magazine superego, honking at my every turn of cowardice and cravenness to remind me that the only magazine worth publishing is one that makes its fair share of trouble.” Moss might have also found relevant remarks by Richard Reeves, who jumped ship from The New York Times to New York three decades or so before Moss did. When he wrote for The New York Times magazine, Reeves recalled, people would be impressed and say, “I saw your piece in The New York Times Magazine.” At Felker’s New York, Reeves said, “people would come up to me on the street and argue.”
This story first appeared in the September 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Several speakers wished aloud they could have seen Felker take on the spectacular ruins on Wall Street. In his absence, Wolfe is apparently available to pontificate — Sir David Frost, master of ceremonies at the memorial, told of Wolfe, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the day of Blackstone’s initial public offering, being asked by a CNBC reporter what he thought of the IPO. Knowing next to nothing about it, Wolfe improvised: “It’s the end of capitalism as we know it.” A year later, his weighty assessment was the subject of a New York Times business article, in which he was cast as a visionary. Onstage, Wolfe referred to himself when it comes to business as “the village idiot” and “idiot savant.” (Nonetheless, his musings on business could be found in Portfolio around the same time.) — Irin Carmon
LOVELY SMILE?: Kirsten Dunst has always celebrated her crooked smile, but that seems to have disappeared on the October cover of Harper’s Bazaar. The actress, who in reality has slightly protruding teeth on both sides of her upper row, smiles gleamingly from the cover and in the feature story inside with teeth as straight as planks. On Tuesday, Jezebel.com posted an item questioning whether the magazine had airbrushed the actress’ smile and also linked to a story quoting Dunst as saying, “messed up teeth are sexy.” Bazaar’s editor in chief Glenda Bailey was in Milan at the shows and did not respond to a request for comment, but a Hearst spokeswoman said, “Kirsten has a lovely smile and clearly she is happy to be on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Her teeth were not fixed on the cover or on the inside pages.” A spokesman for Dunst did not respond to a request for comment by press time. — Stephanie D. Smith
BONO THE BLOGGER: Bono is in New York this week to meet with world leaders such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown about helping the world’s poor — and the philanthropic U2 frontman is also blogging about his experiences during the U.N. General Assembly for ft.com. Of his meeting with Sarkozy, Bono wrote: “At one point in the meeting he reached across and grabbed my arm: ‘You know, Africa is Europe’s next door neighbour…13 kilometres from us…our fate is bound up in theirs…it’s in our own self interest.’ The meeting started with the beautiful Carla Bruni, a great ally in our efforts to better our storytelling about the effectiveness of good aid. Both the first lady and the president change the molecular structure of any room they are in — he speeds them up, she calms them down. A great team.”
On behalf of the ONE campaign, Bono also intends to meet with Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin and he is hoping to meet with Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden in the next few weeks. “Both [McCain and Obama] have agreed that increased and effective aid is a critical part of American foreign policy in a world where inequality conjures instability and where making friends is a lot cheaper than defending yourself against new enemies,” Bono wrote. — Amy Wicks