ART OF MARRIAGE: Isabel and Ruben Toledo have never been ones to seek the limelight, but PBS has turned its cameras on the husband and wife designers for a new program called “The Artist Toolbox.” Host and director John Jacobsen visited the pair in their eclectic Tin Pan Alley loft for the segment, which will air in New York on Feb. 3. Not surprisingly, the Toledos’ views vary when it comes to what is art. Isabel Toledo defined it as feeling, whereas her husband pinned it on spirit. “With my art, I can’t even see spirit. I feel things and then I somehow give it form and give it shape,” she said.
As for Ruben Toledo, he said, “To discover something is an art, that is [being] an artist.”
This story first appeared in the January 24, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Jacobsen is also going behind the scenes with other artistic types, including musician John Legend, actor Tom Skerritt and writer Isabel Allende.
— ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
BATTLE OF WORDS: After untold scholarly citations and umpteen colorful historical references — The Green Movement, Red Shirts — Malcolm Gladwell and New York University professor Clay Shirky are still in a deadlock over the question: Do social media make protests possible? The two won’t let this one die.
Last October, Gladwell penned a 4,000-word response to Shirky’s 2008 book (“Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations”) for The New Yorker. “The evangelists of social media” — Shirky, for example — “don’t understand this distinction; they seem to believe that a Facebook friend is the same as a real friend,” Gladwell wrote. Shirky came back to defend his book in the January/February edition of Foreign Affairs, reaffirming “The Political Power of Social Media” with a few thousand words of his own. Gladwell’s “critique is correct but not central to the question of social media’s power,” he wrote.
In the March/April issue of FA, the fight roars on. The two have side-by-side columns, but don’t share much more than the page. “[Shirky] has to convince readers that in the absence of social media, those uprisings would not have been possible,” says Gladwell. “Here, the historical record of the last decade is unambiguous,” retorts Shirky. As one or the other said thousands of words ago, “Viva la revolución.” Or, better yet: agree to disagree.
— ZEKE TURNER
BIG OOPS: Last Tuesday, six editors were test-driving Bentleys in Ridgefield, Conn. “You know Tuesday was so slushy and icy. The roads were awful,” said Kate Winick, a senior editor for Worth magazine. She was driving a new convertible, the Continental GTC Speed 8011. Daily Beast books editor Lucas Wittmann was sitting in the back after two turns at the wheel. Winick was going 25 miles an hour up a hill, but lost the car into a skid when she swerved away from a UPS truck parked on the side of the road. “ ‘Lost its bumper’ is the nice, passive-voice way of saying [what happened to the car],” she said, and nobody was hurt. The $250,000 Bentley had to be towed back to New York. You would think the automaker would be upset. “No, the people from Bentley have been so lovely. You know, they deal with this stuff all time,” Winick said. “And I’ve been getting made fun of at the office, but it’s not the end of the world and hopefully not the end of my career.” The car will get mentioned in the forthcoming green luxury issue of Worth. The crash, she said, will not.