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BALANCING ACT: Given that it occurred during fashion week, the party for Nina Garcia’s “The Little Black Book of Style” by necessity involved multitasking for all. Garcia herself has juggled her gig as fashion director at Elle, a new column, her “Project Runway” appearances and BlackBerry endorsements, as well as a new baby, and will have to hold off publicizing her book until after the European collections. On Wednesday evening at Socialista, she greeted guests as her assistant dashed through in search of the Mulberry studded clutch her boss had put down. Partiers, already with multiple commitments, given the week’s schedule, even had to balance “Project Runway” characters as Tim Gunn was celebrating his solo show with Entertainment Weekly at the same time. Elle publisher Carol Smith multitasked, clutching her 12-year-old daughter’s homework in an envelope.
Upstairs, facing an ever-tighter crowd that included Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger and Gilles Mendel, Hachette chief executive officer Jack Kliger commented: “I just hope everyone here buys the book.”
“They won’t,” replied New York Times Sunday Styles columnist Bob Morris, just behind him. “These people never pay for anything.” (Copies of the book, incidentally, were unavailable that night — “A little bit of a glitch,” Garcia said.)
Kliger was in good spirits, having just been granted a lifetime achievement award by the Magazine Publishers of America, along with Tina Brown. Both worked at Advance or Condé Nast publications through the Eighties and Nineties, and Kliger said he’d sent a bottle of Champagne to Brown with a note hinting at the friction each had had with Condé Nast ceo’s: “If you invite Bernie Leser, I’ll invite Steve Florio,” he said he wrote, declining to elaborate. — Irin Carmon
STAND TALL: Donatella Versace advocates most looks on a woman, so long as she isn’t wearing flats. The Italian designer and In Style’s Hal Rubenstein swapped fashion picks and peeves at a private event for 50 American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders at the Versace boutique in Midtown Manhattan Wednesday night. Versace told the crowd she thought a woman looked her best in clothes that fit her form. “Women should show their bodies,” she said. “Don’t wear shapeless clothes.” But when Rubenstein asked Versace what item of clothing she absolutely won’t wear, the designer declared, “Flat shoes.” Versace also believes women older than 40 are sexier than their younger counterparts because of their confidence. Rubenstein also appreciated how fashion seemed to be celebrating the more mature woman, saying the last couple of seasons have reflected “a very grown-up place. I like that it’s about women that aren’t wishing they were 19 years old. It’s about women who have curves and jobs and responsibilities and money. The clothes finally match the women who are buying them.”
This story first appeared in the September 7, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
And, while Rubenstein will be busy in the tents during fashion week, he won’t be blogging. “I just don’t know if people who have a lot of money to buy clothes read blogs,” he said. — Stephanie D. Smith
HERE’S LOOKING AT YOUTUBE: Neiman Marcus may be 100 years old, but it’s just as tech-savvy as any teenager. To celebrate its birthday, the Dallas-based retailer will launch on Monday a 23-minute documentary on YouTube. The video is broken into three chapters including the Neiman Marcus story, the mystique of the stores and an animated time line of firsts with such nuggets as Neiman Marcus being the first store led by women merchants.
In Ken Burns-style interviews, fashion figures such as Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and Didier Grumbach, president of the French Fashion Federation, weigh in on the question of luxury versus fashion and try to define the Neiman Marcus mystique. “Neiman Marcus has kept alive luxury goods in the world,” concludes Zac Posen.
Lawrence Marcus, a former senior vice president of the retailer and brother of the late Stanley, narrates “the story.”
“Uncle A.L. [Neiman, co-founder], he knew the market, he was the dealmaker,” Marcus says in the video. “Carrie [Marcus Neiman, co-founder] was the fashion expert. She had tremendous feeling for her customers.”
“That a retailer with such a rich history has embraced the YouTube platform is a sign that the media landscape has fundamentally changed for marketers,” said Suzie Reider, YouTube’s sales director.
The documentary can be seen on the Neiman Marcus Web site and in stores.
Meanwhile, Neiman’s has its fingers in another Web venture related to New York Fashion Week — Glam.com has partnered with IMG to provide full coverage of 20 shows and daily highlight clips, as well as 30-second featurettes hosted by Robert Verdi. Neiman’s and Bergdorf Goodman’s Web sites will sponsor, but per Glam.com policy, which means adjacency without in-line video commercials. (Glam.com founder Samir Arora said they irritate viewers). Glam.com also is cosponsoring three shows of designers picked from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists: Rodarte, Doo.Ri and Thakoon. — Sharon Edelson and I.C.
WORLDWIDE VIEW: David Granger provided the inspiration for Michael Clinton’s third book, “Global Faces.” At the party for Clinton’s first book, “Wanderlust,” back in 2000, Granger noticed that hardly any of the photographs — maybe two of the 50 on display — featured people. As Granger, editor in chief at Esquire, writes in his forward for “Global Faces”: “A consummate man of people was about to publish his first major book of photographs almost entirely lacking, you know, people.”
Clinton added, “I thought about it and decided to focus on them more. Actually, he made me a little neurotic about it.”
Clinton, the executive vice president, chief marketing officer and publishing director at Hearst Magazines, somehow manages to find the time beyond his day-to-day responsibilities to visit 115 countries and all seven continents, and then collect his thoughts for “Wanderlust,” “Global Snaps” and, now, “Global Faces.” “I really work my vacation time,” he said. “I went to Dubai over Thanksgiving. It’s a 12-hour flight and I just went for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.” And his globe-trotting has worked out well for Hearst: While traveling in Asia, he came across a mini magazine, affixed to magazine covers, that he had never seen before. Clinton found out the idea had never been done in the U.S., so he approached Revlon, which became the sole advertiser for the mini mags that appeared on a few Hearst covers, including Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.
Upon arriving at a new locale, he grabs his digital camera and begins walking the streets, talking to people along the way and asking if he can take their picture. For some, the images that come out of Clinton’s camera represent the first time they have seen their own picture. For others, Clinton’s presence sparks conversation. “In Dubai, people really wanted to know why America is in Iraq and what we think of the Arabs,” he added. This year, for the book, he’s also traveled to Madagascar, Mozambique and Paraguay. Clinton also visited the Arctic Circle in August 2006 — in 65-degree weather. He saw firsthand how the lives of the local fishermen have drastically changed, as well as the vegetation patterns.
Clinton said “Global Faces” is part of a trilogy, with “Global Remains” coming next. It will be “about anything on the planet Earth that has been man-made but is now abandoned, like the airplane graveyard in Arizona or old factories,” he offered. Clinton said his travel experiences have put his work in publishing and fashion into perspective. “I’ve seen how many unsolvable problems there are in the world. I also have more credibility speaking on places [I’ve visited] because I’ve seen so much firsthand. People will listen to me more.”
“Global Faces” will be published in October by Glitterati Inc. The 352-page book has more than 500 photographs from seven continents and will retail for $40. — Amy Wicks
NEW HIRE: Marie Claire has hired Abigail Pesta as deputy editor to oversee financial coverage as well as major features for the magazine. She succeeds Julia Savacool, who left for Fitness magazine in July. Pesta was previously articles editor at Glamour, where she helped recruit Mariane Pearl, wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, to write Glamour’s Global Diary column. Pesta has also worked at TheStreet.com, The Wall Street Journal Online and The Asian Wall Street Journal. — S.D.S.
IN-HOUSE RAID: Details has lost senior editor Todd Pruzan to Portfolio, where he will have the same title starting Sept. 17. Associate editor Genevieve Roth also left Details to attend law school, a spokeswoman confirmed. — I.C.