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CAMPBELL’S COUP: What do you get when you pair Naomi Campbell with Hugo Chavez? One amusing interview. For her debut piece in British GQ, newly minted contributing editor Campbell interviewed the Venezuelan president, and it appears she couldn’t shut him up.
In a four-page interview, Chavez blows on about President Bush wanting to kill him, his vision for uniting South America by 2020 and how he thinks the world is seeing “the fall of the Empire [of the Eagle]” — referring to America. The interview will appear in the magazine’s February issue, which hits newsstands Thursday.
Somehow Campbell succeeds in keeping the tone of the interview upbeat. In her introduction, she says that, over the course of her three meetings with Chavez, she discovered — go figure — that he loves to sing. “If he wasn’t the president, he’d be a very successful Latin singer,” she asserts. She also elicits Chavez’s views on fashion: He believes Fidel Castro (whom Campbell once met) is the most stylish world leader because “his uniform is impeccable…and his beard is elegant.”
While there is no doubt Campbell is a fan of Chavez, whom she calls a “rebel angel,” a sidebar by GQ editor Dylan Jones tempers her reverent tone. Jones’ piece, “The Other Side of Chavez,” describes the politician as “a forked tongue sitting on a loose cannon.” Lest anyone assume that Campbell is merely dabbling in the media, she already has an interview lined up with the star British racing driver Lewis Hamilton, set to be published in GQ’s March issue. A spokeswoman for Condé Nast in the U.K. added the model has several further interview subjects in the pipeline for GQ — including another audience with Castro. — Nina Jones
DREAMY: There’s a doctor in the house of Versace. Patrick Dempsey, aka Dr. McDreamy of “Grey’s Anatomy,” cuts a strikingly modern figure in Versace’s spring ad campaign, set to bow in the February editions of select fashion and lifestyle magazines. The campaign was shot by Mario Testino last November in Los Angeles.
Dempsey wears a slim, two-button chocolate brown suit; a white button-down (true button-front for Quinn) shirt, and a deep purple tie in several of the images. The background is clean white, save for a few moody shadows.
In other photos he sports sleek sunglasses, a bit of scruff and a broken-in leather jacket. “I discovered that Patrick is a man who is not afraid to like or even love fashion,” Donatella Versace said. “He’s got extremely refined taste.”
Dempsey is the latest celebrity to pose for chez Versace. Others have included Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and on the women’s side, Demi Moore and Madonna, among others. — Courtney Colavita
WELL-HUNG BECKHAM: David Beckham’s profile is huge. So, too, now are his proportions. Giorgio Armani unveiled a 3,300-square-foot billboard of the soccer superstar in Milan on Thursday to kick off Emporio Armani’s underwear ad campaign, which Beckham is fronting. The black-and-white image of the lithe Beckham sporting an unbuttoned white shirt and briefs caused quite a stir when released to the media last month. Aside from setting pulses racing, it also drew speculation that Beckham’s manhood had been enhanced for the ad. His wife and fashionista Victoria hit back, claiming David is big in the trouser department, even likening her husband’s package to a tractor exhaust pipe. Make that a small family car, judging by the poster in Milan’s exclusive Brera district. The campaign went live on Armani’s Web site last week. Other billboards worldwide and print ads will run from next month. — Andrew Roberts
A NEW PRISM: Mario Testino has been shooting Burberry ad campaigns for the last decade, but there’s one key difference in his new ads for spring — the use of color. Leaving behind the usual black-and-white images of the past, ads in the February issues of Vogue, Vanity Fair and W intend to reflect “a very colorful collection and a younger mood at Burberry,” said a spokesman.
Model-of-the-moment Agyness Deyn is back for another season (she is also the face of the new fragrance, Burberry the Beat), as is Lily Donaldson. Coco Sumner, daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, also modeled for the ads. Creative director Christopher Bailey, a supporter of British musicians, tapped Liam Wade, guitarist for Courtney Love, and musicians from the bands Selfish C—, Blondelle, Snish and the Foals. In the fall, Bailey had members of The View and The Paddingtons in some shots. “The ads reflect the next generation of British talent,” added the spokesman, who declined to provide the budget for spring. — Amy Wicks
ANOTHER HOME: Louis Bofferding, a decorative arts contributing editor at Domino, soon will begin a new column at competitor Elle Decor. His last two stories for Domino, which have already been written, will appear sometime in 2008, said Deborah Needleman, editor in chief. Bofferding said he’s enjoyed writing for Domino for the past two years, but at Elle Decor, he will have a chance to write longer pieces. He added that the new column has yet to be named and he is currently working on his first piece. “He did a great job for us,” Needleman told WWD. She added that Bofferding is one of the first people she thought of when the magazine was in development. Bofferding, who has worn many hats, including lecturer and museum curator, also has a shop on the Upper East Side. — A.W.
A DIFFERENT ARTISTIC VIEW: For Bottega Veneta, advertising is about more than just promotion. It’s art, too. Once again, the Italian fashion house has commissioned an artist to shoot its ad campaign for spring, tapping British photographer and video artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Famous for examining the nature of voyeurism — her body of work includes a film of David Beckham sleeping — Taylor-Wood brought her signature perspective to the Bottega Veneta shoot. “The imagery in the campaign captures the restraint and intimacy of spring’s subtle, pale-hued clothing and accessories,” the company said.
The ads were photographed in a single day in November in London, where Taylor-Wood, 40, lives with her husband, art dealer Jay Jopling, and two children. “Her sense of composition, her use of lighting, the psychological depth that she brings to pictures — she has a remarkable combination of abilities,” Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier said.
“For us, she brought a very compelling human dimension to the campaign, a dimension that’s central to everything Bottega Veneta designs,” Maier continued.
The campaign breaks in some fashion titles beginning this week.
Taylor-Wood follows fellow artists Annie Leibovitz (fall 2007); Tina Barney (spring 2007); Lord Snowdon (fall 2006); Stephen Shore (spring 2006), and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (fall 2005). — A.R.