HOW TO DRESS LIKE DAN: Perpetual brand extension has become the magazine publishing norm, and Details is the latest to give it a shot. “The Details Men’s Style Manual: The Ultimate Guide for Making Your Clothes Work for You” — a title that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue — will be published in October by Gotham Books, packaged by Melcher Media, also responsible for magazine books like the In Style and Lucky books and “Spy: The Funny Years.”
“There really hasn’t been any major men’s fashion book that wasn’t sort of fad-related,” argued Details publisher Chris Mitchell. Said editor in chief Dan Peres, “We weren’t sitting around and thinking, what can we do to compete with the Abs Diet? We said, you know what, so many men struggle with style. We consistently offer them service, guidance and advice in the magazine — let’s take that a step further.” But with his own book project, Peres will have to make like the Abs Diet ambassador himself, Men’s Health editor in chief Dave Zinczenko, and, in Peres’ own words, “get out there and shill for it.” This is something he claimed to be happy to do on behalf of the book, despite a self-described preference to “fly below the radar” in the age of the ubiquitous editor: “I’ve been told by many people that I should be more interested in self-promotion. But nonetheless, this is the way I am,” Peres said, adding, “I don’t fault [Zinczenko] for what he’s done, but I don’t use it as a model.”
Mitchell also said he’ll take an active role in promoting the book with, for example, in-store events, gift-with-purchase deals, and a book party with a “major upscale department store.” And Peres expects the book to make men’s fashion itself a bit more prominent. “When I tell people I’m leaving for the fashion shows in Europe, they talk about how exciting it must be to see all those beautiful dresses come down the runway,” he said. Problem is, they’re talking about the wrong shows. Peres obviously goes to the men’s ones. “I’m looking more at chiseled abs and Speedos than I am at Empire-waisted dresses.” In this, perhaps, he’s not so different from Zinczenko after all. — Irin Carmon
MOORE MAKES MERRY: How do you solve a problem like Michael Moore? The iconoclastic documentary director is courted by controversy at every turn, and the opening of his latest offering, “Sicko,” is no different. Not only did bootleg copies show up on file-sharing Web sites before the movie’s June 29 release date, giving The Weinstein Company no end of legal headaches, but his Monday night Ziegfeld premiere, co-hosted by Jared Kushner’s New York Observer and MoveOn.org, was beset by a picket line of protesting nurses. As the audience came to realize, it was actually the Moore brand of marketing genius at work — the New York State Nurses Association was there in his support.
Of course, Moore’s scathing look at the American health care and insurance industries was plagued before it even began. “I couldn’t get insurance to start shooting the film for about five months,” explained the director to his audience, including Russell Simmons, Shalom Harlow, Richard Belzer, “Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock and “Traffic” writer Stephen Gaghan.
“It had a preexisting condition,” joked one of the nurses.
“Yeah, me,” retorted Moore.
He must be enjoying having the last laugh, however. “It’s the only time I’ve ever seen a standing ovation at a New York premiere,” said Harvey Weinstein at the after party at Azza.
The next day, Moore showed up at the Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Plaza, where he wasted no time calling it as he sees it. In a Q&A with attendees like Kushner, David Zinczenko and Hendrik Hertzberg, Moore lamented the fact that Al Gore is not currently running for president, noting the only Democratic candidate with a universal health care plan is John Edwards, and that it wasn’t any good. When asked whether he regretted supporting Ralph Nader in 2000, he said the politician had “lied” to his constituency when he said he wouldn’t campaign in swing States. “Then he went down to Florida,” said Moore. “We found out he was crazy.” One topic he didn’t want to discuss was the subject of his next movie. Moore said he’d begun work on it already, but didn’t want his subjects to sharpen their knives on him just yet, “So I’m not going to talk to you about it.” — Elisa Lipsky-Karasz and Jacob Bernstein
ANOTHER DEPARTURE: Thomas Gardner, executive vice president of the Reader’s Digest Association and president of RD International, will resign at the end of the month. Mary Berner, president and chief executive officer of Reader’s Digest Association said Tuesday that at the time of Ripplewood Holdings’ acquisition of RDA, Gardner offered to stay on to assist in the transition. Yet it was only three months ago Gardner agreed to take on the additional responsibility for North American Books and Home Entertainment, including RD Canada. Gardner declined further comment and a spokesman said the presidents of various regions around the world, such as Western Europe, will now report directly to Berner. — Amy Wicks
SINGING THE UNSUNG: Fashion’s most glamorous “behind the scenes” women, at least according to Men.Style.Com, were feted Monday night at — where else these days? — the Roof Club at Manhattan’s Gramercy Park Hotel. It was the Web site’s first go at picking the “25 Who Make the World More Glamorous,” and those selected included Valentino’s Annelise Peterson, Ali Wise of Dolce & Gabbana, Bonnie Morrison of KCD Worldwide, Eleanor Ylvisaker at Earnest Sewn, public relations consultant Ferebee Bishop Taube and Victoria Traina, a student. Euan Rellie, one of the judges, showed up with his three-year-old son “to make sure I don’t get into any trouble tonight.” He also joked “this has been a good opportunity to flirt with women who are not my wife.” Standing next to Rellie, Peterson said it was a “great honor” to be selected by the Web site, while laughing at a comment that “she just doesn’t get enough attention, in general.” Editor in chief Dirk Standen declined to let WWD in on the secrets behind the process, but hopes the list will lead to more in the future — and, of course, drive traffic to the site. “I wish I could say this is the ‘second annual’ and that we already had a long-standing tradition.” — A.W.