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OFF THE WAGON: Steven Meisel gives his own take on a current celebrity phenomenon — rehab — in this month’s Italian Vogue, which hits newsstands this week. In a tongue-in-cheek fashion story inspired by the antics of Britney Spears, along with the film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Meisel shot models including Agyness Deyn, Lara Stone, Missy Rayder, Tasha Tilberg, Sasha Pivovarova, Iselin Steiro and Guinevere van Seenus performing antics such as getting out of a car and flashing her nakedness, bathing in an asylum and yelling at the paparazzi. Designer brands included in the shoot were Fendi, Chloé, Alessandro dell’Acqua, Jil Sander, Azzedine Alaïa, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Miu Miu. Fittingly, the four-day shoot took place in Los Angeles, home to celebrity-friendly rehab facilities such as Wonderland Center. — Amy Wicks
POLITICAL BEAT: The New Yorker has tapped Ryan Lizza as its new Washington correspondent, replacing Jeffrey Goldberg, who went to The Atlantic. Lizza, 32, has been much courted: According to a January report in the New York Observer, he turned down offers from Time, The New York Times and The Washington Post to keep his senior editorship at The New Republic and contributing editor gig at GQ. WWD also reported last week that Lizza is working on a story about presidential candidate Barack Obama for GQ, perhaps for the cover. His appointment to cover national politics and the presidential campaign for The New Yorker is effective Aug. 1.
In other New Republic news, Ben Wasserstein, associate editor at New York magazine and son of its owner, investment banker Bruce Wasserstein, is leaving to become editor of The New Republic online. He replaces Adam B. Kushner. Wasserstein joined New York in 2005, 18 months after his father purchased the weekly, and was previously associate editor at the now-defunct Vitals. Said New York magazine editor in chief Adam Moss: “We’re really sorry to see Ben go, but this is a great job for him. We’re sure he’ll do wonderfully there as he has done here. They’re lucky to have him.” (Of course, he is the son of Moss’ boss.)
This story first appeared in the July 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Jesse Oxfeld, currently the editor of Daily Intelligencer on nymag.com, will become a senior editor and take on some of Wasserstein’s duties, working on the Intelligencer section with Carl Swanson. He will move into his new role in mid-August, and will continue to have a hand in Daily Intelligencer, a spokeswoman said. — Irin Carmon and Stephanie D. Smith
NEW MAN: After two months of kissing and blogging on glamour.com, stand-up comedian Michael Somerville has won the online contest to become Glamour magazine’s Jake columnist and reveal all about his dating-in-the-city adventures. Somerville beat out Radar editor Neel Shah and GQ contributor Adam Stein for the honor, and will begin doling out advice on love and sex to the title’s readers in the August issue. For 51 years, a variety of “Jakes” have dished about their singleton experiences until a major life change — like marriage — dictates their departure. Though the column was written anonymously, previous Jakes included Bud Palmer, a former New York Knick, and New York Times contributor Andrew Postman, who later wrote a book about his experience, called “Now I Know Everything.” The most recent anonymous Jake gave up the column because he’s getting married.
But clearly, facelessness doesn’t cut it any longer when it comes to the column. To find his replacement, Glamour launched a contest where readers chose either Somerville, Shaw or Stein, based on the three writers’ blogs detailing their love lives (including dates with Glamour fashion editor Ashley Baker). Somerville will write the column as long as he’s still single in the city. The magazine will unveil the winner on CBS’ “The Early Show” on July 10, the day the August issue hits newsstands. But since issues in New York and Los Angeles show up a week earlier, glamour.com will name Somerville as the new Jake today. — S.D.S.
TINA’S L.A. TURN: “Women always seem to come back after difficult times. It’s like a badge of honor,” Arianna Huffington told the 18 women gathered in her Brentwood home June 25 for a girls’ lunch honoring Tina Brown.
“It’s nice to be part of Arianna’s tribe,” said Brown, in town for a series of events promoting her best-selling book, “The Diana Chronicles.”
Of course, the guests, including Sony Pictures chairman Amy Pascal, Barbara Guggenheim, Gigi Grazer and Lynda Obst, took the opportunity to ask Brown for more dish on the late princess. “I didn’t realize that the British had so much sex,” said Pascal. “So what are we doing here?” asked Grazer. — Marcy Medina
SHIELDS DOES NEW YORK & CO.: Brooke Shields has traded in her Calvins for New York & Co.’s Avenue Pant, which she wore for the retailer’s fall ad campaign, shot May 31 in New York. Shields, whose next venture will be starring in Candace Bushnell’s “Lipstick Jungle,” said, “As a working woman and mother, I feel like I can relate to the New York & Co. customer. They want to feel sexy, and they want clothes that complement not only their figures, but their lifestyles.” — Whitney Beckett