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SPOTTED: What was Bill Clinton doing in the lobby of 4 Times Square Monday afternoon? The former president was spotted at the headquarters of Condé Nast Publications with a team of Secret Service agents and a photographer wearing a badge that identified him as being with the Clinton camp. Clinton’s appearance created some buzz throughout the halls, considering his wife and presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton ruffled the feathers of Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour after backing out of a photo shoot for the magazine. Could he have been trying to smooth things over with Wintour, or just attempting to garner votes for his wife in New York’s primary on Feb. 5? Who knows, but he did see a lot of empty offices if he traveled to the executive suite: a good many top-level Condé Nasters had left for the annual publishers’ meeting Monday and Tuesday in Florida. — Stephanie D. Smith
MURDOCH GOES IN-HOUSE: Pursuits, the Wall Street Journal’s planned high-end magazine launch, already has a place on executives’ business cards and a looming launch date, Sept. 6. But it wasn’t until Monday that the magazine had an official editor, Tina Gaudoin, who was the editor of The Times of London’s Luxx, a quarterly launched in June. The magazine also appears to be the first juncture in which new Journal owner Rupert Murdoch and Robert Thomson — formerly editor of The Times of London, and now publisher of the Journal — put a firm stamp on the business daily. Gaudoin was the style editor of The Times of London’s Saturday magazine starting in 2003, and also has worked as editorial director of iVillage UK, as founding editor of a British women’s magazine called Frank and as deputy editor at Tatler. She also brings with her The Times of London’s art director, Tomaso Capuano, who’ll develop the design of Pursuits. He previously designed the Financial Times’ How to Spend It magazine. — Irin Carmon
SEYMOUR’S POP ART: Peter Brant, the new sole owner of Interview magazine, is making waves as he revamps the publication following the departure of Ingrid Sischy and his ex-wife, Sandra Brant, from the title. But it turns out Brant’s current wife, Stephanie Seymour, is dipping her toe into the media world this spring, too. Pop magazine’s spring-summer 2008 issue, which hits newsstands Thursday, is almost entirely devoted to Seymour. The model and art collector appears in six fashion editorials in the magazine, and gives a lengthy interview about her career with writer Glenn O’Brien — who has just been named co-editorial director of Brant’s Interview.
“She’s like a creature from urban mythology,” said Katie Grand, editor in chief of Pop. “I remember images of her in Vogue, and hearing all about her and Axl Rose.” Grand explained she met Seymour when Grand styled spring’s Louis Vuitton show, in which Seymour appeared on the runway as a nurse inspired by Richard Prince’s paintings. “She was incredibly inspiring,” said Grand. “In our initial conversations I was sure that I wanted her to go from superglamorous to no hair and makeup, and [Seymour] was really interested in who we were working with.”
Grand added that one of her favorite portrayals of Seymour in the issue, which includes images by photographers Glen Luchford, Solve Sundsbo and Peter Lindbergh, is the model going about her daily business in her Connecticut hometown, shot by artist Nigel Shafran. The shots take a peek inside her home — in which Andy Warhol’s painting “Last Supper” casually hangs on the wall above Seymour and Brant’s bed — and depict Seymour window-shopping in a Greenwich, Conn., jewelers and at a Pilates class. “In this age of computer manipulation, the pictures show [Seymour] as very raw, as a wife and mother,” said Grand. — Nina Jones
KNOCKOFFS, EVEN IN ADVERTISING: Condé Nast has spent the last few years convincing its readers that “Fashion Rocks.” Its annual magazine and television event is known for celebrating fashion — of the Vogue variety and not, say, Daffy’s, which promises “high fashion and low prices.” Which is why it came as a surprise to some over at 4 Times Square that bus shelters and phone booths around the city recently were decked out with ads touting “Cheap Fashion Rocks” at Daffy’s. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so perhaps Richard Beckman, Condé Nast Media Group president, and his fellow colleagues didn’t mind the casual connection. Beckman did not respond to requests for comment. — Amy Wicks
HIGH JUMP: The fashion world was formally introduced to artist Ryan McGinley at the Guggenheim Museum’s Young Collectors Council Artist’s Ball in December, and now his work will be brought to the masses with the spring advertising campaign for Converse by John Varvatos. “We wanted to create images that bewitch the viewer and engage him more than a typical advertising campaign might,” said Stephen Niedzwiecki, creative director of Yard, the agency behind the campaign. The brand is continuing with its “Get Chucked” theme, but this time around, the images are intended to come across as more sophisticated. “I think that we brought it up a few notches,” said John Varvatos. “We didn’t want it to be as young as before.” The campaign will run in upcoming issues of Vogue, GQ, Elle, V and Details. — A.W.