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THE T-SHIRT’S GREAT, BUT DO I HAVE TO READ?: Print publishers are clearly beleaguered as they rush to excite the younger generation about the virtues of newspapers and magazines, but Wenner Media’s latest marketing effort may exhibit how difficult times truly are in this Internet age. Classic Rolling Stone magazine covers from the past 40 years including Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Kid Rock and The Beatles are now being sold in T-shirt form and are part of a limited edition collection available at Macy’s. The shirts cost $36 each. Oh, by the way, there’s a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone included. Deducting the magazine’s special offer subscription price of $17.97 for a year, that works out to a mere $18.03 for the shirt. Gary Armstrong, chief marketing officer of Wenner Media, said the magazine had been approached by several retailers to do this type of collection but it chose Macy’s since it has stores all over the country and it appeals to the core Rolling Stone reader. “This is just the beginning,” he added. Hats, bags and knapsacks are also in the works, although they may be sold through other partnerships. — Amy Wicks
DEE-LIGHTFUL GLAMOUR: Though Ruby Dee has earned a Screen Actors Guild award and an Academy Award nomination, she never was given a private dinner where New York’s fashion set gathered around to fete her — until Monday. Vogue editor at large André Leon Talley, eBay style director Constance White, designer Kevan Hall, IMG’s Fern Mallis, Gayle King, Lynn Whitfield, the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan and Harriette Cole, Ebony’s creative director, were among those who gathered at Melba’s in Harlem to honor Dee, who this year was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in “American Gangster,” and sparkled on the red carpet in a gown designed by Hall. “This is the first time I’ve ever had such an occasion where people like you have come to honor me,” Dee told the group. “It’s like the great hand of God is reaching through the sky and patting me on the back and saying, ‘Atta girl!'”
This story first appeared in the June 11, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Before dessert, eBay’s White presented Dee with framed images of herself on the red carpet in Hall’s red dress (Dee, who said one thing that bothered her about the Oscars is fretting over what to wear, credited her daughter for both discovering Hall and “that someone makes a dress for you when you get nominated for an Oscar”). She also received a studio shot from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer printed as early as the late Fifties, a playbill from “Raisin in the Sun,” both found on eBay, and other classic photos from her films. Dee received a $10,000 pair of earrings from Mikimoto as well.
Incidentally, Talley, who arrived late, discussed a recent piece of art he received — the original sketch of Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. from the New York Observer cover spoofing the controversial April Vogue cover with LeBron James and Gisele Bündchen. Observer owner Jared Kushner bought the image for Talley. So where is it now? “It’s at the framers,” Talley said. And then, “it will go in my office.” He also passed out paper invitations — which were stuffed into gift bags, too — for the June 17 event for Michelle Obama he’s hosting with Wintour, Shelby Bryan and Calvin Klein. Entry into the reception at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. gallery in West Chelsea costs $1,000; 10 grand buys the more restricted entry into the dinner at Klein’s apartment. — Stephanie D. Smith