UNDER THE BIG TOP: Ex-Condé Nast Publications executives James Truman and Mitch Fox are teaming up — but not for a media project. Sources close to Truman, the publishing company’s one-time editorial director, and Fox, its former group president who was let go in January, said they are collaborating on a roving event that will combine a green market and eco-technology with a Cirque du Soleil-like performance series.
Truman and Fox first worked together in the early Nineties as editor in chief and publisher, respectively, of Details. Truman famously quit the editorial director role in 2005 and resurfaced in media briefly as editorial director of LTB Media, only to quit there in late 2006. He hinted at that time that he would be looking for funding to either acquire or start other media firms. Fox was at Condé Nast for 18 years, serving as publisher of Vanity Fair and eventually ascending to group president and publishing director, overseeing the company’s golf titles as well as Fairchild Fashion Group parent WWD. He was axed in January in a large-scale company reorganization. Neither Truman nor Fox could be reached for comment Friday. — Irin Carmon
FASHION AND POLITICS: The New Yorker’s semiannual style issue lands this week, with a floral-themed cover in keeping with spring fashion’s mood. Leading the issue is a piece by John Colapinto on Rick Owens, described as Courtney Love’s favorite designer. “Owens is a kind of under-the-radar guy,” said New Yorker articles editor Susan Morrison, adding, “He doesn’t advertise at all, so he’s a harder sell for any of the big fashion books.” Elsewhere in the issue, Judith Thurman profiles Ruben and Isabel Toledo (though apparently confidentiality agreements with Jones Apparel Group Inc. prevented them from dishing any dirt about Isabel Toledo’s separation from Anne Klein), and Michael Chabon’s essay in the catalogue for the upcoming “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is excerpted and edited by David Remnick himself. Janet Malcolm defends the “Gossip Girl” franchise — specifically the books, with a nod to the television show, seeing them as dark social comedies in the mold of Nabokov and Thackeray. Lauren Collins’ profile of Michelle Obama comes on the heels of several other newspaper and magazine profiles, but may make headlines with comments by the potential first lady’s brother, Craig Robinson, about the Clintons. Robinson, who is the head basketball coach at Brown University, dismissed Bill Clinton’s much-publicized “fairy-tale” comment in New Hampshire as “so ludicrous that it’s almost comical. It really is.” Robinson also commented on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s teary remarks on the campaign trail: “And the whole crying now before every primary? You’ve got to be kidding me. If I was a woman, I’d be embarrassed for her.” — I.C.
GOING FOR IMPACT: A large portion of Saks Fifth Avenue’s marketing budget for its new Want It ad campaign has landed in New York magazine’s Best of New York issue, on newsstands today. Kimberly Grabel, senior vice president, marketing, said nine ads are in the publication, which is quite possibly the largest ad commitment the retailer has ever made in the magazine. A New York spokeswoman noted that the ads have the most prominent placement for a single advertiser in recent history. “They are doing a great job and have that local audience,” said Grabel of New York. Saks’ ads will open every major section of the magazine (Intelligencer, columns, Best of New York and facing the Approval Matrix) and the store sponsored a barrel gatefold of “Best of New York Classics.” Illustrations for the campaign are by Dutch graphic artist Piet Paris, featuring clothing that resembles a series of New York landmarks, such as the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty. Neither Saks nor New York magazine executives would reveal the amount spent on the ads. — Amy Wicks
WINNERS’ CIRCLE: Engineered Garments’ Daiki Suzuki and Angelo Urrutia earned honors from GQ and the Council of Fashion Designers of America as the Best New Menswear Designers in America. The project was launched this year by the magazine and the CFDA to acknowledge budding talent in American men’s wear design. Six designers were nominated in January to compete for cash and prizes, and were judged by a panel that included John Varvatos, who said Engineered Garments’ designs had “innovation, heritage and quality,” and CFDA executive director Steven Kolb. In addition to the winner, other nominees included Rag & Bone, Spurr, Steven Alan, Gilded Age and Obedient Sons. Suzuki and Urrutia will receive a $50,000 prize and will create a collection for Levi’s. An item or outfit from that collection will be featured in GQ’s September issue. — Stephanie D. Smith