Welcome to our Must Issue! With it we commemorate the year-end holiday mood with an extended Must List—a handsome feature husbanded to the page by our fashion director, Alex Badia, and shot by a team that has come to be known, in-house, during the giddy deadline hours, as the M Squad (comprising photographers George Chinsee and Patricia Heal, as well as stylist Mariana Vera).
With its carefully selected assortment of goods, the Must List is meant not only to look nice but to serve as a practical guide for those readers who may find themselves in the grips of the gift-giving anxiety that has been known to undercut the merriment of the season. The Must theme reverberates throughout the rest of the issue. Our cover subject, the actor Oscar Isaac, has been on the cusp of stardom for a while, and his talents are on display like never before in a great new picture from Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis. Writer Lynn Hirschberg met with Isaac at the Cafe Edison, not far from our midtown office, to catch him before his breakthrough, and photographer Brian Bowen Smith took terrific advantage of the actor’s intensity and good humor in a cinema-verité-style shoot in Manhattan’s East Village.
Our Must designers are the twin brothers Ariel and Shimon Ovadia, the brains behind a rising New York brand that excels in traditional menswear, Ovadia & Sons. Matthew Schneier describes their upward trajectory, from the garmento world to the runways, in another of his sure-footed profiles of the minds who drive the industry.
There is a lot of other Must material ahead that we shouldn’t spoil for you, including: Alexander Neumann’s vibrant all-day fashion shoot with model Jarrod Scott (who, come to think of it, has a Must mustache); a profile of ever-stylish singer-songwriter Nick Lowe; and our latest bulletin from the subculture of billionaires, which is written by someone who must resort to a nom de plume, lest she no longer be invited anywhere.