CHACE-ING WINTER: Chace Crawford of “Gossip Girl,” styled as a Fifties matinee teen idol, is on the cover of V Man’s first winter issue. “Basically, we polled everyone on who should be on the cover and nine out of 10 people said Chace,” said editor in chief Stephen Gan, adding he had no idea how many “hard-core” fashion people watched the show. “Everyone thinks he’s the next big thing.” Mario Testino shot Crawford for the cover and also served as guest editor for the issue. “He wanted to do something different and show his take on men and masculinity,” said Gan, who is also creative director of Harper’s Bazaar. “He is always one to push the boundaries and this issue is no different.”

“I grew up in a place and time in which the idea of a man was quite limited by the conceptions of the people who had lived before me,” Testino wrote in the magazine. “The ’60s and ’70s were revolutionary years in many parts of the world, but growing up in Peru, I had to fight against people’s preconceived ideas.” Testino shot around 60 pages for the issue, which includes approximately 35 ad pages. “No one thought this would happen — that we could publish this now,” added Gan. “The men’s market is smaller than it is for women, but I think we could do even better for spring.” — Amy Wicks

This story first appeared in the October 22, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: It appears a few tête-à-têtes with Diego Della Valle on Capri has landed Peter Mandelson, the former European Union trade commissioner and now the U.K. government’s Business Secretary, in hot water with the British press. London tabloid The Mail on Sunday ran a story over the weekend that detailed Mandelson’s visits to Capri with Della Valle, chairman and chief executive officer of Tod’s, over the past two years. The story suggested Mandelson’s visits with Della Valle came after Mandelson had lobbied for duties on leather shoe imports from China and Vietnam in March 2006, in order to protect European leather shoe producers. A spokeswoman for Tod’s declined comment. However, industry sources said there isn’t a business connection between Mandelson and Della Valle.

“Peter Mandelson makes a clear distinction between his public role and how he spends his private time. No conflict of interest has arisen between the two,” said a spokesman for the U.K.’s Department for Business. “Naturally, as a minister, he will follow the ministerial code and avoid any conflict of interest.” Since Mandelson — who has resigned from British government twice during his career after alleged involvement in political scandals — was drafted back into the government earlier this month, he’s been subjected to much scrutiny by the press. It’s also been reported that during Mandelson’s time as EU trade commissioner, Nat Rothschild lent him a private jet and he spent time on Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s yacht. “[Mandelson] is not going to offer a commentary on how he has spent his private time during the last four years when he was away from British politics,” the spokesman added. — Nina Jones




SNAPSHOT: Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg worked with his celebrity friends like Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst in the past, but for his holiday look book, he turned his lens on a lensman: Los Angeles photographer Paul Jasmin. Sternberg met the photographer, whose nickname is Jazz, through Vogue’s senior West Coast editor Lisa Love. “We became fast friends, and all the while I was secretly plotting a way to convince him to be my subject,” he recalled. “My design assistant Stella had been his student at Art Center Pasadena and they are also very close, so along with Lisa we made our case.” Jasmin was a natural choice for him. “Holiday in particular needed a man — not a boy — for its model.” — M.K.

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