ARE YOU ON THE LIST?: Interview magazine’s list of creditors is quite the compilation of fashion media players.
The storied pop-culture glossy founded by Andy Warhol recently got a reputation of not paying its bills or employees, some of whom on Monday took to social media to lament the publication’s sudden shutdown and bankruptcy liquidation. “They owe everybody money,” is the way a source put it to WWD, in what seems to be not too much of an exaggeration, despite being operated by wealthy onetime media baron Peter Brant.
There are nearly 300 creditors listed for Interview, and about 30 more in the separate bankruptcy filings for Brant Publications Inc. and BMP Media Holdings, which formerly published the titles ARTnews, Art in America, Modern and Antiques. Those titles have since been moved under a new holding company Art Media Holdings LLC, which is not involved in any of the bankruptcies. A spokeswoman for Brant confirmed that Interview’s bankruptcy “will not have any impact on any other magazines.”
But that may prove little comfort to advertisers, employees and other media partners at those titles, with Brant remaining chairman of AMH. There are plenty of creditors with soured dealings at Interview, where Brant also served as chairman and his daughter Kelly Brant was president.
The publication owes every major modeling agency, from DNA to Wilhelmina and even Trump Model Management, along with scores of other talent and creative agencies; it owes the curatorial department of the Hammer Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, also a museum; then there’s Aurora James, the founder and creative director of Brother Vellies; Christopher Klimovski, who wrote for Interview in 2015 before moving on to become managing editor at Complex Media and more recently a producer at Condé Nast.
There’s also the photographer Christopher Makos, who worked with Man Ray and also a well-known collaborator of Warhol’s; photographers Patrick Demarchelier, Curtis Knapp and Michael Birt; Dan Thawley, a Paris-based editor for Vogue Italia who contributed to interview between 2011 and 2015; set designer David de Quevedo; Jenny Walton, a sketch artist engaged to Scott Schuman; Meredith Corp., and a very long list of freelance photographers and writers.
Also making an appearance are those who have sued Interview for lack of payment, including the magazine’s former longtime editorial director Fabien Baron, who claims to be owed more that $600,000; former associate publisher Jane Katz, who claims to be owed more than $230,000, and former president Dan Ragone, who claims to be owed $170,000. Considering the size of these claims, the sheer number of creditors and how far back it seems some lack of payments may go, Interview is easily millions in the hole.
A source said there has been some interest in buying Interview’s assets and there’s some speculation that a buyer is already lined up. The possibility of Bernd Runge, the publisher of German Interview, was floated, but it’s unclear if that is indeed the case. The Brant spokeswoman declined to comment.
It’s also unclear what exactly Interview has to sell in order to pay any of its many creditors. The magazine does not have an archive of its glamorous photography over the years, a source said, adding that photo rights belong to the individual photographers. Without that, what’s left?
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