BACHELOR PARTY: What’s the bigger honor: being a member of the Time 100, the newsweekly’s annual roster of most influential thinkers, politicians and performers, or being named Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Male of the Year? John Mayer earned both honors within the past 12 months, and thought hard about which gave him more pride before going for the brains over the brawn: “Time,” he said, although he recognized the two events gathered a different set of peers. “One of them is a little younger, more hip and fun, and the other one is like me standing next to Malcolm Gladwell and a guy who made an alarm clock that runs on steak.” Cosmo celebrated this year’s Fun Fearless Male Awards at a lunch Monday at Cipriani 42nd Street. Other honorees included Chris Brown, Common, Tom Anderson, co-founder of MySpace (where fun and fearless twentysomethings oversharing personal details have put their employment at risk since 2003); Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (who spoke fearlessly about his relationship with Jessica Simpson as a handler nervously stood nearby); comedian Dane Cook, and “The Office”‘s John Krasinski, who said the most unabashed thing he’s done for an audition was to tell the executive producer of “The Office” the show wouldn’t work because the American version would screw up the brilliant British version. “Telling him to his face that the show wasn’t going to work was a stupid thing to do. Not fearless. Stupid.” — Stephanie D. Smith
APAX ON THE PROWL, AGAIN: There’s never a dull moment at Apax Partners, which is now said to be eyeballing Reed Business Information (RBI), the Reed Elsevier division that puts out Variety, Publishers Weekly and Broadcasting & Cable, among others. According to a report in the British tabloid Sunday Express, Apax has retained Deutsche Bank to advise it on a potential deal. The bank was the same one that advised Apax on its $2 billion purchase of Emap’s B2B arm with Guardian Media Group last year. An Apax spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors, but an industry source in London confirmed Apax was indeed looking at RBI, although a bid was not a certainty. Other potential bidders include the European private equity firms Cinven and Candover, and the Rhode Island-based Providence Equity. As reported, Condé Nast Publications, which also owns WWD, said it was not interested in bidding for the division. (For more on Apax, see page 21.) —Samantha Conti
This story first appeared in the March 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
INTERVIEWING OTHERS: Two Interview editors in chief take up the pen this month — in Vanity Fair and Bergdorf Goodman magazine. Ingrid Sischy, who departed the editor’s chair at Interview two weeks ago, profiles Calvin Klein in the April issue of Vanity Fair, detailing the designer’s life and times from her memory of their friendship and from conversations with Klein dating back to summer 2006. Meanwhile, Glenn O’Brien, the new co-editorial director of Brant Publications’ Interview, Art + America and The Magazine Antiques, fires off against celebrity in the latest Bergdorf magazine. “I’m so sick of celebrity,” he writes, and issues a call to action to boycott the cult of fame. O’Brien says he avoids new movies and TV, shuns reading living authors, has no interest in commercial music, and as for comedy —”no disrepect to Larry David…but I am happily diverted by long playing vinyl recordings of comedians known principally to retirees in South Florida.” So guess that means there won’t be celebrities on Interview’s covers from now on, but instead archival shots of the likes of Henny Youngman and Shecky Greene? — S.D.S.
BLOOMINGDALE’S GETS REAL: Thursday’s installment of Bravo’s reality show “Make Me a Supermodel” will feature a new character: Bloomingdale’s. The retailer’s 59th Street flagship makes a cameo appearance when the six remaining contestants show up for go-sees with Bloomingdale’s vice president of fashion direction Stephanie Solomon. The hopefuls are put through their paces during a challenge, which includes informal modeling during a breakfast for the store’s top customers. The segment, which was filmed on Sunday, features looks from Missoni, Theory, Burberry and DKNY, all from Bloomingdale’s Hot spring catalogue. After the breakfast, the contestants were sent into the store to interact with the public while representing Bloomingdale’s Hot campaign.
“We really created a synergy,” said Anne Keating, the retailer’s senior vice president of public relations. This isn’t the retailer’s first brush with reality TV, though. Bloomingdale’s sold T-shirts that read “You’re Fired” from NBC’s “The Apprentice,” and buyers helped judge a design contest on that show.
“It was a totally symbiotic moment for us,” said Shari Levin, vice president and executive producer of “Make Me a Supermodel.” “We got an interesting challenge from Bloomingdale’s that’s different from any other form of modeling we’ll do. Bloomingdale’s said Giselle, Angie Harmon and Joy Bryant got started at the in-store modeling program. It’s a fairly illustrious group.” — Sharon Edelson
NEW BRIDES: There was a reshuffling of titles and responsibilities at Condé Nast Bridal Media on Monday. Bill Wackermann, senior vice president and publishing director of Glamour and Condé Nast Bridal Media, said Katherine Rizzuto will continue as publisher of Brides but no longer also serve as publisher for Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Your Prom. Jennifer Hicks is taking over as publisher of those three titles. Hicks has been the associate publisher of Brides, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Your Prom since November. Susan Rerat, vice president and publishing director of Condé Nast Bridal Media, was named vice president of brides.com (she launched the Web site in April 2006). Jennifer Cole will continue as publisher of brides.com online and local print. — Amy Wicks