FLAP FLOP: Is Graydon Carter in the clear? Four days after stories in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times called his journalistic ethics into question, it’s certainly looking that way. The two papers outed the Vanity Fair editor in chief for accepting a $100,000 finder’s fee from Universal Pictures for “A Beautiful Mind,” and for generally being cozy with the moguls his magazine covers.
A former Condé Nast executive said Carter should have no problem riding the flap out, assuming there are no more bombshells to come. “There’s a judge and jury of one over there,” he said, referring to Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse, with whom Carter is said to have a good relationship. “If Si doesn’t feel there’s a problem, there’s no problem.”
A former Vanity Fair staffer agreed, noting the magazine’s consistently strong business performance under Carter. “The question is, is any of this stuff he’s doing a distraction from his duties? You could argue that it’s not. If anything, it’s probably helped Vanity Fair’s standing in the Hollywood community,” he said.
The one remaining unknown is The Wall Street Journal, which has been working on its own story about Carter but has yet to publish anything. A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair (which, like WWD, is owned by Advance Publications Inc.) said she doesn’t expect any damaging disclosures. — Jeff Bercovici
FUN WITH FURNITURE: It’s ICFF time again, and the design magazines are going all out. Wallpaper editor in chief Jeremy Langmead, in town for the 16th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair, hosted his first U.S. event Monday night, a cocktail party and design exhibition at Bergdorf Goodman. (Linda Fargo, Bergdorf’s senior vice president of visual presentation, was his co-host.)
The party also gave Langmead a chance to introduce executive editor Robert Johnston, who will move to New York in June to become the London-based title’s first U.S. editor. “For the last few years, Wallpaper hasn’t paid enough attention to the U.S., and to New York in particular,” said Langmead. “That’s something we’re starting to change. I really want to increase our presence here in the States. Design-wise, it’s becoming a very interesting place.”
John McDonald would agree. McDonald is editorial director and publisher of City magazine, which sponsored a furniture design contest as part of the ICFF festivities. Nine designers from around the world responded to the challenge to design a collapsible piece of furniture that could be shipped in a FedEx box on a budget of less than $200.
City’s exhibit, on view through today at Diesel Style Lab on West Broadway, shows time-lapse video of editors from the magazine unpacking and assembling the submissions. “Some of them were just genius,” said McDonald. — J.B.