HONOR ROLL: With dozens of designers looking on, Suzy Menkes, the fashion critic of the International Herald Tribune, was made a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in Paris on Thursday evening. Applause erupted as Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, France’s minister of culture, pinned the gold medal on Menkes’ dramatic red coat — an “interpretation” by Didier Loudot of a vintage Balenciaga. “You are respected,” said the minister, praising Menkes for her “intellectual rigor” and passion for France and its fashion. Menkes praised the diversity in fashion today, stressed her commitment to family and voiced admiration for the French lifestyle. In honor of Menkes, designers traveled from Italy, England and Belgium for the ceremony in the ministry’s gilded salon above the gardens of the Palais Royale. “Suzy’s been to 52 of my shows; it’s only normal that I come for her,” said Dries Van Noten. “She’s one of the few journalists with real integrity,” added Pierre Berge. Others in attendance included Alber Elbaz, Sir Paul Smith, Christian Lacroix, Stefano Pilati, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Sonia Rykiel, Issey Miyake, Hedi Slimane, Azzedine Alaia, Loulou de la Falaise, Carla Fendi, Gilles Dufour, Phoebe Philo, Rosita Missoni, Christian Louboutin, Vincent Darre, Josephus Thimister, Haider Ackerman and Adam Jones. Meanwhile, Menkes’ honors are piling up. Last week, Queen Elizabeth II elevated the British-born Menkes to the Order of the British Empire. Menkes is expected to receive the award in London sometime later this year.
— Robert Murphy
CARTERED AWAY: When “Deep Throat,” aka W. Mark Felt, was unmasked by Vanity Fair on May 31, many wondered why the magazine’s editor in chief, Graydon Carter, wasn’t publicly relishing breaking one of this — and last — century’s biggest news stories. Carter, who had married his longtime sweetheart, Anna Scott, 10 days earlier, kept relatively mum during the ensuing media blitz, presumably because he and Scott were out-of-pocket enjoying their honeymoon.
Asked this week if he regretted being away when the story broke, Carter said, “I had been on my honeymoon for eight days, and we were returning the day we released the story….In fact, I completely forgot about the story until my assistant, Jon, reminded me the morning we were returning.” He added that he “followed the entire roll-out by cell phone.” As for missing out on his talking head duties to promote the issue, Carter said, “I don’t really do press for any of our stories. I usually let others do it.” So now he’s modest and married.
— Sara James
COOKIE’S FOR SCHIFTER: The lifestyle magazine for parents that Fairchild Publications is launching this fall has hired its first contributing editor: former Vogue editor and current socialite Helen Schifter will write a regular column for the magazine.
“She actually approached us, and she had a bunch of great ideas,” said Cookie’s editor in chief, Pilar Guzman. “Even though she travels in high circles, she’s pretty down to earth.” Guzman added that Schifter is a “competent writer,” but said the real reason for the hire was her knack for editing products and information. “What she’ll be doing is ear-to-the-ground trendspotting,” said Guzman.
Genevieve Field, a senior editor at Glamour and a cofounder of Nerve.com, also will write a first-person column for Cookie about being a parent. The magazine will make its debut in November with an initial rate base of 300,000 and a bimonthly frequency. Fairchild is also the parent of WWD.
ROZHON GONE: The New York Times’ retail reporter on the business desk, Tracie Rozhon, is leaving the paper to write a book. Rozhon confirmed she would be exiting the paper on July 15, and said, as of yet, she does not have an agent or publisher lined up for the project. She wouldn’t divulge details of the content or length of time she’s been working on the manuscript. Random House’s Three Rivers Press published her “The Cheapskate Millionaire’s Guide to Bargain Hunting in the Big Apple” in 1999. Could a sequel be in the works?
WEDDING DETAILS: Sarah Wynter, the actress who has been engaged to Details editor in chief Dan Peres since February, has been shot for the next cover of In Style Weddings. The issue hits newsstands July 5.
Wynter, whose credits include “24” and “The 6th Day,” works primarily in Los Angeles, which has prompted rumors about a possible West Coast relocation for Peres. Talk of that scenario has circulated most widely among editors at various men’s magazines who would be potential candidates to succeed Peres if he were ever to leave Details. Further grist for the gossip mill: Peres has reportedly been approached at times with offers of work in the film industry. He also is friendly with actress and writer Carrie Fisher, who writes for Details.
But on Thursday, Peres said definitively, “I have no plans, immediate or otherwise, of leaving Fairchild.” Details, like WWD, is part of Fairchild Publications.
COSMO COUTURE: Cosmopolitan’s market editors usually manage to find the raciest ensemble in a collection. Now, for once, they don’t even have to look. Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Vera Wang all have signed on to design one-of-a-kind pieces in honor of Cosmopolitan’s 40th anniversary. The clothes, intended to capture the Cosmo spirit of confidence and sex appeal (not to mention decolletage), will appear in a fashion feature in the September anniversary issue.
“I don’t want to do a huge anniversary issue with a lot of nostalgia to it,” said Cosmo editor in chief Kate White. “Readers get bored with it. I wanted to do something forward-looking. In some ways, [the magazine] did change culture here in the U.S. But today, it’s a different sort of impact.”
Asked what she did to celebrate her own 40th birthday, White said, “That’s assuming I am 40.” She then proved the event was long enough ago that her memory of it was fuzzy: “I don’t think I can remember,” she said. “My birthday always falls over Labor Day weekend somehow. Often, I’m not on a great trip — I’m barbecuing lamb for 10 other people.”
SELF-HELP: In lieu of a run-of-the-mill anniversary issue, Paris-based fashion biannual Self Service is splitting itself into three, with a trio of books to mark its first 10 years. The first, titled “Bold & Beautiful,” will be published in September by Steidl and Karl Lagerfeld‘s 7L imprint, and will showcase some 270 portraits taken by editor in chief Ezra Petronio on his trusty Seventies-era Polaroid. Over the years, Petronio has catalogued snaps not only of fashion superstars, such as Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada, but also lesser-known souls who orbit the fashion universe. You’ll recognize the faces, if not the names. The second tome, due out in November, will be more of a textbook featuring select interviews from the past decade — occasionally juxtaposing ones with the same subject — say, Viktor & Rolf — but from different years. Fashion shoots will get their own showcase in the last book, due out next spring. And, yes, there is the September anniversary issue, too, which Petronio says should weigh in at about 400 pages.
— Miles Socha
PHOTO FINISH: There are certain positions in the magazine business that can set off a cascade of staff changes just by a single hire. Which is why, for the past few months, photo editors industrywide seem to be just as busy faxing out their resumes as they are editing contact sheets and scheduling shoots.
While the top photo jobs at In Style and O remain open following the recent departures of photo directors Laurie Kratochvil and Karen Frank, respectively — Kratochvil is still considering her options, while Frank went to More — a number of hires have been made elsewhere. Judith Puckett-Rinella has accepted a newly created and as-yet-untitled position in the photo department at The New York Times Magazine. She will be working on the weekly Sunday magazine and on T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Puckett-Rinella was formerly photography director at Details, where senior photo producer Krista Prestek has been promoted to replace her.
Zoe Bruns, previously features editor of Index, was recently tapped to be the photo editor of Teen Vogue. She replaces Lucy Lee, who left to work with Mario Testino at Art Partner. And on Monday, Chris Dougherty started as director of photography at People, a position that stayed open for close to a year. Dougherty previously worked on the launch of Best Life, and before that, he was photo director of New York magazine.
Back at In Style, senior photo editor Kathryn McCarver also will be leaving the magazine at the end of July to move to Connecticut with her family. And, as for Kratochvil’s replacement, Us Weekly’s photo director, Brittain Stone, has been mentioned as a possibility by In Style staff members. (Stone’s contract is reportedly up for renewal at Us.) Puckett-Rinella; Suzanne Donaldson, photo director at Glamour, and Jennifer Crandall, director of photography at Men’s Journal, all have received calls to interview for the position.
HEEB DEAL BREWING: Joshua Neuman, the editor and publisher of three-year-old Heeb magazine, has been working on a deal to bring the brand’s new book, “The Big Book of Jewish Conspiracies,” to the small screen. Neuman recently called the work-in-progress a Jewish “version of ‘Monty Python.'” While the magazine focuses on contemporary issues such as the Kabbalah craze and Jewish hip-hop, the book takes a more historical approach, satirizing conspiracy theories about the religion and the effects they supposedly have had on the course of Western civilization. So, too, a possible comedic spin-off for TV would be backward-looking. “What we’re developing [the book] into is a faux History Channel show,” said Neuman, adding that the pacing, dramatic reenactments and expert analysis of the History Channel’s earnest Biblical specials seemed ripe for send up. Several cable networks have expressed interest in the project.
HEARST HIRES: Shop Etc. has finished shopping for a new beauty director to replace Alexandra Parnass, who moved over to the same position at Harper’s Bazaar in April. Editor in chief Mandi Norwood has hired Amy Keller away from Allure, where Keller has been beauty features editor for a year. Meanwhile, over at O, Charlotte Druckman joins as style editor after being associate style editor at Food & Wine. And O at Home also has a new style editor: Alexis Givens, who was previously associate home editor at Real Simple.