PHOTO SHOPPING: Anna Wintour appears to have another reason for being in Milan than the men’s shows. The Vogue editor in chief is said to be working on a major photo exhibition to celebrate the magazine she took over in 1988. Letizia Moratti, mayor of Milan, helped Wintour find the right location — the medieval Palazzo della Ragione and its open gallery Loggia dei Mercanti, which is close to the Duomo cathedral, the mayor’s spokeswoman said. The event, which is scheduled to take place during the women’s shows next February, will highlight Vogue’s photography from the Thirties to the Nineties through works by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton to Herb Ritts, Bert Stern, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindeberg and Mario Testino, among others. — Chiara Hughes
IF ONLY HILLARY HAD DONE VOGUE…: Speaking of Vogue, the magazine’s contributing editor Julia Reed has long been its go-to writer for political coverage — “I did Barbara Bush. She was not into it, let me just say. André [Leon Talley] and I had a hard time styling her up” — but as she recalled in a recent interview, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid was perhaps her toughest assignment yet. Reed, whose memoir of New Orleans, “The House on First Street,” was published this week, interviewed Clinton for Vogue several times in past years, including a cover story. “Bill Clinton himself told me that that’s his favorite picture of her, one of the Annie [Leibovitz] shots that were in Vogue,” Reed said. But as the world (or anyone who reads Anna Wintour’s editor’s letters) now knows, Vogue’s access to Clinton was cut off, either because it was deemed too feminine or too elitist. It was Reed who’d borne the burden: months of convincing Clinton’s aides and more months on the campaign trail. “Let me just say, it’s not the most fun thing in the world to have breakfast a million times with [communications director] Howard Wolfson,” she said. “The man is the most charmless human being on the planet, and I’m sitting there sucking up to him.”
This story first appeared in the June 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The original deal, she said, included an interview with Clinton and a Leibovitz photo shoot for the December 2007 issue at the Clintons’ Chappaqua, N.Y., home. After thinking everything was set, Reed months later was informed the deal was off. She said she was told, “We already have the women’s vote in the bag,” and that Wolfson said, ‘”We thought we were going to be in a bigger dogfight. We don’t need you anymore.’ This was right before Iowa. What an idiot!”
As for her book, “The House on First Street” chronicles politics only inasmuch as it highlights some of the crooked and colorful figures of New Orleans, where Reed and her husband bought a house just before Hurricane Katrina. Also a prolific food writer (a collection of her food essays for The New York Times Magazine will be released next month) and known for her entertaining, Reed subsequently organized a fund-raiser called Rebirth New Orleans while doubling as a roving correspondent. “All of a sudden you’re the most popular girl on the block if you have a phone line and you’re from New Orleans,” she said ironically. The aftermath of the storm, Reed said, has been an unforeseen opportunity to remake the dysfunctional city. “It’s like an art form,” she said, “looking for silver linings in New Orleans.” — Irin Carmon
TOMMY TV: Tommy Hilfiger and George Lois put together the images, events, people and places that helped define the United States in their photography book “Iconic America: A Roller-Coaster Ride Through Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Culture” (Ernest Hemingway, Lean Cuisine, Route 66 and Deep Throat are just a few of the Americana icons included). Now Hilfiger is bringing the book to life on the small screen, producing a one-hour television special. The show will take Israeli-born model Bar Rafaeli and one-named Rives, a poet featured on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,” across the country to tour the best of American beauty, fashion, design and food. This week the duo filmed at Relish Diner in Williamsburg, N.Y., and at the South Orange, N.J., home of a Columbia High School student prepping for prom with her friends. Other filming locations included Kansas’ Barbie Museum and Boston’s Candy Heart Necco factory. The show will air on Bravo this fall. — S.D.S.
MOVING WEST: George Epaminondas, a senior editor at In Style, is leaving the magazine after approximately three years. Epaminondas is moving to Los Angeles to work for Napoleon Perdis, where he will be a vice president of brand creative. He also wrote the August cover story on Rihanna; a spokeswoman said that he wrote the piece but did not confirm that it is about Rihanna. — A.W.
COSMOGIRL’S NEW GUY: Photographer Matt Jones has been signed by Cosmogirl to shoot its covers, starting with the October 2008 issue. Jones has shot for Vogue, Elle, Interview, Esquire, iD and Spin. He will shoot exclusively for Cosmogirl in the teen category. — A.W.