Byline: Lisa Lockwood / With contributions from Peter Braunstein, New York / Samantha Conti, London
LAUREN’S LIFE: Ralph Lauren is sure getting his fair share of attention during his 35th-anniversary year. The New York-based writer Michael Gross will be coming out with his book on the designer (published by HarperCollins), but the publication date is still up in the air. Meanwhile, British journalist and fashion historian Colin McDowell’s book is due out in the U.K. in October or November, according to his publisher Cassell. A spokeswoman for Cassell said McDowell’s book would “most likely” be released in the U.S. in the spring of 2003, although the U.S. publisher has not been confirmed. McDowell said his book offers “an intimate portrait of Ralph Lauren. It’s about him, his life, his family and his lifestyle. In my heart, I see it as being ‘really Ralph.”‘ But while McDowell was given complete access to Lauren’s family, homes and personal staff, he wants to quash talk — once and for all — that the book was commissioned by Lauren. “Ralph had no say in the text whatsoever, and I have not been influenced by him in any way,” he said.
ROSIE TURNS ONE: Imagine a party where disproportionate numbers of guests look either like Carnie Wilson or Delta Burke — yet, Wilson and Burke themselves are not present. That was the central paradox underlying the first anniversary party for Rosie magazine, held Monday night at New York’s International Center of Photography. The party abounded with upbeat guests who included “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, resplendent in Diane Von Furstenberg. “I’ll miss Rosie’s show,” Nixon said. “I mean, on what other national talk show are you ever going to hear about New York theater now?” Meanwhile, Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing chief executive officer Dan Brewster Jr. worked the room, fielding the same question from everyone: how will the loss of Rosie’s show affect the sales of Rosie magazine, now that the synergy is gone? “Every time I get asked that — which is all the time — I pose the inverse question: what publisher wouldn’t die for one-and-a-half years of TV publicity for a magazine launch, which is what we got,” said Brewster. By the time Rosie came out and blew out one candle to celebrate her magazine’s birthday, famous faces included Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, Mary Tyler Moore, and Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. Despite his anti-celebrity posturing, O’Reilly seems to be turning up at more and more of these events. “Hey, when someone does me a favor, I’ll help them in return,” O’Reilly said. “Rosie was on my show, and now I’m here. But this is only the second media event I did this year, after ‘Entertainment Tonight.’ I’m not a party animal.”
FLEETING MOMENTS: Diane Von Furstenberg is out to capture the woman on the move. On what the company’s calling “a shoestring budget,” Von Furstenberg began an outdoor ad campaign this week in New York on 100 taxi tops. The visual is a derivation of an iconic image of Von Furstenberg. One side of the taxi is the eye, and the other side is the lip. The creative was designed in-house, playing with different graphics and a photograph of the designer. The taxi tops will run for two months, and will be resumed in the fall.
GREEN TO US: Bonnie Fuller keeps building her own team — or eating through the old one — at US Weekly. Melissa Green has been named senior beauty editor at the magazine, succeeding Victoria Hardy, who resigned.
Most recently, Green was associate editor at In Style Specials, responsible for writing, producing and editing beauty features for In Style Weddings, The Look and Makeover. She reports to editor in chief Fuller and Janice Min, executive editor.
Meanwhile, Fuller is still tweaking the US formula week-to-week — and sometimes in-between. It began a monthly feature “Cover Stars” this week, as expected, featuring the covers of the fashion monthlies, and some details about the models-celebrities and the shoot. The initial plan was to show inexpensive knock-offs of the cover look, but oops, there are no knock-offs. “In the end, there was literally, no room on the page,” said Fuller.
NEW PRINCIPALS: Some fashion folks are going back to school — literally. Among those participating in “Principal for a Day” this week at local high schools in New York, Brooklyn and Queens are Reed Krakoff, president/executive creative director at Coach; Norma Kamali; Benjamin Cho; Kenneth Cole; Todd Oldham and Damon John of Fubu. [And if this doesn’t get your engine going, Ricky Martin will be a principal for a day, too.] “Principal For a Day” is an eight-year-old program coordinated by PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement In Learning) and the New York City Board of Education to increase public awareness of the triumphs and challenges of the public schools and to launch partnerships between the private sector and public schools.
In other educational news, Atoosa Rubenstein, editor in chief of Cosmogirl, will address the graduates of the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, (LIM), a four-year college for the business of fashion, based in New York. The commencement will take place at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
TIME INC. MOVES: Jane Burdon will join Real Simple as home editor on Monday. She succeeds Kelly Tagore, who was let go last week.
Most recently, Burdon was with Martha Stewart Living, where she developed and styled features for Martha Stewart Living, and its extensions — Baby and Kids, and also contributed to MSL’s TV specials.
Real Simple, launched in April 2000 with a rate base of 400,000, currently has a rate base of one million.
Elsewhere at Time Inc., Susan Pocharski has been named executive editor at Teen People. Most recently, she was a senior editor at People, overseeing health, style and event.