PLAYERS’ CLUB: The GQ bash hosted by Jim Nelson and Howard Mittman – the men’s magazine’s editor in chief and publisher, respectively – on Saturday night drew a crowd of designers, gents and players, including Victor Cruz, Luke Evans, Diego Della Valle, Ethan Peck and Brian Atwood.
It was Will Welch’s first outing as editor in chief of GQ Style, following the first quarterly published under his aegis in May. “I was blown away by the response. Maybe they are not telling me everything, but it was fantastic,” joked the 6-foot, 6-inch editor, sporting a tie-dyed Grateful Dead T-shirt (which he had purchased on eBay) underneath his black, two-piece suit. “I’ve been into tie-dying myself,” he revealed, swiftly producing a DIY pocket square as proof.
Although the revamped issue features actor Robert Downey Jr. on the cover, Welch assured his obsession with celebrities only goes that far. “I love Robert Downey Jr., but in general, I think the celebrity culture has gotten monolithic. It’s too much. With the first issue we wanted to give a complete thought, and I feel we have accomplished that. Now we have room to play,” he said, pointing to features on Maverick Carter, Lebron James’ business manager, and Atlanta-based designer Sid Mashburn, which are also inside the new issue, for cues.
Evans, who has been voted by GQ readers as their favorite to succeed Daniel Craig’s James Bond character, brushed off the possibility of playing 007. “I think everybody’s agent is trying hard to get his client the part. But,” he noted, “I’m also Welsh.” Should Evans, who in the fall will hit the big screen with the mystery thriller “The Girl on the Train” opposite Emily Blunt, indeed land the part, he would be only the second actor hailing from Wales to carry the license to kill, following Timothy Dalton.
Cruz, rocking a dressy Cartier necklace over an embossed Moncler sweater had his mind-set on the ongoing European soccer tournament. “Man, it’s hard,” he said when asked which team he was rooting for. “In terms of clubs, it’s Manchester City. But I’m also friends with Ronaldo [who plays with the Portuguese national team].”
Cruz is taking his own training seriously. Although he is heading to Paris men’s week in a few days, he said he would use the Paris Saint-Germain club facilities to get in shape for the new football season.
Fresh off his show, which cued the TV series he favored as a teenager, including “Starsky & Hutch,” “Knight Rider” and “Miami Vice,” Neil Barrett said he was all for Italy — “except when England is playing,” he grinned. “When Belgium-Italy was on, we had the windows of our studio flung open, taking in all the reactions. It was as if the city was alive. You could hear its heart beat.”
Giuseppe Zanotti said he cried with joy, too — but for a different reason. “Look,” he said scrolling down his Instagram account. “We launched kids’ two weeks ago. So cute. When I designed the first pair, I cried. It has never happened to me before.”
Zanotti, who is to open store number three on London’s Bond Street in two months, said with the launch he wanted to invest in his future customer. “I design 524 men’s styles each season. My manager says I’m crazy. But I want more. It’s never too much.”