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Comments: Week of March 5, 2012


1. The cover of our Spring Fashion issue (February 20–27) featured “shape-­shiftress” rapper Nicki Minaj, photographed by Pari ­Dukovic, thrilling her hyperdevoted fans. ­“Ms. Roman ­Zolanski … looking like a fashion goddess,” wrote Byron Flitsch at MTV’s Buzz­worthy Blog. Others took a dissenting view: “Is Nicki Minaj slowly ­morphing into Dolly Parton?” joked ­Halle Kiefer at the Fab Life. “It’s just her face with Barbie makeup on the cover, but at least she’s not dressed as a devil nun or whatever the hell she wore to the Grammys,” added TheHipHopDiva. Quipped one commenter at nymag: “She’s nothing but a sellout, wannabe Lady Gaga.” The rest of Dukovic’s ­fashion-world portfolio won more universal praise, especially on Twitter: “To say we are crushing on @pdukovic would be an ­understatement,” tweeted ­@myyoungauntie. Added @justjac: “Envy. ­Inspiration. Awe.”

2. The ex-husband (and onetime business partner) of designer Tory Burch has struck out on his own, Jessica Pressler wrote in a profile of venture capitalist Christopher Burch, to launch C. Wonder, a company that looks to many observers—including his ex-wife—like a rival brand (His. Hers.,” February 20–27). Some readers were not sympathetic to either party. “More Rich White People problems, Wasp-retail variety,” said one commenter at ­ Others were more taken with the business elements of the story. “The real story here, in my mind, is less about ripping one another off, and much more about how seemingly easy it has been for Chris Burch to build these brands,” wrote Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan at Apartment Therapy. “In a day and age when people struggle for years and years to try and build a successful retail brand (and few succeed), the Burch success rate seems remarkable. Combining deep knowledge of low-priced Chinese manufacture (the Burches are not saving the planet), marketing savvy, and plenty of money to get their point across, their companies seem to have sprouted up as quickly as a dry sponge when water is added—and kept going.” At Business Insider, Julie Zeveloff also marveled at the out-of-the-gate success of C. Wonder: “We recently stopped by the Soho store, and it felt a little like walking into Candyland.”

3. “Between the chumminess, the dinner jackets, and the extent to which the music flattered us for being there,” Nitsuh Abebe wrote in a meditation on the meaning of Jay-Z’s much-hyped ­February concerts at Carnegie Hall, “the whole thing began to feel as if Manhattan were a massive cruise ship,” with a crowd that “mixed the kind of swagger that grows in Brooklyn with the kinds that grow in midtown, on Wall Street, and at prep school” (HOV at the Hall,” ­February 20–27). Most readers shared his very New Yorky ambivalence about the ­spectacle. “It’s cool that Jay-Z is so widely accepted,” wrote one commenter at ­ “But, to me, he’s just a rich guy who gets to do whatever he wants. He’s not a great artist or the voice of a generation. He’s a hit-maker with a lot of money and a hot wife. Glad people enjoyed his show; bummed that people are so easily talked into regarding largely trivial events as ‘historic.’ ” Another argued we shouldn’t downplay the significance of seeing a rapper and self-made hip-hop mogul take that stage: “[Carnegie Hall’s] been a shrine to jazz; the great soprano Marian ­Anderson performed there years before she was allowed to perform on other stages; the Beatles played their first NY gigs there. When it comes to hip-hop, it’s been a little slow to represent, but honestly I don’t think the hall was built for ­amplified bass.

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