Derek Blasberg Has Scratched a Lot of Famous Backs, and They Are Scratching Back

By
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for IMG

The onslaught of Derek Blasberg press continues in the style section of the Times today, with a lengthy profile of the writer, which finally begins to explain how a boy with a dream can go from his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, to the big city and acquire so many famous friends. He ostensibly should be in the news because he has a new book out called Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady, but that's not necessarily what makes him interesting. Blasberg, an editor for V and Style.com and a freelancer for numerous other publications, can be seen regularly out on the fashion-party circuit chumming it up with his famous pals. The Times's Eric Wilson hit the town one night with Blasberg, fellow fashion scenester Leigh Lezark, and Lezark's partner, Geordon Nicol.

This happened in the car:


“I’m going to Thailand on Thursday,” says Mr. Nicol, his eyes barely visible beneath a Peggy Moffitt haircut.

“But that’s for the operation,” says Mr. Blasberg, teasing him.

“Are you going to St.-Tropez?” Ms. Lezark asks.

“For Louis Vuitton?” Mr. Blasberg replies.

“Chanel,” she says.

“Yes, yes,” Mr. Blasberg says, excited, though his plans are not set. “Are they making you work?”

By work, he means to ask whether Ms. Lezark will be spinning for her supper next month at the runway show for Chanel’s annual resort collection, which is presented in a different port of call each year, or whether she is among the many fabulous people who are being hauled on Chanel’s dime to the French Riviera just to show up for the event. People like him, he means.

Lezark was among the numerous celebrities at Blasberg's book party at Barneys, which was hosted by Chloë Sevigny, Vogue's Lauren Santo Domingo, and Pop editor Dasha Zhukova. Wilson writes that at this party, Blasberg was evidently "greatly admired" by all kinds of fashion people, from Tinsley Mortimer to makeup artist Pat McGrath to photographer Terry Richardson. Not to mention Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and Giovanni Battaglia.

But how did Blasberg acquire such a coterie of famous buddies? It's simpler than having a knack for air-kissing — by being nice, that thing that most people who write for the Internet have long forgotten how to do. Years ago, Blasberg was thought to be the writer behind Socialite Rank, which he wasn't, but he's still upset by the association. Wilson writes:


Having been unfairly accused, he said, he won’t write anything bad about anyone, which helps to explain why so many companies are eager to court his favor.

... But then, few writers have penetrated the social world as deeply as Mr. Blasberg without knowing the fear that the party could end with the stroke of a pen.

“It would be easier to write that all the girls were smoking in the bathroom, or to say that everyone was bored or social climbing,” he said. “But I don’t think anyone wins from those kinds of stories.”

Well that's not necessarily true. People who stifle cubicle boredom by reading blogs don't necessarily want to read about sunshine and butterflies and rainbows and how great people born — or married to — money look at fashion parties. Sometimes they want scandal! A silly story about someone wearing the same dress as someone else and being catty about it! Someone who simply wore something hideous and grossly expensive! Sometimes people want to know that the lives of the people who are supposed to be perfect are in fact as imperfect as their own, perhaps more so. That's where those people may "lose" reading Blasberg. But they will not expect or hope for, say, Chanel to fly them to and put them up in St. Tropez for the next fashion show. Or for Chloë Sevigny to host their book party. We don't.

A Talent to Amuse [NYT]