Bloomberg Shows Tyra That He Too Can Be FierceTyra and Bloomie pretend to plant trees in Chelsea, the broken playground in Union Square Park is creepy, and lesbian sightings are scarce in the Slope these days. That and more in our daily boroughs report.
Nigel Barker Is a Real Photographer, Okay?Last night we ran into noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker at Maggie Norris’s pre–Fashion Week party, and we’re happy to report that the man who can most often be found sitting behind the judge’s stand on America’s Next Top Model does in fact have legs. We asked him if he was going to be bringing his expert opinion to Tyra’s new show, Fashionista, in which women will compete to become assistant editors at Elle. “I was asked to come onboard today!” he said. “I said I’d love to.” So what is it going to be like? we asked. Will it be like America’s Next Top Model only less pretty, and more passive-aggressive? “I think the fashionistas are going to go out there and realize how hard and how cutthroat and ruthless this industry can be,” he said. But won’t it be kind of mundane? He waved this away. “People are obsessed with all aspects of this industry,” he explained. “It’s sexy, it’s cool, it’s unattainable.” Which is why, we guess, none of the Top Models have gone on to become, you know, top models. Speaking of the industry: Doesn’t Nigel ever miss being a real-life fashion photographer? Apparently, this hit a nerve. “I shoot all the time,” he huffed. “Every day! Yesterday! I’m doing a big David’s Bridal campaign, and I just did some stuff for Microsoft. I’m a photographer, that’s what I do.” But what about, um, fashion? He nodded sagely. “You never see me when I’m taking pictures because I’m on the other side of the lens. Look closely at their eyes, and you’ll see my reflection.” —Amy Preiser
For more up-to-the minute Fashion Week madness, check out New York’s new blog: The Cut!
in other news
Coming Soon: ‘America’s Next Top Assistant Editor’!That’s right. According to Reuters, Tyra Banks and the producers of America’s Next Top Model are going to do a similar show about a group of young people competing to be assistant editors at a real fashion magazine. We can see it now:
Olandra: Oh, my God, you guys! We’ve got Tyra mail.
Other girls: TYRA MAAAAAILL!
Urethra: Tyra says we have to make an online index of book reviews. It’s an ongoing project that she’ll check up on in a few weeks!
Olandra: OMG. I’m so nervous. We’re also in charge of that crotchety old freelancer who never sends in any of her fact-checking. That’s, like, two semi-permanent assignments.
The Heavy One: And we just got handed that half-page front-of-book spread about sequins! I’ve talked to like five publicists this week. Man, this is just like when I was an editorial assistant. I can’t wait until I get to be an assistant editor!
Urethra: Who says you’re going to be America’s Next Top Assistant Editor? You have a confrontational personality and you don’t own enough pencil skirts.
The Heavy One: I just don’t like the way this show has changed me. I miss my boyfriend and my standard business hours.
Pootie: F—ing hell, does anybody know whether the text goes up or down when you put the paper in the fax machine?
Olandra: You ass hat, there’s, like, a diagram. [Under her breath] Watch this, you guys, she’s not even going to dial nine.
Riveting television. We can’t wait.
‘Model’ team tapped for fashion-mag reality series [Reuters via Fashionista]
early and often
At Last: Introducing John Edwards, the Minority CandidateRemember when we were surprised that, after “The Cry,” Hillary Clinton suddenly was turned into a minority candidate? She is a woman, after all, but until recently both she and Obama had done a good job of sidelining their gender and race. Well, now we’re really surprised. John Edwards is now claiming to be a accepting the title of “minority candidate,” because he is the only white male running in the Democratic primaries. The above clip (click to view) is from an episode of The Tyra Banks Show to be aired on Friday. In it, you’ll see the following exchange:
Tyra: What does that feel like to be a minority and to be a white male?
Edwards: It feels like you have to fight hard for everything you get.
Tyra: [Offering up a high five] Give it to me because I’m a black woman.
Next thing you know, the Republican candidates will be claiming to be minorities. And then we’ll know the apocalypse is nigh.
Edwards Talks to Tyra Banks [Time]
Related: Hillary Clinton: Minority Candidate
Eliot Spitzer Makes Hilarious Faux PasGovernor Spitzer lauded Kerry Kennedy during a speech his rival Andrew Cuomo was at, knowing that Kennedy and Cuomo went through a bitter divorce after she cheated on him. CNBC “Street Sweetie” Erin Burnett is catching heat at the network for the Men’s Health story she wrote titled, “Eight Things That Would Impress Me,” which made her look like, well, a girl who likes to be around money. New Jersey Net Jason Kidd’s girlfriend, Hope Dworaczyk, is pregnant. Stars and publicists hate working with Men’s Vogue because the magazine double-books covers. Jessica Seinfeld may or may not have plagiarized from a third cookbook. Cindy Adams claims a New Hampshire pollster told her before the primary that Hillary Clinton was gonna win by six points.
Celebrities Hot for One Brooklyn Bridge ParkWhat is it with One Brooklyn Bridge Park? A tipster says three celebrities are checking out the luxe 449-unit condo project, whose former incarnation was headquarters for the decidedly un-luxe Watchtower, a magazine published by the Jehovah’s Witness. Model Bridget Hall was recently spotted at the building, presumably for a tour, as has another catwalker, now turned reality-TV-and-talk-show host Tyra Banks. Hilary Swank is said to be interested in the property, too, and is apparently expected for a look-see soon. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the building’s transformation has piqued such interest that its waiting list of potential buyers was 3000 strong earlier this year. Real-estate doyenne Elizabeth Stribling bought two units there, and now her posh brokerage firm, Stribling & Associates, helps market the project. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
new york fugging city
The Fug Girls Can’t Hardly Wait to Put on a BikiniSomehow, despite having a hit show on CBS, Jennifer Love Hewitt has always been best known as that girl from adolescent sob-fest Party of Five. But thanks to the recent combination of a revealing black bikini and a paparazzo’s long lens, she’s now most famous for the contours of her thighs. While having our cellulite plastered all over the Internet would have us crying into a bottle of tequila, Hewitt’s reaction — a quiet, sane post to her blog — was both low-key and dignified. So we’re wondering two things: Who knew Jennifer Love Hewitt, of all people, would become our real-girl hero, and why was she the first person to hit the high road?
Is Marc Jacobs Engaged?Marc Jacobs may have given a Cartier engagement ring to his on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jason Preston. Tyra Banks dropped her manager, either because he was a prima donna or because her investment-banker boyfriend told her to. Britney Spears backed out of recording a Timbaland-produced duet with Justin Timberlake. It’s unclear why. No cameras or cars are allowed at the fund-raiser Oprah is throwing for Barack Obama at her California ranch, which is expected to draw George Clooney, Halle Berry, and Jamie Foxx. Harvey Weinstein is offering $100,000 to anyone who can identify the Upper East Side mom who inspired The Nanny Diaries. (Some speculate it’s Preppy Handbook author Lisa Birnbach.) Marc Ecko’s CEO threw $500 in cash around during a company-sponsored booze cruise. Norman Reedus, Helena Christensen’s baby daddy, is making a movie in which Richard Nixon sleeps with a hooker and then kills her. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon dined at Le Cirque with two tables’ worth of security guards.
Tyra Banks and Thom Felicia Consider Farrotto, Fatherhood at Centro VinotecaSo last night we stopped by Centro Vinoteca, the buzzing new restaurant from chef Anne Burrell. Tyra Banks was there on a double date with friends and her new beau, banker John Utendahl. The staff immediately popped a bottle of Champagne for her as she and her orange wig sat down in the coveted corner booth upstairs. Also there, among a gaggle of pretty girls, was adorable ‘mocialite and former Queer Eye design guru Thom Felicia, who was celebrating a new big life decision. He and his boyfriend are going to make a gaybie! One of their friends will provide her own egg and uterus, and if it’s a girl, they’re going to name it “Lake.” If it’s a boy, they’ll name it “Lago.” Awesome.
Related: Batali Protégé Goes For Her Share of the Limelight [Grub Street]
It’s His PrerogativeBobby Brown beefed up security in Australia because he still thinks Osama bin Laden is after him. Former party girl Taylor Stein, who just had a baby with William Lauder, has dated a lot of very, very wealthy older men. A documentary producer claims Bobby Kennedy got into a shouting match with Marilyn Monroe the night she died, and not in the bedroom where her body was found. Mom of the Year Dina Lohan is being sued for allegedly failing to pay back a $400,000 loan she used to jump-start Lindsay’s music career. ABC misspelled Whoopi Goldberg’s name in a press release announcing her as the new host of The View. Rudy Giuliani made up for the fact that the Yankees lost Eric Gange to the Red Sox by raising $350,000 at a Greenwich fund-raiser. Chelsea Clinton tried, and failed, to quietly read Harry Potter on the 6 train. CBS News execs are not pleased with the performance of some of the company’s interns. Tyra Banks attended a party for her Air Force cadet brother, who is going to Iraq.
The Future of the Species Depends on Paris HiltonParis Hilton has landed a starring role in a movie set in the year 2056, “when a plague nearly destroys the human race and survival is dependent upon being able to finance a pricey organ transplant.” Anne Hathaway got into a fight with her boyfriend (who is being sued by Ron Burkle) during a screening of her movie in East Hampton, but she stayed with him at the after-party until the cops shut it down at 1 a.m. Madonna strolled into the Reebok Sports Club on Columbus Avenue without checking in. Tyra Banks and her family ate at Serendipity 3. The two assistants from Jane who were cast in SoapNet’s Fashionista Diaries have been moved to CosmoGirl. Usher’s pregnant girlfriend, whom he was slated to marry on Saturday until a last-minute cancellation, checked into a hospital for “pregnancy complications,” though it may just be a ploy to get him back. Ivana Trump is set to get married for a third time, to Rossano Rubicondi.
The Best Employees Get Hired, and Other Lessons From ‘Top Model’There were two great life lessons to be gleaned from last night’s installment of America’s Next Top Model. One is that the best employees are the ones who have job, and the other is, as contestant Natasha helpfully pointed out, that some people have war in their countries. What’s it all mean? Vulture explains — and recaps the whole episode — in this week’s installment of Tyrade!
Tyrade!: ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Gets Phototastic! [Vulture]
Lincoln Center Holds a Press Conference on Overhaul, Tells Us Mostly What We Already Knew; Also: LEDs!
Will LEDs and info displays seem as quaint in the 2050s as the white-walled, elevated Lincoln Center seems now? Not if architect Liz Diller has the touch her clients say she does. At a construction update today, Diller detailed how Diller Scofidio & Renfro, with FXFowle and other design specialists, plans to festoon every border of the twelve-institution center with a constant stream of showtimes and words as part of the $900 million effort to refresh the fifties-era complex. After recounting already-established plans at the press conference — a new lawn, outdoor restaurants, a sexed-up fountain — Diller told us more about the electronic displays, which, she said, will really grab passersby at key spots on 65th Street and on Broadway.
Breakups and the CityFormer Sex and the City partners Candace Bushnell and Darren Star are no longer speaking after Star sold a show similar to the one Bushnell was working on to a different network. Matt Lauer once had an awkward bathroom experience with Tom Brokaw. Kate Moss will launch her clothing line at Barneys on May 8. Alt Coffee on Avenue A is being turned into a stroller shop. Britney Spears may give Allure a tell-all regarding her family infighting. Lesley Stahl denies being the source of anti-Katie Couric rumors. On her way back to New York City, real-estate queen Barbara Corcoran boarded the wrong flight and ended up in Syracuse. Tyra Banks ate with Clay Aiken at Jean Georges. Andy Dick accosted two employees at a Chelsea club.
Cautious CooperAnderson Cooper showers in his underwear at the gym to ward off camera-phone-wielding fans. Tyra Banks and Russell Simmons dined-and-dashed at the Brooklyn Diner. Robert De Niro may be mad at David Bowie because the rock star is kicking off his High Line Festival three days after Tribeca ends. (As New York’s Vulture reported yesterday.) LL Cool J may star in a revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Taki Theodoroacpulos won the U.S. National Judo Championship in 70-to-75 age bracket. In his upcoming tell-all, Michael Strahan compares playing pro football to being stabbed repeatedly. Former O.C. stars Adam Brody and Benjamin McKenzie witnessed a fight at Gold Bar. Susan Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amuri, is pleased with her two sex scenes in Fred Durst’s directorial debut, The Education of Charlie Banks.
Uniqlo’s Success Brings More Japanese RetailFASHION
• Following the ultrasuccessful debut of Uniqlo, Japanese store Muji to open two stores in NYC. [WWD]
• Libertine settled its copyright-infringement suit against knockoff king Allen Schwartz. [Downtown Darling]
• Tyra Banks gains weight, laments fashion’s unreasonable expectations. [People]
• Merrill’s top brass gave themselves a big ($172 million) pat on the back for a job well done in 2006. [WSJ ]
• Venture capitalists invested $2 billion in 249 companies in the New York area last year, up 18 percent from 2005. It was the highest level of funding since 2001, when the Internet broke. [Crain’s]
• If increasing the size of the biggest leverage buyout bid in history doesn’t make Stephen Schwarzman sweat, the Blackstone Group should be just fine. [DealBook]
in other news
Lift Ev’ry Voice and Chicken WingWe’re loath to get between any female and her fridge, but the strong black woman in us is a little concerned by this week’s headlines. First there was restaurateur B. Smith on NPR defending her job as the new, potentially Aunt Jemima–ish, face of Betty Crocker’s corn bread. Then — more NPR! — came a piece on the mysterious disappearance of fried-chicken- loving Beyoncé’s backside in Dreamgirls. Finally, today we came across a video clip on Vanity Fair’s Website of Tyra Banks’s photo shoot for the February issue — in which the former supermodel manages to keep her appetite under control for three whole minutes before informing the camera she’s off to eat some wings, her booty be damned.
And just in time for Martin Luther King Day!
B. Smith Becomes the Face of Betty Crocker Cornbread [NPR]
What’s Missing in ‘Dreamgirls’ [NPR]
America’s Next Top Mogul [VF]
It’s Not Easy Being a PatakiBreaking: Tinsley Mortimer shops for her own groceries! Kevin Federline is broke, steals food and booze from a restaurant. Emily Pataki failed the bar exam. How Kennedyesque. Former Tom Cruise sparring partner Brooke Shields is going to his wedding, perhaps as a publicity stunt. Nicole Kidman probably isn’t pregnant, Ivanka Trump maybe had a boob job, but Tom DeLay definitely nominated about-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Time’s Person of the Year. Dave Chappelle bowed out of a gig for HBO, and HBO isn’t happy. Axl Rose brought some strippers to Soho House. Borat’s cultural learnings may soon be available in a Barnes & Noble near you. (Meantime, he’d do well to avoid getting into a fight with fellow Kazakh Wladimir Klitschko.) Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at a London concert; the crowd liked him. George Gershwin and Ed Bradley were honored at Lincoln Center, where it is discovered that Mr. Gershwin used to be quite the ladies’ man. Liza Minnelli played a $1 million bat mitzvah pro bono. A former America’s Next Top Model winner ditched Tyra Banks as her manager, changed her last name. Angelina Jolie was going to adopt an Indian kid, but Madonna scared her off.