July 17, 2000

Tina Brown, the Happy Hawker

Tina Brown is always willing to walk that extra mile – or at least send a messenger. When the Talk magazine editor glided into The Four Seasons the other night to find Ed Koch dining with former police commissioner William Bratton, she urged the pair to read the July issue of her mag, since it features Wayne Barrett’s article on Rudy Giuliani. Koch and Bratton assured Brown that they would peruse the story as soon as possible, which was not, apparently, soon enough. By the time their dessert was served, a messenger arrived at the restaurant with copies of Talk that Brown had ordered expressly for them. Brown won’t be caught unprepared again: She returned to The Four Seasons the next evening armed with six copies of the mag … just in case.

Wayans Brothers Run Out on Nike

Nike can make a nifty sneaker, but when it comes to hosting a fabulous weekend in the Hamptons, the shoe company seems to have two left feet. Comedians Shawn and Marlon Wayans, currently starring in older brother Keenen Ivory Wayans’s horror spoof Scary Movie, were invited to the Nike-sponsored Synergy House, in Watermill, to stay for the Fourth of July weekend and celebrate the launch of football star Randy Moss’s new “Super Freak” trainers with the likes of Puff Daddy and Jennifer Lopez. But instead of finding the cushy accommodations they were expecting, they were offered two rooms that couldn’t fit them and the three friends they had in tow. According to event planner Cheryl Fox Spencer, the downgrade was an accident. “There was a master suite set up with five beds in it,” she says. “Then some Nike executive showed up and deemed it her own. This gave the brothers a bad vibe, and they decided to leave.” Though Nike offered to put up some of the now-disgruntled posse in a nearby hotel, they opted to haul back to the city that very evening. A Nike spokeswoman claims she was told they needed two rooms and assumed that the Wayanses would share one and their press rep would take the other. When the brothers balked, she says, “as far as I knew, everyone had settled on the hotel option. But when I came back, they were gone.” As for the Wayanses themselves, they’re the most laid-back of the bunch: “Nike was wonderful,” they told us. “We just felt it was easier to go back to Manhattan that night to avoid traffic.” It’s always the traffic, isn’t it?

Simplycity Robbed at Shotgun Point

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but don’t tell that to the folks at Simplycity magazine. After having to share their market with Time Warner upstart Real Simple, the lifestyle mag last week found itself wrestling with a Dallas local called Shotgun magazine. In the “Ideas” section at the Simplycity Website as well as in its print version is Anthony Haden-Guest’s article “Getting Past the Impressionists.” Although the newsstand incarnation of Shotgun is a guide to Dallas that doesn’t resemble Simplycity in the least, its Website had an “Ideas” area, too, also featuring Haden-Guest’s essay. Under “Euphoria” at both Web pages was Barbara Worton’s tract on “Spa Etiquette.” According to Simplycity’s associate publisher Christine Carville, Shotgun owner David Marriott told her he directed his Web designer to use the Simplycity site only as a reference point – and promised to have his page altered within 24 hours. When we checked eight days later, however, Shotgun was still the spitting image of Simplycity. Marriott says he had instructed his art director to make the changes, not realizing that he was out of town. But the missing art director mysteriously reappeared just hours after we called Marriott – and the site was completely revamped. Phew.

Gabriel Byrne: Sock It To Me

Gabriel Byrne takes his passions seriously: acting, Ireland, and … socks. The star of A Moon for the Misbegotten deems the selection of men’s hose so puny that he’s taken to designing it himself. Byrne recently revealed his pastime to Ivy Supersonic, the milliner whose outrageous hats have adorned Dennis Rodman and Pamela Anderson Lee. “He’s got an entire hand-embroidered collection,” Supersonic says, adding that the embroidering is done not by the actor but by a hired expert. Capitalizing on the moment, Supersonic suggested they go into business together. “He was interested,” she says. “His socks are more marketable than my hats. They’re edgy, but not as edgy. But they are edgy, you know?” We’ll have to take her word for it.

Additional reporting by David Amsden and Brooke Gosin.

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July 17, 2000