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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"A looming Democratic loss in New York’s special election Tuesday would be seen as a sign of big political and policy problems for President Obama and his party heading into next year’s election.
Democrats have held former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) district since it was created, but two polls conducted in the past week show Republican candidate Bob Turner has a strong chance of capturing the seat. And it could be Obama who shoulders the blame for the loss, which would come at a pivotal time for the president, who is pushing Congress to pass a jobs bill that will likely be a major part of his reelection campaign. 'If Turner wins on Tuesday, it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district,' wrote Tom Jensen of the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling, one of the firms whose poll had Turner in the lead." (TheHill)



"The balancing act between the Republican establishment and the activists who have gained prominence in the Tea Party movement has been unfolding for nearly two years, testing a party that wants to corral its enthusiasm without alienating moderate voters. But the 2012 campaign is the first presidential race to take place since the Tea Party began influencing the composition of the Republican electorate. While many party leaders are taking a wait-and-see approach before choosing sides in the presidential primary, Republican advisers to House and Senate campaigns said they were not eager for Social Security to become a central theme in their races next year. Several Republicans have said they are waiting for a series of debates to play out before making a decision. One month after declaring his bid for the Republican nomination, Mr. Perry has solidified an early edge in polls. But his popularity among activists has not been widely echoed by the party establishment, which is at odds with how races often unfold. Representative Peter Roskam, Republican of Illinois, said the party’s nominee needed to connect with suburban voters — moderates and independents — if he or she wanted to defeat President Obama next year. Mr. Roskam said Mr. Perry, whose state includes many suburban communities, 'knows how to do it,' but added that as a presidential candidate his comments about Social Security and other issues might not play well. 'Those suburban voters are going to have an incredible amount of influence in this cycle,” Mr. Roskam said. Vin Weber, a former member of Congress from Minnesota, backed Mr. Pawlenty and is now supporting Mr. Romney. Mr. Weber said there was 'deep concern' inside the Republican Party about nominating someone like Mr. Perry, who has had limited experience appealing to independents and moderate voters who often decide elections. 'What I think you are seeing is that it’s partially establishment versus Tea Party, there’s no question about that,' said Mr. Weber, who is now a Washington lobbyist." (NYTimes)



"I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Bill Stubbs, the interior designer from Houston who also has a nationally syndicated TV on PBS called 'A Moment of Luxury,' now in its third year. I met Bill three years ago in Palm Beach when he was taping his first shows. JH took a picture of him during the shoot at the Hotel. Since then I see him from time to time in New York because he’s a good friend of Liz Smith. He grew up in the same town that she did: Gonzalez, Texas. He wrote a book about himself in his business seven years ago called I Hate Red, You’re Fired. True story. A client said that and did it. Although it turned out, Bill continued working for the client for years after that ... The rich Russians, he told me, love Texas. The way many people love New York or Hollywood, they love Texas. He thinks it’s because there is a strong connection to oil with Russians’ wealth, and Houston which is the oil center of the world to this day ... Bill remembers one oligarch discussing yachts with him one day. 'You can’t get anything for $50 million these days,' the man remarked. '$100 million is the beginning.'" (NySocialDiary)


"M y car turns off the Pacific Coast Highway onto a winding gravel driveway, and from there through the gates of Vivi Nevo’s Malibu compound. Nevo, at 47, is one of the largest shareholders of Time Warner and wields a good deal of influence over Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood—but his private life, like his home, is zealously guarded. Nevo’s complex, built by developers in 2004 on eight acres of prime beachfront hillside, is in the Paradise Cove section of Malibu, nestled between the 'Colony'—home to Tom Hanks and Brian Grazer—and Point Dume, where surfer dudes like Owen Wilson live. Nevo bought it in May of 2009, at the bottom of the housing market, for a fraction of its original asking price of $48 million. Even though it is still a work in progress, it has been written up in French Vogue and is a talking point in Los Angeles’s elite circles for its iconic modern-furniture collection—curated by Brad Dunning, a designer who works with Steven Meisel, Lisa Eisner, and Stephen Dorff ... As I’m contemplating the view, Nevo bounds out of a bungalow to greet me. He is shirtless and wearing skintight leather jeans. As usual his grayish hair is closely shorn, his eyes sparkle, and he is grinning widely. Behind him I see three people. 'Who are they?' I ask him.
'They are making the jeans for me—right here on the spot.... What do you think, honey? How do they look?' He indicates the pants, then his chest. 'How do I look?' Vivi and I have been close friends for a decade, and his first question when we see each other is always the same. 'How do I look? O.K.?' In anyone else’s mouth the question would sound vain. With him, it’s somehow deeply endearing." (Vicky Ward/VanityFair)


"We might be more than mid-way through New York Fashion week at this point, but the parties are still a'coming. Last night jewelry designer Eddie Borgo, Oyster magazine and Cut Copy threw a little NYFW bash at Tribeca Grand with DJ sets from Cut Copy, Get a Room, and DFA's Justin Miller. Attendees included members of Kings of Leon, Facehunter's Yvan Rodicm, Phil Oh, Porcelain Black and Fashion Week's most random, most ubiquitous celebrity, Bam Margera. Sorry Owen Wilson, you're out of the running . Check out photographer Douglas Neill's shots from the evening." (Papermag)



"One of the more astonishing success stories of the past century has been the evolution of luxury retailing, from small-scale family firms to an international, multi-billion dollar industry ... What is interesting about the new crop of heirs, however, is that in the face of industrialisation, instead of becoming less important, these family ties, the belief that there is equity in what you learn growing up at the dinner table, are becoming ever more crucial. Now, even children who once stated they had no interest in following in their parents’ footsteps have become part of the trend. Indeed, it is telling that, no matter what their generation or marital status, most of the family members now in the family business are using the name of the brand to brand themselves. Who are they? As the month-long round of fashion shows begins, we spotlight a group of the names to know in luxury’s next generation." (FT)

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