About Michael Gross

Michael Gross, one of America's most provocative non-fiction writers, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Outrageous Fortune, 740 Park and Model, as well as Rogues' Gallery and My Generation. His next book, Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, will be published July 5th. He is a Contributing Editor of Departures and his journalism has appeared in The New York TimesNew YorkVanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and many other publications.

June 26 2016

Bill Cunningham as role model

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I remember working beside Bill Cunningham in this piece for Time Magazine’s Lightbox. (My snapshot of Bill was taken circa 1992) Continue reading

Focus: The first excerpt is in today’s New York Post

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Today’s New York Post takes readers “Inside the twisted, sexed-up childhood of Terry Richardson” in an exclusive first look inside the pages of Focus. It tells some of the story of Terry Richardson‘s late dad, Bob, and one of fashion photography’s greatest and most messed-up practitioners. Mail Online picked up the Post story and adds even more of the sometimes sordid details from Focus. You can read the rest on July 5th. Continue reading

“An often shocking tale,” says New York’s Daily News

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FASHION PHOTOGS DIRTY SECRETS the front page of today’s Daily News announces in a story on Focus. “Don’t expect model behavior from fashion photographers,” writes Larry McShane. “Author Michael Gross, in a new tell-all book out July 5, dishes the dirt on the shooters rather than their subjects in an often-shocking tale rife with bed-hopping hotties, rampant drug use and cut-throat antics. Gross knows his stuff, delving deep into the fascinating rivalries and wicked manipulations that take place behind the cameras wielded by the greats like Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino.” Thanks, Daily News! Continue reading

June 25 2016

RIP Bill Cunningham, 87

Though not one of the characters in Focus–his street photography was sui generis–Bill Cunningham was one of the great photographers working in the fashion milieu.  He died today after suffering a stroke.  We worked together at the New York Times, and I always tried to follow his advice.  ”Give ‘em hell, child,” he’d always tell me.  ”Keep it up.”  I will, Bill.   Continue reading

June 24 2016

Focus: “Delving into the private worlds of legends.” –Departures


Focus is “the kind of deep dive we’ve come to expect…” from “Michael Gross…master chronicler of behind-closed-doors lives…delving into the private worlds of legends including Richard Avedon, Bert Stern, Bruce Weber, and latter-day provocateur Terry Richardson,” writes Departures magazine in its new issue. Continue reading

Focus is “a juicy history of scandalous lives,” says Booklist

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“Anyone interested in fashion and/or photography will find Gross’ full immersion fascinating,” says The American Library Association’s Booklist in its review of Focus. Reviewer Sarah Grant highlights the book’s look at “the industry’s transformations” and its “dish on the enormous egos, volatile relationships with models and editors, and [the] emotional turbulence that seems to be nearly ubiquitous among the industry’s professionals.” Continue reading

June 23 2016

Focus is #1 in Fashion Photography

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Following last night’s launch party, Focus hit the top of the Amazon bestseller list of fashion photography books, even though it won’t be published until July 5th. It’s also #2 on the list of books on models and #13 on the list of books on fashion. Please pre-order now from your favorite online bookseller. Continue reading

XXX Peekaboo out of Focus

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Today’s Page Six features a tid-bit from Focus about a poster-girl Seventies supermodel and her secret XXX-rated antics. Who got photographed in flagrante delicto? See if you can figure it out when Focus comes out in a dozen days. Continue reading

June 20 2016

Focus on fashion media, photography, editors and brands.  ”Everything is changing.”

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I spoke to Alexandra Steigrad of WWD the other day about Focus, and some of the industry heavyweights, like Anna Wintour, whose stories I tell in the book.  You can read the interview here.  UPDATE Fashionista picked up the WWD interview. Continue reading

June 19 2016

A leak out of Focus:  Dick Avedon’s double life

In his column today, Richard Johnson of the New York Post reports on the revelation in Focus that twice-married Richard Avedon, a major character in the book, was secretly bisexual. It’s but one of dozens of secrets spilled in the story of fashion photography’s glory years.  What’s next? Stay tuned for more… Continue reading

June 16 2016

Focus on a super model

Pat Cleveland takes a star turn in today’s Styles section of the New York Times and writer Guy Trebay lets this former Times Styles writer have the last word. Continue reading

June 15 2016

Introducing the Focus web pages

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The Focus web site has begun to roll out.  Links to pages and videos on the photographers featured in the book, source notes for the text and a list of author appearances have now been published.  Bonus material is soon to come.  Please take look. Continue reading

June 13 2016

Focus is coming in MP3 and CD

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In addition to the hardcover and e-book editions, Focus will be released as my first audiobook since Model on July 5th.  You can hear a sample–about a very public confrontation between the great photographer Richard Avedon and Vogue editor Anna Wintour–and pre-order by clicking here. Continue reading

June 11 2016

Focus a Hollywood Reporter “Hot Summer Must-Read”

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In its new issue, The Hollywood Reporter’s Andy Lewis names Focus one of its dozen best summer 2016 beach books, calling it “a gossipy peek behind the curtain at the world of fashion photography from the 1940s to the present. Gross (740 Park) knows how to drop names and has any eye for salacious stories about rivalries (Harper’s versus Vogue), secret love affairs (Irving Penn and Jean Patchett) and hidden pasts (Richard Avedon).” Continue reading

June 10 2016

Focus is “relentless…sizzling…scandalous,” says Hamptons Magazine

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“Before Instagram was king, fashion photographers ruled,” writes R. Couri Hay in this piece (with a photo by Rick Wenner) just posted on the Hamptons blog. “Michael Gross’s new book, Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, strips their universe down to its underpinnings. Through relentless reporting, Gross lays bare the lives of Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Terry Richardson, Irving Penn, Bert Stern, David Bailey, Bill King, Gilles Bensimon,… Continue reading

Prunella Darling is mesmerized by Focus

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Fashion blogger Prunella Darling (aka Ann Kasper) just posted about Focus. She writes that it is “another page turner [added] to the stack…740 Park, Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, Rogues’ Gallery, House of Outrageous Fortune and Unreal Estate – all books that keep the reader mesmerized (the famous who are in the books and the rest of us who just love all things fabulous).” Continue reading

June 8 2016

Flashback: Model on Charlie Rose


Model Lauren Hutton plays a vital role in Focus, which tells why her early champion Richard Avedon banished her from his studio, and how she represented a crucial turning point on his path away from fashion photography. You’ll have to wait ’til July 5th to read that. But in 1995, when I published Model, she and I appeared together on Charlie Rose‘s PBS show. Here’s a little Hutton (and a certain ink-stained wretch) to tide us over the wait for Focus. Continue reading

June 5 2016

Are you down with RPP (Rich People’s Problems)?

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I revisit 740 Park, the subject of my 2005 book, in “Fire, Floods, Theft: The Plagues of 740″, in today’s New York Post. All the story is missing is locusts. See if you can ID the frog in the lily pond. UPDATE: Mail Online picked up the story too. Continue reading

June 4 2016

Focus “serves hot dish,” says the New York Daily News

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“The author always serves hot dish in books like Model and House of Outrageous Fortune,” Sherryl Connelly writes in the Daily News. “He now reveals the process (wink, nudge) of elite fashion photogs from Richard Avedon to Steven Meisel. Of course, big name models are dragged in, too.” Thanks Sherryl! Continue reading

June 3 2016

Focus on Focus

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The first-bound copies of Focus arrived yesterday, hot off the press and still smelling of ink. Here’s mine, posed in front of the first fashion photo I ever acquired, Norman Parkinson’s 1939 image of Pamela Minton leaping off a dune on England’s Isle of Wight. You can pre-order Focus online now for delivery July 5th, or better yet, ask for it at your local bricks-and-mortar bookstore. Continue reading