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 latest book is Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers. He is Editor-in-Chief of Avenue, a Contributing Editor of Departures and his journalism has appeared in The New York TimesNew YorkVanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and many other publications.

October 24 2016

Trump: Model Candidate


Read my latest story on Donald J. Trump on The Daily Beast. “I’m sorry, Ivanka, I really am, but here’s the sad truth: Your dad’s not a dog. He’s a pig.” Continue reading

October 19 2016

“Avenue snags author Michael Gross”


Keith Kelly of the New York Post is first with the news that I’ve been named Editor-in-Chief of Avenue Magazine, effective immediately. Here’s yesterday’s official announcement:

AVENUE, New York City’s original society magazine, has named Michael Gross its editor-in-chief, effective tomorrow.

Founded in 1976 by Judy Price as a controlled-circulation magazine, and originally distributed exclusively in the so-called “good buildings” of New York’s Upper East Side, AVENUE has spawned a raft of imitators as well as offspring of its own. The most recent are AVENUE on the Beach, a summer-only magazine focusing on the Hamptons, and AVENUE on the Beach in winter in South Florida, which Gross will also edit, and a web… Continue reading

October 17 2016

Daily Dose of Donald: Daily Kos Edition


My reporting on Donald Trump over the years has jumped the fence into the political arena with the publication of “We All Knew About the Trafficking”-The Untold Story of Trump Model Management (Part 1)” by a writer calling herself SwedishJewfish on dailykos.com. Continue reading

October 14 2016

Focus + Funny Face = Avedon Revealed


The landmark Cameo Cinema in St. Helena, in California’s Napa Valley, has just announced that its first Film & Fashion series will launch with a screening of Funny Face and a discussion of the great musical’s back story, as told in Focus. The film, directed by Stanley Donen, stars Fred Astaire as Dick Avery, a fashion photographer based on Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton, a character based on Avedon’s first wife and muse, Doe Nowell, and Kay Thompson as a Diana Vreeland-like editor. The event, M.C.’d by fashion-show-producer Kevin Krier, takes place Sunday November 6th, beginning at the Cameo at 2 PM, and continuing at a post-screening reception and book signing at St. Helena’s M Gallery. Please join me there! Continue reading

October 13 2016

Is being too early the same as being wrong?


Regardless, I’m still happy to report that Bob Dylan, subject of my first hardcover book in 1978, has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In a lovely coincidence, the cover photograph of Dylan is by Jerry Schatzberg, who is one of the photographers featured in my latest book, Focus. Continue reading

October 11 2016

Daily Dose of Donald: On humility and self-awareness. Really.


This excerpt from my 1999 interview with Donald Trump for My Generation seems both poignant and pathetic in light of events of the last few days. “You develop a sense of invincibility,” Trump told me. “You think you can do no wrong…You have all these guys who you pay money and they all say, “Don’t do this, don’t do that.” Because basically, every job I did was not supposed to work…Nothing was supposed to work. And they all worked. So you don’t listen to anybody, because they’re all idiots in your opinion, because they were all wrong previously. But the word is invincibility. You develop a sense of invincibility. Then the markets crash; in 1990 the real estate markets crash. I’m stuck out there. I have this real… Continue reading

October 2 2016

Donald Trump and that $916 million tax loss


In his inimitable way, Donald Trump actually boasted about the huge 1995 tax loss reported in today’s New York Times, seventeen years ago. In an interview in 1999, Trump told me the following story, as recounted in my book My Generation: “I was in really deep shit,” Trump said. “You know, publicity is a funny thing. It does create value. But if things go bad, you get it.” One day during the workout of Trump’s financial collapse in the 1990s, which began when losses from his real estate interestss, hotels, casinos and airlinebrought him close to personal bankruptcy, Trump was walking in front of Tiffany & Co. with his then-wife Marla Maples when he saw a beggar. “Look at that man over there,” he said. “Do you… Continue reading

September 30 2016

Focus comes to Newport, RI–and the oldest lending library in America


The Redwood Library and Athenænum’s Life of the Mind Salon Series for fall 2016 kicks off Wednesday night October 5th with a wine-and-cheese reception and discussion of Focus, beginning at 5:30 PM. It’s free for members, $10 for non-members. Seating is limited; call 401-847-0295, ext. 112 to make your reservation. Founded in 1747, the Redwood Library and Athenæum is the oldest lending library in America, and the oldest library building in continuous use in the country. Continue reading

September 24 2016

The focus is on Focus next week


The focus will be on Focus next week at two events. On Tuesday, Sept. 27th, I’ll be speaking and signing books at the Port Washington Public Library. Click the link for details. Then, on Saturday October 1st, novelist and home-entertaining book author Holly Peterson and I appear at Rotisserie Georgette in midtown as part of its Author, Author series of literary lunches. Please come. Continue reading

September 23 2016



Yesterday, I succumbed to a Vogue email inviting subscribers to download its latest iPad app and access exclusive digital-only content. How now. But one of the first articles that popped up in the app, Kate Moss Isn’t the First Model to Run Her Own Agency,” inexplicably neglects several models who were no less than pioneers of the posing trade. Fortunately, you can read all about Dorian Leigh, Natalie Nickerson and Simone d’Aillencourt, among other model entrepreneurs, in the New York Times bestseller Model, and learn what fashion magazines like Vogue won’t tell you about fashion photography in the new Focus. (The image is of a Tom Binns fashion parody pin circa 1987) Continue reading

September 21 2016

“Behind the object, there’s a photographer with a story.” –El País on Focus

el pais

Could this be why the fashion media has studiously ignored Focus? “Highly critical of the current moment, in which advertisers and large corporations have taken the reins of the publishing business, [Michael Gross] doesn’t see fashion as dead–just in intensive care,” writes Estel Vilaseca in Spain’s El Pais. “In an account through which models, editors, art directors and photographers pass, personal anecdotes intersect with key events in fashion history, allowing a close-up experience of… Continue reading

September 19 2016

Quelle Frissell!

Gripepad has been on a brief hiatus, during which Time Magazine’s Lightbox blog published this story about Toni Frissell, “the Unsung Woman Who Transformed Fashion Phorography”. It expands on the pages on Frissell in Focus. Continue reading

September 6 2016

Focus featured in Barnes & Noble Review


“Tightly written, exhaustively researched,” Ted Panken writes in “A Fascination with the Moment,” Focus “skillfully juxtaposes the idiosyncrasies, peccadilloes, and debaucheries of [its] protagonists… with the shifting cultural and economic milieu in which they functioned.” Read our lengthy interview here. Continue reading

September 4 2016

Let it rain (adjectives). Read the exposé reviewers call “important (1), amazing…


… big, intelligent, exhaustively researched, lovingly written (2), smart, well researched and written with an insider’s eye… engaging and on point….canny (3), delicious, sweeping, thoughtful, (4), thoroughly absorbing…enthralling and riveting (5), deep-diving …groundbreaking (6), juicy. . . fascinating (7), sizzling…relentless (8), often-shocking (9), simply unrivaled…a sensation (10), astonishing and unprecedented (11), exciting…a must” (12). Focus. On sale online and… Continue reading

August 29 2016

For Focus, an end-of-summer Hamptons book-end


Focus is “provocative…dishy…” writes Hamptons magazine in an end of summer bookend to its Memorial Day preview of the book. “Fans of his previous work will not be disappointed.” [Scroll down to read a brief interview.] Continue reading

August 22 2016

The reviews are in and Focus is….


“Smart, well researched and written with an insider’s eye… engaging and on point….canny,” (Kim France, New York Times Book Review), “delicious, sweeping, thoughtful,” (The Daily Beast), “thoroughly absorbing…enthralling and riveting,” (Tim Gunn, Project Runway), “amazing… big, intelligent, exhaustively researched, lovingly written,” (Liz Smith, Chicago Tribune Syndicate), “deep-diving …groundbreaking,” (DuJour), “sizzling…relentless,” (Hamptons Magazine), “juicy. . . fascinating,” (Booklist), “often-shocking,” (Daily News), “simply unrivaled…a sensation,” (craveonline), “astonishing and unprecedented,” (The Daily Mail), “exciting…a must,” (Musée), and “important,” (National Post). Continue reading

August 19 2016

Focus: “Such a delicious read” –The Daily Beast


Writing on The Daily Beast today, Lisa Santandrea says Focus is “such a delicious read…sweeping if not exhaustive; thoughtful, but not a work of criticism…It concentrates on the ‘glory days’ of fashion photography, from 1947 to 1997, and traces the rise and the fall of the celebrity photographer. Unfortunately for them, the fall occurs more swiftly than the rise.” Continue reading

August 16 2016

Focus reviewed in the International New York Times

International NYTImes Review

Focus “does not skimp on the gossipy goods,” writes Kim France. “There are descents into madness, prolific drug use, orgies, blackmail photos and suicide attempts…But this book…is also smart, well-researched and written with an insider’s eye…engaging and on point.” Click the image to read the review Continue reading

August 11 2016

Reminder: Focus on East Hampton this weekend

AuthorsNight2016 (1)

I’ll be attending the East Hampton Library’s annual Author’s Night on Saturday, signing copies of Focus, described last Sunday in the New York Times Book Review as “well-researched and written with an insider’s eye,” “engaging,” “on point,” “canny,” and bursting with “gossipy goods.” Please click the image for details and come. Carpe Librum! Continue reading

Focus is “very compelling,” says PBS host Steve Adubato, and “a page-turner,” says Woodstock Writer’s Radio host Martha Frankel

Watch my interview with Steve Adubato here. Listen to my interview with Martha Frankel here. Continue reading