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.

December 2 2017

Boyce v. Weber: Read it here

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Today’s Page Six revealed that photographer Bruce Weber, a major character in FOCUS, is the latest figure in fashion accused of sexual harassment. You can read the complaint filed against Weber in NYS Supreme Court male model Jason Boyce’s lawsuit by clicking here. Continue reading

November 17 2017

Focus Bought For Long-Form Docu

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Richard Johnson reports in the New York Post, that Keshet, the originator of the wildly successful series Homeland, has optioned Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers for a long-form documentary television series. Continue reading

November 14 2017

Avedon Exposed! Again?

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A new biography of the late photographer Richard Avedon, out next week, “is being described,” Page Six reports today as “expos[ing] the twice-married Avedon’s hidden love life.” But the New York Post report goes on: “He was outed as bisexual in another tome, ‘Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers,’ last year,” the gossip column correctly reports. The Daily Mail adds more detail. You can buy Focus here. Continue reading

October 25 2017

Focus: The truth about Terry Richardson

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Sixteen months ago,the New York Post took readers “Inside the twisted, sexed-up childhood of Terry Richardson” in an exclusive first look inside the pages of Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers. 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 added even more of the sometimes sordid details from Focus. Yesterday, it was revealed that In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Condé Nast had banned the Hearst-contract photographer, apparently grabbing the caboose of the #metoo train. FOCUS wasn’t the first revelation of Richardson’s reign of terror, but… Continue reading

October 17 2017

WWD on sexual harassment of models

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WWD notes today that long before the current Harvey Weinstein headlines, both MODEL and FOCUS addressed the subject of sexual exploitation in the field of fashion photography.   Continue reading

October 1 2017

RIP S.I. Newhouse, Jr.

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The rarely interviewed Si Newhouse, who died at age 89 after a long long illness early this morning, “hardly followed the pattern of the self-promoting modern tycoon, and seldom gave interviews to the press,” David Remnick writes in his appreciation of his former boss. I was lucky enough to interview Newhouse several times. The most extensive conversation took place at the height of his influence, for a New York Magazine story called “War of the Poses” (click the title to see a pdf) about the decades-long rivalry between Newhouse’s Conde Nast and the Hearst family’s Hearst Magazines. Continue reading

September 17 2017

Join me tomorrow at The Writing Center at Hunter College

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Tomorrow night, September 19th, I’m giving the Jack Burstyn Memorial Lecture in the Fall 2017 Guest Speaker series at The Writing Center at Hunter College, and will be talking about my peculiar career and surviving as a writer in a post-print age. The event is free and open to the public. It begins at 7PM at Hunter West’s 3rd Floor Glass Cafe (68th and Lexington). Click here for RSVP information. Continue reading

September 14 2017

Some Hocus-Focus on WCBS-FM

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Here’s Deb Gordon’s interview with me about Focus, which aired September 7th, just after the book was released in a new paperback edition. Continue reading

September 8 2017

Models: Seen, but sometimes also heard

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“For decades, modeling was a silent profession, where women were supposed to be seen and never heard.”
–From yesterday’s Thursday Styles cover story in the New York Times

“There are few accidental literary forms as rewarding as quotations from models. Mr. Gross provides them in an amount that is truly mindless and highly enjoyable, and perhaps unprecedented.”
–From “Fashion Victims,” a review of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, in The New York Times Book Review, April 30, 1995 Continue reading

August 25 2017

House of Outrageous Fortune a “scathing tell-all”

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In reporting the news that Fifteen Central Park West, opened in 2008, remains the city’s most expensive residential building nine years later, arriviste claims for Billionaire’s Row on Fifty-seventh Street notwithstanding, the real estate blog 6sqft also name-checks the “scathing tell-all” House of Outrageous Fortune. That’s my 2014 New York Times bestseller about the building, its residents and developers, and how it came to claim and keep that distinction. Scathing, which means caustic, bitter denunciation, isn’t the word I’d choose, but I’m glad I got a (high-)rise out of them. Continue reading

August 11 2017

Diana and the Jackals

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I wrote about Diana, Princess of Wales, and her relationship with the media, twenty years ago in New York Magazine in the days immediately following her untimely death. The piece, which remains fearfully relevant today, opens at an A-List end-of-summer party at the home of David and Julia Koch in Southampton that came to a sudden end as the news of Diana’s death spread through the crowd. Click each image to read the story.




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August 7 2017

Focus is in paperback August 29th

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Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, returns in trade paperback with a new, hot pink jacket on August 29th.

Reviewers and readers raved:

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),…

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August 2 2017

La Serenissima Under Seige

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Two weeks ago, AVENUE published my #DETOURISM guide to avoiding the modern perils of Venice. Continue reading

July 16 2017

Towers of Power in the news last week

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Last week, 740 Park was back in the news in The Real Deal, which wrote of a price cut on a long-listed duplex, and in the Wall Street Journal, after the sale by hedgie David Ganek of the apartment where Jackie Kennedy grew up, and 15 Central Park West was spotlit in a story on buildings that attract celebrities in the New York Post. UPDATE: And the winner of Jacklie O’s apartment, according to the Wall Street Journal, is Jacob Safra! Continue reading

June 20 2017

Plutocrat Podcast

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Last week, William D. Cohan interviewed me on covering the world of wealth in New York at a 92Y Talk. Here’s the podcast. Continue reading

April 13 2017

Pretty in Pink

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Meet the HOT pink jacket of FOCUS in trade paperback, coming to bookstores and online booksellers on August 29th. Continue reading

April 2 2017

21st Century Rockefellers

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The Rockefeller family’s enduring legacy, the subject of a feature story by Michael Kaplan in today’s New York Post, is also a prominent theme in 740 Park and Rogues’ Gallery, two of my books. News-hooked on the recent death of David, the last surviving son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the only one to live in 740 Park, the story addresses how great fortunes are dispersed and thus dissipated in large families, and asks if this wealthy family’s name still matters. I say it does, and others agree. In large part, that’s because, as Kaplan writes, “the family never flaunted its wealth.,” and “a chunk of it has gone to philanthropy,” including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, subject of the latter book. Rockefeller influence… Continue reading

March 16 2017

The elusive Alaia speaks, too

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In today’s New York Times, Guy Trebay reports on a short film about the designer Azzedine Alaia by fashion stylist Joe McKenna. “The one person not heard from is the designer himself,” Trebay writes. Says McKenna, “the minute it seems like you’re interviewing him, he clams up.” In 1989, I had the privilege of profiling Alaia for the long defunct European Travel & Life magazine. The story includes cameos by Naomi Campbell, Janice Dickinson, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Yasmine Parveneh, among others. You can read our lengthy conversation here. The photograph of Alaia, Lisa Marie and me was taken by an unknown photographer at his original Marais atelier in Paris around that time. Continue reading

March 3 2017

Avenue: Repaved

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Today marks the dawn of a new era at AVENUE magazine. The New York Post’s Keith Kelly reports on the new design and new website. And there’s more to come. Thanks, Julia Restoin Roitfeld for posing for our first redesigned cover! Continue reading

February 12 2017

Secrets of the City, Revealed

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“One of our most provocative journalists, Michael Gross has cornered the market for insiders’ stories of the most bewitching and private worlds of the privileged, very rich, talented and beautiful,” says the 92nd Street Y, announcing my forthcoming appearance there on the night of June 12th, when I’ll engage in conversation with William D. Cohan, the former M&A investment banker for Lazard Frères and bestselling author of books about Wall Street. Speaking of insider stories, on Friday, Bloomberg “revealed” details of financier and Trump administration advisor Stephen Schwarzman‘s 70th birthday party in Palm Beach this weekend. But readers of AVENUE magazine, where I’m editor-in-chief, had that news first, more than three… Continue reading