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, Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, is available online and in bookstores. 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.

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

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, R.I.P.


Great Britain’s sixth Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor, possessor of a $12 billion fortune and owner of much of the land beneath Mayfair and Belgravia in London, has died at age 64, reports The Daily Mail. I interviewed the Duke and reported on a weeklong visit to New York almost thirty years ago for The New York Times. ”I do get tired,” he told me at age 34. ”You never sit down. When the adrenaline settles, it will be like having taken 100 sleeping pills and waking with a hangover.” Continue reading

August 4 2016

Focus is “well researched and written with an insider’s eye…engaging and on point…canny…” –New York Times Book Review


“There are descents into madness, prolific drug use, orgies, blackmail photos and suicide attempts, successful and otherwise,” Kim France writes in this coming Sunday’s Book Review.  ”There is so much womanizing that the theme of infidelity is basically a subplot, and pretty much boils down to the following: A stunning model walks into a photographer’s studio; a marriage dies.”  Click the link to read the review.   Continue reading

August 2 2016

“The ultimate beach book…unrivaled…a sensation…” –Crave Online


Crave Online’s Sara Rosen writes that Focus is “an intricate web of fashion, photography, and magazine publishing that is simply unrivaledFocus is a sensation, one that brilliantly blends the wild histories of seemingly disparate lives that were bumping up against each other inside the magazines. Gross is a modern day Vasari, giving us The Lives of the Artists in no small measure. But Focus is more than the stories contained within: it is an epitaph for an era whose time has come and… Continue reading

July 30 2016

Focus is “magic.” –Fashion Reverie


“Great content,” writes William S. Gooch on fashionreverie.com, “can illuminate, educate, and charm the reader. Michael Gross, in his new book ‘Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers,’ has done both. The Golden Age of Fashion Photography is an era that wistful fashion pundits pine, reminisce, celebrate, and mourn for. In ‘Focus’ Michael Gross does all that—well maybe, not mourn—and so much more. ‘Focus’ artfully details how it all came to be, with images and content that stimulate the imagination, and tantalize the appetite for that rare synthesis of craft-meets-passion-meets-creativity, the true birthplace of all great art.” A lengthy interview follows. Thanks, William! Continue reading

July 28 2016

“A scintillating snapshot of the world of fashion photography” –Daily News

Daily News Confidential

The Daily News featured Focus again today in a Confidential item that only appears in the printed paper. In case you didn’t see it, click the image to read it. Continue reading

SpareMin finds Focus


The SpareMin podcast spares a minute for Focus in its latest episode. You can hear my interview with Matthew Demello here. Just drag the slider on the podcast player to the 29:00 minute mark. Continue reading

July 22 2016

Focus on American Fashion


American Fashion Podcast, “for the true fashion nerd,” focuses on Focus in its latest edition. Listen to it here. Continue reading

July 20 2016

Focus on The Today Show


The Today Show focused on Focus yesterday. Or rather, The Today Show in Australia. An author “exposing” fashion’s excesses is not entirely without honor on morning television!
Continue reading