Archive for September, 2011

Unreal Countdown

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Unreal Estate Countdown

“..brilliant, well researched and fascinating…”

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So writes the Daily Fashion Report, the renegade fashion blog at the online fashion site lookonline, about the just re-released Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. “We highly recommend this book,” the review continues. “It is THE definitive work — an essential read for anyone interested in the unholy relationship between modeling agencies and the beautiful young women who are fashion’s ‘boots on the ground’.”

L.A. Lost and Found

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In a great story on a simmering fight between tourists and NIMBY types over the Hollywood sign in today’s New York Times, Adam Nagourney calls Los Angeles “a city where so many landmarks and historical remnants have been torn down and replaced,” it’s become “a center of glamour and celebrity that, in truth, is not quite as glamorous as it once was.” I’m not sure I agree with that premise, but it’s still, as I say in the introduction to Unreal Estate, one of the reasons I wrote the book: “To give back to this magical kingdom some of the … Continue reading

Unreality Starts Here

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Curbed LA, the real estate blog that covers the Southland, says Unreal Estate is “sure-to-be-juicy” in an item today revealing that the book will be launched at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills on November 9th and that I’ll be talking about and signing it at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood on November 10th. New Yorkers needn’t feel slighted. The Apple will actually get the first bite of Unreality on November 2nd when I speak and sign at Barnes & Noble on East 86th Street. Hope to see you there.

Euros, Trashed

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This week in Crain’s New York Business, I offer up my jobs plan: Why can’t American newspapers and magazines hire American writers and editors to cover American innovation, excellence and style? Maybe we’ll start a trend and some British magazines will Hire American, too. That should get Sally Singer singing.

Oligarch Arm Candy

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Today in The Daily, gossip supremoRichard Johnson names names of some of the Russian oligarchs who’ve seized control of the most storied brands in fashion modeling–as revealed in the new updated edition of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. That’s Ford Models owner Vladimir Potanin striking a pose above.

Modelinia Hearts Model

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The all-models-all-the-time web site Modelinia has noted the Lamb’s Club relaunch of Model: The Ugly Business of Business of Beautiful Women. “We highly recommend you pick up this wildly interesting bestseller,” they say. Gripepad hearts Modelinia, too.

Image Flood: The Model Relaunch

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Here are more photos than you will ever want to see of the Model relaunch at The Lamb’s Club. Thanks to Patrick McMullen and Wireimage for attending and taking such great shots. Check back here soon for Dustin Pittman‘s photos, which will be posted as soon as I get them.

L.A., My Way

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Now that Fashion Week is over and the fine-feathered flock flies east to Euroland, it’s time to cast my eyes west to Unreal Estate (the new new book instead of the old new book). It’s appropriate that the first word (by me, at least) on my look at luxury estates in west Los Angeles and the people who live in them comes in Travel + Leisure, where I’ve been a Contributing Editor for many years. In “The Star Factor,” in the Fortieth Anniversary October 2011 issue of T+L, I take a Starline tour of my subject city, ponder those famous … Continue reading

A Feast of Friends

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New York Social Diary catches up today with Tuesday night’s late great fete at The Lamb’s Club for the relaunch of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. That’s Montgomery Bernardi, Danielly Silva, Karina Zartkezvica, Emely Fargo and Barry Cord above. Click through and scroll down for more pictures, more beautiful babes in the woods and more fashion legends of our time.

Gazelle Sightings

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Last night, The Lamb’s Club hosted a relaunch party for Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, which Gripepad readers know will be out September 27th in a new updated edition, followed by the debut of an e-book version in October. The New York Observer, Whom You Know and The Corsair are the first out with looks into the modelicious evening. That’s Lady Liliana Cavendish, Anne Bezamat and Kim Charlton above.

Anatomy Is Destiny: The Return of Model (not that she ever left)

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The new edition of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, gets some ink in the tabs today. In the Daily News, Gatecrasher-in chief Frank DiGiacomo writes (page down to final item) that the update “finds news in the world of 6-foot genetic accidents [and] reveals the legal travails and failed comeback of Elite founder John Casablancas, convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein‘s attempt to buy an agency, and how Russian oligarchs, some of whom got rich together in a huge Russian metals company, now compete as owners of the two best brands in modeling, Ford and Elite.” And the New … Continue reading

Model “blew the lid on the backstage of the fashion world.” Unreal Estate “makes ‘Chinatown’ look like Disney Land.”

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“What a swell party it was,” writes Steve Garbarino in Room 100, the Thomson Hotel blog. “In 1996, journalist-author Michael Gross (“740 Park,” “Rogues’ Gallery”) blew the lid on the backstage of the fashion world: the champagne, the anorexia, the lesbo sex, the diva behavior, the model agency parasites, the delicious cruelty of it all. Now in time for Fashion Week, the New York Times best-selling Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women is being re-released (with a new afterword by the author), and it’s worth a re-appraisal. Not to mention, Gross’s new tell-all Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the … Continue reading

Correction: For The Record

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The new edition of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, to be released September 27, 2011, contains an inadvertent error in an update chapter. On page 520, a quote regarding John Casablancas, founder of Elite Models, and his relationship with the agency’s current owners, is misattributed. The words “He wouldn’t take direction,” attributed to Eddie Trump, were actually spoken by the unnamed Elite executive quoted on the same page. The error will be corrected in future printings of the book.

New York’s Meanest?

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The business pages at the New York Post think Ezra Merkin, a resident (above, right) of 740 Park, might be New York’s worst Blue Meanie. It seems he’s spent more fighting an arbitration award to a victim of the Bernie Madoff (above left) mess–he was one of Madoff’s big middlemen–than the size of the award itself. Ouch.

“A Namedropper’s Paradise,” says Library Journal. “A Cultural History of Wealth,” says Publishers Weekly.

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The first notices for Unreal Estate are trickling in. “Having portrayed New York’s rich and famous in 740 Park and Rogues’ Gallery, which focused on shenanigans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gross heads west to investigate the wealthy corners of Los Angeles and the rich who settled there throughout the 20th century,” says Library Journal‘s Barbara Hoffert in a pre-pub alert. “A name dropper’s paradise.” Publishers Weekly adds: “Gross offers a cultural history of wealth in his study of the moguls and mafiosi who developed Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and other ritzy neighborhoods of Los Angeles—with a special focus … Continue reading

“Sure to have tongues wagging!”

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PureWow Los Angeles–a daily lifestyle tipsheet “for fabulous women of substance”–touts my upcoming pre-publication appearance for Unreal Estate at Las Ventanas in Cabo today. They say the book is “sure to have tongues wagging all over the West Side.” And in Baja, too!

Cash Still King at 740 Park (For Most)

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Elise Knutsen of the New York Observer reports that the paper has received a letter from Brown Harris Stevens,the management company for 740 Park Avenue, firmly denying a source’s contention last week that it or the building’s board had any knowledge that one of BHS’s owners, Kent Swig, had borrowed against his 740 apartment (now occuppied by his estranged wife, the former Elizabeth Macklowe). “The suggestion that Brown Harris Stevens would somehow violate the rules of a building it manages, and thus its fiduciary duties, in order to accommodate a principal is absolutely untrue and very damaging to Brown Harris … Continue reading