When Your Own Initials Are Enough

W Magazine and A.P.C. Celebrate Milestones


Natasha Poly and Joan Smalls   
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To celebrate W's 40th anniversary, its editor, Stefano Tonchi—along with Tod's, which sponsored the evening—held a birthday bash for the magazine at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Fifty or so dinner guests—including Iman, Natasha Poly, and Alan Cumming—bantered in the hotel's Rose Bar, chimed in when Estelle belted out "Happy Birthday," and left with a hefty tome that catalogues The First 40 Years, a span of time that has seen W go from a gossipy, New York-centric biweekly to the glossier outlet it is today. As guests migrated upstairs for the after-party, Miranda Kerr Googled a photo of herself—pregnant, in the nude, shot by Patrick Demarchelier—that ran in the magazine two years ago. Repetitions of the image filled the screen. "Oh, look at that one. They've covered the nipples," Kerr said. "Maybe that Web site had a PG rating. That's not W's sensibility at all."

A bit farther downtown, A.P.C. was celebrating a milestone birthday of its own: 25. Where W was formal, A.P.C., predictably, opted for a loucher brand of cool. Founder Jean Touitou wore a hoodie, and the servers skipped penguin suits for sweats emblazoned with '87, the year of the label's birth. Many of the attendees who crammed into A.P.C.'s Mercer Street store—all the clothes had been jettisoned to accommodate them—had been around since that early date, or near it. Photographer Brigitte Lacombe reminisced about the days, decades ago, when Touitou would crash on her couch in New York. And designer Vanessa Seward, who signed on to do a capsule collection with her friend Jean and watched it grow into two, and now three, recalled discovering the brand in her youth. "I was working at Chanel in the nineties, and all the girls in Paris in the Chanel studio were wearing A.P.C.," she said. She was now wearing A.P.C.—of her own gilded design. "Sometimes you are scared to work with a friend," she admitted, "but it's been a great experience." Moving from Chanel to A.P.C. over the course of a career is essentially a trek between distant poles, but an easy mix of high and low is A.P.C.'s own sensibility. Case in point: The evening began with a classical piano performance on a baby grand wheeled in to the center of the space. It closed, sometime after midnight, with a set from Touitou's old friend, rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa.

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