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July 28 2014

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In the Company of Snowmen

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Thanksgiving may be tomorrow, but Michael Roberts was thinking more ho, ho, ho than gobble gobble. Donning a fuzzy Santa hat and faux white beard, the Vanity Fair style and fashion director (and perhaps the chicest Mr. Claus we’ve seen) signed copies of his new children’s book Snowman in Africa at Gucci’s Fifth Avenue flagship last night. The multitasker debuted the first in the series, Snowman in Paradise, in 2004. The second installment came about after Gucci tapped him to create a sequel for charity. “Africa is one of my favorite places, and it just seems appropriate because it’s for UNICEF,” Roberts said of the sequel’s storyline. Gucci will be donating 100 percent of sales from the $25 hardcover and proceeds from three original Roberts collages up for silent auction to UNICEF’s Africa programs. As for the Santa outfit? “Well, I’m British, so I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. But I do love the holidays and I get to fly to London for the long weekend,” he explained. The toddlers clutching the colorful storybooks in line didn’t seem to mind skipping straight to Santa. Nor did the grownups, who included Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy. “Michael just has a way about making the images come alive,” said Vogue‘s Grace Coddington. “And I think the book is for adults, too. If you read it, it’s rather funny.” Those who prefer fashion to storybooks need not go home empty-handed, though: Gucci is offering limited editions of its wrist wallets, coin purses, and Joy handbags featuring the whimsical illustrations in appliqué and print.

Photo: CHANCE YEH/PatrickMcMullan.com

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