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July 25 2014

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5 posts tagged "Deborah Needleman"

Li on T: The New Creative Director Speaks

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The goings and comings at T were covered with the obsessive tabloid attention usually reserved for politicians’ love affairs and Real Housewives. But the dust has settled and a new team is in place at the magazine: editor in chief Deborah Needleman and creative director Patrick Li, who helmed WSJ. magazine together before making the leap to the Times. Their debut issue of the magazine is on stands this Sunday. Before the launch, Li—who has also worked with Jason Wu, Rodarte, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Alexander Wang through his own firm, Li Inc.—sat down with Style.com to talk logos, photos, and what’s to come.

Congratulations on the launch issue. Obviously it’s the product of an enormous amount of work.
And this doesn’t represent the complete—Deborah’s complete—vision. I mean, there’s much more to come. We wanted a very pointed reset, in a way. [Now] it’s a very elegant and restrained look at the system and look at the fashion world.

Starting with the “T” itself. What’s the response been to that?
The response has been generally favorable. I’ve been talking to a lot of people in my immediate design world, and, honestly, there it’s been slightly mixed. You know, “Why did you change?” And then after I explain why, it’s like it becomes clearer.

Part of that must be that it’s a sacred cow.
Well, it’s a sacred cow that’s, you know, seven years old, right? But after the success of launching T as a magazine…the newspaper has really adopted the gothic “T” as a symbol of the paper. It’s not the same logo as the old “T,” but no one else is really going to notice that. So there was confusion out there in the world—like, What’s the paper and what’s the magazine? And there are very strategic plans for the magazine to grow into a fuller, bigger, self-sustaining initiative. It, of course, gets its power from the Times, but it needs its own identity, so Deborah was very adamant about having the logo represent something more forward-looking. It’s very sans serif—a more streamlined look—and then we brought over certain aspects…[that are like] the old “T.” So there are similarities, or shared common points, but obviously it’s manifested itself in a totally different way, which we’re thrilled with. And it’s evolving and changing as we speak. It’s a slow reveal, but you’ll see different iterations of the logo going forward.

So you’re starting on the most minute level. How does that kind of ground-up redesign express itself throughout the magazine?
The content is imbued with the same qualities, and the look, I guess, comes from a response to the content. And like this issue, it’s very restrained. [But] I have this expression that I’m trying to fight the tyranny of good taste. I feel like we need to have some sort of transgressive moments to make it more relevant or have this, like, vibration between something very understandably beautiful and something a bit more uncomfortable.

One of my favorite things [was] developing a typeface, and actually, first of all, being at a place where they understand the importance of that. When I first got here, I was like, “Can we do a font that’s unique to T?” And they said yes and didn’t have any resistance to it at all—which I was surprised about. Continue Reading “Li on T: The New Creative Director Speaks” »

Competitive Partying With T and WSJ.

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Today, the mailman brought an invite to a fashion-week party celebrating Deborah Needleman’s first issue as the editor in chief of T. But check the calendar: Thursday night is also the night of an event celebrating Kristina O’Neill’s first issue as editor in chief of WSJ.—Needleman’s old stomping grounds—at the very same time. Naturally, we had a lot of questions: Was the scheduling snafu unintentional? Or is it the next sally in the magazines’ ongoing standoff? A representative from T told us that their date was selected months ago and they only learned about the competing event after invitations were printed. (Reps for WSJ. didn’t return requests for comment.) Needless to say, some alliances will be formed on Thursday night. Or the truly enterprising could attend—and, for that matter, subscribe to—both.

Today in Secondhand News: Kate Lanphear to T

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In which we track the way that certain fashion news stories are recycled around the Web.

Today’s secondhand news actually began back in November, when Kate Lanphear left her post as the style director of Elle. Since then, rumors have spun about Lanphear applying for a job at The Wall Street Journal, then potentially heading to a start-up magazine called Editorialist (we’re still not 100 percent clear on what that is—all that exists is a dormant Web site). Early on, Fashionista (who deserves props for breaking Lanphear’s Elle departure) suggested that Lanphear might head to T Magazine based on a lighthearted shrimp-related tweet and Instagram that the magazine’s new editor in chief, Deborah Needleman, posted in September:


Then, this morning, freelance journalist Jim Shi tweeted the news that Kate Lanphear was joining the T team:


Providing quasi-confirmation, the news was instantly re-tweeted by T Magazine and then, because Twitter is seemingly the new press release, reported by Refinery29:


Not to be outdone, Fashionista and The Cut jumped on the bandwagon shortly thereafter:


So who’s the winner of today’s secondhand news sweepstakes? Is it Fashionista for predicting the move way back in November? Or Jim Shi for successfully spreading his Twitter handle across the Internet? Actually, the winner is Kate Lanphear. A representative for The New York Times just confirmed via e-mail (not Twitter) that Lanphear is indeed heading to T as style director. Needleman has made several new hires (for instance, she brought Joe McKenna on as fashion director at large) since taking over for Sally Singer in September.

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/ Stringer via Getty Images

A New Parent For Proenza, When Marc Met Diddy, V For Victory (And Vodianova), And More…

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Is Proenza getting a new parent? Rumor has it Theory president Andrew Rosen—who, in addition to controlling Theory and Helmut Lang, has invested in Rag & Bone, Alice + Olivia and Gryphon—is mulling a stake in the New York label. Pemira, which owns 45% of the business is looking to sell its share; designers Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernadez, and CEO Shirley Cook will keep their 55%. [WWD]

It’s battle of the newspaper glossies this weekend when the first Sally Singer-edited issue of T and the first Deborah Needleman-edited issue of WSJ. hit stands. A hundred lucky people got a sneak preview today, though: T put 100 copies near their offices on 40th Street, which, according to Twitter, were gone within 2 hours. [@themoment]

Is Diddy elbowing in on Kanye territory? The rapper is certainly courting the fashion world at the moment: His next album, Last Train to Paris, features spoken-word cameos from Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Tommy Hilfiger, and André Leon Talley. [Huffington Post]

And Natalia Vodianova (left) must have had her Jock Jams blasting lately. The gorgeous model has been repping her home country of Russia on two separate athletic fronts lately: As the official Ambassador of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, and as part of a delegation to secure the 2018 World Cup for Russia. [Modelinia]

Photo: Luca Cannonieri / GoRunway.com

Olfactory Verve

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In a way, it was their sense of smell that brought Christiane Amanpour, Thom Browne, Derek Lam, and WSJ.‘s Deborah Needleman together last night. British fragrance house Jo Malone organized an intimate dinner party at Peels for fans of the brand that turned out to be a stimulating potpourri of editors, thread-makers, and interior designers—the sort of affair that had J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons sitting next to Malcolm Gladwell.

The upstairs room at Taavo Somer’s new East Village outpost didn’t smell like anything in particular. If it were Chris Benz’s studio, we learned, there would have been strong notes of mint and basil. “I have millions of scented candles,” the designer explained, “and I drive people crazy because I’m always like, ‘why aren’t the candles lit?’” Philip Crangi did him one better: “I have patchouli and sandalwood from this one incense factory in India that’s been making incense for, like, 800 years,” he said.

Just before tucking into his swordfish steak, Jonathan Adler (pictured, center, with Philip Crangi and Simon Doonan) mentioned that he’d written the bulk of his two upcoming books in rooms redolent of fresh tomato. The home-design maestro knows whereof he speaks, of course. “I’m a purveyor, and a member of the decorative fragrance community. We’re a very private community,” Adler deadpanned. “We gather and sniff.”

Photo: Mimi Ritzen Crawford / Courtesy of Jo Malone