It seems that success, not the devil, is in the details.
I’m talking specifically about sartorial details here, and the keen fashion sense of the two notable personages we profile in this issue — NFL-great-turned-TV host Michael Strahan and legendary author Gay Talese.
While “athleisure” dominates what passes for fashion today — with hip-hop artists wearing hooded sweatshirts to awards shows and models prancing around town in sweatpants and heels (really, that’s a thing) — these guys are having none of it. Strahan and Talese come from a more classical — or maybe just classy — school of thought when it comes to dress. Or maybe they are just throwbacks.
Talese, the octogenarian former New York Times journalist who has written more than a dozen books, is credited as the pioneer of New Journalism (his piece “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” has been called the best magazine profile ever written). During a recent dinner at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side, as he lamented the obsessive “goal-oriented” focus of today’s striving young journalists, he stood out in his perfectly aligned suit pieces and a silk tie. Check out the photos and the story by Christopher Cameron starting on page 24. Cameron, our man about town, is himself a cufflink-wearing dapper dresser, rare enough in the sometimes schlubby world of journalism, so it’s nice they got together to compare notes.
There is also the impeccably dressed Strahan, who graces our cover this month. Flitting between tapings of “LIVE! with Kelly and Michael,” “Good Morning America” and Fox NFL Sunday, and with the revival of “$100,000 Pyramid” coming soon, he is a busy man, yet he makes sure the same suit never appears on air twice in the same day. He is also growing a production and management company (rapper Wiz Khalifa is a client), has a new book and his own line of suits (naturally), has had cameos in several popular films and is creating a mini-media empire cutting across a wide swath of popular entertainment. That trajectory would have been hard to imagine — for him or anyone else — during his gridiron days. See the story on page 14.
Other stories in this issue also have a bit of a throwback quality, including a few that remind me of a New York art scene that might have existed in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s instead of today.
There’s Domingo Zapata, the “bad boy” artist who just got sued for allegedly “trashing” the Gramercy Park townhouse he was renting (by trashing, I mean using the entire apartment as a canvas). Shouting “shut the fuck up!” to no one in particular during a recent show in the Meatpacking District that we covered (page 56), he seemed generally unruly and “rebellious” in a way that you don’t expect of artists today, more like a rock star with a penchant for throwing TV sets out of hotel room windows in the company of groupies.
We also have a story about a high-end clothing and accessories store on the Lower East Side that is setting itself apart with nude-model drawing events and art shows. Seems very 1960s, like Primal Scream therapy and est training (see page 72).
Of course there are plenty of trends we write about in this issue that feel brand-spanking new and without precedent, rather than retro. We take a look at the Whitney Museum’s momentous move to the Meatpacking District and how it is changing the character of the neighborhood (page 60). We sit down with Chinese-American socialites hosting feng shui parties to try to lure other Chinese to buy real estate in New York City on page 52. And we review a new gym in Tribeca that takes the CrossFit experience upscale on page 68, part of the latest workout trend du jour. (The gym founder decided to open in Tribeca because its residents “are [more] focused on fitness” than any other neighborhood in the city.)
And finally, there are the trends that bridge the divide.
Our story about installing your own home theater shows that you can feel very old school, like Louis B. Mayer looking at his daily reels, with some of the décor options in demand today like plush red leather seats. But stick in the new home IMAX system and you are on the cutting edge of home technology (page 36).
Finally, among the must-do classes kids are cramming into their schedules to get ahead today, there are also the old and the new. There are lessons in horseback riding and fencing that would have added to one’s pedigree 100 years ago, as well as new classes in computer coding and private tutoring in Chinese that until recently would have been inconceivable as de rigueur for posh young things. See page 20.
Enjoy the issue.