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IN THE VAULT: Event planner Barton G. Weiss’ new magazine Vault is dedicated to the art of being social. High-minded as that might sound, editorial director Glenn Albin said the 238-page debut May issue is a mash-up of socializing, entertainment and fashion. “This is not in any way about decorating or how to improve your social life,” he said.
For the first time out, Albin called on such old friends as Christopher Makos and Roxanne Lowit, with whom he first worked years ago at Interview. Makos shot the fashion-free artistic cover, a story about Golden Gloves boxer and professional model Charlie Himmelstein and another spotlighting Nicola Formichetti. Lowit shot socialites amid a throng of male models at the Villa by Barton G. (better known as Gianni Versace’s Ocean Drive house). Her archival photos of the manse’s 1993 opening night dinner featuring shots of Versace, his sister Donatella, Mickey Rourke and other guests are integrated into the story.
The average story is 1,800 words but one that details the gossip swapped at a gabfest at Kenneth Jay Lane’s Stanford White-designed home runs on for a whopping 8,000 words. Simon Doonan offers advice about throwing the perfect party; Weiss interviews The Four Season’s Julian Niccolini, Paul Solberg shot a piece about Savannah cats and Tama Janowitz’s short story about life inside the Villa by Barton G. will be serialized in the quarterly. (In a seemingly opportunistic tie-in, the April 26 opening night party will be staged at said location.) Adding a little levity would be Paris-based designer Olympia Le-Tan, who has been asked to re-create her Bettie Page-inspired fashion show.
Alberta Ferretti, Armani Casa, Graff, Osklen and The Webster are among the advertisers that publisher Renata Lopes-Merriam has rooted out. Other new hires include Eric Newill and art director James Timmins. Weiss came up with the eye-and-mouth cover idea after seeing a similar piece of Makos-made art in Albinn’s office. “Glenn had a piece I had given to him 20 years ago. It was of a butter queen from upstate New York,” Makos said.
As a Vault contributor, Makos is already drumming up his next assignment. The photographer plans to put to use some of the 72 shots he took of Tom Ford at the age of 16, when the yet-to-be-designer was someone passing in and out of Warhol’s Factory. Makos and Solberg, who collaborate professionally as The Hilton Brothers, will also be shooting on the streets of Tokyo, Berlin and Moscow for the magazine when they travel to those cities.