Women’s Wear Daily
04.20.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: All That Matters Is Rupert Likes Her... On Screen...

When Rupert Murdoch named 27-year-old Natalie Bancroft to the News Corp. board to represent the family that had sold him Dow Jones...

fashion-memopad/news
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Natalie Bancroft
ALL THAT MATTERS IS RUPERT LIKES HER: When Rupert Murdoch named 27-year-old Natalie Bancroft to the News Corp. board to represent the family that had sold him Dow Jones, she was described in the press as an opera singer with no business experience and seen as a way for Murdoch to limit any actual impact from the Bancrofts. (He never interviewed the family's more-experienced choices.)

Now, in Portfolio's March issue, Sophia Banay offers another look at Bancroft, though her first-ever public remarks won't necessarily mollify people who said Bancroft wasn't up to the task. Of her position as News Corp.'s first female board member, she says: "I wouldn't say I was excited....The family was screwing up [negotiations for the sale] right and left. My focus was more on, 'Jesus Christ, how am I related to these people?'" When asked if she's planning to get an MBA now that she's on the board of one of the world's largest media conglomerates, she asks: "In journalism?"

In her own defense, Bancroft says, "The last thing I am is a pushover. I'm not just some idiotic girl in piggytails yodeling."

Bancroft, the daughter of a model and a Formula Two race car driver, was styled by the magazine and photographed in what fashion credits in the back of the book reveal is Catherine Malandrino, using a copy of the Wall Street Journal to shield her from the rain. The story also marks Portfolio — headed by a former top editor at the Wall Street Journal and stacked with the paper's alums — breaking its silence on what was considered last year's biggest media business story. — Irin Carmon

ON SCREEN: American Express' new television commercial featuring Diane von Furstenberg shows the designer finding inspirations for her collections in the trees of her Cloudwalk estate in Connecticut, then working with her team in her design studio in Manhattan. The one-minute ad, shot by "Capote" director Bennett Miller, reveals as much about von Furstenberg the person as it does about the designer. "I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become," she says in the commercial, which will make its debut during the Academy Awards on Feb. 24. "Fashion was absolutely an accident in my life. As a result of that, I was becoming independent and I was becoming more and more the woman I wanted to be.
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