MYSTERY SOLVED: In case you were still wondering what Desirée Rogers and Valerie Jarrett were wearing at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night, their fashion credits were revealed via a White House spokeswoman on Tuesday. Rogers wore Halston; Jarrett’s dress was Badgley Mischka. — S.D.S.
NOT QUITTING TIME: Speculation has been swirling that Stefano Tonchi is looking to leave The New York Times at a time when two issues of T:The New York Times Style magazine that he edits have been folded into The New York Times Sunday Magazine. But Tonchi quickly shot down those rumors Tuesday: “That’s completely impossible,” he told WWD.
Tonchi also said the decision to fold the women’s summer fashion and the design issue of T, coming out May 31, into the magazine was his, as advertising for the 15-times-annual style magazine has taken a hit, just like elsewhere. “I would prefer to have a thick Sunday magazine instead of a very thin Sunday magazine and T magazine,” he said, noting that he hopes the eight issues of T to be published in the second half of the year are freestanding, but, like any publisher navigating the current advertising climate, “we don’t know what’s going to happen in the market.” The next issue of T will be a 126-page travel issue, out next week. — Stephanie D. Smith
THE RAP ON EYEWEAR: On the list of character traits shared by rap artists, few entries are higher than an obsession with proving street cred and a penchant for conspicuous consumption. The Miami rapper Rick Ross seemed to be going by the playbook when XXL magazine dedicated most of its May cover to his face and what appeared to be a pair of Louis Vuitton Millionaire sunglasses. His picture sat above the pull quote, “I’ve never had a credibility problem and still don’t.” Lawyers for Louis Vuitton Malletier disagreed this week, at least with regard to Ross’ taste in accessories. On Monday, the magazine’s Web site published a letter from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton attorney Michael Pantalony, who said the sunglasses Ross wore in the photo were counterfeit, denied any affiliation with the rapper or XXL and added, “Louis Vuitton did not grant permission to Mr. Ross or to whoever did make the sunglasses to use our trademarks.” Ross’ publicist did not return a call requesting comment, but Los Angeles-based sunglass customizer Jacob Bernstein on Tuesday said he had added 14-karat gold accents to real Vuitton frames at the rapper’s request. Bernstein compared his trade to adding after-market parts to a Rolls-Royce. A representative for LVMH said the company would not comment beyond the letter.
This is not the first time the now-discontinued Millionaires have graced the cover of the magazine. Jay-Z appeared on the December 2007 issue in an authentic, or at least off-the-rack, pair. His frames, which retailed for $1,120, lacked a gold LV logo on the bridge. It’s also not the first time Ross, born William Leonard Roberts, has had his bona fides checked. The ill-placed quote on the May cover referred to the revelation last year that the rapper — who once boasted in rhyme that Manuel Noriega owed him “a hundred favors” — worked as a Florida corrections officer in the Nineties. The scandal did not stop his third album from topping the Billboard 200 when it made its debut in April. — Matthew Lynch
HOPE FOR THE BRIDE: Modern Bride handed out 25 awards to “trendsetters” in the industry at the New York Palace Hotel Tuesday night. And, unlike many magazines, which are scaling back on their event budgets, everyone was partying like it was 2006. “We have kept the economy in mind, but we didn’t really alter this event because look who’s attending — we have to impress them,” said editor in chief Antonia van der Meer. Wedding planner to the stars Colin Cowie received an award, along with Ivanka Trump, Ronnie Rothstein and Mara Urshel (of Kleinfeld) and the “Today” show’s Jean Chatzky, who sat alongside new husband Eliot Kaplan, editorial talent director at Hearst Magazines. Publisher Jen Hicks said the event brought in new business, with Wedgwood and SES Creations, which served as sponsors. “All the indicators show that things are looking up,” Hicks said. “We are a lot better off than some.” — Amy Wicks