Peter Davis, one of my favorite New York City blue bloods is certainly one to watch! I was so excited to hear about the launch of SCENE, his own society glossy backed by Jared Kushner of The New York Observer. The former Editor in Chief of Avenue Magazine and born and bred Manhattanite (he is related to the Mortimer family and his great grandfather founded The Davis Cup) gives us an inside look at NYC’s old and new elite–SCENE is unique because it is not just a magazine about them, but by them. In the first issue, biting features like Where in the World is John Galliano and The Socialite/The Shopping Site/The Scandal! are sure to ruffle a few feathers. I caught up with the stylish literati where he shares some of his insider secrets and the scoop on SCENE.
Melissa Meyers: Congratulations on the launch of SCENE. What can we expect from the publication?
Peter Davis: SCENE is all about insiders taking you inside every corner of New York. Next month, Carson Griffith’s monthly column “Haute Spot” for example gives you all the secret scoop on Super Linda, the boite of the moment – from where to sit and who to know and when to go. We also have three investigative features every month that are long and in depth – very Vanity Fair and though some are set in New York, they appeal to people all over the globe. They can be a tad scandalous and the hardest part of my job is that I by nature truly strive to be nice to everyone and I’ve had to make some hard decisions. I know that some of the articles I publish will rile people up, some of them friends, but I am an Editor in Chief and when I question how far I should push the envelope, I think of my hero Graydon Carter and say to myself, ‘Graydon would publish this story because it’s a great article and wouldn’t worry about pissing off the subjects.’ These are news stories – we are not a tabloid who goes through people’s trash, but when rich people behave badly, they need to be called out, especially when they break the law. And in addition to great features, there are plenty of party pictures, fashion, amazing things to crave and a great Pop Art influenced palate. The sharp eyes of our Creative Director Cricket Burns and Art Director Dean Quigley always blow me away. All of the covers will be supermodels (the next issue is my friend Hilary Rhoda). Celebrity covers and the puff pieces about them bore me. We will cover celebrities that fascinate us, people like the mysterious and talented Justin Theroux, but not just giving them pages as a platform to promote a movie and talk about how great they are.
MM: How did you come up with the idea of SCENE and then make it happen?
PD: Avenue was a great EIC training experience, but I grew frustrated with the creative handcuffs I was forced to wear. The magazine aimed to be best friends with everyone and that is fine and dandy, but doesn’t exactly make for compelling reading 12 months a year. I did skew younger with the magazine, putting Hannah Bronfman on one cover (dubbing her “Girl of the Year”) and Alexandra Richards on another cover with all the other hot DJ girls like Chelsea Leyland on the inside. But Avenue’s longtime publisher Julie Dannenberg and Cricket and I knew there was room for something bigger and better than Avenue. And also so-called “society” isn’t just limited to the Upper East Side, which is the only neighborhood Avenue is delivered. People who are social and interesting and innovators are all over the city from Harlem to Tribeca to the West Village and SCENE is distributed to every corner of the city as well as news stands. And it isn’t a magazine only for rich, but for everyone who loves New York, great writing (sharing offices and being able to use the amazing writers from The New York Observer is a huge plus) and beautiful, stylish visuals.
Reality TV personality Kyle Richards of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is a mother of four, wife, actor, philanthropist and now author! How does she do it all? I personally caught up with Kyle to find out some of her best-kept lifestyle secrets, tips on how to look camera-ready and her favorite things. As you may know from watching the show, Kyle always has a point of view and loves to share it. She is one of my favorite Housewives!
MM: What inspired you to write Life Is Not a Reality Show: Keeping It Real with the Housewife Who Does It All?
KR: I grew up in house of all women–my mom, grandmother and three sisters (I actually slept with my mom until I was 15 years old). I was always known as the dating guru–giving my friends and family tips on dating like how to get a guy to call you back. My real inspiration for writing the book is that I want to help women have the best marriage and relationships while looking and feeling their best. If I wanted to write a how-to manual to give to my daughters on having successful relationships, this would be it.
MM: What are three tips or take-aways from the book?
1. Beauty: I am a girls’ girl and love make-up. If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be a make- up artist (I always like to do my own make-up). Using individual false lashes takes your make-up to a whole other level. In the book, I share my technique of how to put them on. My favorite brand for lashes is DuraLash.
2. Fashion: Mix and match your fashion with clothing at all price points. I think women should shop smart–if you buy the basics in solids from inexpensive stores, no one will know whether you are wearing Dolce & Gabbana or Zara. Stay away from prints in the less expensive stores. I recently wore leather leggings from H & M for $35.95 on the Wendy Williams show and received lots of compliments on them.
3. Relationships: I have a great marriage but it’s not by accident. It’s a big job and worth it to put in the effort. I enjoy giving people the tools on how to have a great relationship. For example, Mauricio and I have a designated date night. We also like to stay home more nights than out if possible. My daughters certainly have big shoes to fill.
MM: What advice can you give women who are trying to juggle a career and family?
KR: Make things in your life as convenient as possible. One of the things that is helpful for me is having my dog groomer come to my home which cuts down on time spent running around doing errands. I don’t have a chef, nanny or driver so I need to simplify my life and stay organized.
MM: You have the most gorgeous silky hair. What are some of your favorite hair products?
KR: For shampoo and conditioner I like Pantene, and for styling I use Moroccan hair oil to keep fly-aways in place.
MM: Who are some of your favorite designers?
KR: For clothing: Haute Hippie, Parker and Chanel. For shoes: Fendi and YSL. Handbags: I am obsessed with them (and love to collect them). Favorite: Chanel.
MM: What is your “never leave home without” accessory?
KR: Lip Gloss.
MM: You always wear great jewelry. Who are some of your favorite jewelry designers?
KR: Jennifer Miller for costume jewelry. And Nicky Hilton too–I know she is my niece but she really has great things. Jacob & Co. and Loree Rodkin for fine jewelry.
MM: How you do to stay in shape? Favorite workout?
KR: It’s very hard for me to workout with my schedule. When I have time, I like to go on a hike in the canyons of Beverly Hills or Bel Air after school drop off.
MM: What are your favorite restaurants or nightlife hot spots?
KR: Of course Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurants SUR and Villa Blanca. Mr. Chow, La Scala, Il Pastaio, Shu in Bel Air for sushi. I like Frida in Beverly Hills for Mexican.
MM: Where do you and Mauricio like to go on vacation and where do you stay?
KR: I like to rent a house in Lake Tahoe with family and friends and get away from it all. Picnics on the boat, barbecuing, just hanging out with my family.
MM: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
KR: Hand bags. I am having a hand bag shopping hangover this month. I hope Mauricio doesn’t read this!
For more insider tips from Kyle, order Life Is Not a Reality Show: Keeping It Real with the Housewife Who Does It All.
Check out Melissa Meyers’ exclusive video covering the event with hosts Lyss Stern, Founder of Divalysscious Moms and Kelly Rutherford, our favorite mom on Gossip Girl.
The event took place at the Fendi flagship store on Fifth Avenue in NYC to celebrate the launch of their new clothing line for kids. Many of New York City’s socialite moms and tots were in attendance. Little 4-6 year old boys and girls strutted down the runway sporting mini-me versions of the Italian Luxury brand—think sweet pink and yellow dresses, liberty print tops and printed leggings for girls and fun plaids, bomber jackets, and tailored pants with a nautical look for boys. The fabrics were made of linen, silk and cotton. All of the Fendi clothing was for sale that evening (with a 10% discount thanks to Divalysscious Moms). I was happy to see an additional 10% of all sales donated to benefit the American Red Cross of Japan.
The highly acclaimed Italian film I Am Love (Io Sono L’amore), starring Tilda Swinton, had the fashion world buzzing when it was first released in March 2010 in Italy. The story revolves around Emma, a Russian immigrant played by Swinton, who marries into the wealthy Milanese Recchi family and embraces the city’s culture. Emma embarks on a passionate love affair that threatens the balance of everyone around her. The stunning and vibrant cinematography plays to the story’s themes and affects your senses. The wardrobe, by Fendi and Jil Sander, is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Swinton is dressed exclusively in Jil Sander’s minimalist cuts and colors, which add an extra level of intensity onscreen. The film, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a sweeping romantic drama filled with the sensual pleasures of clothing, food, and love. For me, it was an unforgettable cinematic experience.—Johana Langi
Buy I Am Love, $19.99, at amazon.com