Peter Davis on Style, New York and his new SCENE
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.
Where in the World is John Galliano
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.
The Best Shopping Sites
We hunted down the best and most innovative sites to get all your shopping needs done in a fast, convenient way.
TheFind & The Find Mobile APP – TheFind lets you quickly locate anything you’re interested in from a selection of 500,000 stores from Amazon and eBay, to mom-and-pop online shops, and everything in between. Due to its enormous database of products, TheFind allows you to see all of the available buying options for that product available online and in your local store; so you’ll be sure to get the best price possible. TheFind Mobile APP is a free shopping APP that can scan barcodes and QR codes; helping you quickly and easily discover the best price on an item you’re interested in buying. Other great features-user reviews are available and you can also run a text search to see if an item is available in your nearby location.
ModaOperandi – Customers are able to pre-order the latest runway fashions from such designers as Derek Lam, Rag & Bone, Marchesa, and Rachel Roy. So how exactly does this work? A designer presents their fashions on the runway or in a showroom. After the show, M’O shoots photos of the collection. M’O then runs a three-day Trunk show which allows members to pre-order any looks from the designers completed collection (a 50% deposit is required). The designer then produces the pieces that are then sent to M’O for distribution. An added bonus: many of these looks aren’t available in stores; great for those looking for a special event outfit or love one-of-a-kind pieces. Requesting membership is required.
Suddenlee – This free-to-join site allows you to shop from over 300 retailers (Nordstrom, Gap, and Zara, among others) with one transaction, next day affordable shipping, and all purchases being consolidated into one box. This is the only website to offer this service. How Suddenlee works-once a purchase is made, shoppers are dispatched to buy your items and have them delivered to you in a timely and affordable fashion; great for anyone who dreads the typical 3-10 day delivery schedule or expense of having it overnighted. Since Suddenlee is a shopping service and not an actual retailer, they do not offer deals or specials, however, every Monday they provide a list of new sales on their blog. There is a service fee on all orders (fee includes obtaining the items, packing and next day shipping). To view cost, click here. Purchases from the first two stores are included in the standard rate table, $2.50 for each additional store.
Shop It To Me – Forget spending hours trying to find the perfect look- Shop It To Me (free to join) updates you on your favorite brands in your sizes. To start, you begin by filling out a personal profile including your favorite brands, sizes and what you’re shopping for. Then the Shop It To Me team emails you information based on your profile featuring all the best online sales; as oppose to just listing sales that you may not be interested in. Another great feature-you control how often you receive these emails: daily, weekly, or twice a week. Shop It To Me is a sale aggregator, which means that you make all purchases directly from the brand or retailer. So how does Shop It To Me differ from other sites?- it takes all the work out of having to scour numerous websites for the rights items and sizes and finding coupon codes and sales; great for those with hectic schedules.When you join, you can get a $10 gift card to your favorite retailer for every 10 friends you get to join.
Bloom – Never again will you have to worry about buying the wrong cosmetics. This free-to-join “social beauty” site gives you the best products that have been most recommended for women by women with your interests and concerns. The Best4You recommendations is a list of product suggestions that are broken up into categories (cleansers, hair-care, make-up, bath & body). Once you choose your category, it asks you about your skin type, sensitivity, complexion type and eye color; a fool-proof way to get the right product every time. Bloom is a great site for those who love deals- consumers get 10% back on all beauty purchases that can be put toward purchasing any products. Customers also receive a BloomBox gift with every purchase filled with samples and products customized to fit your individual beauty needs. Now until the end of October, Bloom is running a “Share The Beauty” campaign where members are encouraged to invite 10 or more friends to join Bloom for an instant $20 gift code for use on a future purchase of $40 or more on the site.
Shop My Label – This new website lets anyone over the age of 14 to become an online seller (no sales experience required) without having to pay any start up fees, purchase any inventory or create your own website. Members create their own boutiques by choosing merchandise from roughly 1,000 retailers and merchants from the Shop My Label inventory. Once items are chosen, the store is then promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and You Tube. Members have the freedom to choose items that they either personally like or are geared more towards their audience. Shopkeepers will get a 5% commission on each sale and perks for getting others to join; great for creative types and those looking to make a little extra income.
Fab – This flash sale site acts as a distribution channel for emerging, independent, and well-known designers/artists; a great site for those looking for unique home-decor pieces. The site features 3-day flash sales as well as longer-term Pop-Up Shops that stay on the site for a longer period of time (30-45 days). Members of Fab are introduced to at least eight new designers/merchants in each daily email and all items featured on Fab are available for purchase. As opposed to featuring a designers full inventory, Fab focuses on items that are new/in season and offer them at discounted prices. An added bonus: members are also allowed to upload photos of designs they like in a section called “inspiration.” Request membership required.
StyleBook App – The best way to a clutter-free closet starts here. This iPhone App ($3.99) lets you track your style inspirations, organize your clothes, create outfits and mood boards, and keeps track of your outfits on a daily calendar.
A Day in the Life of Jay Godfrey
It’s fun to learn what your favorite designers do on a daily basis, let alone every half hour. I recently sat down with Jay Godfrey to get his play by play on a typical day, and what gets him going (Espresso!). It’s a guarantee he’ll never leave home without his iPhone and an ingrained image of his baby girl, Allegra. Get a glimpse into JG’s life:
5:44 am: I hear my alarm go off. Ok, no I don’t! I hear my one year old, Allegra, crying. Ok, not that either. Why the hell am I up?! Must be thinking about work. Back to sleep I go.
7:16 am: Ok. Now I am really up. I hear Allegra calling for me and her mommy to come get her from her crib.
7:19 am: Diaper change. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” sung. Espresso machine on and heating up.
7:35 am: Espresso gone. Make another. Go get the NY Post and NY Times to get some news at my front door. Tired of “debt ceiling” and Casey Anthony stories. Loved restaurant reviews in the Times and can’t wait to try David Bouley’sBrushstroke, which received two stars this morning.
8:02 am: Steam, shower, groom, pick out my clothes (Nudie Jeans, American apparel Deep V, Jil Sander cotton navy blazer, Duckie Brown for Florsheim no lace brogues). No socks today.
8:30 am: Third espresso. Eating two slices of whole wheat toast my wife Dara made me with peanut butter and Nutella. YUM!
8:44 am: Hop on the E Train north to the garment district.
9:02 am: Arrive at the office to a LONG LONG LONG LONG to do list. Start returning emails to my factory in China.
10:00 am: Full team meeting to chat about all things going on in the world of Jay Godfrey. I mention to the team about an appearance I am going to be making on a Bravo reality show about matchmaking.
11:05 am: Design meeting with associate designer to discuss Spring 2012 prints in Photoshop. Some fab kaleidoscope prints are being concocted in front of my eyes.
11:55 am: Surprise pop into the studio from my wife and baby. Made my day!
12:33 pm: Starting to get hungry but somehow the girls in my office start talking about the Bachelorette and I get roped into a conversation about who I want to win. Massive fake argument ensues.
1:39 pm: Still haven’t gone for lunch. Getting ravenous (and maybe a bit grumpy). Need to eat. Off to grab a sandwich and return to my desk.
2:22 pm: Phone rings and big Hollywood stylist calls me in a frantic (albeit funny) fit. She needs a particular dress made ASAP in two different colors. DEEP BREATHS! Okay!
3:00 pm: Japanese luxury trim manufacturer coming to show me and my associate designer their latest and greatest.
3:45 pm: INSPIRED! Some great and exciting new trims. My mind is racing with ideas. Need to sleep on some of them, though.
4:12 pm: Production manager comes to my office saying that the factory in China is having difficultly telling which color I call “Lipstick Red” and the one I call “Bordeaux”.
4:33 pm: Bravo show producers drop in for a quick “site visit”.
5:02 pm: In the sample room with my head of production, VP of Sales, patternmaker and sample maker, discussing options for exclusive styles we’re creating for Intermix.
5:18 pm: Step into meeting with our CFO, Sean, to discuss the possibility of a JAY GODFREY retail store! Sounds exciting. A bit scary too.
6:46 pm: In a taxi home to play with Allegra and put her to bed.
7:46 pm: Dara made a DELICIOUS salmon teriyaki. Have a delicious glass of Provence-style rose.
8:43 pm: Off for a jog along the Westside highway. Thinking about Spring 2012 and cant get it out of my head.
9:35 pm: Return to my apartment – totally and utterly exhausted. Time for my wind down – steam, bath, book, news.
10:33 pm: A few emails come in as China opens. Nothing crazy.
11:30 pm: In bed. Ready to sleep but Spring 2012 is still on my mind. I get up, go to my sketch book, and quickly jot down some ideas.
11:52 pm: Back in bed. Need to rest!
Buy Jay Godfrey in the US: Intermix, Nordstrom, Saks, Tootsies, Neiman Marcus and Cusp.
Buy Jay Godfrey Internationally: Holt Renfrew in Canada, Vakko in Turkey, Aishti in the Lebanon and Dubai and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong.
Lindsay Brooke Weiss (Cohen) is a fashion and accessories editor and on-air style expert. She was previously Haute Living’s editorial director, Niche Media’s fashion and accessories editor and fashion editor for L-Atitude.com. Lindsay has been a frequent contributor at styledon.com and is a regular guest stylist on NBC’s “Gossip Gram.”
Everyone needs one. Period. It’s the Swiss Army knife of cell phones.