Thursday, June 23, 2016

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ®

All Along the Water Tower to Fete Michael Gross's "Focus"

Michael Gross signing his book
All photos Laurel Marcus

Last evening was one of those rare New York nights where the weather was perfect for a rooftop party. The soiree was to celebrate the iconic author Michael Gross and his new book " Focus: The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers," due out on July 5.



And this was not just any rooftop -- the 6th and 7th floor Penthouse A of The Schumacher, 36 Bleecker in NoHo, featured a huge wrap-around roof deck plus another separate deck, all of which were used for the event to showcase this $20M jewel -- the last apartment available in this converted factory building.  In real estate parlance, these lower floor roof decks are said to have an "open city" view but TBH what we were indeed "focus-"ed on were the water towers.


Patrick McDonald, Lauren Ezersky & Barry Kieselstein-Cord

John Gomes of Douglas Elliman announced that the party space/apartment was available to anyone with a $20M check after joking with guests to hold onto their tickets for a raffled giveaway. He mentioned moving to New York years ago and reading Michael Gross's previous book on the subject of the fashion photography world "Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women." He then introduced "the man of the hour" (who of course, needed no introduction) to his gathered friends and well-wishers.

"Every time you finish a book you feel like an old man who's been made new again," Gross began. He mentioned that his wife had encouraged him to write a sequel to "Model," a book which he had assumed had no sequel, until he realized that "all I had to do was turn the camera around."

Gross thanked his editors ("A book has one author but lots of cooks"), adding that they had "cut 200 pages, making it readable." (This writer's note: Having been graciously given an advance copy by Michael himself,


Duane Gazi-White, Coco Mitchell, Rashgene Gazi-White 

 I can attest to the fact that 200 more pages would have been overkill)! The author thanked everyone for coming out to support him and encouraged all to do the same for the few brick-and-mortar bookstores that still exist, with a shout-out to Barnes & Noble on 46th Street.


Guests

Noting how different the times are since the release of his previous books, Gross remarked that "Media doesn't care anymore unless your name is Kardashian." He then took a moment to call attention to the hashtag for this event #FocusYourSelfie -- upon arrival guests were instructed not to help themselves to a hardback copy of the book unless they had first posed on the Step-and-Repeat and had taken (or preferably had handed off their phone to a conveniently staged employee) a "selfie."

Sorry, Michael-- like the GEICO commercials say, "that's not how any of this works."




- Laurel Marcus

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