Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NY Recap - Conde Nast, Hearst and Fashion Babes

I'm pleased that my New York trip was successful
My meetings went really well, it didn't rain and I didn't come down with the flu
all very good things.

Although I was disappointed not to meet Wendy B and see her cleverly designed jewelry
there will be additional trips to NY and other opportunities to meet.

For some silly reason I didn't realize that the Conde Nast building was going to be a Times Square adjacent dark glass box. I was expecting a more "Devil Wears Prada" type of building with elegant architecture and interiors matching the chic look of the fashion babes working there.

But in spite of the fact that the building houses the offices of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Allure, Architectural Digest and many more publications, the architecture was pretty pedestrian.

To add to the pedestrian nature of the experience,
when I had what was termed as "deskside meetings" at Conde Nast
I never got anywhere near an actual desk.
After going through security in the lobby and taking the elevator to the correct floor, I saw that all of the offices are housed behind locked glass doors. Instead of being invited into any actual work space I met with the fashion editors in the interior seating areas next to the elevators. Naturally I presumed that some major top secret fashion-y stuff was going on behind those glass doors.
The wow factor at Conde Nast was getting to ride the elevator with the natty Hamish Bowles...not La Wintour to be sure, but a bonafide fashion celebrity in his own right.

My experience at Hearst was entirely different from the neighborhood to the architecture to the ambiance.
The Hearst Tower in Columbus Circle was an impressive 42 storey building designed by Foster & Partners as a tower of glass rising from the original 6 storey Art Deco Hearst building from the 1920's.
The lobby of the building was magnificent with an impressive multi storey stepped waterfall crossed by escalators leading to an open atrium style lobby that housed the elevators as well as a seating area, cafeteria and gallery space.

Where the ambiance at Conde Nast was closed and dark, at Hearst it was open and light.
Meetings were held in brightly lit conference rooms with walls of glass and spectacular city views.
The wow factor came from taking the elevator with Pamela Fiori , the editor in chief of Town & Country, who politely inquired who we were there to meet after we stepped off the elevator on the same floor.

Now, about the fashion editors, or as I call them, the fashion babes.
They were, not all of course, but for the most part, young, maybe 30 years old, very nice and seemed to all have that New York high wasp upper east side socialite look. You know what I mean, really pretty, thin, blond and very well dressed. They reminded me of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, with an ethereal and fragile look that to me is the essence of New York high style.
I found this interesting because Los Angeles, a city filled with amazingly beautiful women, particularly because of the entertainment industry, is so just different in terms of style than New York.
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WendyB said...

Sooooo sorry I missed you! I'll have to get out to Cali asap. If you like the Hearst building you're going to love a dress that I'm wearing later this month. Keep your eye out for it!

miss cavendish said...

Ahh--this reminds me of my visit to Conde Nast (on Mad Ave) for some interviews--at this time of year too! It's such a scholarly anthropological feeling to study the climate and inhabitants of those buildings . . .

Belle de Ville said...

Miss C., did you actually end up working at Conde Nast? I think that it would have been a fascinating thing to do as a young woman...just like working at Christie's or Sotheby's.
Now at this age, it doesn't seem to be so enticing.

Sher said...

I'm such a tourist in NYC. Half the time I walk around with my eyes skyward taking in all the architecture. LOL!

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