Review: ‘Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful,’ starring Helmut Newton, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini, Grace Jones, Anna Wintour, Hanna Schygulla and Claudia Schiffer

July 28, 2020

by Carla Hay

Helmut Newton in “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful” (Photo courtesy of Helmut Newton Foundation)

“Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful”

Directed by Gero Von Boehm

Culture Representation: This documentary about famed German fashion photographer Helmut Newton interviews a nearly all-white, predominantly European group of people who were his business associates or close confidants.

Culture Clash: People often debate if some of Newton’s photos are “edgy” or “offensive,” and he was frequently accused of being sexist and misogynistic.

Culture Audience: “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful” will appeal primarily to people interested in fashion photography from the late 20th century.

A 1978 photo by Helmut Newton in “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful” (Photo courtesy of Helmut Newton Foundation)

Famed fashion photographer Helmut Newton, who died in 2004 at the age of 83, had the nickname King of Kink, so would his career have survived the #MeToo movement? And how would he have handled social media, where celebrities and models can create and show their own portfolio of photos to the world? These are interesting questions to think about when watching the fascinating and at times too-reverential documentary “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful,” which chronicles the life of Newton, who had a reputation for being the German “bad boy” of fashion photography.

His death (he passed away in a car accident in Los Angeles) came years before the #MeToo movement and social media existed. And based on what’s presented in “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful” (directed by Gero Von Boehm), an “old school” famous fashion photographer such as Newton might have had a difficult time adjusting to the #MeToo movement and social-media era, when sexually aggressive behavior in the workplace is less tolerated and celebrity selfies on Instagram have diluted the gatekeeper influence of A-list fashion photographers.

The greatest strength of the documentary is the access to archival video footage and photos from the Helmut Newton Foundation. They tell more about Newton in ways that no amount of interviews with “talking heads” would be able to tell. According to the documentary’s production notes, director Von Boehm met Helmut Newton in 1997, and stayed in touch with him and his wife June Newton (also known as photographer Alice Springs) over the years and filmed approved segments of Helmut’s life.

June (an Australian model/actress who married Helmut in 1948) is interviewed for the documentary. She does not appear on camera for these interviews, but is heard in voiceovers. June is seen in archival “home movie” type of footage and in photos. The couple did not have any children.

In the documentary’s production notes, Von Boehm says of the first time that he met Helmut: “We understood each other right away and discovered we had a very similar sense of humor, the same sense for bizarre situations.” But even if Von Boehm had not admitted this bias up front, it’s clear from watching the documentary that it was made by a director who has immense admiration for Helmut.

However, that worshipful attitude clouds this documentary’s perspective to the point where Helmut’s boorish ways are constantly excused in the documentary as Helmut just being Helmut, without giving any proper acknowledgement or context of the people he hurt along the way because he abused his power. For example, he had a reputation for pressuring female models to pose nude for him, but male models weren’t subjected to the same type of browbeating.

If it were really about “art” and celebrating the human body, and not sexism, then he wouldn’t have an obviously singular obsession with having so many naked women in his photos. And when his photos depicted degrading scenarios (such as bondage or being physically attacked), the targets of this degradation were women, not men.

Helmut had a reputation in the fashion industry for being a “dirty old man,” which is a reputation that he seemed to be proud of embracing, at a time when A-list fashion photographers (who are almost always men) could get away with a lot more in mistreating models than they can now. Some of the people interviewed in the film have a type of misguided snobbery that enables misogyny if it comes from someone famous or someone who can benefit them in some way.

Speaking of the people interviewed in the documentary, perhaps to offset the inevitable criticism of Helmut having a reputation for being sexist against women, director Von Boehm made the decision to have only women interviewed for the film. Not surprisingly, all of them praise Helmut. Do you really think that the filmmakers would want to include any women who were going to talk about their unpleasant experiences with Helmut? Of course not.

The interviewees include Vogue (U.S.) editor-in-chief/Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, Vogue executive fashion editor Phyllis Posnick and gallerist Carla Sozzani, a close friend of Helmut and June Newton. The other women interviewed are mostly models or entertainers who were photographed by Helmut for fashion spreads, such as Isabella Rossellini, Charlotte Rampling, Claudia Schiffer, Marianne Faithfull, Grace Jones, Nadja Auermann, Sylvia Gobbel and Arja Toyryla.

Helmut’s family background and early career aren’t described until halfway through the movie. Born in Berlin in 1920, Helmut (whose birth surname was Neustädter) grew up Jewish in Germany under the Weimar Republic (which existed from 1918 to 1933), where he was surrounded by images and beliefs that white Aryans (light-skinned, non-Jewish Caucasians descended from most of Europe) are superior to all other people.

It’s not outrightly stated, but it’s pretty clear from interviews and how Helmut expressed himself in his work that this indoctrination of Aryan supremacy led to him having a lifelong inferiority complex about being Jewish in an Aryan world. Several people, including Helmut, say in that the documentary that this complex carried over into his fixation on what Helmut considered his ideal type of female model: tall, thin and Aryan-looking, preferably blonde.

Helmut’s mother Klara “Claire” (whom he describes as being “spoiled” with a strong personality) encouraged his interest in photography, while his father Max (who owned a button factory) disapproved because he didn’t think being a photographer was a “real” job. A recurring theme in Helmut’s life is that he was attracted to strong, beautiful women, but he also feared them. Given that Helmut’s mother is described as domineering, a Freudian psychiatrist would have a field day with giving an analysis of how Helmut’s complicated views of women affected his art.

In the documentary, Helmut says one of his earliest artistic influences was German director Leni Riefenstahl, who filmed a lot of Nazi propaganda under the Adolf Hitler regime. He describes Austrian American director Erich von Stroheim as “one of my heroes.” And it’s mentioned several times in the documentary that Helmut maintained a lifelong love of Berlin and the city’s artists.

Helmut’s first photography mentor was Yva, the alias of Else Ernestine Neuländer-Simon, a German Jewish photographer whom he worked with as an apprentice for two years. Helmut says of of his apprenticeship with Yva: “It was wonderful. I worshipped the ground she walked on.” (Yva tragically died in a Nazi concentration camp around 1942.)

Even as a teenager, Helmut had a rebellious side. In one of the documentary interviews, he remembers going to a public swimming pool where Jews weren’t allowed, and he stripped a girl naked in the pool. (He says the girl allowed him to do it.) This brazen act got him banned from the pool, but Helmut still cackles with glee when he tells the story decades later. As for his controversial image as a photographer, Helmut once famously said that he considered “art” and “good taste” to be bad words in photography.

His wife June is described as his authoritative partner and constant companion who was in charge of a lot of Helmut’s business interests. June says of her Helmut: “He was always a naughty boy, who grew up to be an anarchist.” There’s some archival footage of Helmut at a photo shoot in the 1980s where he jubilantly says to the camera that he just made $10,000 for the photo shoot, and it’ll be money that he’ll spend buying diamonds “for my Junie.”

The documentary includes rare footage of Helmut inside one of his and June’s homes, where he gives a brief tour for the people filming the footage. The interior décor can best be described as “kitschy” and “gaudy,” cluttered with a lot of trinkets and knickknacks. They also had a several Barbie dolls on display. It’s in stark contrast to the sleek, sophisticated-looking and artsy photos that Helmut was known to take.

And what do some of Helmut’s former photo subjects have to say about him?

Italian-born actress Rossellini worked with Helmut for the first time in 1986, when Helmut did a photo shoot with Rossellini and director David Lynch to promote the movie “Blue Velvet.” She comments that Helmut “represents men who are attracted to women, but then resent [women] because they’re attracted to them, so they make [women] vulnerable.”

French actress Rampling, who posed for Helmut’s first major nude photo shoot in 1973, says of his often-controversial reputation: “It’s great to be a provocateur. That’s what the world needs. Who cares about the man himself? We’re looking at his art.” Rampling also says that art is not meant to be objective and looked at in the same way by all people: “There is no neutrality. Everything is tainted with a point of view.”

German model/actress Gobbel comments that being a tall, blonde woman in her modeling days often made her fell like “a hunted deer,” but she says that being photographed by Helmut made her feel “stronger.” Finnish model Toyryla echoes a similar thought, by saying of her experience working with Helmut: “I just looked into his eyes, and I knew what he wanted. It felt good. I felt safe.” German actress/singer Schygulla says, “I found him amusing, this mix of ease and humor, but also obsession.”

British singer/actress Faithfull worked with Helmut in the 1980s. One of her more well-known photo shoots with Helmut resulted in a famous set of 1981 Esquire magazine photos of her wearing a leather jacket, with nothing on underneath the jacket: “Helmut made me show my tits without [me] feeling any embarrassment or shame.” (The photos are actually very tame, since her nipples aren’t showing.)

German former supermodel Schiffer, who did several non-nude photo shoots with Newton, worked with him for the first time when she was 17. She describes the experience this way: “There was never a moment when I felt uncomfortable. It was an amazing experience, where I walked away saying, ‘This man is incredible.’ He had sort of a twinkle in his eyes.”

Schiffer also describes a Helmut Newton photo shoot where a very young and inexperienced female model showed up, not knowing that she would have to pose in a dominant/submissive scenario. In the photo shoot, the newbie model was dressed as a maid, while Schiffer portrayed the maid’s rich employer. In one of the photos (which is seen in the documentary), Schiffer is standing over the kneeling “maid” while forcing her head into an oven. According to Schiffer, the other model was very nervous at first, but they all ended up having a laugh over it.

Auermann, another German former supermodel, says that “Helmut actually really loved strong women.” However, she admits that because she didn’t give in to his constant pressure to pose nude for him, she didn’t work with him for two years. Auermann was a model for two of Helmut’s most controversial photo spreads.

In (U.S.) Vogue’s June 1994 issue, Aeurmann did a Helmut Newton photo shoot where they recreated the Greek myth “Leda and the Swan,” and it caused outrage because Auermann was posed with the swan (which was a taxidermy animal) in a sexually suggestive way. She says that people sent a lot of hate mail because of that photo shoot, which critics said looked like it was promoting bestiality and animal cruelty. Auermann believes that people would have been less offended if they knew that the swan used in the photo shoot was actually a stuffed animal.

The January 1995 issue of (U.S.) Vogue featured Helmut Newton photos of Auermann posed as a person with leg disabilities, such as being in a wheelchair, using crutches and wearing leg braces. In one photo, using visual effects, it looks like she has one leg, while her “missing” leg is detached and posed upright next to her. In the documentary, Auermann (who is able-bodied in real life) remembers the public reaction being a “shitstorm” because people thought that the photos were making  a mockery of disabled people.

Jamaican singer/actress Jones is one of the few people of color who was asked to do a Helmut Newton photo shoot. Jones had her own controversial set of photos with him in the 1980s, when she usually posed completely nude for him. A semi-erotic 1985 photo shoot that Jones and Dolph Lundgren (her lover at the time) did for Playboy magazine caused a little bit of a stir with people who were uncomfortable with seeing a naked interracial couple in provocative poses.

But those photos weren’t as nearly as controversial as a Helmut Newton photo on the cover of Stern magazine (a German publication) that had Jones posed naked, with chains on her legs, conjuring up an image that made her look like a slave. Jones dismisses the “slave image” controversy in the documentary and says, “I really wasn’t aware that it made such a big scandal. I kind of heard around a bit of [accusations of] sexism and racism, but I never felt that at all. I mean, it’s like acting in films.”

Jones admits that she thought Helmut was like a “god” and she  jumped at the chance to work with him. But she also says that Helmut had a weird habit of asking to do a photo shoot with her and then sending her away because he remembered that she was flat-chested and he wanted to shoot models with bigger breasts.

Jones says she didn’t take offense because she thought of him as an eccentric. “He was a little bit of a pervert, but so am I, so that’s okay,” Jones comments. “His pictures were erotic, but with dimensions … They told stories.”

Vogue’s Wintour (who worked with Helmut for many years) says in the documentary, “If you were to give an assignment to Helmut, you weren’t going to receive a pretty girl on a lovely beach. That’s not what he was about.” She adds that Vogue expected that photos from him would be “iconic, sometimes disturbing, certainly thought-provoking … You might consider it brave, but I would consider it necessary.” She says that his photos were needed as a counterpoint to the overly glamorous, fantasy-level type of photos that proliferate in fashion.

And his fashion photography wasn’t always about humans. Posnick remembers Helmut being ecstatic when Vogue gave him an assignment to do a photo shoot featuring his favorite animals: chickens. There was his famous 1994 “Roast Chicken and Bulgari Jewels” photo spread for Vogue, showing a roasted chicken being cut with a large knife by a woman’s hands wearing Bulgari jewelry.

He told the Vogue editors that he always wanted to photograph chickens wearing high heels. And so, in 1998, Vogue flew in some high heels from a doll museum in Monte Carlo so that Helmut could do a photo called “Chicken in Heels,” which showed of a cooked chicken wearing the high-heeled doll shoes. When a photographer is indulged in this over-the-top way, is it any wonder that this person would be on an egotistical power trip?

There’s some archival footage in the documentary that looks like it was filmed sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s, where Helmut is doing a photo shoot with a female model in a skimpy swimsuit and a male model wearing scuba-fiving gear. He jokes to the male model, “If you get a hard-on, you’ll get more money.” Helmut then adds, presumably talking about Wintour: “I’m going to send this to Anna. She’ll have a fit.”

For all this talk about Helmut being a “provocateur” and “edgy,” apparently something that was too much out of his comfort zone was working with a racially diverse group of models. Jones, one of the few black women he photographed, was already a celebrity when she began working with him. But women of color, even if they were famous models, apparently had little to no chance of working with him. The documentary includes rare footage of a casting call that Newton did sometime in the 1980s, and all of the models are white—which probably means that modeling agencies already knew not to bother sending any non-white women to this casting call.

The documentary makes it clear that Helmut had a certain type of model that he preferred (tall, thin and Aryan-looking), but nowhere does the documentary address the race issue and why he didn’t seem very open to working with non-white models. It speaks to a larger culture of race exclusion in an industry where Vogue magazine, which launched in 1892, didn’t hire a black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover until Beyoncé was given unprecedented complete creative control for her 2018 (U.S.) Vogue cover shoot. (In June 2020, Wintour publicly admitted that Vogue has had racism problems for many years,  and she made an apology, with a vague promise to improve Vogue’s race relations with people of color.)

Also noticeably omitted from the documentary is any discussion about drug use, which is rampant in the fashion industry. And as for infidelity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Helmut, whose job was taking photos of a lot of beautiful women (many of them naked), wasn’t exactly a faithful husband, although he and June stayed married for about 56 years.

Family friend Sozzani explains Helmut and June Newton’s relationship, by saying that there was infidelity on both sides, but nothing that was serious enough to ruin their marriage: “I think they were everything together. This is the dream of every couple in life, to have met your perfect person that you respect, that you can build something together. It’s wonderful.” Sozzani adds, “They had difficult times, like every couple,” as she describes with a chuckle how furious Helmut was when he caught June in a hotel with another man.

Cameras and taking photos were such an obsession for June and Helmut that the documentary includes photos that they took of each other in hospitals after having surgery and showing their surgery scars. June comments, “The only thing that kept him going was the little camera by his side. Yes, it is a protection … He even took it into the operating room.”

And there’s a morbid photo included at the end of the film that June took of herself holding Helmut’s head in her arms, right after his fatal car accident. It’s unclear if he’s dead or unconscious in the photo, but it’s implied that June knew that it would be the last photo she would take of him.

Because so much of the documentary is a praise-fest of Helmut, the only voice of criticism comes from a 1970s clip from a TV talk show where he and feminist Susan Sontag were guests. Sontag tells him she’s not a fan of his work because his photos are often misogynistic, while Helmut objects to that opinion and says that he actually loves women.

An unflappable Sontag replies that misogynists often claim that they love women, but then still show them in a humiliating way. She then shuts down Helmut by saying, “The master loves his slave. The executioner loves his victim.”

The documentary also includes an audio clip from an interview Helmut did (it’s unclear if he made this comment for the documentary or if it’s from an outside interview) where he makes a very telling comment. Helmut comes right out and admits that he doesn’t really care about the models he works with, and that he just cares about how they photograph when he takes their pictures.

Although the documentary doesn’t offer any new interviews with any critics of Helmut, there’s no doubt that he made a lot of memorable art, whether people were fans of his or not. Most of his photos were not degrading to women, and there are many interesting visuals in the documentary that put into context why Helmut was attracted to making this kind of art. (However, people who have a problem with seeing a lot of naked people in photos will probably want to skip watching this film.)

Was he sexist? Was he racist? “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful” doesn’t seem to want to answer those questions, but there’s enough of a compelling story here, so people can judge for themselves whether or not they want to separate the man from his art.

Kino Lorber released “Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful” in select U.S. virtual cinemas on July 24, 2020.

Coach has Kate Moss, Spike Lee, Yara Shahidi, Megan Thee Stallion and more in ‘Wonder for All’ holiday 2019 campaign

November 4, 2019

Kate Moss in Coach’s “Wonder for All” Holiday 2019 campaign (Photo courtesy of Coach)

The following is a press release from Coach:

Coach unveils “Wonder For All,” its campaign for the 2019 holiday season. Starring a fun, diverse cast that includes actress Yara Shahidi, model Kate Moss, rapper Megan Thee Stallion in her first-ever fashion campaign, Spike and Tonya Lee, and more friends of Coach, the campaign follows the band of revelers as they gather at an impromptu party at a New York brownstone. Capturing the magical mood of the season, it champions the belief of coming together for the holidays and the inclusive, authentic spirit of New York.

Kate Moss in Coach’s “Wonder for All” Holiday 2019 campaign (Photo by Juergen Teller for Coach)

Photographed by Juergen Teller, who debuted his first campaign for Coach this fall, the colorful, irreverent print campaign highlights the individuality of the campaign’s cast members. Set on the Upper West Side and featuring Shahidi, Moss, Megan Thee Stallion as well as model Fernanda Ly, actor Miles Heizer and an unexpected feathered friend, it sees the cast in joyful, unfiltered scenes that highlight the house’s spirit of playfulness and the authentic self-expression that defines New York City.

The campaign also introduces the house’s new Horse and Carriage collection. Seen on Kate Moss and a new version of the Kat Saddle Bag, the collection reimagines Coach’s iconic Horse and Carriage motif as a cool, colorful pattern on bags and ready-to-wear. First introduced in the 1950s, the Horse and Carriage is a symbol of Coach’s legacy of leathercraft and New York heritage, and the house’s first-ever code.

“Wonder For All” is also a series of short films written and directed by Bunny Kinney. Featuring Spike and Tonya Lee, actress Camila Morrone, winner of Season 8 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race Bob the Drag Queen, and writer, actor and producer Ben Sinclair, as well as special appearances by the Shahidi family and the Newark Boys Choir, the films celebrate the magic and spontaneous fun of being together during the most festive time of year.

Coach customers in Japan will be able to play a limited-edition Rexy holiday video game where the house’s beloved mascot snowboards through animated Coach worlds with the goal of reaching the holiday party.

ABOUT COACH
Coach is a global design house of modern luxury leather goods, apparel, footwear, fragrance, eyewear and a full range of lifestyle accessories.  Founded in 1941, Coach has a longstanding reputation built on quality craftsmanship and is defined by its confident New York style.  The brand approaches design with a modern vision, reimagining luxury for today with an authenticity and innovation that is uniquely Coach.  Coach products are available in approximately 55 countries through its network of directly operated stores, travel retail shops and sales to wholesale customers and independent third party distributors, as well as through coach.com.

Coach is a Tapestry, Inc. brand.  Tapestry is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker TPR.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show canceled for 2019

July 31, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

Victoria’s Secret’s models at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
(Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC)

The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been canceled for 2019. At this point, it is unknown how long this hiatus will last or if the show will never come back. The news comes after the May 2019 announcement that the show was not going to be televised after ending its partnership with ABC.

Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik told Australia’s Daily Telegraph: “Unfortunately, the Victoria’s Secret Show won’t be happening this year. It’s something I’m not used to because every year around this time I’m training like an Angel.”

Shaik was a Victoria’s Secret Angels model at the show in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

It’s the latest blow to Victoria’s Secret, which has been experiencing declining sales and store closures.

TV ratings for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show had also been on a rapid decline. The show, which debuted in 1995, wasn’t televised until 2001, when it got 12.4 million U.S. viewers on ABC. It remains the highest-rated Victoria’s Secret show for a single TV network, according to Nielsen. CBS televised the show in 2002, 2003 and from 2005 to 2017. During those years, the ratings ranged from 10.5 million U.S. viewers (in 2002) to 5 million U.S. viewers (in 2017). ABC picked up the show in 2018, when it had 3.3 million U.S viewers.

In addition, Victoria’s Secret (whose parent company is L Brands) has been losing goodwill due to widespread complaints over bad customer service, decreasing quality of products, and an outdated modeling image that pushes the idea that only very thin women can be “sexy.”

L Brands chief marketing officer Ed Razek came under fire when he admitted to Vogue in 2018 that Victoria’s Secret discriminates against plus-sized models and transgender models by excluding them from them campaigns and shows, because he said that these types of models don’t fit the Victoria’s Secret image. He stood firm in saying that Victoria’s Secret had no plans to change these hiring practices to include plus-sized or transgender models.

[August 5, 2019 UPDATE: Victoria’s Secret has hired its first transgender model: Valentina Sampaio, who posted the news on her Instagram account.]

In July 2019, L Brands chairman/CEO Les Wexler faced scrutiny when the New York Times revealed that from the early 1990s to 2007, he had close business and personal ties with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to hiring a prostitutes (underage and over the age of 18). Epstein was arrested again in July 2019 on charges of underage sex trafficking. According to the New York Times report, Wexler named Epstein a trustee of several of Wexler’s foundations, and he gave Epstein power of attorney over much of his financial assets for a number of years. Their business relationship ended in 2007.)

Epstein, who was also a close associate of Razek, used his position of influence to be a VIP guest at numerous Victoria’s Secret events in the 1990s and 2000s, according to the New York Times. So far, L Brands has not publicly commented on the New York Times’ reports of Epstein’s connections to at least two of the company’s senior-level executives.

August 8, 2019 UPDATE: Razek has resigned from L Brands. Meanwhile, Wexner has written a letter to one of his foundations stating that Epstein “misappropriated” at least $46 million from Wexner and his personal interests. Wexner did not allege that Epstein embezzled any funds from L Brands.

August 10, 2019 UPDATE: Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on August 10, 2019. According to the Associated Press, he died in the morning of an apparent suicide by hanging. The Associated Press also reports that although Epstein, who was 66, had been on suicide watch in the weeks leading up to his death, he was not on suicide watch at the time he was found dead. He had been denied bail while waiting to be put on trial on charges of sex-trafficking of underage girls. Of course, Epstein’s sudden death has fueled conspiracy theories that he might have been murdered to prevent him from exposing who his rich and powerful clients were in the sex crimes that Epstein was accused of committing.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show canceled from television

May 10, 2019

by Daphne Sorenson

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Models at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York City (Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC)

The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been canceled—at least on television. According to the New York Times, L Brands (the company that owns Victoria’s Secret) announced in an internal memo on May 10, 2019, that the famous lingerie show featuring numerous supermodels will no longer be airing on television.

L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner said in the memo that the company had been “taking a fresh look at every aspect of our business” in the past few months, and noted that Victoria’s Secret  “must evolve and change to grow … With that in mind, we have decided to re-think the traditional Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Going forward we don’t believe network television is the right fit.” He said the company would develop “a new kind of event” for Victoria’s Secret but did not elaborate on any further details.

It’s the latest blow to Victoria’s Secret, which has been experiencing declining sales and store closures.

TV ratings for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show have also been on a rapid decline. The show, which debuted in 1995, wasn’t televised until 2001, when it got 12.4 million U.S. viewers on ABC. It remains the highest-rated Victoria’s Secret show for a single TV network, according to Nielsen. CBS televised the show in 2002, 2003 and from 2005 to 2017. During those years, the ratings ranged from 10.5 million U.S. viewers (in 2002) to 5 million U.S. viewers (in 2017). ABC picked up the show in 2018, when it had 3.3 million U.S viewers.

It’s likely that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show will continue and will have an online platform where people can watch the show.

Hulu Partners With Vox Media Studios, David Chang’s Majordomo Media, Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions for food-focused show

May 1, 2019

The following is a press release from Hulu:

In a new, multi-year, multi-show partnership, Hulu will partner with Vox Media Studios, David Chang’s Majordomo Media, and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions to develop and produce a slate of premium food-centric programming for the platform. As the founder and chef of the Momofuku restaurant group, Chang brings a profound understanding of global food culture, while Vox Media Studios lends its world-class storytelling capabilities and a wealth of experience built through its food and travel network, Eater. New York Times bestselling cookbook author Teigen will co-produce and headline a diverse cast of compelling and knowledgeable personalities—from household names and celebrated chefs to everyday home cooks—who will entertain and provoke viewers with a variety of inventive new shows.

Among the first projects being produced by this new partnership is a cooking show featuring Chang and Teigen. Tentatively titled “Family Style,” the show will revolve around the ways in which people express their love for friends and family by cooking and eating together. Also in the pipeline is a documentary series tentatively titled “Eater’s Guide to the World,” which taps into Eater’s extensive knowledge of the most interesting and delicious restaurants on the planet.

Marc Jacobs Beauty to debut 2019 campaign with Irina Shayk in Russia

December 19, 2018

Irina Shayk
Irina Shayk (Photo courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty)

The following is a press release from Kendo Brands:

Marc Jacobs Beauty announces Irina Shayk as the newest face of the brand for 2019. A dedicated campaign and animation will debut at Sephora Russia on January 14 and Irina will be making a personal appearance at Sephora in Moscow on January 26. this is the first official image of the campaign featuring Irina, shot by David Sims with creative direction by Katie Grand, makeup by Diane Kendal, hair by Guido Palau and nails by Jin Soon Choi.

“When we entered Russia earlier in the year, we knew we wanted to have someone who inherently matched the beauty and strength of the region. Irina was a natural choice, and we’re thrilled to add her to the group of impressive women who have represented Marc Jacobs Beauty.” —Tara Loftis, VP of Marketing, Kendo Brands

Makeup artist Diane Kendal and model Irina Shayk (Photo courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty)

Irina joins iconic women such as Jessica Lange, Edie Campbell, Winona Ryder, Aya Jones, Kaia Gerber, Adwoa Aboah, and Lila Moss, who have been, and also currently are, serving as faces of the brand.

“I’ve loved and admired Marc for his wonderful fashions and overarching vision of beauty. It’s such an honor to represent Marc Jacobs Beauty in my home country.” — Irina Shayk

In the lead campaign image, Irina wears:

Irina Shayk (Photo courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty)

Eye-conic Multi-finish Eyeshadow Palette in 730 Frivoluxe
A longwearing eyeshadow palette of “chilled greige and violet” shades in fashion finishes – velvet, satin, silk, and lame – to layer and dress your eyes.

Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in 55 Mist Me & 63 (Grape)vine
Matte lilac and dark purple shades of this malleable formula that glides on smoothly to line, define, smoke, smudge or layer.

Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara
Ultra-black pigment is delivered to even the hardest-to-reach part of the lash line thanks to the lash-maximizing, curvy brush for epic lashes.

O!mega Bronze Perfect Tan in 104 Tan-tastic
This super-sized bronzer instantly and universally imparts a radiant-matte finish thanks to its silky texture of micro-fine, jet-milled powder.

About Marc Jacobs Beauty:

Marc Jacobs Beauty is a collaboration between the designer and Kendo, the LVMH incubator of new beauty brands. as with his fashion, Marc’s rule-breaking creativity is at the heart of his makeup vision. for Marc, it’s about the spirit of youth, confidence and experimentation. He inspires you to push the boundaries and create your own style. so indulge in the impeccably exquisite textures, take liberties with provocative shades, and play with daring designs.

Marc defines beauty as imperfectly perfect. “I see beauty in many things and I am attracted to all sorts of imperfection, to style, to confidence or experimentation. it’s unexpected and surprises you.” Inspiration stems from the spirit of “the girl” and her makeup ritual. “I think the idea of transforming into this person you want to be, is a lot of fun…It’s the idea of a young woman enjoying creating her look, getting ready for her night out, or her night after her night out.”

About Kendo:

San Francisco-based Kendo (part of the LVMH Group, the world’s leading luxury products group) focuses on the development of global beauty brands. through original concepts, collaborations and acquisitions, Kendo brings to market fresh, relevant and innovative brands. the Kendo team combines product development, marketing and operations expertise to redefine the beauty landscape with brands like Marc Jacobs Beauty, Kat Von D Beauty and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. today, brands within the Kendo portfolio are distributed in 35 countries.

2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: Event returns to New York City; models announced

September 17, 2018

Victoria's Secret Angels
Victoria’s Secret Angels in 2016 (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS)

The New York Post has reported that the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will return to New York City, after being in Shanghai in 2017 and Paris in 2016.

November 1, 2018 UPDATE: The 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will take place November 7 with musical guests Bebe Rexha, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes and The Struts. ABC will televise “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Holiday Special” on December 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time.

These participating models have been announced:

  • Adriana Lima
  • Aiden Curtiss
  • Alanna Arrington
  • Alannah Walton
  • Alexina Graham
  • Barbara Fialho
  • Barbara Palvin
  • Behati Prinsloo
  • Bella Hadid
  • Candice Swanepoel
  • Cheyenne Carty
  • Cindy Bruna
  • Devon Windsor
  • Duckie Thot
  • Elsa Hosk
  • Estelle Chen
  • Frida Aasen
  • Georgia Fowler
  • Gigi Hadid
  • Gizele Oliveira
  • Grace Bol
  • Grace Elizabeth
  • Herieth Paul
  • Iesha Hodges
  • Isilda Moreira
  • Jasmine Tookes
  • Josephine Skriver
  • Josie Canseco
  • Jourdana Phillips
  • Kelly Gale
  • Kelsey Merritt
  • Kendall Jenner
  • Lais Ribeiro
  • Lameka Fox
  • Leomie Anderson
  • Lorena Rae
  • Maggie Laine
  • Maia Cotton
  • Martha Hunt
  • Mayowa Nicholas
  • Megan Williams
  • Melie Tiacoh
  • Ming Xi
  • Myrthe Bolt
  • Nadine Leopold
  • Romee Strijd
  • Sadie Newman
  • Sara Sampaio
  • Shanina Shaik
  • Sofie Rovenstine
  • Stella Maxwell
  • Subah Koj
  • Sui He
  • Taylor Hill
  • Toni Garrn
  • Willow Hand
  • Winnie Harlow
  • Yasmin Wijnaldum
  • Zuri Tibby

Guess announces Paul Marciano’s resignation, settlements over sexual harassment claims

June 12, 2018

by Colleen McGregor

Fashion company Guess has announced that co-founder Paul Marciano has resigned as executive chairman, but he will remain on the company’s board of directors. In addition, Guess has revealed in a public filing that the company has reached non-confidential settlements totaling $500,000 with five unidentified individuals who have accused Marciano of inappropriate sexual conduct.

The news comes after Marciano was accused by several women, including supermodel Kate Upton, of sexual harassment, such as unwanted kissing, groping and sexually aggressive verbal and written communications where Marciano allegedly used his power to try to have sexual contact with women who were employed by Guess.  Upton went public with her allegations in February 2018, and her claims were corroborated by at least one witness. Marciano denied all the allegations, but he stepped down from day-to-day responsibilities after Upton went public with the allegations. Guess then said that it would conduct an internal investigation. The day that news broke of Upton’s accusation, Guess’ stock fell 18 percent.

According to Reuters: “Guess said its investigation found that Marciano on certain occasions exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers.”

Paul’s brother Maurice Marciano has been named chairman of the board for Guess. Guess was founded in 1981 by brothers Georges, Armand, Maurice and Paul Marciano. Over the years, Guess has had several famous models and entertainers in its ad campaigns, including Claudia Schiffer, Upton, Anna Nicole Smith, Drew Barrymore, Adriana Lima, Paris Hilton, Amber Heard, Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lopez and Camila Cabello.

Magnum x Alexander Wang launch ‘Take Pleasure Seriously’ campaign with Bella Hadid

May 10, 2018

Bella Hadid with Magnum x Alexander Wang cooler bag
Bella Hadid with Magnum x Alexander Wang cooler bag as part of Magnum’s “Take Pleasure Seriously” campaign. (Photo courtesy of Magnum Ice Cream)

The following is a press release from Magnum Ice Cream:

MAGNUM was joined at the CannesInternational Film Festival by designer Alexander Wang and supermodel Bella Hadid to launch their collaboration for MAGNUM’s “Take Pleasure Seriously” campaign. As part of the campaign, a short film starring Bella Hadid and Alexander Wang was created to celebrate the craft and quality that goes into creating the iconic range of ice creams. In addition, MAGNUM unveiled a MAGNUM X ALEXANDER WANG limited edition handmade cooler bag in celebration of the distinctive craft and expertise that both Alexander Wang and MAGNUM embody.

Bella Hadid joined Alexander Wang on stage in celebration of MAGNUM’s “Take Pleasure Seriously” campaign to share their views on the importance of relishing life’s pleasures – seizing moments of pure enjoyment and pure indulgence. Bella embodied the effortless attitude viewed first hand by the audience in person and in her starring role in MAGNUM’s latest short film, which was screened during the event.

The leather-wrapped cooler bag is the result of a truly unique collaboration with MAGNUM and Alexander Wang. By injecting elegance and luxury in to an everyday object, the two brands have created a premium, yet subversive, accessory to house expertly crafted luxury ice cream – perfect for those who take pleasure seriously.

Following the press conference, Alexander Wang shared his excitement for the partnership, saying: “I’m excited to finally be able to share the MAGNUM X ALEXANDER WANG cooler bag here in Cannes. Today is the result of months of incredibly hard work on a very unique project. As you will hopefully see, the bags were designed to capture the craft and expertise that I share with MAGNUM. This collaboration allows for an indulgent MAGNUM whenever and wherever you want.”

Bella Hadid also shared her enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying: “I’m a strong believer in living life to the fullest, which is why I am so excited to be working with Alexander Wang and MAGNUM on this project. The MAGNUM X ALEXANDER WANG cooler bag allows you to enjoy an indulgent moment wherever and whenever. I’ve truly enjoyed developing this collaboration, and hope we inspire others to take pleasure seriously.”

THE MAGNUM X ALEXANDER WANG COOLER BAG

The MAGNUM X ALEXANDER WANG bag is a luxurious leather wrapped limited edition cooler bag embodying MAGNUM and Alexander Wang’s aesthetic. With his unconventional take on fashion, Alexander Wang is able to inject both indulgence and elegance into this unexpected collaboration. An extraordinary piece to be envied by those who take pleasure seriously and want to enjoy the pure indulgence of a MAGNUM whenever and wherever.

The bag was exclusively revealed at the press conference but has already made a public appearance in the exquisite short film starring Bella Hadid that was released last week.

The MAGNUM X ALEXANDER WANG limited edition cooler bag is now available to buy worldwide on www.alexanderwang.com at a MSRP of $895.

ALEXANDER WANG & BELLA HADID MAGNUM ICE CREAM RECIPES

Following the press conference, Alexander Wang and Bella Hadid took to the world famous MAGNUM Dipping Bar, where they distinctively created their custom designed MAGNUM ice cream recipes.

ALEXANDER WANG’S DESIGNER MAGNUM

This year, the MAGNUM Dipping Bar was designed with Alexander Wang’s unique vision in mind – simple, elegant and sharp. Alex created his MAGNUM by sprinkling sweet black sugar, bitter charcoal, crunchy black sesame and delicate black sugar pearls on velvety smooth ice cream. The look was finished with an embossed “AW” coin.

BELLA HADID’S STUNNING MAGNUM

Bella accessorized her black MAGNUM in gold popping candy, finished with a golden chocolate shard. The look was completed with a decadent chocolate “B” branded coin …the epitome of “Taking Pleasure Seriously.”

MAGNUM Pleasure Stores around the world will also offer three collections of MAGNUM designs inspired by fashion, chocolate and art.

#MagnumCannes

#TakePleasureSeriously

About MAGNUM®

Launched in 1989, MAGNUM® was the first handheld ice cream bar targeted as a premium adult offering. Today, MAGNUM® is one of the world’s leading ice cream brands, selling more than one billion units annually worldwide.

MAGNUM® Ice Cream uses only the finest premium ingredients, including silky vanilla bean ice cream and are the only ice cream bars made with Belgian chocolate, for the ultimate chocolate indulgence.

MAGNUM® Ice Cream bars are available in 3-count multipacks at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.49. MAGNUM® Mini bars are available in 6-count multipacks for a suggested retail price of $4.99. MAGNUM® Tubs are available at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $5.49.

Learn more about MAGNUM® at magnumicecream.com and follow the following social pages:

About Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Love Beauty and Planet, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Schmidt’s Naturals, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington’s, St. Ives, Suave, Sundial Brands, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TAZO, TIGI, TONI&GUY, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Unilever employs approximately 8,000 people in the United States – generating more than $9 billion in sales in 2017.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. Globally, the company’s sustainable living brands are growing 50% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 60% of the company’s growth in 2016.

For more information on Unilever U.S., its brands visit and the USLP visit: www.unileverusa.com

Maybelline New York announces Josephine Skriver as global spokesmodel

April 19, 2018

The following is a press release from Maybelline New York:

Josephine Skriver
Josephine Skriver (Photo courtesy of Maybelline New York)

Maybelline New York, the world’s leading cosmetics brand, is excited to announce Josephine Skriver as a global spokesmodel. A well-known international model with a loyal fan base, Josephine has risen to the top of her industry through years of dedication, hard work and hustle in the Big Apple and around the world. She is recognized for her philanthropic work, down to earth personality and immense success in her modeling career on the runway and in notable campaigns.

Josephine joins an impressive lineup of global spokesmodels who have helped shape the identity of the iconic Maybelline New York beauty brand including Adriana LimaGigi Hadid, Herieth Paul, Jourdan DunnCris Urena, I-Hua Wu, Emily DiDonato, and Christy Turlington. In her partnership with Maybelline New York, Josephine will participate in brand activities on the global scale.

“Being a part of the Maybelline New York family is a dream come true! I have been wearing Maybelline since I was a little girl,” said Josephine. “I am honored to represent not only Maybelline, but all of the girls who are wearing Maybelline, because these young girls are the future. They are powerful and beautiful, and that to me is what Maybelline stands for. I could not be prouder to represent them and make it happen.”

Josephine grew up in Denmark and was first approached in her teenage years about modeling while on a visit to New York City. Years later in February 2011, Josephine’s connection to New York came full circle when she made her debut at New York Fashion Week, walking for designers like Calvin Klein and Rag & Bone. The same year she appeared in Milanand Paris shows, walking for Balenciaga, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and most notably closed Prada’s show.

Since her successful career launch, Josephine has modeled in campaigns for the likes of Bulgari, Gucci, Max Mara, Michael Kors, and Tom Ford. She has collaborated with top photographers including Steven Meisel and Mikael Jansson, while her editorial accolades include American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Germany, V, Dazed, W, and Interview. In 2013, Josephine walked in her first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and has graced the runway in the annual show ever since. She was given the coveted title of Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2016.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Josephine as part of our Maybelline family,” said Leonardo Chavez, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York. “A partnership with Josephine was completely organic because she resonates with our global customer and is a dynamic and fresh addition to our roster of talent. She embodies determination, grit, energy and spirit, while having a true connection to New York and the dream of making it happen in this city.”

In addition to her modeling career, Josephine is notable for being an advocate for global LGBTQ rights and is involved with organizations like Family Equality Council and COLAGE as well as to Keep A Child Alive, which focuses on children’s fight against HIV. Having been raised by LGBTQ parents, Josephine hopes to inspire children and all future generations of LGBTQ families by sharing her own journey.

Josephine is excited to continue her work with Maybelline New York this Spring, appearing in her first campaign for the brand for the launch of Super Cushion 2-in-1 launching in May 2018.

About Maybelline New York
Maybelline New York is the number one cosmetic brand in the world, available in over 120 countries. By combining technologically advanced formulations with on-trend expertise and New York City edge, Maybelline New York’s mission is to offer innovative, accessible and effortless cosmetics for every woman. The brand is currently the official makeup sponsor of New York Fashion Week and other fashion weeks worldwide. For more information, log on to www.maybelline.com.