Tom Ford
By Tom Ford


Yves Saint Laurent 
By Roxanne Lowit


The Big Book of the Hamptons
By Michael Shnayerson


A Message for You
By Guy Bourdin


Dior: The Legendary Images
By Florence Muller


Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan
By Maria Agnelli


Fashionable Selby
By Todd Selby


O.Z. Diary
By Olivier Zahm 


Chrome Hearts

According to Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, an art dealer and curator, he judges art and design by asking if he would want the piece for himself. If art imitates life, Vladimir's choice of the artfully designed Chrome Hearts beanie to cover his luxurious locks is no surprise. Founded in 1988, Chrome Hearts is known primarily for their high-end silver jewelry, leather biker chic clothing, and furniture with a gothic rock vibe; impressively pedigreed Hollywood celebrities who frequent Chateau Marmont and Hyde are fans. Vlad was clearly influenced by his time spent at the University of Southern California and his brief stint in the film industry, being drawn to this edgy label adored by Hollywood A-listers and rock stars.

The Chrome Hearts paradox of the symbol of France, the fleur-de-lys, combined with dagger and floral cross designs makes this label highly desired and sought after by both sexes. The CH sunglasses adorned with crosses, mother of pearl, white gold, white leather, and ebony shield some of the world’s most beautiful eyes. With Chrome Hearts boutiques all over the world including New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, loyal followers need not travel far to acquire the perfect leather biker gear or a Rolex watch with a one-of-a-kind Chrome Hearts bracelet. Or perhaps an arty beanie like Vlad's rock chic chapeau...

Chrome Hearts beanie image courtesy of chromehearts.com
Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld photograph © 2009 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.


John Lobb

What are Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld favorite shoes? “My dad’s crocodile John Lobbs,” he replies and assuredly Vlad's dad, Christian Restoin, has superb taste in footwear. The Parisian workshop of John Lobb is internationally renowned for its bespoke service, one of the finest remaining examples of the traditional art of shoemaking.

Founded in London in 1849, the firm is one of Britain's oldest shoemakers in existence and every one of the 190 steps in their meticulous production process is still finished by hand; only about 100 pairs of shoes are created each day. Hermès acquired the John Lobb ready-to-wear line in 1976.

Among the clientele that have preferred the timeless footwear crafted by John Lobb are members of the aristocracy as well as the elite in entertainment, business, and politics — even the classic icon of the debonair man, fictional character James Bond wore shoes by John Lobb. Of course this exceptional quality would appeal to a Roitfeld. To see the painstaking craftsmanship behind the scenes at John Lobb, take the guided tour with his great-grandson, John Hunter Lobb, current chairman of the company.

Image of John Lobb crocodile shoes courtesy of johnlobb.com.


Didier Drogba

When asked about his favorite pastimes while visiting London, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld responded with a grin, "I've been working too hard... But I have been to Chelsea matches three times in four weeks. That's my favorite thing to do of all. I like Didier Drogba." Hailing from the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa, Drogba currently plays as forward for Chelsea in the Premier League while also serving as captain of the national team for his home country. Despite being sidelined by numerous injuries over the course of his career, Drogba has proven instrumental in several decisive goals for Chelsea and holds many club records.

Drogba is also credited with helping to bring peace to the Ivory Coast including a stint as a Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, which led Time Magazine to nominate him as one of the world's 100 most influential people. The handsome footballer is married to Diakité Lalla and they have three children. Note that the Chelsea team is owned by Roman Abramovich, beau to Dasha Zhukova (a close family friend of the Roitfelds), so hopefully Vladimir enjoys prime seats at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba photographs courtesy of franmerida.soccerstar.info and © 2010 Famozz.


Serge Gainsbourg

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld considers his style idol to be Serge Gainsbourg, a true French original renowned as a singer, songwriter, and director among other talents. Gainsbourg lived the familiar life of the artist, tumultuous, passionate, impulsive. Notable among his numerous trysts are his third wife Jane Birkin and an ardent affair with Brigitte Bardot, the muse for his song "Initials BB." He has four children, Natacha, Paul, Charlotte, and Lucien.

The Vatican once publicly denounced Gainsbourg as offensive and of course as a result the song in question, "Je t'aime... moi non plus," quickly became a top ten hit in countries throughout Europe. He also pissed off Bob Marley and much of Algeria with a reggae version of "La Marseillaise" at another illustrious point in his career.

If you happen to be in the mood to explore the discography of Gainsbourg, permit me to recommend my favorites: "Requiem pour un con," "Sea, Sex, and Sun," but most of all the iconic "Bonnie and Clyde" which has inspired musicians like French rapper MC Solaar who samples it in the brilliant tune "Nouveau Western" from his album Prose Combat (1994). What are your favorite songs by Gainsbourg?

A film about Serge's life titled Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) released in France in January. Written and directed by Joann Sfar, the biopic features Eric Elmosnino in the lead role, the late Lucy Gordon as Jane Birkin, Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot, Anna Mouglalis as Juliette Gréco, and Claude Chabrol as Gainsbourg's music producer. If you saw the film, what were your impressions? Do you, like Vladimir, find the style of Serge Gainsbourg inspiring?

Serge Gainsbourg images courtesy of youtube.com and amazon.com


Richard Avedon

When asked to name his idols, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld listed six: "Personally, my parents and my sister. Professionally, Tom Sachs, John Currin, and Richard Avedon for his photography." Avedon was an American photographer about whom The New York Times exalts, "His fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty, and culture for the last half-century."

He began his career snapping ID photos for the Merchant Marines but somehow managed to capture the attention of Alexey Brodovitch, art director for Harper's Bazaar at that time. Avedon soon established his own studio and began selling photos to magazines such as Life. From the beginning, he refused to conform to the industry standard for fashion photography, instead catching his models in action and full of emotion.

In 1966, Avedon started shooting for Vogue and was responsible for most of the covers from 1973 until late 1988. He became known for his large-format portraits, typically in a minimalist style with the subject posed against a stark white backdrop looking directly into the lens.

None other than the amazing Audrey Hepburn inspired Avedon as his muse during the 1950s and 1960s; as he says, "I am, and forever will be, devastated by the gift of Audrey Hepburn before my camera. I cannot lift her to greater heights. She is already there. I can only record. I cannot interpret her. There is no going further than who she is. She has achieved in herself her ultimate portrait."

Avedon himself inspired the 1957 musical Funny Face, which stars Fred Astaire as the fashion photographer "Dick Avery." Clearly he provided many of the images used in the film as well including the most famous, an overexposed closeup of Hepburn in which we recognize the actress from just the details of her eyes, nose, and mouth. Note that Vladimir is not the only member of the Roitfeld family with fantastic taste in photographers, sister Julia is a fan as well with copies of Avedon's books Portraits and Woman in the Mirror in her library.

Richard Avedon photograph © 2008 The Richard Avedon Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face photograph by Richard Avedon © 2008 Phantom Sound & Vision. All Rights Reserved.