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 


Richard Hambleton

Richard Hambleton is known as the godfather of street art and, thanks in part to the efforts of Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, the artist is enjoying renewed popularity and success. A contemporary of artists that were germane to the New York City art scene such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hambleton still lives and creates on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Hambleton's work, like that of many artists, has gone through a number of distinct periods as his style developed. From 1976 to 1979, he was known for the concept that he called "Image Mass Murder" in which he created realistic homicide scenes complete with chalk outlines of the victims' bodies and splashes of red paint representing blood. The artist described his vision at the time thusly: “To me, the city is not a blank canvas. It’s a picture; a motion picture containing sociological and psychological elements. My urban work is added to and becomes a part of that picture... the blank canvas is in the studio. I give it definition, I work within its perimeters — I paint the entire picture....” 

In the 1980s, Hambleton began to develop what he referred to as his "Shadowman" paintings, some of his most recognized work. The "Shadowman" series is a form of public art in which he would paint human-sized silhouettes on buildings, and in dark alleys, lurking on shadowy street corners with the intent to startle passersby. He even painted a Shadowman on the Berlin Wall. A variation on Hambleton's "shadow" theme was his "Marlboro Man" frequently painted atop a wildly bucking bronco; he was inspired by the depiction of the American hero in rugged Marlboro country, clearly a departure from his urban statements.

Hambleton next began working with transparent paint on metal to create "Beautiful Paintings," serene scenes that evoke a completely different mood than that of his prior art. "My 'Beautiful Paintings' are not landscapes, seascapes, or rainscapes — they are Escapes.” explains the artist, stating his intention with a capital "E" for emphasis. His expressive work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide including twice at the Venice Biennale (1984 and 1988).

Note that the "Richard Hambleton—New York" show that Restoin-Roitfeld curated opened last September in conjunction with Fashion Week there; in March the Milan edition launched during Fashion Week in that city. After all, timing is key for events such as these. Well-timed they were because both shows sold out helping to cement Richard Hambleton's reputation as a modern artist in addition to Vlad's estimation as an art dealer. If you would like to learn more, watch the CNN video with Hambleton.

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, Richard Hambleton, Andy Valmorbida photograph courtesy of Milan Inside.


Stavros Niarchos

One of Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld's closest friends is Stavros Niarchos III, Greek shipping heir and international playboy. He was born in New York City and grew up in Paris. While he certainly has made some questionable choices in the dating game, Stavros looks to be a loyal friend. He and Vladimir attended University of Southern California together, strengthening the bond of friendship while studying and surfing in the sunshine and graduating the film school in May 2007. College was clearly a success, his occupation on his MySpace page reads "pro kite surfer."

Stavros has been on the guest list for every one of the art openings Vladimir has curated and I will wager a guess that he is also on the list of those to whom Vlad deals art. After all, his grandfather Stavros was esteemed as a private collector of fine art, particularly Impressionist and modern, considering it an important investment; he even had his portrait painted by Andy Warhol. Interesting footsteps in which to follow... another bond that he and Vladimir have in common.

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld and Stavros Niarchos photograph courtesy of wwd.com
Carine Roitfeld and Stavros Niarchos photograph © 2009 Getty Images. All Rights Reserved.



The Roitfelds are certainly fans of the Coca-Cola family of beverages. Above we see Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld enjoying a can of the classic Coke while on a photo shoot for Flaunt Magazine. When his sister Julia Restoin-Roitfeld opened her Manhattan home to photographer Todd Selby, he stopped to zoom in on the can of Coke Zero on her sideboard pictured below. However, in the editorial for Russian Tatler shown Julia seems to be sipping a Diet Coke. My first thought upon noticing their preference for Coke was, "How American!" After researching the considerable history of the product, I discovered that Coke actually has French aspirations and an intriguing background.

Invented by John Pemberton in the late 19th century at the Eagle Drug and Chemical Company in Columbus, Georgia, it was initially called Pemberton's French Wine Cocoa and intended to compete with the popular European coca wines. When prohibition passed, Pemberton formulated a non-alcoholic version which he named Coca-Cola. The soft drink's two key ingredients were cocaine, derived from the coca leaf, and caffeine from the kola nut. With an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per five cents a glass, Coca-Cola was extremely popular at soda fountains in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health. Huh, maybe the drink's enormous popularity was actually due to the cheap liquid cocaine in every glass... Even today, Coca-Cola uses a coca leaf extract as an ingredient that is free of active cocaine though trace amounts remain at a molecular level.

Coca-Cola was later bought by Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing prowess led to the company's dominance of the international beverage market in the 20th century. The famous Coca-Cola logo was designed in 1885 by Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson. He conceived the name and chose the distinctive script for which the logo is renowned. The shape of the package known as the "contour bottle" is equally famous and was designed in 1915 by Earl R. Dean in response to design specifications that included the order to create a bottle so unique that it could be recognized if felt in the dark and distinguishable at a glance even if broken. Dean met this criteria by casting the design of the ribbed coca pod in the medium of glass and his work is still in production nearly 100 years later, a product designer could not hope for higher praise. Roberto Cavalli adapted his inspiring design for the limited edition animal skin versions seen below, perhaps with the leopard bottle even Carine can be coaxed to have a Coke and a smile...

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld photograph © 2010 Flaunt Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Photograph of Julia Restoin-Roitfeld's Coke Zero can © 2009 Todd Selby. All Rights Reserved.
Julia Restoin-Roitfeld image © 2009 Russian Tatler. All Rights Reserved.
Roberto Cavalli Coca-Cola bottle design courtesy of outnext.com.

Coke® is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.


Russian Tea Room

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld lists the Russian Tea Room among his favorite restaurants in New York City: "I love the Russian atmosphere, it reminds me of my grandfather." Of course his grandfather was Russian film producer Jacques Roitfeld, responsible for works such as Count of Monte Cristo. Also of note to film buffs—everything from Tootsie to Gossip Girl has filmed on location at this landmark. Located at 150 West 57th Street adjacent to Carnegie Hall, the Russian Tea Room opened in 1927 as the venture of a troupe of former Russian ballet dancers. They hoped to make it warm and welcoming for their expat comrades, instead the Tea Room grew famous as the hot spot for stars from all backgrounds.

Some of the celebrated that have congregated here over the years include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolph Nureyev, Woody Allen, Richard Burton, Helen Gurley Brown, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Fun fact: Madonna worked here as a coat check girl back in 1982. If you'd like to read more about the fabled history of this Manhattan gem, former owner Faith Stewart-Gordon gives us the inside scoop in her book The Russian Tea Room: A Love Story.

Russian Tea Room photograph © 2006 New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Russian Tea Room photograph courtesy of bizbash.com


Nadine Johnson

When Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld assembled the team behind his latest exhibit, "The Martus Maw" by Nicolas Pol, he hired Nadine Johnson & Associates as his public relations firm. Born in the Belgian Congo, Johnson moved to New York and began to successfully distinguish herself in public relations where her penchant for partying proved to be an asset. As was her marriage to Richard Johnson, Page Six editor for the New York Post. Neither did her maternal responsibilities interfere with her career, as her friend Euan Rellie describes the scene: “Toby Young and I used to live down the street from Nadine on Perry Street. She would come to our parties, impossibly languid and chic, usually carrying her then six-year-old son. She would put him down asleep on a sofa somewhere and be the life and soul of the party, drinking and carousing, before eventually picking him up like a handbag and taking him back down the street to bed.” Nadine Johnson & Associates was formed in 1990 and counts among the fashionable and wealthy many clients such as Andre Balazs and Larry Gagosian. Johnson's group was also responsible for promoting Indochine's 25th annniversary event.

Nadine Johnson photograph © 2005 Nikola Tamindzic. All Rights Reserved.
Nadine Johnson photograph © 2009 Billy Farrell and Patrick McMullan. All Rights Reserved.

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