At the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Awards, held at Pier Sixty on the back end of Chelsea Piers on Monday night, W editor Stefano Tonchi and soon-to-be W editor-at-large Lynn Hirschberg arrived arm-in-arm.
“We are each other’s dates tonight!” said Ms. Hirschberg.
“Do you know Lynn Hirschberg?” Mr. Tonchi asked The Observer.
We do now! Have you guys started working in your new office yet?
“I am,” said Mr. Tonchi. “Lynn is starting, thinking. Working from home.”
Ms. Hirschberg burst into laughter. Working from home, is that what editor-at-large really means?
“It means you work from a special room in your brain,” she said.
They both doubled over.
So what is the new W all about anyway?
“What I have been saying all along–that it’s about moving the attention from, I would say, the fashion industry, to everything that is fashionable,” said Mr. Tonchi. “You know, creating something that is more about lifestyle, and that is closer maybe to what Mr. Fairchild had in mind when he started the magazine when there were moments, you know, when a hairstyle would go with the decoration of a room and the look of a house! And travel. And where people who had style would hang around.”
“I think we’re just going to try to make it more journalistic. Make it more of a real magazine–it’s a real magazine now–but a magazine that has more journalistic content,” said Ms. Hirschberg.
The two used to work with each other at T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Did Ms. Hirschberg know she wanted to leave The New York Times for W when she found out Mr. Tonchi would be the new editor?
“No,” she said. “I knew I wanted to come when I realized the magazine could be more journalistic, more serious, less just fun and have more things that actually have content, more content-driven.”
“That’s one of the points,” said Mr. Tonchi. “The New York Times is like the best school in the world.”
“When we had Britney Spears with no pants on the cover that was like our best cover ever,” said Esquire editor David Granger, arriving alongside his wife.
We were chatting about photography.
“We had President Clinton on the cover right at the end of his administration and it sort of summed up his administration–kind of supremely confident, maybe even a little arrogant and unapologetic,” he said.
Mr. Granger almost always has a celebrity on his cover, he said, but his Esquire is always experimenting with the use of text.
“We only have one word on our current cover, ‘women,’ but then there’s a million names in the background, including Melanie’s,” said Mr. Granger, turning to his wife.
“You can’t really see them,” Mrs. Granger said.
Moments after arriving, the photographer Mark Seliger pressed a folded pair of green clear-rimmed glasses to his face and squinted at a list of honorees.
“New glasses, babe! I like them,” said Sue Hostetler, one of the event’s co-chairs. “Are you getting an award?”
“No, I’m just sitting at a table,” he said. “I’m happy to be here.”
“You’re happy to be a big photographer,” Ms. Hostetler said.
“Actually I am! You know, I’m very happy about that,” said Mr. Seliger, who recently photographed “Tiger Woods’ babes for Vanity Fair.”
“I just photographed them and spruced them up a little bit,” he said.
Before that, he took pictures of Rielle Hunter in bed for GQ.
“I think that she was living in the moment and that’s kind of a wonderful thing,” said Mr. Seliger. “Sometimes you look back and wonder how you got there and maybe it doesn’t seem so obvious. I think she’ll appreciate those photos down the road.”
He stopped to have his photograph taken. Looking on was Gary Van Dis, a former vice president at Condé Nast.
“Oooh kitty, kitty, kitty,” Mr. Van Dis purred at Seliger.
Mr. Seliger pulled Mr. Van Dis in front of the cameras, and after a few more shots the two men turned and walked into the party with their arms around each other.
Speaking of photographers, we asked one of them if he thought they were usually more comfortable having their picture taken?
“No, I don’t think so,” said Gabriele Stabile, a photojournalist from Italy. “They know how evil the machine can be.”
We ran into Traveler editor Klara Glowczewska, who is exploring the iPad as a platform. Will beautiful photography look beautiful on the iPad?
“I think photography on the iPad is amazing,” she said. “I think actually for us it’s going to be a great leap forward. We’ve been testing, we’ve been playing around with the iPad to see how Traveler content would look on it. It’s absolutely spectacular. There’s something about the crispness of the photography, the light; it’s so true, the production is so true. It’s one of the most exciting things about the iPad I think.”