Any party at the New Museum is sure to be filled with tall, lithe beauties, but last night’s might beat the rest: a fête celebrating tennis star Maria Sharapova‘s new line of shoes and accessories for Cole Haan, co-hosted by Interview magazine. In one of the pairs of stacked heels on display in the museum’s sky room, Sharapova might stand a towering six and a half feet tall.
When we asked Cole Haan CEO Dave McTague to tell us how the Sharapova collaboration came about, he began at beginning: “Well, Maria started her tennis career as a young girl…” he said. (Skip a few years, and this led to a partnership with Nike and eventually with his own company.) It’s a versatile collection of boots, heels, flats, and bags; we’re betting the bestseller will be the Air Bacara, a ballet flat with a laced-up back, which also happened to be in the gift bags. (Gentlemen got loafers.)
The photographer and blogger Todd Selby photographed the campaign, and also created some illustrations of things he and Ms. Sharapova find inspiring; these, apparently, include cupcakes, cowboy boots, and pigeons. The cupcake is one item on which their tastes converge: “I love cupcakes! I’m a foodie guy, so any kind of food anything, I’m into.” Mr. Selby will start shooting his first film this week on just that subject: “It’s going to be about some guys who do some really interesting stuff with food!” he said enthusiastically, if a bit elliptically.
We asked whether Mr. Selby could recommend any restaurants that hadn’t been hyped to death. “I encourage people to not worry about that kind of thing,” he said—a healthy attitude! “If you like it, then who cares? Who cares that it’s been in every magazine or whatever, or if it was in every magazine six months ago? Like, whatever, who cares?” he continued, perhaps unconsciously channeling Fred Armisen‘s Saturday Night Live impression of The View‘s Joy Behar.
The Transom stopped by the bar to grab an individually-sized Champagne bottle and a gigantic multicolored lollipop before heading out onto the terrace to catch some air, where we overheard someone casually introducing The Official Filthy Rich Handbook author Christopher Tennant and publicist/essayist Sloane Crosley.
We seized the opportunity to tell Ms. Crosley how much we liked her most recent book of essays, How Did You Get This Number, which came out in June; she graciously thanked us, after offering us “one American dollar” to beat up someone, anyone at the party with the huge lollipop. (We couldn’t decide who the victim should be.) She, lucky girl, has already read the new Jonathan Franzen book that we can’t seem to go anywhere without hearing chatter about. “I’ve already read Freedom. It’s fairly amazing. It’s really, yeah, it’s wonderful. My old editor went to FSG, and I emailed him and I was like, ‘I want you guys to make t-shirts that say Team Patty.’” We laughed along, pretending to know what that meant. (Some of us have to wait until books come into McNally Jackson to read them!)
Ms. Crosley said she follows her own publicist advice when it comes to reading her reviews: “I always tell my authors—especially if you write short stories or essays or, God love you, poetry and it actually gets published—if everyone hates the same story or objects to the same story, you’re in trouble. But it’s pretty easy to write it off if it’s like, ‘By far the weak point in the collection is blank‘ or ‘By far the best essay is blank,’ and it’s always different… That’s a matter of opinion.”
A tough, worldly outlook—that’s something the Transom can get behind! “I don’t know if I have such a great thick skin, or if I’ve just worked in the skin shop for so long, but I understand how it works,” she continued. Wait, so the skin shop in this analogy is the… publishing industry?
“No, I mean the shop where people sell skin,” Ms. Crosley deadpanned, perfectly. We think she just named her third book!