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We’re NOT Alike in this City

October 19, 2012

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, winners — fashion innovators — at WSJ Innovators’ Awards at MOMA last night (WSJ. Magazine 2012 Innovator of the Year Awards presented by Cartier and Citi/photo: BFA Agency) 

Some nights you remember that New York is REALLY unique and not just another place on the American map invaded by Sex and the City clones and mall culture. Last evening, as Vogue Editor Anna Wintour  — flanked by the ever grinning photographer Mario Testino — took a corner of cocktail room at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)  noted architect, Wang Shu, and Chicago based artist /city revolutionary Theaster Gates became part of an intimate tableau  with Row fashion designers Mary Kate and Ashley Oslen.  A New York happening unfolded. In their own version of  a mini TED Talks gala, the Wall Street Journal Magazine recognized the following innovators in their fields:

Shu, based in Zhejiang Province China represents a one man building phenomenon. Gates — on whom I shot  a video last Spring –infiltrates dilapidated buildings in poor areas and repurposes them with his artwork and functional design — say a library— to benefit communities. Eric Eisner finds underprivileged youth in LA and ensures they get a good education. British designer/creator Patrick Kinmonth sets stages for ballets, operas, and elaborate art exhibits. Jack Dorsey won an award in technology for founding that bird brander Twitter. And, the ROW, aka the Olsens, make cool clothes. Jane Rosenthal– a cofounder of the Tribeca Film Festival credited them for saving her image with smart go to pieces when she rises at 7 am without proper early morning styling acumen.

We heard those recognized tell a bit about what impassions them and the WSJ presented itself as a publication that recognizes cross-pollination may perhaps be the best remedy to survival of the species, in this case journalism.

We sipped champagne and  dined on sea bass, beef, and fancy salad in a dimly lit room where we were all called “innovators.” The participants came from all over the globe, but the execution, high-class cocktail, smart witty deliveries, was all New York. Old School Style (think Truman Capote and Breakfast at Tiffany’s) meets new kids on the block (aka Dorsey and the Row.)

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