The Corner

Forget Book Review Copies

Where’s my diamond necklace?! Toby Young in WSJ:

Those lucky enough to work in the fashion departments of such magazines are deluged with freebies every day, some of them worth a great deal of money. At Vanity Fair, where I worked for 2 1/2 years, I once stumbled across a screwed-up ball of paper outside the office of Elizabeth Saltzman, the magazine’s fashion director. “Dear Elizabeth,” it began, “a while back, the Diamond Information Center presented you with a diamond solitaire necklace.” Others plainly keep the stuff. Earlier this year, the fashion director of another glossy magazine had her wrist slapped when she was caught trying to sell on eBay a couture coat she’d been sent by Chanel. The floor bid was $150,000.

At Christmastime, glossy magazines have to take on extra staffers to deal with the huge volume of free stuff flowing into their offices. In 1996, the CEO of Condé Nast, Steve Florio, received so much booty that he had to hire three Lincoln Town Cars to transport it back to his house. We’re talking handmade suits, cases of wine, sets of golf clubs–not your usual tchotchkes. The Lincolns sailed off down Madison Avenue like Spanish galleons packed with treasure. A spokesperson for Condé Nast says that this story, which I had from a closely placed source, is “absolutely untrue.”

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