Yesterday, after we referred to man-about-town/Genevieve Jones arm candy Derek Blasberg as a "writer" as we wondered, for the millionth time, whether he was behind Socialite Rank, we were greeted by some righteous indignation from one of his hometown homies, a classmate of the 24-year-old Blasberg's from his days at Affton High School in St. Louis. This classmate informed us that Derek should actually be referred to as a bona-fide writer—no quotes necessary!—because of some stuff he's written for Russian Vogue and the Sunday Times of London. Okay, point taken. He's a writer, not a "writer"! But the email piqued our interest in other ways. How did this pretty boy from St. Louis weasel and wangle his way into the hearts of the Tinz and the photos of Patrick McMullan? Is Derek Blasberg the Truman Capote to Genevieve Jones' Holly Golightly? Our overly detailed conclusions after the jump.
But first, some selections from his classmate's email:
I feel bad that everyone just sees him as some party boy (he wasn't snobby to me in high school—and I had bad acne); in fact it's funny that he's New York socialite armcandy at all now—he drove a flossy teal Suburban his senior year of high school. He's an actual writer guys. Besides, what's more dodgy isn't his (so far) light literary weight; I've got better stuff from our lovely public school days in Missouri (class of 2000, baby!): those dandy ItBoy pics conceal his jock days on the high school swim team (I got pics of him in a Speedo), and when he was captain of the men's volleyball team. Oh yeah, and played the part of Dill in a moving production of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.We think "moving" means "touring," but in any case, we're intrigued. We always assumed that people like Derek Blasberg simply emerged, fully formed, onto whatever "scene" it is they've infiltrated. But what becomes clear after a little Nexising is that Blasberg's ingratiation, and initiation, into the scene came at a tender age, as the result of what seems to be some very calculated moves. Consider:
- He went to NYU and majored in journalism and dramatic literature, but also wrote a fashion column for the NYU paper Washington Square News, which got him mentioned in WWD for his coverage of fashion shows from Milan. He got fired from WSN after getting into a fight with the lifestyle editor over the direction of his coverage. He also interned at WWD sister publication W while in college.
- After graduation, he worked for a few months as assistant to Vogue managing editor Laurie Kane, but quit around February 2005. While at Vogue, he came between Proenza Schouler boys Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, which reportedly earned him the ire of Anna Wintour. Still, he told Lloyd Grove, "I had decided to leave Vogue before any item ran in any paper, so I don't think false gossip would affect content in the magazine."
- In April of that year, his 23rd birthday party was covered by an item in Page Six that reported on guests including Fabian Basabe, Tara Subkoff, John Mayer, Erin Wasson, Jacquetta Wheeler, the Earl of Mornington and Jaime Johnson, and that host Evan Yurman (son of jeweler David Yurman) had to get everyone to leave by mentioning that he owned a shotgun.
- By the following year, he'd made it to enough parties that he'd earned a mention in Peter Davis' infamous Sunday Styles piece about male socialites, which neglected to mention that one of the article's subjects, Giorgio Armani exec Christian Leone, had dated Davis. Blasberg was quoted as saying, "One minute I'm a poor Midwestern student; the next I'm seated between George Clooney and Lindsay Lohan at Bungalow 8.'' Another Page Six item that month noted Blasberg's 24th birthday party: "While we're not quite sure what Blasberg actually does, his 24th-birthday party on Friday drew Lindsay Lohan, Karolina Kurkova, Damon Dash, Margherita Missoni, Jessica Stam, Jefferson Hack and Jacquetta Wheeler." (Blasberg also wrote about Wheeler's grandfather's house in Tangier for the Times of London.)
- In the WSJ's notorious front-pager on Genevieve Jones: "Derek Blasberg, a 24-year-old free-lance fashion journalist whom she calls her best friend, says he sometimes pushes her toward work and studies. On her behalf, he gathered applications to fashion schools. "But she won't fill them out," he says. "I would just like her to do so much more with her life.""
- He told the Observer that he was going to India for a month on Nov. 28, so therefore he couldn't possibly be behind Socialite Rank—but was photographed by Patrick McMullan at events in New York on Dec. 7, 8, 9, 12, and 14. Just, you know, saying.
There you have it, folks. A chronicle of a young man just trying to make it in this cruel world, surrounding himself with beautiful women, expensive clothes, and camera flashes. Really, we can't blame him. [N.B.: If we ever get those Speedo pics, we'll post them immediately.]