2009 June 12

Who Loves Jim...Moore?

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Richard Chai, Jim Moore and Phillip Lim Richard Chai, Jim Moore and Phillip Lim
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(NEW YORK) As fashion’s popularity king, Jim Moore knows how to draw a crowd. Last night, the industry’s finest (along with every publicist in town) flocked to Barneys New York, which has given Moore his very own window display, to honor the GQ creative director before he receives the Eleanor Lambert Award on Monday night.

“I keep pinching myself. Every time I walk by the Barneys windows, I think, ‘Is that really me they’re honoring?’ I’ve gotten hundreds of emails and phone calls,” Moore confessed as the receiving line grew even longer. “Who doesn’t walk down Madison Avenue? Who doesn’t go to Barneys?” Everyone, it seems. Richard Chai, Phillip Lim, David Neville, Rufus Wainright, Elise Crombez, Penn Badgley, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, Lake Bell, and of course, a suited bunch of Moore’s GQ compatriots.

“I always think of Jim as the secret weapon of GQ, but he likes to fly under the radar,” explained Jim Nelson. “It’s so great to force him not to. Everyone who works in the fashion industry thinks of him as iconic, but behind closed doors, he’s such a good and decent guy. He never gets the kudos that I think he deserves. Maybe it’s because we’re in humble men’s fashion.”

“I’ve been an enormous fan and friend ever since I’ve been in this business, and I loved working with him when we initially organized men’s shows,” recalled Fern Mallis. “He was instrumental in puling everybody together and galvanizing these designers. He’s long overdue in receiving this award.”

Meanwhile, Eugenia Gonzalez and a crop of Hervé Léger-clad megamodels injected the room with a dose of estrogen. “Of course I’d want to be on the cover of GQ!” exclaimed Hilary Rhoda, who arrived with Doutzen Kroes. “They always have the sexiest girls on the cover. I’m waiting to talk to Jim, but there’s a long line ahead of us…”

Well, the designers deserve their face time, n’est-ce pas? “I’ve known him for a long time, and we’ve experienced a lot together,” recalled Italo Zucchelli. “Ever since our first meeting after my very first show, he has been so sweet and supportive. He just told me that he loves my suit, he’s wearing one tonight, and he knows exactly what it is—the name of it, the fabric, the color…that kind of support means very much to me.”

“He is so amazingly humble in the position he has,” said Thom Browne. “And not to mention charming.” But what, Thom, Jim doesn’t do the short pants? “I’m not working on it. He has his own style.”

“Well, Jim is very, very private—you don’t hear many stories,” said Stefano Tonchi. “But a lot of them do exist about his house in Palm Springs. How he found it, how he decorated it. But I really admire his work—his consistency, professionalism and experience.”

Proud papa of newborn Valentine (as well as daughter Lowe, 2) Swaim Hutson wore a hand-embroidered suit that was “all about love.” “He’s close to the heart,” Hutson said of Moore. “He’s responsible for a lot of our success.”

But back to that vacation home for a minute. “I once ran into Jim Moore in Palm Springs,” said Simon Doonan. “As you know, he has that gorgeous house there. He was running down the street in his Speedo because he was locked out of his house. Wait—he was also wearing a big sombrero and flip-flops. I think he had given a spare key to this woman at the local 7-11 and he had to run over there and get it.”

On Monday, Moore and Nelson will hit Lincoln Center with a GQ crew as well as a mystery guest of the celebrity sort “There’s no way I’m telling you,” said Nelson. “There’s no way. Christian Bale? He’s too angry. It could be a cover, that’s all I’ll say.” [The Daily put in a request for Robert Pattinson.]

Meanwhile, Nelson shared his own favorite memory of Moore. “When I first came to GQ, there was a wall between church and state—between fashion and editorial. So when I got the job, I’d been working there for 6 years, and I was like, ‘Who are you?’ It was great to get to know him in a different way, and I’ve used the last 6 years as a way of downloading Jim Moore’s brain. Whatever I can do to get it in the issue, then I’ll be successful. We are definitely going to celebrate that on Monday night after the awards. But Jim’s mom is going to be in town from Minnesota, so whatever we do, it’s got to involve an 80-year-old woman.”


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