2011 May 11
Oprah Chat With Adam Glassman
Photo Credit: Rob Howard View Gallery
(NEW YORK) There are only eleven shows to go before Oprah Winfrey hangs up her hat on her long-running daytime talk show—but luckily, O, The Oprah Magazine isn't going anywhere. As the mag celebrates 11 years in the biz this month, business is going strong—ad pages are up nearly 17 percent. So much to toast to in the O(prah) orbit! The June issue, appropriately themed "endings and beginnings," dedicates a special section to honoring Winfrey's 25 years on television. This month marks the mag's 11 years gracing newsstands. The Daily chatted with her creative director, Adam Glassman, about the June issue (hitting newsstands on May 17), styling Winfrey for the feel-good glossy's pages, and all things O. EDDIE ROCHE
What are readers going to see in the June issue?
We did Oprah's top hits and misses of fashion through the years. I did it with Kelly Hurliman, who is her stylist. We had a fun banter back and forth about it. Kelly and I work very closely together. Surprisingly, Oprah had never had a stylist until about six years ago. She always did it by herself, with help along the way from Andre Walker, her hairdresser. Around 2006, Oprah's universe got so big she really couldn't do her own styling anymore. So she hired Kelly to do the show.
Who did the shopping before Kelly?
Oprah! Oprah did the shopping. Oprah and Andre travel a lot so they'd see cute things and buy them. The truth is, she still pops into stores and finds things on her own. A lot of her stuff comes from me here at the magazine. Oprah's always been very public about saying, "I do all my shopping now at the magazine photo shoots!" We bring so much stuff. What doesn't work for the cover often works for the show. We work very closely on that.
Did you or Oprah pick out the hits and misses featured?
Kelly and I did. It was our own thing. Oprah laughed about some of them, because she doesn't always agree with us, but that's all right. That's why it's called O and not A. I'm very aware of that. She has a good sense of humor about it all. She doesn't take anything too seriously.
What are her favorite stores?
She shops everywhere. She doesn't have one particular favorite store. She's loving Lanvin right now, and she loves Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. She wears a lot of Donna Karan. For her, it's about comfort and things that feel good. She likes a sensuous feel on her body—nothing too restricting.
What's the difference between what works on TV versus in the magazine?
When you are on TV, people look at you from 360 degrees. They see everything: the side, the front, the back. The show's needs are sometimes very different from the magazines needs. We're dealing with just a still photograph. I always wanted to do the picture where you turn Oprah around and you see all the pins on her back. You can't get away with that on a TV show. We definitely do more jewelry for the magazine than the show. On the show, bangles are hard because sometimes they make noise, but she loves bracelets. She loves a watch and earrings. Very rarely does she wear rings and she doesn't like necklaces that much. She wears her own jewelry, which is amazing! She buys and wears her own jewelry. She's not one of these people who just borrows for an event and has that Cinderella complex of it going back at midnight.
What have you learned about fashion from Oprah?
I've learned to have fun with it. It's not such a serious thing. You really have to feel alive and beautiful in your clothes. I learned that from her, because she learned that from Mr. Valentino when we brought Oprah to her first couture show in Paris. She really loves that credo, and I've adopted it too. I try to instill that upon our readers and the real women that we shoot. It could look great on a hanger, the runway, and your best friend—but if it doesn't make you feel alive and beautiful, don't buy it.
Could you see Oprah doing her own clothing line?
No! Here's the truth: Oprah doesn't put her name on anything for the sake of a license product or just for making money. That's so not her thing. She's not doing pasta sauce, she's not doing skin care, she's not doing bedding, she's not doing clothing.
Ralph Lauren is going to be on the show on Friday. Did you go to his house for the taping?
No, I had a wedding. She went to Telluride this past weekend to do an entire show on Ralph and the whole family. She said it was amazing.
Do you watch the show every day?
I do. I either watch it live in my office or on TiVo, so I know everything that's happening.
What is your favorite episode of all time?
Of all time!? I should ask you that. You're the expert! What is yours?
That's too stressful!
One of the shows that personally hit home for me was after the Tsunami in Sri Lanka. Fernando Bengoechea, who was a photographer and my best friend, died in the tsunami. He was Nate Berkus' boyfriend. Nate survived, and Fernando didn't. For me, it was a very touching show. It's a hard one for me to watch, but it was so beautifully done. And I'm a sucker for all the "Favorite Things." Oprah's delivery, when she surprises everyone, is so on point. She's so great at making it seem like it's another kind of show. (ED NOTE: The June issue also features the producers' all time-favorite things in the O-List section.)
Are there any designers that Oprah hasn't worn that you'd like to see her in?
This year, I wanted to see her in L'Wren Scott. L'Wren made two cover looks a few years ago, and Oprah recently commissioned a few dresses from her. She wore it the other day with Julia Roberts, and Julia was also wearing L'Wren Scott. That was quite a coup. Not that many people knew Prabal early on, but he did a dress for Oprah for our Ellen DeGeneres cover. That was really exciting. I'm really good at trying to get new designers on Oprah and have them make things. That's the key to it. We don't deal with samples, so everything is made beforehand. I'll look at the sample and modify things; I always want it to be in stores already, so we're timely. There probably isn't anybody she hasn't worn.
That's because she's Oprah! Are you going to the final taping?
What do you think will happen?
I have no idea. Part of me thinks that it's going to be very much like when The Mary Tyler Moore Show was over and they all got together, hugged, kept moving, couldn't leave, and then the lights went out. I don't think it's going to be like that, but I always think that's such a memorable ending of a show. It will be very memorable. It's top secret. Only two people in the world know what it's going to be—Oprah and Sheri Salata, her executive producer.
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