News & Scoops

2012 June 14

WSJ.'s Deborah Needleman Gets "Off Duty" at The Jimmy

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Simon Doonan, Maria Cornejo, Deborah Needleman Simon Doonan, Maria Cornejo, Deborah Needleman
Billy Farrell Agency
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(NEW YORK) The Wall Street Journal's Off Duty editors, a cadre of designers, and assorted fixtures of a mostly-downtown set hit the rooftop decks of The Jimmy at The James Hotel last night for a pool party dovetailing, conveniently, with a glorious sunset over the Hudson. On the guest list: the likes of Jason Wu, Waris Ahluwalia, Alejandro Ingelmo, Christian Cota, Maria Cornejo, Steven Alan, Simon Doonan, Jonathan Adler, Kate Lanphear, Bonnie Morrison, and scads more chicsters tippling The Jimmy's particularly excellent cocktails, trying not to trip into the inflatable beach ball-filled pool, and nibbling on chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches (bliss!). As a parting gift, there was a copy of Off Duty to read en route home and a sarong to pack for the weekend. The Daily caught up with WSJ. magazine editrix, who also oversees the Ruth Altchek-edited Off Duty section, for her summer relaxation tactics (they involve gardening tools and Euro travels), the scoop on recent additions to The Journal's stylish klatch, her stance on sprinkles, and much more. 

What's new in the world of Off Duty, Deborah?
What's really new is a newspaper section run by magazine editors so that its content is as driven by style and taste as it is by news. Michael Roberts and Annette Tapert are new columnists on fashion and Marian McEvoy on gardens.

How do you unwind when you're "off duty" come summer?
Sadly, I unwind by gardening for 10-hour stretches, to the exclusion of my family. I aspire to lie in the hammock more. I'm really looking forward to spending a couple weeks with friends in Italy in July.

What's happening in Italy?
Just reading and cooking and eating!

What's the most exciting thing about adding Meenal Mistry to your staff?
Her combo of brains, charm, and style. Love when someone has a trifecta like that.

Has Meenal given you any style advice since coming on board?
She hasn't yet! But I'd love it.

Which designer could use a bit of off duty time to decompress?

All fashion designers do. I really don't know how they keep up with the pace.

How about an editrix in need of some R&R?
The hard-working, brilliant mind behind Off Duty—Ruth Altchek—but I don't want her to realize how much she deserves a bit of off duty time!

Anything new in WSJ. realm?
I finally have my dream team of editors. With a magazine staff, it's about collaboration, chemistry, and complimentary talents. Also, the mag keeps growing in influence and getting fatter every issue which is terribly exciting. I think the July issue is up 70 percent over last year.

Since Off Duty partied on The Jimmy's gorgeous rooftop, which NYC rooftop are you dying to check off your list?
I don't believe in personal lists. They depress me.

Who is your favorite James [Hotel] or [The] Jimmy?
I'm obsessed with James de Givenchy, and I fortunately don't know any Jimmies. It's kind of an awful name, isn't it?

Jimmies are also a nickname for sprinkles: Where do you stand on sprinkles on your ice cream or other desserts?
I appreciate the exuberant color but would prefer a bit of Heath bar crunch.

What's your summer drink of choice?
Aperol spritz, rosé and more rosé.

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