Annie Leibovitz's Big Money Pit

cityfile · 08/06/09 10:23AM

Annie Leibovitz has been facing serious financial problems for a number of months now. But things took a turn for the worse last week when Leibovitz was served with a suit by the financial firm that lent her $24 million earlier this year, and she now faces the grim prospect she'll eventually have to relinquish control of her real estate holdings and the rights to her archive of photographs. The big, unanswered question, though, is where, exactly, all the money went. On top of the $24 million she borrowed from Art Capital Group, she takes home an estimated $2 million-a-year salary from Condé Nast, and collects millions for her advertising work. Is she just really bad at managing her money? Or is it something else? Bloomberg News' Katya Kazakina, who suggests Leibovitz might be better off filing for bankruptcy rather than fight her creditors in court, looks into another possible money pit.

NYT Styles Profiles Annie Leibovitz's Financial Problems And Enablers

Foster Kamer · 08/01/09 06:30PM

You know the Times' Styles section was eventually going to pitch in on the fiscal trials and tribulations of Annie Leibovitz. They delivered, filing a quote-happy roundup on the matter, starring Tina Brown and Graydon Carter, defending their friend.

The Coming Annie Leibovitz Fire Sale

John Cook · 07/30/09 02:46PM

Annie Leibovitz, perhaps the highest-paid celebrity photographer in the world, is profoundly broke. She hocked every photograph she's ever produced and now the high-end pawnshop that gave her $24 million has filed suit to force her to sell it all.

Another Lawsuit For Leibovitz

cityfile · 07/30/09 11:41AM

Things have gone from bad to worse for photographer Annie Leibovitz. The glorified pawn shop (or "art finance firm," as they prefer to be known) that lent Leibovitz boatloads of money against every photo she has ever taken as well as the value of the real estate she owns in the West Village and upstate New York, has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against her. It's accusing her of "boldly deceptive conduct" for not allowing appraisers to come inside her home: "Among other demands in the suit, the company, Art Capital Group, based in Manhattan, is asking the court to order Ms. Leibovitz to allow real estate agents access to her town houses in Greenwich Village so the property can be appraised and prepared for sale to pay back the loans." [NYT]

Haute Couture, Christian Lacroix & JCPenney, Too

cityfile · 07/06/09 07:31PM

• In the market for a $40,000 dress? Better jump on a plane to Paris. Haute Couture Week kicked off today. [AP, Vogue UK, Independent, FWD]
• The situation at Christian Lacroix, which filed for bankruptcy a few weeks back, is getting bleaker by the day: The company may be reduced from 124 employees to 12 if a buyer doesn't materialize soon. [WWD, Cut]
• The JCPenney at the Manhattan Mall opens in a mere 25 days. Don't forget to update your cousins in Omaha so they can mark their calendars. [Racked]
• Roberto Cavalli claims he never pays attention to costs ("I don't know anything about the financial crisis"), thinks Dubai is "a city for the future," and says all he really wants is to be loved. So, yes, he's human. [Times UK]
Elle's Joe Zee is now tweeting, just so you know. [Twitter]

Jesus Denies, Kiefer Apologizes

cityfile · 05/26/09 05:52AM

• Despite the fact his dad says they're planning a Kabbalah commitment ceremony and he's currently shacking up at her apartment, Jesus Luz tells a Brazilian TV station that Madonna is "just a friend." Also: He really doesn't mind it if you refer to him as her "boy toy." [NYDN]
• Kiefer Sutherland has apologized to Jack McCollough for head-butting him, and charges against the actor are likely to be dropped. Not that he's learned much of a lesson: He was spotted boozing it up on the LES with his daughter in tow last week. [NYP, P6]
• The celebrity crime wave continues: Kevin Bacon had his BlackBerry stolen from him last week. And Monica Bellucci and husband Vincent Cassel had more than a quarter of a million dollars in cash and jewels taken from them while they were attending the Cannes Film Festival. [NYP, DM]
• Mel Gibson has confirmed that he and his Russian musician girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, are expecting. [People, NYDN]
Mariah Carey spent Memorial Day in Turkey. Why Turkey? Because a hotel paid her $1.5 million to perform, that's why. [P6]

Will Annie Leibovitz Be Forced Into Bankruptcy?

John Cook · 05/22/09 02:22PM

Über-photographer Annie Leibovitz was forced to mortgage the rights to all her photographs last year in exchange for $15 million, and she's been the target of multiple creditor lawsuits for not paying bills. Now a source tells Gawker that one of them is preparing to force her into bankruptcy.

Hollywood Cuts Back, The Anna Preview

cityfile · 05/13/09 07:27PM

• Believe it or not, but some celebrities have been forced to wear the same outfit twice now that we're in the middle of a recession. Or (like Lindsay Lohan, left) they're now passing their hand-me-downs to family members. Sad times, friends, sad times. [NYDN]
• A preview of the 60 Minutes segment on Anna Wintour (which airs Sunday) is online for your viewing pleasure. [NYM]
Phillip Lim is expanding into bathing suits, shoes, and lingerie. [Pipeline]
• A visit to Betsey Johnson's house in East Hampton. []
• Matthew Williamson's second H&M collection hits stores tomorrow. [Racked]
• Catfight! A roundup of fashion's biggest feuds ever. [TDB]

Nan Goldin's Bizarre Possessions Go Under the Hammer

cityfile · 04/06/09 08:37AM

To be an iconoclastic photographer, a person needs sensitivity, creativity and ideally a taste for the wild side of life. But not, apparently, a shred of financial acumen: Like Annie Leibovitz, who recently pawned the rights to her work past and future in order to pay her numerous mortgages, Nan Goldin is suffering from some cash problems, as in she's spent it all. "I don't know how I did that," she tells a reporter. "I made a lot of money but I spent it on all this stuff."

Lohan, Leibovitz Out of Money

Pareene · 03/23/09 08:51AM

Because they're lesbians. No, seriously, that is why both the famous actress and the famous photographer are FLAT BROKE. Because of godless girl-love. Also, Matt Lauer ran into a deer.

Love Is In the Air

cityfile · 03/23/09 06:21AM

• Bruce Willis tied the knot with Victoria's Secret model Emma Heming this weekend at his home in Turks & Caicos. He's 54; she's 30. Guests at the wedding included his daughters, Madonna, and Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. [NYP, LAT]
• Natasha Bedingfield got married on Saturday, too, to a California businessman in Malibu. [People]
• 64-year-old tech billionaire Jim Clark married his 28-year-old girlfriend this weekend with a four-day event on Richard Branson's Necker Island. Guests included Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Ed Norton. [NYP]
Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart finally got engaged. [People]
• Alas, it's not all happy news: Agyness Deyn and Albert Hammond Jr. have reportedly broken up. [NYM]

Tumbling Models, Marc's New Star, A Surprise in Paris

cityfile · 03/04/09 07:37PM

• Why do people like to watch models falling down? "Is it because us mere mortals love to take pleasure in seeing the beautiful go down? Is it fashion show turned fashion spectacle? Is it the same logic as watching a car crash?" Yes, yes, and yes. [Pipeline]
• Editors who turned up to Gareth Pugh's show in Paris were shown an 8-minute video instead of a runway show. The same one that appeared online. Surprise! [Fashionologie, Fashionista]
• Meet Ruth, Marc Jacobs's secret weapon on Bleecker Street. [Racked]
Kenneth Cole cut 10 percent of his workforce last week. [Reuters]
• PETA's new anti-fur campaign features strippers. Classy. [Gawker]
• Lou Doillon is opening a concept store in Paris later this year. [Fashionista]
• Rebecca Taylor is introducing a line of shoes and jewelry. [FWD]
• Badgley Mischka's new ad campaign was shot by Annie Leibovitz and features Eva Longoria, Brooke Shields, Lauren Hutton and Anjelica Huston. [SW]
• What you can expect to see when Topshop finally opens on April 2. [NYM]

The Pawnshop to the Rich and Famous

cityfile · 02/24/09 09:23AM

"Pawnshop" is such a loaded word: It almost immediately conjures up an image of a seedy, fluorescent-lit room with a clerk standing behind bulletproof glass and display cabinets full of tacky gold jewelry. Fortunately, if you happen to be rich, possess a reasonably large collection of art, and you're desperate for cash, you can call up Art Capital Group, which doesn't look anything like a pawnshop since it's located in the former Sotheby's building on Madison Avenue, and "looks at first glance like an art gallery," reports the Times. But bring Art Capital your collection and they'll do the same thing every other pawnshop does: They'll extend you a loan using your art works as collateral, and if you fail to pay back what you owe, you'll have to say goodbye to them forever.

Michelle Confirms Vogue, Fashion Week Previews

cityfile · 02/10/09 05:30PM

• As you learned three weeks ago, Michelle Obama will appear on the March cover of Vogue. As for the magenta dress she wore for the Annie Leibovitz-lensed cover, it was designed by Jason Wu. [WaPo, WWD]
• A preview of the shows and parties planned for Fashion Week. [Style, NYM]
• Didn't get tix for the festivities next week? Try Craigslist. [NYM]
• It's still unclear what's going on with Olivier Theyskens and Nina Ricci. [WWD]
• Carine Roitfeld is designing a "youth-focused" edition of French Vogue. [FWD]
• Mandy Moore is shuttering her fashion line so she can focus on music. [WWD]
• Sales of wedding dresses and engagement rings are down. [WSJ]
Georgina Chapman graces Harper's Bazaar's new issue alongside cheetahs and snakes, but not with other vicious animals like, say, her husband. [FWD]