Industry Insiders: Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, Nouveaux Lensman

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld is the founder of Feedback Productions, prince to the Paris Voguette throne, and an emerging name in the New York art scene. This week, Roitfeld curates the work of three photographers — P.C. Valmorbida, David Mushegain, and Salim Langatta — at Collective Hardware. The opening event, sponsored by Louis Vuitton and Terrazas, attracted high-profile celebutantes and close friends of the artists. The crowd looked something like: Vladimir’s sister Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and (fashion icon) mother Carine Roitfeld, both Hiltons, Natalia Vodianova, Gisele Bundchen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Stavros Niarchos, Mila Jovovich, Lily Donaldson, Zoe Kravitz, Hilary Rhoda, and Cory Kennedy. Post-party, the A-listers moved uptown and took Indochine back to its glory days. After the jump, Vladimir expands on his passions, the lack of sibling rivalry in his high-profile fam, and enjoying a glass of vino.

What do you do? How would you describe yourself? As someone passionate about what he does. Someone that started to work in an industry and is very excited to work on this type of project.

How did you initially join forces with Salim Langatta, PC Valmorbida, and David Mushegain? All three are very close friends of mine. I have known Salim for almost seven years now. When I first moved to New York in 2002, I didn’t know anyone to hang out with in the city. Basically, someone that I knew thought that it would be great for me to meet Salim. He was living in New York for many years already and was a bit older. So we met and just became really good friends straight away. He is my oldest friend in New York. After my first year here, I went to study in Los Angeles at USC. Salim knew David, who was living in LA, and introduced me to him. I met PC my third year of college. We had many friends in common, and we just met how you usually meet someone — with friends and going out. I enjoy working with my friends and people of my generation, and when I had the idea, a few months ago, to put on a photography show in New York, these guys just came naturally to me. I’ve been seeing them for many years, they have all a passion in common, which is photography, and I really always loved their work.

Which photograph in the exhibition is most significant for you? I wouldn’t like to point to one picture in particular. Personally I think that a good show cannot be reflected only by one piece … I like to look at the mood and the emotions that I get from all the pieces put together. The work of the three photographers are so different. That’s probably what I like the most about this show. I love them all. What are your favorite spots in New York? Indochine, because I really like Jean Marc, and the food is so good. Bar Pitti, because I like how friendly Italians are. You always feel like a big family. Russian Tea Room, because I love the Russian atmosphere, it reminds me of my grandfather. I love having a drink with my friends at the Rose Bar.

Who are your idols? Personally, my parents and my sister. Professionally, Tom Sachs, John Currin and Richard Avedon for his photography.

Is there any sibling rivalry between you and your sister? No, not at all. No rivalry, only complicity. My sister and I are very close, and we are always here for each other.

What is on the horizon for 2009? It is difficult to make any projections for the long term right now. This is only my second exhibition — the first one was last summer in Paris for Italian artist Marco Perego. So I will have to see how this show goes. What I know is that I love working on this type of project. I’ve always loved photography; I like working very closely with artistic and talented people, and will try to keep on putting other shows for the moment.

Who is the most outlandish individual that you’d like to have the opportunity to party with? No one really. The best parties for me are always the ones where I spend with all my closest friends and my girlfriend.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? A really nice bottle of Bordeaux.

What are you doing tonight? My parents just got in town, so I’ll have dinner with them for sure and will then spend time with my girlfriend.

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