The Selby Snaps Designer Alexandre Herchcovitch’s Artsy Abode

Alexandre Herchcovitch‘s São Paulo playground is the stuff obscure dreams are made of, which is why Todd Selby was compelled to shoot it for his latest feature on The Selby. The interior and fashion photographer visited the Brazilian fashion designer and Fabio Souza’s home to snap their massive space and insane collection of vintage treasures, and the imagery is spellbinding.

Like Herchcovitch’s designs, his apartment is both refined and raw, complete with classical paintings hung on unfinished walls. And, like his collections, a sense of humor and surprise give each room a unique identity. Click here to peep the photos, and make sure to scroll to the very end to read Selby’s hilariously random Q&A with the designer. 

Nine Holiday Gifts For Your Hungry Loved Ones

Now that Black Friday, Gray Weekend, and Cyber Monday—that somehow bled into Cyborg Tuesday—are behind us, save for that last one, it’s time to spruce up that holiday shopping list with these nine awesome food-focused gifts. 

Tasting Room Wine Sampler: Don’t worry about picking out the perfect wine for your oenophiles. With these fun sets of six, two-ounce bottles, you can get a variety of sample packs like Emeril Lagasse’s favorite party wines, Michael Chiarello’s collection of Napa varietals, various pinot noirs to taste, and more. It’s a great way to compare vineyards and try new things. $22.95 to $39.95.

Beurre & Sel Cookies: James Beard Award winning Dorie Greenspan began making cookies with her son Josh as a hobby. Lucky for you they decided to grow the business and make artisan cookies to sell, which makes a sweet gift. Sample flavors like the cocoa cayenne, sesame sea salt, cranberry spice, and rosemary parmesan with the knowledge that all products are made with local butter and hand-harvested French sea salt. $10 to $14.

Vintage Tea Works: Tea is the new coffee, haven’t you heard? With this collection of wine inspired teas from this Ohio based company, you can pour your teetotalling (heh) guests a festive cup of Pu-erh Cabernet or White Tea Riesling. While they don’t necessarily taste just like a fine merlot or chardonnay, they sure smell like vino and come in sexy packaging worthy of a stocking. $15.99 to $18.99 per package. 

Williams-Sonoma Cookware: For that little chef in your life, splurge for Williams-Sonoma’s new cookware set. Each pot and pan is Thermo-Clad, non-stick stainless steel, and absolutely seamless, which means a cleaner utensil and even cooking time. The whole 10-piece set runs a whopping $800, but you can also buy it piecemeal for around $100. 

Campari: Sure, you can buy this iconic herbal liquor anytime of year, but what makes this holiday bottle special is reinterpretation of Leonetto Cappiello’s classic “Spiritello” poster. Campari used this poster for advertising in 1921, and for a limited time you can get this unique bottle. Not that you really need an excuse to stock up. $28.

Fat Toad Farm’s Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce: Technically called cajeta, a Mexican caramel made with goats milk, this sweet treat gets an American twist with a dose of Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Each lot is handmade in small batches with fresh goat’s milk from the herd of French Alpine dairy goats on the Fat Toad Farm in Vermont. I recommend going for the box set so you can gift one jar and keep the other for yourself. $31.95.

The Edible Selby: If I didn’t convince you with this interview to go out and get the Edible Selby cookbook, photo essay, and all around great coffee table tome by photographer Todd Selby, then you obviously are not a food nerd. Nevertheless, for the culinary geek in your life, this would make a great addition to any food porn collection. $20.24 at Amazon.com

Gift Certificate for Joe the Art of Coffee: This West Village coffee house has been a staple since 2003, but not all of us are lucky enough to live near by. This is why a gift certificate is the answer for any coffee freak. You can use it to get their freshly roasted beans shipped to you, whittle it away on store visits, or take a barista class. Prices vary.

Corkcicle: Okay, I didn’t pick this just because it’s one of “Oprah’s favorite things,” I chose the Corkcicle because it’s ingenious. It’s a cork, with a long plastic stem filled with water attached to it. You put it in the freezer and when you have an open bottle of white on the dinner table you can just pop it in and it keeps the vino cold. No longer will you feel like you have to chug that bottle of Riesling. $24.95

Finally, gift yourself before the mess of holiday parties and endless piles of cookies. Until December 3, the popular BluePrint juice cleanse is 20 percent off with the code THANKSDRINKING. After that, you won’t feel too guilty having that fifth cup of eggnog. 

The Selby is On Your Plate: Q&A With Todd Selby

When photographer Todd Selby came out with his first book of photos and text, The Selby Is in Your Place, I coveted it. Imagine my glee when I heard he was doing his second tome all about food. In Edible Selby, coming out in October, the photographer has captured over 40 different aspects of the culinary world, from the magic of red velvet cake with Brooklyn’s Cake Man Raven, to innovative cooking with Grant Achatz at Next, to the perfect paella at Sa Foradada in Mallorca. I chatted with the Brooklyn-based Selby about his book, his inspiration, and where he likes to eat.

What made you decide to focus on food for your second book? 
It came out of thinking what my second book would be. Was it going to be sequel to my first, or did I want to try something different. My passion has always been about food, more than interiors or homes. I am food obsessive and it’s good when people focus on what they are passionate about. I thought I could apply what I did with the home book and put it in the world of food, plus it would be fun challenge.
 
Had you done food photography before?
I had done none. It was a daunting thing and a big challenge, but also a good learning experience. I wanted to do more of a food documentary. Plus, I did all the illustrations and writing. 
 
How did you pick your subjects?
It was a very organic. Most were friends of friends and asking them about who was doing cool things. 
 
What started the project? 
It started with Ignacio Mattos when he was at Il Buco. He introduced me to some different people, like from Chez Panisse and people in South America and Europe. He was the big part of my getting the people I shot.  
 
Did you try to have a wide variety of culinary talents?
I definitely tried to have a mixture of popular people you would know, but show another side of them. I also picked people you won’t think or know about. Like with Noma, I shot the Nordic food lab, which gives you get a deeper look into that place. The paella master also isn’t in the mainstream.
 
So you actually got to go to all those places, like Noma, to shoot, and, I hope eat? 
It was more incredible and unusual than I thought it would be. It was a totally different experience from what going to a restaurant is. All of these people are challenging what a top restaurant is and how we go to a restaurant. Whether it’s Grant Achatz or René Redzepi, it’s very challenging.
 
What place surprised you the most?
You know Fergus [Henderson] from St. John’s, I thought it would be all about meat and nose-to-tail eating because that’s what he is famous for. His chapter isn’t about that so much; it’s about lunch. We had a giant lunch together and he was talking to me about how the most important meal of the day is lunch. You could eat for four hours, and do who knows what. 
 
Do you have a favorite chapter? 
I feel like the book is compendium of all my favorites. These are the places I want to share with people and I am really excited about.
 
What did you take away from doing this project? 
It’s funny, I am a beginner-level cook, and I would say I am a bad cook. I love cooking, but I don’t have the natural skill. I have been in so many kitchens and have the best chefs in the world showing and teaching me, but it’s lost on me. It’s kind of embarrassing. Each chef gave recipes, so I am hoping the readers will be better at it than I am. So hopefully they can learn something. On that note, take pictures and tweet them at me. It will be fun to see how people interact with the book that I spent two years working on.
 
What’s your favorite places to eat around home?
Four & Twenty Blackbirds, for the salty caramel apple and the buttermilk chess pie. Mast Brothers Chocolate, they have a shop now and they sell cookies, bon bons, and their chocolates. I love Saltie, Mission Chinese, and Robataya in the East Village. But, because I travel so much and eat out so much, when I come home I love to eat at home. 

Fashion Feed: January Jones Gets Naked for Versace, Pharrell Williams is Cooler Than You

● More images from the Mario Testino-shot Versace Spring 2011 campaign, featuring January Jones. [Racked] ● New T Magazine editor-in-chief Sally Singer shares her holiday wish list, which includes a Thai massage and cycling shoes. [T Magazine] ● The 18 winners of London’s NewGen 2011 sponsorships have been announced, including BlackBook favorite Dominic Jones. [Style]

● Todd Selby snaps musician and fashion designer Pharrell Williams’ insanely cool Miami digs. [The Selby] ● Future style icon 12-year-old Elle Fanning rocks head-to-toe Rodarte. [Refinery 29]

Industry Insiders: Todd Selby, Inside Man

Fashion and interiors photographer Todd Selby never dreamed he’d spend his days behind a lens, much less shooting inside the homes of creative icons like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin. He grew up in the suburbs and worked a bevy of eclectic jobs—Tijuana tour guide, exotic flower wholesaler, and Japanese clothing designer to name a few—never having considered or even heard of a career as a photographer. All that change when Selby moved to New York and began working at Details in 2001. Selby began taking photos of his friends and their homes, developing his own portfolio in his spare time. These pictures—intimate glimpses into the lust-worthy (and often cluttered) spaces of artistic personalities—soon became the buzz of the design community by way of Selby’s photoblog, The Selby.com. We sat down with fashion’s favorite voyeur to talk Selby beginnings, dream subjects, and his new book, The Selby in Your Place. Details after the jump.

On what brought him to photography: I’ve enjoyed it since I was a kid. I used to do it a lot when I was growing up when my family would travel. I didn’t know about being a photographer. I knew about National Geographic and the person who did school portraits, but I never knew that an editorial or advertising photographer existed. After I moved to New York City, I got involved with different design stuff and learned photography. I worked for a magazine and I thought I wanted to work at a magazine. Then, I realized that photographers had the most fun. That’s kind of the coolest job.

On the beginning of The Selby: On the weekends, I started developing my portfolio, taking pictures of my friends and their homes. Some of the same people that I shot for beginning The Selby were the same people who I shot for my portfolio in 2001.

How The Selby went from personal project to what it is today: I worked for a long time in media work and in London doing portraiture. For magazines I would do a portrait of a band, do a picture of an author in their home, do some celebrity portraiture—I tended to shoot people in their spaces. I just thought it was a lot more interesting than just shooting someone in the studio in a space that had nothing really to do with that person. Then, I wanted to do a personal project based on my interests. So, I just started out doing The Selby as something for myself. I thought it would be kind of cool and fun.

On his blog becoming popular: In the beginning, nobody looked at it. It was just me and my friends. By word of mouth, they’d send it to their friends. Then, other blogs talked about it. It just started getting really, really popular. As it became more and more popular, people started e-mailing me and sending pictures of their places.

His first subjects: I’ve been excited by a lot of the people I’ve photographed, to be honest. Especially in the beginning, when I was just starting out and people were just like, “Yeah. It’s cool. Come.” In the beginning, it was just me and my friends. I’d say, “I’m doing this project. As a favor to me, just let me do this thing.” Then, people started being down with it and excited about doing it and that was really exciting to me.

On the 9-5: I don’t miss any of that stuff. I feel like it’s fun and good and healthy for people to do a lot of different stuff and try things out. I think that I did that and it was really fun. I think my job right now is really amazing. I get to travel. I get to meet really interesting people, go to their house, find out all about them. It’s intellectually stimulating for sure. It’s really fun and artistic and creative. It’s pretty awesome.

The most lust-worthy space he’s photographed. I’m not a very jealous or envious person. I just go in. I’m happy with my own place and my own things. I approach it more as an interest in how other people live. I feel like the Neistat Brothers who are in the book have a really cool office space. I think I was the most inspired by their workspace. In my space, I have all these hard drives and cords that drive me really crazy, but they actually took all the cords and tapes and everything and made it into a cool display.

Dream subjects: I’d really like to shoot the Obama family in the White House. I’d like to shoot the astronauts living in the international space station. I really want to shoot Ralph Lauren and Bruce Weber. I think he’d be really interesting. Those are my top picks.

If time and space weren’t an issue… I’d like to shoot me and my family when I was a kid.

On his new book: I’ve worked on it for so long. Most of the shoots in the book have never been published before. I put a lot of love into that thing. I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s not just my website in a book form. I think it really adds a lot to the whole thing.

Upcoming projects: I do a fair amount of advertising. I shoot for Vogue Paris. It’s a style and home kind of thing. I did my first shoot for American Vogue recently, which was really cool. I do a lot of cool editorial and I just always try to keep working on my own website and doing a new post every week.

Go-to spots: The Smile for dinner. You know The Smile on Bond Street? And, Il Buco for lunch, also on Bond Street. I go to Saltie on Metropolitan in Williamsburg. I was just there today. I love the Jane. Now that it’s reopened that’s exciting for me.

Image by William Gentle.

The Selby Teams With Louis Vuitton

Fresh off of the launch of a namesake book and stint living in the window of Paris’ Colette, Todd Selby of the photography blog The Selby is taking things to the next level. Namely, he’s partnering with Louis Vuitton for a new campaign entitled ‘The Journey of a Wardrobe.’ Selby may have shot the latest ads for Converse’s Jack Purcell collection, but the look and feel of this partnership is decidedly different.

It “showcases [Louis Vuitton’s] fall/winter collection through Selby’s portraits of Vuitton-ified style icons in New York (Ruben Toledo, André Balazs and Waris Ahluwalia), along with others from Shanghai, London and Tokyo,” says The Moment. The endeavor is much in the same vein of Burberry’s ground-breaking ‘The Art of the Trench,’ a social networking site that looked to strengthen brand identity by focusing on Burberry’s most iconic style and enlisting the help of street style photog The Sartorialist to punctuate high-quality images of everyday trendsetters in their trench finest. Even the moniker seems especially reminiscent of Burberry’s extension–‘The Journey of a Wardrobe’ versus ‘The Art of the Trench.’ Here, however, Louis Vuitton avoids looking to engage potential shoppers by highlighting their peers in addition to taste-makers; instead, they just focus on the latter.

Blogger Endorsements: Two Ways

The very same week that an ad campaign shot by Todd Selby (the photog behind the perfectly-lit home invaders image series housed on the blog, The Selby) for Converse has dropped, a completely different kind of marketing stint over at Helmut Lang HQ has hit the blogosphere by way of Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter’s party photo porthole. The differences, though subtle, are huge when it comes to the distinct ways with which brands are approaching advertising via bloggers. Selby’s campaign for Converse’s Jack Pucell’s for the most part looks like your average shoe campaign: the toe of the iconic sneakers double as the mouths of good-looking twenty-somethings whose not-so-aesthetically-appealing fictional abodes provide each image’s backdrop. Yes, there are hints of the Selby here, but for the most party the ad feels like just that.

Over at the Cobrasnake, however, the lines separating editorial and advertorial are especially blurry. “last week i took my friend / “it girl” lauren hastings to the helmut lang store on melrose. they let us play dress up in the clothes. we loved the clothes so much that we decided to adventure around hollywood in her jeep looking for cool places to shoot… after the shoot lauren didnt [sic] want to give the clothes back, she loved everything including the leather legging pants and the super cozy sweaters with tones [sic] of fashion holes.” So, while it seems hard to believe that the pair merely dropped by the Helmut Lang store and were allowed to ‘borrow’ whatever they wanted for an impromptu shoot, the exchange is essentially what takes place all of the time between showrooms or design houses and magazines.

What sets this apart, however, is that either Helmut Lang or The Cobrasnake, or both, are looking to present this as just some cool kids talking about clothes that they like. The clothes, however, just happen to all be from the same fashion brand. Whatever the idea behind the partnership, it’s surely an extremely effective way for a brand like Helmut Lang to appeal to The Cobrasnake’s reader demographic. After all, the guy takes great photos. But, just like with Tavi and Miu Miu’s SS10 collection, when bloggers choose to highlight select fashion brands because of freebies or special access, this opens up a whole new playing field of product endorsement. No, bloggers can’t be held to the same standards as magazines unless they’re marketing themselves as an original news source. But readers should, in turn, be equally cognizant of the fact that when it comes to partnerships big name bloggers and big name brands, not much is accidental.

Party Faces: The Best Looks From a Week of Parties

Spring is all about rebirth and growth and yadda yadda: for Manhattan scenesters it’s mainly about ending winter hibernation and hitting the social circuit in order to show off the latest looks. This week was chock full of winsome odes to spring in Manhattan: parties to remind New Yorkers that the High Line will soon be in bloom, events that celebrated spring fashion openings and new spring catalogs and parties that got people excited to shed leggings, overcoats and layers of stuffy winter makeup. Here were some of the freshest beauty takes from this week’s party scene.

image Fresh Face: Unknown Party Person Event: Just a normal Thursday night out. Venue: Avenue Notable Attendees: Wass Stevens, Genevieve Jones. Look: Bold brows get the Factory Girl pairing with a bleach-blond coif, both elements are tres spring, as they say and have been runway mainstays waiting for their springtime devotees. Otherwise, this chick was just trying to pull an Edie Sedgewick. Recommendation: Get heavy brows with a highly pigmented brow shaper like Jean Paul Gaultier Monsier Brow Defining Pencil.

image Fresh Face: Alison Brod and Jennifer Ruff Event: First Bloom Art and Photography Auction to Benefit the Friends of the High Line. Venue: Equinox on 10th Avenue Notable Attendees: David Patrick Columbia, Christian Simonds, Gillian Hearst Simonds. Look: Baring your legs for the first time after a long winter can be scary, but these ladies look as if they’ve been wintering in some tropical local with smooth and tan limbs. Recommendation: Exfoliate your winterized stems with a good body polish like Brown Sugar Body Polish by Fresh. Get glowing with an easy self tanner like Victoria’s Secret Flawless Instant Bronze Body Spray.

image Fresh Face: Ian Cuttler Event: First Bloom Art and Photography Auction to Benefit the Friends of the High Line. Venue: Equinox on 10th Avenue Notable Attendees: David Patrick Columbia, Christian Simonds, Gillian Hearst Simonds. Look: A bold pair of glasses are having a hay-day after dark. Recommendation: Tom Ford’s assortment of interesting frames. If you are bold, opt for the cat-eye cut and really walk with the trend.

image Fresh Face: Noot Seear Event: Fotorelief and a Milk Gallery Project organizes a Picture Saves a Thousand Lives Venue: Milk Studios Notable Attendees: Richard Chai, Lucy McIntyre, Bonnie Morrison, Nicole Trunfio. Look: Noot works the no-makeup makeup look that was big on the spring runways of Tommy Hilfiger, Proenza Schouler, and Tory Burch. Recommendation: M.A.C. Sculpting Powder in Sculpt and bronzer in Matt Bronze.

image Fresh Face: Stacey Bendet Eisner Event: alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet Shop Opening Venue:Saks Fifth Avenue New York Notable Attendees: Byrdie Bell, Melissa Joan Heart, Tinsley Mortimer, Kat De Luna, Richie Rich. Look: The eternally adorable Bendet adds a youthful edge to a classic alice + olivia frock with a bright hair accessory. The yellow barrette is simple but says a lot about how playful Bendet is when it comes to dressing up. That same irreverence was seen on the Dolce & Gabbana and the Marc by Marc Jacobs runways. Recommendation: Try a whimsical floral clip by Anthropologie or a simple barrette from Ulta in a bright color.

image Fresh Face: Models Michelle Buswell and Tiu Kuik. Event: Akris Hosts New Yorkers For Children Spring Dinner Dance Kick-Off Venue: Akris Notable Attendees: Tinsley Mortimer, Tracy Stern, Lisa Anastos. Look: The two nail proportion. Michelle rocks a voluminous ‘do to balance a lean jumpsuit for a very ’90’s aesthetic while Tiu goes cocktail chic with a slick updo to show off her elegant neck and shoulders. Recommendation: Get big, all-American 90’s volume with Umi volumizing spray. Spritz on damp hair before blow-drying hair upside-down, then from side to side. Accentuate bare shoulders with a highlighting powder. Nars Highlighting Blush usually does the trick (and works for face and body).

image Fresh Face: Harley Viera Newton (with Nicola Vassel, Todd Selby, Harley and Moses Berksom). Event: Todd Selby and Cole Haan Celebrate Their Spring Catalog Venue: 10 Downing Notable Attendees: Lynn Yaeger, Lisa Salzer of Lulu Frost, Mickey Boardman, Bonnie Morrison. Look: Harley gets all spring-y on the retro look by opting for a red stain rather than a pout full of gloopy lip paint. Recommendation: Tarina Tarantino Conditioning Lip Sheen in Paramour has a crazy pop-art red look but takes on the texture of lip conditioner.

Get Your Apartment Sized up by the Selby

Todd Selby of the photo blog (and interior decorator’s wet dream) The Selby is taking up residence in Paris. But, unlike most Parisians who dwell in proper apartments, the blogger is choosing a rather humble abode: a window… in Colette. “I will be there from March 1st to March 6th,” The Selby wrote on Colette’s blog yesterday. Selby’s own site has a rundown of all of the events scheduled to take place during the aforementioned week. Expect an appearance by “celebrity canine Oscar the Water Bar Labrador,” as well as Karaoke courtesy of Hot Breath Karaoke. But the main attractions are surely a preview sale of The Selby’s debut book (out April 1 everywhere else) which will be available on March 5 from 4-6p.m. Also on the docket: a “free VIP Interior Selby Consultation” (read: an apartment appraisal) that will include special guests.

And there you have it: yet another blogger book deal. After all, Todd Selby was just included in Vogue‘s round-up of the virtual fashion world’s most influential (e.g. bloggers of all stripes). The roster includes Scott “The Sartorialist” Schuman, Garance Dore, Yvan “The Facehunter” Rodic, Hanneli Mustaparta, Tavi and Sea of Shoes’ Jane Aldridge. This past year already welcomed book launches from Schuman and Rodnik. It’s your guess as to who’s next.