At last night’s raucous party for Interview and Dsquared, a platinum mohawk reached a head’s height above the rest of the crowd. Spidery, sequined threads dangled from one woman’s eyelashes. A man wearing what appeared to be a leather thong with suspenders attached shook the hand of Fabien Baron — editorial director of Interview — on his way into the fray. As one of the veteran creative-directors-slash-editors (Baron founded his agency, Baron & Baron, in 1990), we were curious about his take on Magnus Berger’s and Patrick Li’s recent appointments as creative directors at WSJ and T, respectively. Like Baron, both men have created careers merging package design, logos for fashion clients, and high-concept editorial work.“They’re all my students,” said Baron. “Patrick used to work for me in my office! And Magnus as well. And it’s funny to see them all, and I’m very happy. At Wall Street Journal is my kid. And at T magazine is my kid.”
So what did he think of the new T? Baron paused for a long time. “I think overall it’s very good,” he said. “I think they made a big mistake with the logo. I would have never touched that logo. You’re the New York Times — the biggest institution in reporting in the world. And you remove the ‘T’ from the logo, from the institution, and you replace it by whatever. It may be nicer — or not. That’s not the point. You’re off-brand, and it’s a big mistake. You pissing on the tree to mark your territory?” Tree-pissing aside, Baron seemed pretty proud of his kids, both of ‘em. “There’s good fashion. You know, like the Wall Street Journal, T magazine, they have the same, very feature-y, very serious reporting, in depth. You know, it’s well done,” he conceded. “Very well done.” And with that, we flashed back to bringing home an A-, only to hear: So it couldn’t have been an A?