Posts

RICHARD BERNSTEIN
STARMAKER

Richard Bernstein, a fixture with fashion and art insiders as well as the Studio 54 set, captured the allure of the disco era through his iconic hyper-colored graphic portraits of superstars for the covers of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. Bernstein’s bold and graphic artwork was so complimentary to Warhol’s that it was often thought that Warhol created the covers himself.

MAO PR
20 Years

  • Roger and Mauricio Padilha, MAO PR founders, photographed in their showroom. Photograph by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Supermodel Omahyra Mota models for MAO Public Relations. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Musician Debbie Harry and model Agyness Deyn photographed at the Stephen Sprouse book release event by MAO PR. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • MAO PR ads of Dianne Brill and a male model dressed up as John Sex. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Fashion publicist Mauricio Padilha, from MAO PR. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Fashion week runway images, courtesy of MAO PR. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Party images from MAO PR. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • MAO PR ads of models dressed up like Edie Sedgwick and Joe Dallesandro. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Roger and Mauricio Padilha photographed in their showroom. Photograph by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Antonio Lopez
  • Images from the Antonio Lopez book release event, courtesy of MAO Public Relations. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Model Omahyra Mota models for MAO Public Relations. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Fashion publicist Roger Padilha, from MAO PR. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Roger and Mauricio Padilha photographed with Marc Jacobs, Grace Jones and Iris Apfel. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Runway images, courtesy of MAO PR. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Fashion books by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Roger and Mauricio Padilha, owners of MAO PR, photographed in their showroom. Photograph by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • MAO PR's first ad. Ponyboy magazine NY.

MAO PUBLIC RELATIONS

ROGER PADILHA & MAURICIO PADILHA

For 20 years, brothers RogerPadilha and Maurcio Padilha have carved a niche into the cutthroat world of fashion PR with their New York based fashion public relations firm, MAO PR. Showcasing new, emerging talent, they have very successfully helped launch the careers of various fashion labels, most notably Jason Wu and The Blonds. Upon entering their 14th Street offices in New York City’s trendy meatpacking district, the ambiance is more reflective of say, Andy Warhol’s factory, rather than that of a stuffy fashion PR firm. Framed photos of their idols adorn the walls, from designer Stephen Sprouse to 80s party girl Dianne Brill. Separately, the brothers have published three prestigious fashion books with Rizzoli Publications. We caught up with the “MAOS” to reflect on the nutty, high paced world of fashion. http://www.maopr.com/

PONYBOY:  MAO PR just turned 20 years old. Congratulations! Tell us how that feels.

MAURICIO PADILHA:  Thank you! I wish I was 20, too! It actually feels great. When we started MAOPR we were not sure what we were doing. We learned so much along the way. The best part is that we get to go to our office and work on so many different creative projects every day, and it never gets boring.

ROGER PADILHA:  It’s actually mind-blowing because when you’re busy and you love what you do, time just flies. It does not feel like 20 years, at all!

PONYBOY:   What brought you into fashion PR in the first place?

MAURICIO PADILHA:   I was interning at Perry Ellis when Marc Jacobs was the head designer. One day Marc told me that he thought I would be better in the PR department. (I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to get rid of me from the design room, or if he saw something that made him think I would be good at PR). It was the best thing ever for me. Eventually I learned everything about doing PR and show production, casting and advertising, as Perry Ellis had all of those departments in-house. It was like a crazy fashion crash course!

ROGER PADILHA:  After Parsons, I opened up my own design company called Spooky and Mauricio started working as my PR. When that company closed, he got offers from lots of designers to represent them and he decided to open a multi-brand PR showroom, instead of working for just one in-house. I became the head designer of evening at Betsey Johnson, but after a few months decided it was not for me. Mauricio was swamped. So he asked me, since I was unemployed and had so much free time, to find him an office, which I did. Then he asked me to decorate it, which I did. Then he asked if I would help during fashion week, which I did. And 20 years later, I’m still here!

PONYBOY:   What services do you offer to your clients?

MAURICIO PADILHA:   We have a press showroom in the Meatpacking district in New York City, where we have each designer that we represent set up on two or three racks and we conduct appointments to show each collection to editors, stylists and celebrities. During NYFW we fully produce fashion shows and presentations. We offer the services of press, production and casting for designer shows.

PONYBOY:   When you first started in the business, the fashion world was at a different place. From your perspective, can you tell us how it has changed?

ROGER PADILHA:  Well, when we started it was pre-internet age, so everything that could change has! But the one constant is that talent wins out in the end, and it’s just the mode of communication that has changed, such as its blogs and websites, instead of magazines and newspaper ads.

MAURICIO PADILHA:   Well, we didn’t have influencers, which now drives me crazy. Just because they have a million followers and they are wearing a piece from your collection does not mean that their followers are going to buy your collection. Also, this makes it hard for building a press strategy for a designer and to get them to focus on the right audience who will be their right target customer. It’s all about LIKES, and sometimes LIKES add up to nothing because there is a new photo to LIKE within the next 5 minutes.

PONYBOY:  You are known to build emerging, young designers. Tell us whose careers you’ve helped to mold.

MAURICIO PADILHA:   We started the careers of many young designers, some who went on to be big names and some who were super talented and, unfortunately, had to close their businesses. We worked with these designers in the early years of their careers: Jason Wu, Peter Som, Fausto Puglisi, Sally LaPointe, Gary Graham, Kimora Lee Simmons, Rochambeau, The Blonds, Esteban Cortazar, Georgine, Michael Costello, James Coviello, Keenan Duffty, and Zaldy to name a few.

PONYBOY:   What designers do you see as the next wave in fashion?

MAURICIO PADILHA:   Fashion is in a weird place right now. There are designers that come and go so fast, but in the end the ones who are truly talented and stick to their guns will show themselves as the next wave in fashion.

ROGER PADILHA:  I love, love, love some of the more underground hidden talents in Bushwick, like Patrick Church and Bcalla. They are breaking rules because they don’t seem to be aware of the rules in the first place. And I love that type of energy!

PONYBOY:   Tell us about your fashion week process. What does it involve exactly for a client?

MAURICIO PADILHA:   For September shows we start working right after the fourth of July, scheduling with the fashion calendar, looking at venues, working with lighting and staging technicians, and getting all the prep work done. By the time that show comes around, the bulk of our work has already been done. Once the guests arrive, my nerves calm down and then it’s just about having all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

PONYBOY:   What are your thoughts in regards to New York Fashion Week in general?

ROGER PADILHA:  I’m feeling that it’s not really getting designers the bang for their buck. But no matter what, I’m old school. I will ALWAYS prefer to see clothing walking live on a beautiful model in a show atmosphere.

PONYBOY:   Besides NYFW, you also produce fashion/nightclub related events. How is it different than producing a fashion show?

ROGER PADILHA:  It’s not. It’s about getting the right people at the right place to have a great time and be inspired. It’s all the same to me.

PONYBOY:   Part of the mystique of MAO PR is the fact that you have published 3 fantastic fashion books with the prestigious Rizzoli publications. Does that help with your fashion PR company?

MAURICIO PADILHA:   Our books are separate from what we do in the PR company. Since our books all have to do with fashion legends, sometimes the paths cross. But instead of calling an editor like Candy Pratts Price to come look at our new designer, we are calling her to have her tell us about her experiences with Stephen Sprouse or Chris von Wangenheim or Antonio Lopez. We have gotten to interview so many people that as young design students we worshipped, such as Polly Mellen, Jerry Hall, Jessica Lange, Naomi Campbell, Brana Wolf, Grace Jones, Stephen Jones, Mr Kenneth, Bert Stern, Jane Forth, Debbie Harry, Teri Toye and Anna Sui.

PONYBOY:   You obviously are both obsessed by the world of Andy Warhol, Stephen Sprouse and the 1960s-80s, by glancing at the walls in your showroom, your social media, and the books you have published. What is it about these things that you are so fascinated by? And do you feel that the aesthetic of these things trickles into your company?

ROGER PADILHA:  I’m not sure. Maybe it is the time we grew up in (the 80s), but I do feel that the work of Warhol and the others who followed in his path was a true sea change from the rest of history. And so much of what Andy proposed has actually come true in recent years. He was a prophet. Aesthetically, we love silver and graphic lines and all that still looks most modern to us.

PONYBOY:   What is in store for the future of MAO PR?

MAURICIO PADILHA:   I hope we have another 20 years ahead of us. And I hope we continue to work with new creative talent, and that we get to work with more established companies that perhaps are now being led by new talents. Lately, more and more companies call us because of the parties/special events that we have produced, and they want us to work with them on their big anniversaries, openings, launches, etc. And I must say, I love throwing a party!

ROGER PADILHA:  Hopefully, we will continue to evolve and try to show the world there’s more to this industry than the giant, obnoxious companies with huge inflated budgets that can place advertisements everywhere. Once you tune out the noise, you can start noticing those quiet artists who are really making things that will push our industry forward.

GLOSS
CHRIS VON WANGENHEIM

  • GLOSS, the works of Chris von Wangenheim. From the 2015 Rizzoli publication by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine 2015.
  • Superstar blonde model Donna Jordan, from the book GLOSS, the works of Chris von Wangenheim. By Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli 2015. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Photographs of Bianca Jagger from the 1970's, by fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. From the book GLOSS, Rizzoli 2015 by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Cutting edge fashion photography by 1970's sensation Chris von Wangenheim. From the book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli 2015. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • A model with a parrot, photographed by Chris von Wangenheim. From the Rizzoli 2015 book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • 1970's superstar model Gia Carangi, photographed by the brilliant photographer Chris von Wangenheim. From the book GLOSS, Rizzoli 2015 by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Images from the book GLOSS, the works of Chris von Wangenheim, Rizzoli 2015. By Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine 2015.
  • Model Gia Carangi photographed by 70's fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim, from the Rizzoli book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Blonde 1970's model beauty Donna Jordan, photographed by superstar fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. From the book Rizzoli book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Models photographed by revolutionary 1970's fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim. From the Rizzoli 2015 publication GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Raquel Welch photographed by sensational 1970's photographer Chris von Wangenheim. From the book GLOSS by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli 2015. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Models pose with horses, from the Rizzoli book GLOSS, on fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim, by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Models photographed by revolutionary photographer Chris von Wangemheim, featured in the Rizzoli book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Photos by 1970's fashion photographer Chris von Wangeheim, featured in the Rizzoli 2015 publication GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Polaroid cards from fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim, featured in the Rizzoli book GLOSS, by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Photographs of Chris von Wangenheim showing Grace Jones how to pose, from the Rizzoli publication GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Models photographed by superstar photographer Chris von Wangenheim, featured in the Rizzoli book GLOSS, by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Superstar model Gia Carangi photographed by the late great fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim, featured in GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Models Jane Forth and Donna Jordan, featured in the Chris von Wangenheim book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli 2015. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Polaroids from the collection of the Chris von Wangenheim estate, featured in the book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli 2015. Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • Photograph of a head being shaved, by photographer Chris von Wangenheim, featured in the book GLOSS by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli 2015. Ponyboy magazine NY.

GLOSS

BY ROGER  PADILHA & MAURICIO PADILHA

Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha, also known as the MAOS, are the talented brothers extraordinaire that we were delightfully fortunate enough to meet back in the late 1980’s, when the underage duo would sneak into the dark, trendy nightclubs of downtown New York City. These fashion obsessed siblings were always at each other’s side, dressed in head to toe matching black, constantly observing the hijinks of glamorous celebutants, club kids, drag queens, and, well, basically anybody fabulous and colorful that stood out, much like their idol Andy Warhol was known to do. And they always spoke knowledgeably and excessively about anything related to Andy, be it the Factory or Edie Sedgwick. This Warhol passion cultivated their love for cutting edge fashion designer Stephen Sprouse and his punk, yet sophisticated, day-glo designs.

This brilliant duo has run the gamut in the world of fashion and PR–from working for Perry Ellis, designing a collection, running a very unique and ultra-hip fashion PR showroom representing talented young designers, to the creation of Mao Magazine.

Years later, the Padilha’s would have their first successful publication with high-end book publisher Rizzoli, on none other than Stephen Sprouse! This visually stunning printed matter was a missing piece in the world of fashion documentation. Their magnificent follow-up book a few years later was on Antonio Lopez, the somewhat forgotten, yet extremely visionary illustrator/photographer.

And they now present to us GLOSS, showcasing revolutionary fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim.

GLOSS, by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha, Rizzoli New York, 2015.

http://www.thechrisvonwangenheimbook.com
http://www.padilhabooks.com

PONYBOY:  We’ve always found it rather odd that brilliant fashion photographer Chris von Wangenheim never had a book of his incredible body of work. His death was over thirty years ago! What brought him to your attention as far as publishing a book?

ROGER PADILHA:  We have always loved his work and the fact that it seemed unavailable to the public outside of seeing his work in vintage magazines just added to that allure and mystery surrounding him.

He didn’t get that treatment that so many artists receive after their deaths. He just seemed forgotten, except for a small group of fashion photography insiders, and this made us even more determined to do a book on him.

MAURICIO PADILHA:  His wife, Regine, got the rights to his archives when he died and she was more preoccupied with raising a daughter than tending to her late husband’s legacy, which is totally understandable.

We had tried many times to get the rights to tell Chris’ story and now that his daughter is grown and has children of her own, they were finally open to the idea.

PONYBOY: Von Wangenheim had such a dark side, one might say even bolder than the two other notable fashion photographer’s of the 1970’s, Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. It’s very prevalent in his imagery. What are your thoughts on this?

ROGER PADILHA:  Chris’ work definitely has an edge, whether it’s a sexual or a violent one, that really reflects the times he was living in, especially in New York. The sexual revolution was in full swing and New York City was ravaged with crime and violence, so it seems to make sense that his pictures address a lot of these issues. Some of his scenarios come right out of the day’s headlines, just with prettier models and clothing.

PONYBOY:  He took chances with his work, which was somewhat risky back in the 70’s with top fashion magazines and advertisers. Two of the most iconic images that come to mind are Supermodel Gia Carangi with the chainlink fence, as well as the Dior ad with the doberman pinscher clenching onto model Lisa Taylor’s wrist.

MAURICIO PADILHA:  Some of his images would have trouble getting published today! But, somehow he was able to really push the envelope and get this work published forty years ago! It seems ironic that people are always talking about how advanced fashion photography is today, and while there are certainly some great photographers around, a lot of what is shocking people has been around for years.

PONYBOY:  Even though von Wangenheim was a top fashion photographer, it seems that Gia Carangi probably helped to bring him into the limelight. Many people might not have heard of Chris and his work, if it wasn’t for Gia’s highly publicized career as a high paid fashion model with a drug problem.

ROGER PADILHA:  I think it’s a double-edged sword. The movie on Gia with Angelina Jolie certainly created a new audience for her and those people started seeing Chris’ work, which is great, but the portrayal of Chris in that movie as the cliché’ sleazy, leather pants wearing, womanizing photographer couldn’t be further than the truth. Chris was an aristocrat and from the interviews we did with Lisa Taylor, Lois Chiles, and Christie Brinkley, we were told that his sets were highly controlled and professional.

PONYBOY:  What do you know about his personal life? Did von Wangenheim partake in the excesses of the fashion world of the 70’s with regards to sex and drugs?

‏MAURICIO PADILHA:  Towards the end of his career, we have been told that Chris had developed a drug problem that was hurting him professionally. He started losing a lot of clients in that year before he died. However, we have also heard that he was in the midst of leaving the fashion world and trying to concentrate on becoming more of a fine art photographer. It’s hard to know what would have happened, as he was in such a transitional stage in his career and life when the car crash ended it all.

PONYBOY:  We love that you chose superstar fashion photographer Steven Klein to write the forward to your book. Would you consider him to be the Chris von Wangenheim of our era?

ROGER PADILHA:  Absolutely. We feel that Steven is the heir apparent to the Chris von Wangenheim legacy and were thrilled when he readily agreed to write the forward. He is a huge CVW fan and wrote about how influential he is to his work.

PONYBOY:  Researching these fabulous personas in the fashion industry must be a thrill! Please tell us about your work/research process. What roles do you each play in the creative process?

MAURICIO PADILHA:  It’s fun, but also exhausting! Roger interviews and writes all the text in the books, and I edit and select the images. But, of course, these overlap and we both have a hand in every process.

PONYBOY:  You entered into the publishing world with the onset of the fabulous MAO magazine back in the early 2000’s. We read that because of the great feature that you did on designer Stephen Sprouse, you were approached about doing a book on him. Back then, did you ever think that starting MAO magazine would lead to your endeavors in the publishing world?

ROGER PADILHA: Never! And, what is so strange is that we both loved books as kids, but never thought of it as a career or anything we could actually do. We sort of jumped into the deep end of the pool with The Stephen Sprouse Book without any knowledge or understanding to what it takes to put a book together. This probably worked in our favor, because if we had known how tough it was, I’m not sure we would have done it! But, we both really love the books, they are a great way to get our creativity out there, as well as educate and spend time with our favorite artists work.

PONYBOY:  This is your third book with Rizzoli. Do you get approached with offers from other publishers to work on books? And, do people approach you with book proposals on other personalities in the fashion world?

MAURICIO PADILHA:  Its tough to do a book on someone you don’t already love or appreciate. It takes a good three years from start to finish to do a book, so you really have to be obsessed with a subject because you are going to be thinking, writing, and editing that artist 24/7! We are always open to suggestions for other books, but haven’t found anything that way, that would make us want to commit to a book yet.

PONYBOY:  We hope there are plans for many more fashion books in the future from the fabulous MAOS!

ROGER PADILHA:  Yes, I want a whole library shelf of books filled with Padilha titles. It’s our passion and our legacy. Books last forever!