Last night, W took over the Gramercy Park Hotel in celebration of the magazine's 40th anniversary and the release of the new book, W: The First 40 Years.


Last night, W took over the Gramercy Park Hotel in celebration of the magazine’s 40th anniversary and the release of the new book, W: The First 40 Years. The who’s-who of photographers, models, and style icons who have played a hand in W‘s rich history congregated in the lush Rose Bar for an intimate dinner hosted by Tod’s to kick off the festivities. “I’ve seen the book and I listed it as one of the ‘must-have books’ on my website!” exclaimed the legendary Iman, who caught up with old friends like Michael Thompson and Iris Apfel during dinner. “For me, W is ultimately the last beacon of fashion,” she continued. “W you pick up for fashion and for freedom. It’s not in a way for the masses, it is for people who understand fashion, who want to be intrigued. Celebrities feel that it’s a place where they can really become artists.”

Miranda Kerr and Joan Smalls, icons of their own generation, arrived in stunning floor-length gowns, and guests like Emma Summerton, Patrick Demarchelier, and Alan Cumming circulated the room, pausing to flip through the pages of vintage W issues on display. Apfel mused on having been an avid reader of the magazine for 40 years. “W definitely does stand out to me,” she said. “Some of the avant-garde are so avant-garde that they make you feel like a moron! But W is avant-garde in a nice kind of way.”

Guests settled in for dinner at the grand candlelit tables, and when dessert finally arrived in the form of individually wrapped mini cakes packaged neatly in Tod’s boxes (the sponsor of the evening), it felt as though the night was just beginning. Tonchi quieted the crowd with a clink of his glass, and rose for a toast. “I want you to open these little boxes with me and take out the little cake, and then I would like someone very special who is here tonight to sing with us,” he said, with a nod to Estelle, who would sing a special “Happy Birthday” to the magazine. As each guest placed a candle in their piece of cake, Stefano added, “I’d like us all to put out a wish for 40 more years of W!” Estelle, looking chic in Stella McCartney, invited the crowd to join in as she belted out a cappella. “I’m so honored to be here and to be asked to sing,” she said. “It’s an amazing magazine and it’s the dictator of the future of fashion.”

Post-dinner, guests flocked to the hotel’s penthouse terrace where the after-party was already in full swing. Guests like designers Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, and Thakoon, and it-girls Elizabeth von Guttman and Alexia Niedzielski, came en masse to celebrate over cocktails. Guests chose from four specialty drinks representing each decade of W‘s history, while browsing prints from the magazine dating as far back as 1972. Images of icons ranging from Jackie O to Woody Allen, Elizabeth Taylor to Tupac, Kate Moss to Karl Lagerfeld, brought the world of W to life. As guests took them in, one couldn’t help but wonder what the next 40 years will bring.

Click here to see photos from the party.

Photos: David X Prutting/