Saturday, September 30, 2006

The New York Observer Media Mob: "Harvard Is Everywhere": 02138 Launch Party:

At the Core Club launch party for 02138--the magazine dedicated to the unity of the Harvard experience--attendees fell neatly into separate categories. Magazine staffers walked around wearing square pins affixed to their lapels, with their names and "02138" engraved on them. Their flacks hovered, making sure that Bill O'Reilly was ushered in with the appropriate amount of warmth ("Bill!").

Members of the magazine's "Harvard 100"--a list mixing Harvard College dropouts with Harvard Business School grads with quickie Kennedy School students such as O'Reilly--seemed bemused at the attention, and at the two flat-screen televisions beaming their names, occupations, list numbers, and photographs in a constant loop. Tall, thin, beautiful women sipped white wine and didn't discuss where they'd gone to school. Men in dark suits said they were in "private equity." "All the girls here are 6 feet tall and dressed to kill!" one of them said.

"Harvard is everywhere," said Dan Loss, one of the magazine's co-founders. Loss was roommates with Bom Kim (listed as President & Founder on the masthead), and both graduated in from Harvard College in 2000. "We want to cover the stories and personalities that relate to Harvard alumni lives today," Loss said. That means Ned Lamont (like the library!), Studio 54 scion Jennifer Rubell ("equally comfortable discussing a Francis Alÿs video work and a recipe for naeng myun, Korean cold noodles"), and lifestyle items about wine and watches.

The message is that Harvard and its alumni are some sort of superhuman brand, out to save the world and wear expensive clothes while doing it. Becoming the brand takes time, and lots of money.

8:54 AM