Marilyn makes the front page of today’s Financial Times with news about ABG, the licensor for her estate.
“BlackRock has sealed its first major buyout deal, scooping up Authentic Brands, the celebrity and clothing licensing group, as the world’s largest asset manager tries to muscle in on the private equity boom. The asset manager will pay $870m for a controlling stake in New York-based Authentic Brands, which holds the brand rights to Marilyn Monroe … Authentic Brands, which is led by its founder and chief executive Jamie Salter, licenses 50 brands that together generate $9.3bn in annual retail sales, according to the company. Following the deal, BlackRock will be its largest shareholder.”
Marilyn makes two jewellery-related appearances in this weekend’s Financial Times, firstly in this article about the diamond trade; and elsewhere, she’s pictured wearing pearl earrings at a press conference in 1956.
This weekend’s Financial Times magazine features a photo of Marilyn visiting a casino during filming of The Misfits on its cover. Inside is a feature on the new book and exhibition, All About Eve: The Photography of Eve Arnold.
“Monroe is by turns strained, confused, voluptuous, touching; in some pictures she is giggling like a schoolgirl; in others she is visibly falling apart.
In 1987 Arnold published her account of that time, Marilyn Monroe: An Appreciation. Since then, as the market in photographic prints has boomed, vintage prints of Marilyn can sell for between $5,000 and $25,000.”
Writing in the Financial Times, Carola Long has investigated why Marilyn’s unique style is so popular right now…
‘ “People aren’t trying to be shocking, now they are trying to be elegant,” explains Elizabeth Saltzman of Vanity Fair. “I dress a lot of women and more and more they don’t want to wear … nothing.”
There’s an irony here: while Monroe’s capri trousers, polo necks or pencil skirts might be demure by today’s standards, in the 1950s many of her red carpet and film costumes were deemed highly risqué.
“Her longevity depends on the duality of her image: child-woman and sex goddess, dumb blonde and aspiring intellectual, adored star and exploited victim,” says the feminist critic Elaine Showalter. “Monroe’s look itself emphasised strong contrast, with pale skin, white-blond hair and bright red lips. That combination spells glamour.” Even mixed-up, pastiched and homaged by everyone from Madonna to Lady Gaga, it still does.’