The New York Times‘s redesigned T Magazine was published this weekend, and what a bumper issue: luxury advertisers, clever art direction, and a cover story on Princess Lee Radziwill, Jackie Kennedy’s equally famous and glamorous sister, who once married a Polish prince. With a somberly chic black and white cover, the headline quietly stated “True Elegance.” And so began the love-in to Princess Lee, published over several pages.
The first question of the first interview publicity-shy Lee has given in a long time? “Were you always aware of your beauty?” Lee responded immediately, “From the word go.” This was an article that read more like a fawning press release than a NYT feature. For Princess Lee, this was a PR dream come true.
The writer, English decorator (and Radziwill pal) Nicky Haslam describes the princess as “captivating the public,” “possessing a timeless aura that radiates now-ness,” a “figure of her time, our history.” Gilding the lily further he added “Lee’s her own harbinger for an iconic future. Our and hers.” It’s a fair guess that Lee was going to love this profile from the outset. Always nice to have a close friend write the article.
THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for Lee Radziwill and her blockbuster profile. She couldn’t have written it better herself.
THE PR TAKEAWAY: Radziwill, whether deliberately or by fluke, has followed the golden rule of myth making: say little and focus on the distant past rather than the recent. The latter is often messy and complicated, with contradictory views. Haslam’s profile is geared toward making his subject a living legend. With only passing mentions of “dips into alcoholism” and the very real tragedies and deaths in her life, the article focuses almost exclusively on an earlier life with sister Jackie and later Jack, her Hampton’s childhood, and later fun hanging out with Andy Warhol. Radziwill, high up in her Parisian apartment where she was photographed, has secured the sort of PR that will keep her as nearly famous as her legendary sister.
To read the article, click here.