Oprah's Big Anniversary Bash

April 18, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Oprah Winfrey greeted guests from the stage at the first anniversary party for her O magazine.

O magazine's first anniversary partyCipriani 42nd StreetTuesday, 04.17.01, 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
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If everything Oprah Winfrey touches turns to gold--and judging by her TV show, magazine and book picks, it does--then Preston Bailey should get ready. The celebrity decor designer's lush floral pieces for O magazine's first anniversary party earned a rave review from the big O herself. “He did things with flowers that I didn't know could happen,” Winfrey said during her brief remarks at the event. “I love you, Preston.”

She had good reason to share the love. Bailey's arrangements were gorgeous--two large tree branches stuffed with arrangements of fuschia and red roses near the entrance; 10 chandeliers covered in more flowers, with long white candles, hung from the ceiling; and two large O's draped with even more flowers near the food stations.

After Winfrey thanked Bailey (and all those involved in her magazine's first year), she told the crowd that filled Cipriani 42nd Street, “I really came to party.” Then she introduced the O'Jays, who brought an energetic performance to what was already a pretty rollicking party (thanks, in part, to Tom Finn's fun music mix), with lots of people and lots of food. In addition to crowds of advertising folks and magazine employees, we also spotted two of Winfrey's partners, Hearst Magazines president Cathleen Black and Oxygen's Geraldine Laybourne. Deborah Norville, Iman, Diane Sawyer and Emme also showed up.

But the event--which was organized by Hearst's David Bowen--was more than just a good time. Although the food (antipasti, shrimp cocktail and various pastas with cream sauces) was definitely not diet-appropriate, and Cipriani served beef--Mad Cow disease be damned--everything else seemed to tie back to the magazine and its namesake. An enormous blowup of the May issue's cover loomed large behind the stage, the entire event's color scheme matched the cover's fuschia and orange tones perfectly, and even the dance floor was decorated with O logos. And don't forget the first letter of the band's name.

The gift bag maintained the O-centric theme. Covered with the magazine's logo and past cover images, the bag contained only an issue and a bottle of bubble bath gel, which was also emblazoned with the O logo. Unlike the recent Rosie magazine launch party, which featured an enormous bag of products, no other companies were getting in on Oprah's marketing push. She knows what she's doing.

--Chad Kaydo

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