‘Fyre’ Examines a Failed Festival’s Ashes

’Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’ chronicles Fyre Festival, the 2017 concert in the Bahamas that resulted in frustrated attendees and investors who lost millions.
’Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’ chronicles Fyre Festival, the 2017 concert in the Bahamas that resulted in frustrated attendees and investors who lost millions. Photo: Netflix

Netflix ’s “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” traces how Fyre Festival went from an Instagram-worthy celebration on the beach to one of the biggest debacles in concert history.

The documentary, set for release Friday, is also a 97-minute character study of festival co-founder William “Billy” McFarland, who pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court last year to fraud charges. It joins “Fyre Fraud,” another documentary about the 2017 Bahamas festival that rival streaming service Hulu released earlier this week.

Netflix’s documentary features many damning moments, including footage of a smirking Mr. McFarland describing his event as “selling a pipe dream to your average loser.” In another scene, Bahamian restaurant owner MaryAnn Rolle recounts spending her $50,000 rainy-day fund on extra staff for the event and never recouping the money.

Fyre co-founder William ‘Billy’ McFarland in March 2018 after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges.
Fyre co-founder William ‘Billy’ McFarland in March 2018 after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges. Photo: Associated Press

“I am really hurt from that,” she says through tears.

“It was this very sensational story about influencers stuck on an island in a ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation,” said Chris Smith, the film’s director. “But one of the things missed is that for certain people this had devastating effects.”

Lured by a promotional video that featured Bella Hadid and other celebrities, Fyre attendees who spent thousands for the trip were soon posting photos of a scruffy tent city and complaining of limited food, water, electricity and security. A photo of a meal at the luxury festival—a cheese sandwich in a foam container—went viral.

A still from ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’ shows one of the Fyre attendees’ photos that went viral.
A still from ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’ shows one of the Fyre attendees’ photos that went viral. Photo: Netflix

Mr. Smith, who directed the 2017 documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond,” about Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman, said Mr. McFarland asked to be paid for his participation but was declined and backed out of the film. Attempts to reach Mr. McFarland’s attorney were unsuccessful.

On Hulu, the 96-minute documentary “Fyre Fraud” features an interview with Mr. McFarland, who says “so many things had to go right to make it this big of a failure.” “Fyre Fraud” paid Mr. McFarland to license his footage for the film but declined to say how much.

“Fyre Fraud” comes down hard on Jerry Media, a marketing company that helped promote the festival, for not blowing the whistle. Jerry executives are among the producers of the Netflix documentary, which doesn’t treat them as harshly.

Mr. McFarland, now 27 years old, is serving six years in federal prison. “He recognized that in this Instagram-obsessed culture, people want access, exclusivity and this lifestyle,” Mr. Smith said. “He recognized there was a market there.”

“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” begins streaming Friday on Netflix. “Fyre Fraud” is streaming on Hulu.

Write to Ellen Gamerman at ellen.gamerman@wsj.com

Why We React Badly When That New Sofa Arrives

ON THE COUCH When in the throes of New Furniture Freak-out, that tendency to loathe any recently delivered piece, some people take drastic measures.
ON THE COUCH When in the throes of New Furniture Freak-out, that tendency to loathe any recently delivered piece, some people take drastic measures. Photo: John W. Tomac

TIME WINDOW FOR delivery” was the subject line on an email I received the other day. “Your new sofa will be delivered between 1:00 and 3:00,” it informed me.

Protocol in these situations requires me to phone my friend Stephanie immediately. “The new furniture will be here on Monday afternoon,” I told her.

“I’ll clear my schedule,” said Stephanie, who happens to be an interior designer. “If the sofa gets there before I do, try not to look at it.”

Stephanie, who lives two blocks away, comes over to consult whenever I buy something new for my house. This is necessary because I suffer from a chronic condition known as “New Furniture Freak-out.” For the first three weeks after I buy any piece of furniture, I absolutely hate it.

I don’t experience buyer’s remorse from other big purchases like cars, televisions or houses. Just furniture, and after I get used to my acquisitions, I am at peace with them. Sometimes it takes Stephanie to convince me, with her tape measure, that the furniture in question is not too big or too small or too-something-else for the room. A velvet sofa I initially hated because it was “too brown” (“It’s just brown enough,” Stephanie said) became such a favorite that, some years later, I moved it into my bedroom—where I am lying on it now as I type.

For a long time, I had no idea other people also suffered from the same ailment. But recently another pal, Julie, confided she was having a hard time getting used to a new coffee table (“It’s just there, looking at me every time I walk into the room,” she said). Then I found the reader forums on remodeling website Houzz, where panicked people post photos of furniture (“I bought a new sofa and side chair…I’ve stayed in my bedroom all day so I don’t have to face my awful decision”). Other readers chime in to soothe, in a very Stephanie-like way (“I like your sofa…come out of hiding”).

In fact, the worse your old sofa looks, the more likely you are to hate a new one, said Becky Dietrich, an interior designer based in Charlotte, N.C. This is a theory she developed after 40 years in the business, working with private clients and as an in-store designer at Ethan Allen and other furniture stores.

“People are uncomfortable with change. The more of a change the new furniture is, the worse the reaction,” said Ms. Dietrich, whose experiences prompted her to post an article on Houzz, titled “Why It’s OK to Hate Your New Custom Sofa.”

Buyers are most likely to freak out, she said, if the new furniture is upholstered in a bold color or pattern. Other triggers include furniture that’s a different size than the piece it replaces and fabric that creates clashing patterns in a room. Interestingly, colors especially susceptible to changes in daylight—such as taupe or brown—are difficult to get used to.

“If you have a freak-out, you are like 99% of Americans,” Ms. Dietrich told me. “I tell my clients all the time, you are going to hate this when it gets in the door. Don’t worry about it.”

“My new sofa is dark leather,” I confided. “It’s coming on Monday.”

“Leather?” Ms. Dietrich repeated. “The freak-out is going to happen.”

I would prefer to skip the freak-out and embark immediately on the love-affair phase of my relationship with my leather sofa. After all, there are plenty of lucky people who don’t panic. Designers say this is because these folks are better able to imagine how a new sofa will look in a space, or they prepared better. (“With patterned fabrics, some customers order a whole yard so they can see what the repeat will look like before they make a decision,” said Ms. Dietrich.)

But factors other than appearance can trigger a panic. As much as 10% of furniture gets returned when there is nothing wrong with it, said Ohio management consultant Daniel Bolger, whose clients include Bassett Furniture and La-Z-Boy . (“It’s an emotional process, buying furniture, and people don’t always react logically,” Mr. Bolger said when I phoned him from my bedroom sofa.)

What panic-prone home-furnishers don’t realize, he said, is that the delivery process itself can play a key role in determining a purchaser’s reaction to new furniture.

After analyzing the outcome of 250,000 furniture deliveries in New York, Florida, California and Denver, Mr. Bolger came to a startling conclusion: Any problem during delivery can make a buyer feel as if he or she made a mistake, he said.

For the first three weeks after I buy any piece of furniture, I hate it.

For instance, if the delivery team arrives late, dings up a wall while trying to maneuver my leather sofa through the front door, tracks in dirt on their shoes, or makes a comment along the lines of “What idiot sold you this?” I will be more likely to have a freak-out, he said.

By the time I said goodbye to Mr. Bolger, I’d spent so much time talking about the sofa I felt like I’d been in therapy. This was the first time I’d confronted my deepest furniture fears before the sofa even arrived.

Monday rolled around, and I felt strangely calm when Stephanie phoned to reassure me she would come over by 1 p.m. to be on hand for the entire delivery-time window.

Then at noon, potential disaster struck. The doorbell rang—the delivery truck had arrived an hour early!

“Where should we put the sofa?” one furniture mover asked. I pointed weakly to an empty spot in the living room.

“It’ll look great there,” he claimed.

What happened next was a blur—within seconds, it seemed, three movers donned blue surgical shoe covers and carefully maneuvered the sofa through my narrow front hall and set it down in the living room. Before I knew it, they were removing its protective, quilted cover.

“Do you want to try it out?” I think one of them asked.

“You first,” I remember saying.

He sat on it.

“Comfortable,” he said.

“Looks great,” another mover said. “Sign here.”

Then they were gone. It was a good delivery. I sneaked a peek. It looked…just the way I had envisioned it: a low-slung, 84-inch, untufted, dark-leather Scandinavian-style sofa.

An hour later, when Stephanie arrived, I was lying on the new sofa, typing.

“I love it,” I said.

The Corvette Expert’s Corvette

Ed Welburn with his 1957 Corvette, which he bought from the former baseball star Reggie Jackson in 2016.
Ed Welburn with his 1957 Corvette, which he bought from the former baseball star Reggie Jackson in 2016. Photo: Jason Keen for The Wall Street Journal

Ed Welburn, 68, a designer, author and retired head of global design for General Motors, living in Bethlehem, Pa., and Detroit, on his 1957 Chevrolet Corvette, as told to A.J. Baime.

I call my 1957 Corvette the most expensive cappuccino I have ever purchased. It was 2016 and I went to a Starbucks in Monterey, Calif. I was walking out and I ran into the former baseball player Reggie Jackson, whom I had known for years. We decided to go back to his garage [which was nearby]. Reggie’s garage is full of muscle cars and baseball memorabilia. I turned the corner and there was this 1957 Corvette, silver with red interior.

I have always loved this car. The original Corvette design from 1953 was cool but for me, 1957 was a golden year for the Corvette. I had never seen one from that year in silver, and for good reason. Only 65 silver Corvettes were made in 1957. Reggie told me the car was for sale. What started out with a cappuccino at Starbucks ended up with me owning a 1957 Corvette. [Mr. Welburn declined to reveal how much he paid for the car.]


Photos: A Silver Sports Car From a Golden Year

Ed Welburn’s 1957 Corvette was designed in large part by his hero, the late Harley Earl

Ed Welburn, retired head of global design for General Motors, says 1957 was a golden year for the Corvette.
Jason Keen for The Wall Street Journal

The Corvette of the 1950s was designed by Harley Earl and his team. When I was growing up, the cars of the 1950s—and Harley Earl—were my heroes. Harley Earl was the first to run an organized automobile-design studio in America. He was the first to use clay in sculpting the shapes of cars, and he pushed to make cars longer, lower and sleeker. The entire American automobile business would not be what it is today, if not for Harley Earl.

He died in 1969 and I never got to meet him. But when I became head of design at GM in 2003, I sat at his desk, and I had his office. In many ways, I feel like I know him intimately. Nobody ever called him by his first name. He was always “Mr. Earl.” When I went to get plates for my 1957 Corvette, I asked if “Mr. Earl” was taken. It was available, so now that is the car’s plate.

The same year I bought it, I retired from GM, and I ordered a 2016 Corvette Z06, also in silver with red interior. The two cars make great stable mates. One of the last cars I worked on at GM was the next-generation Corvette, which is not out yet. I can’t wait to get that car—silver, with red interior.

More From My Ride

Remember the J.Peterman Catalog? It’s Still Going Strong and So Is Mr. Peterman

THE URBAN HOMBRE John Peterman at his office in Lexington, Ky.
THE URBAN HOMBRE John Peterman at his office in Lexington, Ky. Photo: Clay Cook for The Wall Street Journal

He has visited at least 80 countries, and when John Peterman says “visited,” he means it. “That’s not just stopping at the airport to change planes,” said the founder of J. Peterman Co., the clothing company that’s acquired cult status due to its hand-illustrated catalog and fancifully narrative product descriptions that often reference far-flung places. At 77, Mr. Peterman still regularly sets off from his Lexington, Ky., home to destinations like Paris and Buenos Aires. “I’m going out and looking for inspiration,” he explained. He insists that if you want to find the proper cut of a kilt, you must tramp around Scotland to find it yourself. Each J. Peterman item begins with a journey.

After dabbling in everything from professional baseball to cereal wholesaling, Mr. Peterman stumbled into fashion at age 46. While on a business trip to Denver, he took a detour to Jackson Hole, Wyo., where he bought a full-length duster. He wore it to his next destination, New York City, where the coat was a hit among his friends. Encouraged, he began selling the dusters under the J. Peterman name in 1987. The company grew quickly and was memorably satirized on “Seinfeld,” which in the mid-90s featured a J. Peterman-inspired character played by John O’Hurley who touted such creations as an “urban sombrero.”

By 1999, though, the real-life company was in trouble. “We overexpanded into very high-cost retail space,” said Mr. Peterman. Short on cash, he sold the company, but just two years later, he and a team of investors bought it back. The catalog returned, along with that famously involving copy, such as this snippet about boots: “Your great grandfather wore these in the Adirondacks, tracking all sorts of prehistoric beasts.” We recently tracked down Mr. Peterman for a rather involving chat.

Clockwise from left: Montblanc M red special edition fountain pen designed by Marc Newsom; Artie Shaw CDs; portions of an Italian parade armor, ca. 1575; handmade leather cowboy boots from the J.B. Hill boot company in El Paso, Texas; A pith helmet from Mr. Peterman’s collection
Clockwise from left: Montblanc M red special edition fountain pen designed by Marc Newsom; Artie Shaw CDs; portions of an Italian parade armor, ca. 1575; handmade leather cowboy boots from the J.B. Hill boot company in El Paso, Texas; A pith helmet from Mr. Peterman’s collection Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal (pen, cds, book); Alamy (armor)

I like hanging out with: cowboys, because they don’t say a lot and when they say something they mean it.

The most outlandish souvenir I ever brought back from a trip was: Inca relics out of Bolivia 20 or 25 years ago. We were in a witch’s market where you could buy potions and llama fetuses and cocoa leaves. Some kid sold these little authentic Inca-wood and carved-stone statues about 5 inches tall, and so I smuggled that out.

I collect: beer glasses. I have at least 60 beer glasses from Austria and Germany. If you go over to Germany and Austria, where they make an art of drinking beer, they’ve got all different shapes of beer glasses.

John O’Hurley as “J. Peterman” in “Seinfeld,” 1997.
John O’Hurley as “J. Peterman” in “Seinfeld,” 1997. Photo: NBC via Getty Images

My morning ritual is to: go to the gym. I’m an early riser, I get up at 5:30, let the dogs out, then put on my gym stuff. I’ll do a half-hour on the treadmill walking and a half-hour on the weight machines and then I’m out of there.

Every man should own a: tux. When I was a young man I would always rent tuxes because I didn’t have that many black-tie events to go to. As you get older, you decide it’s cheaper to actually buy a good tux, and they fit better.

An essential life skill is: riding a horse. I learned in my late 30s and bought my first horse when I was 40.

My go-to clothing item is: boot-cut jeans. They come and go as far as fashion goes, but most of my jeans are boot-cuts.

One of my biggest regrets is: passing up Artie Shaw’s offer to sell his CDs through J. Peterman. Toward the end of his career, Artie Shaw called me up one day when I got back in business and wanted me to sell his CDs. He must have called me eight times trying to get me to sell them, and I’d say, “Artie, we don’t sell music!” but I should have.

On my night stand right now is: a Churchill book, a [Ralph Waldo] Emerson essay collection called “Self Reliance,” and a cookbook, “Bistro Cooking,” by Anne Willan.

I would tell my 20-year-old self to: remember that everyone else is not smarter than you. I never had an inferiority complex, but I was always awed by other people and how smart they were.

The oldest thing in my closet is: my Marine Corps uniform. I was in the reserves for six years. I take it out once a year, look at it, put it back.

One of the few TV shows I watch is: “Downton Abbey.” I find that the Anglophile look, whether 100 years ago or today, is a good look.

I hardly ever buy: cowboy boots. I haven’t bought new ones in 10 years. I probably own 10 pairs of cowboy boots. I’ve got some we sold in our catalog, and then I’ve got a pair of custom-made boots from the J.B. Hill Boot Co. in El Paso.

I don’t like it when men wear: Bermuda shorts that come down below the knee. I think they look silly.

My day isn’t complete until I: kiss my wife good night. We’ve been married 55 years.

I’m particular about: pens. I like fountain pens. I still have my old Montblanc.

My favorite museum is: the Metropolitan Museum of Art right there in New York. It still has the same stuff up that was there when I was a kid. I like seeing the knights in armor.

I enjoy cooking because: you get to experiment. I like cooking spaghetti sauces, roasts, pea soup, onion soup, sausage-and-bean soup.

My motto is: you only fail when you give up.

I’m obsessed with: hats. I own at least 40. I’ve got a Russian trolley car conductor’s hat, I’ve got a Marine Corps drill-instructor’s hat, I have a pith helmet [above] from Lock & Co. Hatters, and I have a cashmere baseball cap.

How to Navigate Yet Another Office Shakeup

How to Navigate Yet Another Office Shakeup
Illustration: Dan Page

If you like your job and your work team, don’t get too comfortable. Your employer may be planning a reorganization.

Corporate reorgs are accelerating, and they’re not just for cutting costs anymore. More employers are reshuffling the org chart to respond to market changes or allow for growth, and 80% see restructurings continuing at an equal or faster pace in the next five years, according to a recent survey of 2,400 employers by Harvard Business Review and Quartz Associates, a London consulting firm.

Some companies go so far as to shake things up every 18 months, causing reorg fatigue among employees. “This produces an atmosphere of constant disruption and uncertainty for staff,” says Stephen Heidari-Robinson, managing director of Quartz Associates.

It’s possible to emerge from a reorg with a similar or better job, but it requires staying calm amid chaos, networking and prospecting for hidden opportunities.

Laura Mael worked at a company that restructured its operations every 18 to 24 months.

“You could feel the tension in the air,” says the Windsor, Wis., public-relations manager. “It’s extremely stressful to keep being told you must reapply for your position. In your head, you start doubting your value.”

Her colleagues became irritable, spreading gossip about the company’s next move. But she tried to avoid gripe sessions. If co-workers complained over lunch, she told them that while she felt for everyone, she didn’t want to hear it. “You can’t associate with negativity. Not only will it drag you down, but it will spread like wildfire and you’ll get caught up in it,” she says.

Ms. Mael survived all three reorgs, but she was disappointed when she was given a new role in the third go-round that wasn’t a good fit. She reached out to contacts outside the company to help her stay optimistic. Six months later, her network helped her land a new position she loved at a different employer.

Reorgs of any kind tend to spark job-loss fears among employees, regardless of the company’s stated purpose. Many employers prolong the misery by letting reorgs drag on too long. Only 12% reach all their goals by the intended deadline, says Mr. Heidari-Robinson, co-author of “ReOrg: How to Get It Right.”

Many executives also communicate poorly, sugarcoating announcements about their plans or withholding crucial details about how individuals will be affected. They might say they have no current plans for layoffs when there’s little doubt heads will roll. This undermines the trust needed to make a reorg go well. Two out of three restructurings hurt productivity while they’re under way, Mr. Heidari-Robinson says.

Employees should ask questions of their managers rather than relying on the rumor mill, says Gretchen Spreitzer, a professor of business administration at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Be alert to new job opportunities. If your employer doesn’t post them publicly, ask managers in areas that interest you.

Reorgs can create rare opportunities, says Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, an Atlanta leadership training company. He recommends getting involved by volunteering for a planning or project team. “Often, battlefield promotions will emerge,” he says. Employees who help lead the changes may be the most visible candidates. He adds, “This is how people get quantum-leap promotions, from front-line employee to vice president in a couple of years.”

Karin Hurt says accepting a daunting increase in her job duties during a corporate reorganization prepared her for much more challenging jobs.
Karin Hurt says accepting a daunting increase in her job duties during a corporate reorganization prepared her for much more challenging jobs. Photo: AJC Photography

Karin Hurt was taken aback when her bosses at a previous employer offered her a major increase in responsibility, to head human resources for a $6 billion unit, with a modest raise during a merger. She was denied the new title that should have accompanied the job, however, because she wasn’t able to relocate to the company’s New York headquarters.

“At first I was completely frustrated,” says Ms. Hurt, who was a human-resources director at the time. She decided to accept the position because she knew it would help her learn and grow, and she’s glad she did. “That job gave me a perspective and understanding of the business that became foundational to my career,” Ms. Hurt says. One of the executives she worked with offered her a new position 1½ years later managing a large call center, and she later moved up to managing a 2,200-employee sales division.

Ms. Hurt also took advantage of the disarray. She saw a need for a new leadership-training program and laid plans before her bosses even asked for it. She credits good advice from a former boss: “Where there is chaos, seize control,” says Ms. Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, a Laurel, Md., training firm, and co-author of “Winning Well.”

Keeping your résumé up-to-date and maintaining an active network of contacts outside work can lend confidence during a reorg, Dr. Spreitzer says. Ms. Hurt recommends adopting what she calls a bags-packed attitude: “If this doesn’t work well, I can always leave,” she says. “There is huge confidence and creativity that comes from not feeling trapped.”

If colleagues get laid off, be as helpful as you can and consider sharing access to your network, Dr. Spreitzer says. Ms. Mael once comforted a laid-off co-worker by offering to keep alive an initiative he cared about and update him on the results.

If the ax falls on you, don’t let it shake your confidence.

Former sales manager Christopher Taylor says being laid off in a corporate reorganization freed him to start his own job-search consulting firm.
Former sales manager Christopher Taylor says being laid off in a corporate reorganization freed him to start his own job-search consulting firm. Photo: Nick D’Andria

Christopher Taylor, founder of Occupation Optimist, an Atlanta job-search strategy firm, had worked 10 years in sales for a big food company when his employer announced a reorg. Mr. Taylor’s boss assured him that his job was safe.

Soon after, he was summoned to an 8 a.m. meeting in a hotel conference room with three people he’d never met and handed a severance package. He was stunned, but framed the experience in a positive way: “I saw it as my chance to really figure out what I wanted to do with my life.”

Mr. Taylor spent the next several months networking and volunteering as a job-search coach. After a stint at a recruiting firm, he started his own coaching business doing work he loves—helping others find careers they enjoy.

A Survivor’s Guide to Reorg Fatigue

  • Avoid pointless gossip or griping.
  • Ask managers for information rather than relying on the rumor mill.
  • Look for ways to help, such as volunteering on a planning team.
  • Talk to managers in areas that interest you to explore opportunities.
  • Consider meeting with decision makers to acquaint them with your contributions.
  • Adopt a ‘bags-packed’ mentality by preparing to look for a new job if necessary.
  • Offer support and helpful contacts to laid-off co-workers.
  • Spend time with people who can encourage you and provide realistic feedback.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

More From Work & Family

Appeared in the January 15, 2019, print edition as ‘How to Navigate an Office Shakeup.’

‘Cat Person’ Returns in a New Short-Story Collection

‘I don’t begrudge anyone who comes to the book with a certain set of expectations,’ says Kristen Roupenian, whose story collection ‘You Know You Want This’ comes out on Tuesday, following her widely read short story ‘Cat Person.’
‘I don’t begrudge anyone who comes to the book with a certain set of expectations,’ says Kristen Roupenian, whose story collection ‘You Know You Want This’ comes out on Tuesday, following her widely read short story ‘Cat Person.’ Photo: Elisa Roupenian Toha

If there is a downside for a literary newcomer who writes a short story read by more than three million people, generates an international conversation about sexual consent and scores a $1.3 million book deal, it might be this: How does she live up to the hype?

Kristen Roupenian is well aware of the anticipation surrounding her debut, “You Know You Want This.” The short-story collection out Tuesday includes “Cat Person,” which went viral when the New Yorker published it in late 2017 amid the growing #MeToo movement.

“I don’t begrudge anyone who comes to the book with a certain set of expectations,” she said. “I just hope that they’ll recognize those expectations as their own.”

‘Cat Person’ Returns in a New Short-Story Collection

The collection explores ego, power and cruelty in relationships with stories like “Biter,” about an office worker who wants to chew a temp’s flesh, “Bad Boy,” starring a couple who turns a lovesick friend into a sex toy, and “The Good Guy,” a male twist on “Cat Person” starring a sadistic bachelor who just wants women to think he’s nice.

“Cat Person,” which made its debut while Ms. Roupenian was in a fellowship at the University of Michigan, follows college student Margot as she resigns herself to sleeping with an older man, Robert, even when he becomes revolting to her. At the time, many women said they’d been Margot on that date, while some men rose to Robert’s defense.

“This is a woman publishing her first book who has struck a nerve,” said Alison Callahan, her editor at Scout Press, a Simon & Schuster imprint.

Ms. Roupenian had finished most of the collection when it sold in a $1.3 million two-book deal the week after “Cat Person” was published, she said. Now HBO is developing an anthology project that could include stories from the new book. Ms. Roupenian also sold a screenplay for a slasher movie and brokered a deal to work with film-production company A24.

The 37-year-old author who lives with her girlfriend in Ann Arbor, Mich., said she has tried to stay out of debates over her writing. “I went pretty dark after ‘Cat Person,’ ” she said. “I’m only blinking and emerging into the light right now.”

“You Know You Want This” comes out on Tuesday.

Write to Ellen Gamerman at ellen.gamerman@wsj.com

Inside the Bizarre Life of a Male Street-Style Star

Flamboyant men from around the world come to the Pitti Uomo men’s fashion trade show in Florence not to conduct business, but to assemble extravagant outfits and get their pictures taken.
Flamboyant men from around the world come to the Pitti Uomo men’s fashion trade show in Florence not to conduct business, but to assemble extravagant outfits and get their pictures taken. Photo: Getty Images

AUSTIN MELLA and Joel Vasquez caught my attention on the first day of Pitti Uomo, a men’s fashion trade show held twice yearly in Florence, Italy. When I spotted this American duo inside the fair’s cobblestoned courtyard, each man wore a flat-brimmed black fedora and a suit the color of produce—figs for Mr. Mella, blueberries on Mr. Vasquez. Unlike the department-store retailers, reporters and brand representatives who attend Pitti Uomo on business, neither man was there for work. Back home in Orlando, Mr. Mella, 25, is a maintenance technician, while Mr. Vasquez, 26, is an aircraft mechanic. They flew halfway around the world on their vacation time for “the love of fashion,” as Mr. Vasquez explained, but also to see and be seen. Without any meetings on their agenda and with flashy outfits on their backs, these two men were prime examples of the “Pitti Peacock.”

Now in its 95th edition, Pitti Uomo has long served as a biannual hunting ground for street-style photographers who document the outfits of men’s fashion-industry insiders. Sometime in the past decade, a new breed of attention-seeking attendee emerged, one photographers couldn’t miss, in neon plaid suits and half-a-haberdashery worth of accessories. These men pile on ornate scarves that call to mind Renaissance tapestries, the occasional cane or professorial pipe, and belching pocket squares. The beard is the most common accessory, often a graying one: These dandies range in age from early 20s to 60s and beyond.

Florin Dobre, 43, a Romanian fashion designer (who does not sell his wares at the trade show) comes yearly to Pitti Uomo to socialize and network. Mr. Dobre also gets photographed an awful lot. On the afternoon we spoke, he wore a chunky ivory turtleneck, a “Peaky Blinders”-style paddy hat, and carried a white doctor’s bag. Still, Mr. Dobre’s outfit was tame next to his friend Lucian Sorin’s far more exhibitionist one. Mr. Sorin, 39, a fellow designer, had draped his burgundy suit with a fur-collared checked cape. On his head perched a turquoise hat with suit buttons stitched around the crown. He looked like a steampunk fur trapper.

These “Pitti Peacocks” pile on loud accessories such as pocket squares, wide-brimmed fedoras and boutonnieres to catch the eye of street-style photographers at the show.
These “Pitti Peacocks” pile on loud accessories such as pocket squares, wide-brimmed fedoras and boutonnieres to catch the eye of street-style photographers at the show. Photo: Getty Images

For this peacocking crowd, hats are practically mandatory. On the second day of the fair, 26-year-old Choaro Motshoeneng wore a brown fedora with a feather tucked in its band. It was his first time at Pitti and Mr. Motshoeneng (who just finished a degree in logistics management at the University of Johannesburg) was ecstatic. “I love it,” he told me in a spare moment while casually huddling for photographers with other members of the flashy flock. His gloved hands clutched an umbrella topped with a gold dragon’s head and floral socks peeked out of tasseled loafers. He admitted it took him an about hour to assemble his outfit.

Why put so much effort into an outfit? “It’s a friendly competition,” said the mechanic Mr. Vasquez. Another attendee, Sascha Venus, 22, an entrepreneur from outside Cologne, Germany, who was at Pitti Uomo for the fifth time, said he was just “showcasing” his style. As we spoke, photographers snapped away at Mr. Venus’s outfit, which consisted of a peak-lapeled green topcoat, brown suit (anyone who believes the suit is dead should pay a visit to Pitti) and aviator sunglasses.

The peacocks always eagerly inquire where their photo will be published, said Jamie Ferguson, an English street-style photographer who has shot at Pitti Uomo for the past four editions. Being featured on the websites of GQ or Esquire—which publish street-style slideshows of Pitti outfits—or on the Instagram page of a prominent photographer, can boost a peacock’s profile.

Unlike most visitors to the show, these neo-dandies rarely venture inside the fair itself, preferring to post up outside the venue, where they’re more likely to get paparazzied.
Unlike most visitors to the show, these neo-dandies rarely venture inside the fair itself, preferring to post up outside the venue, where they’re more likely to get paparazzied. Photo: Getty Images

One possible end-game for the peacocks: to become a recognizable “micro-influencer,” earning paychecks for sponsored social-media posts and free clothing from brands. With over 10,000 Instagram followers, Mr. Motshoeneng is well on his way. “I want to broaden the dandy game and inspire young kids,” he said, adding that he was collaborating with brands at Pitti, though he did not provide specifics.

These peacocks have become a polarizing presence at Pitti Uomo. The fair’s business-minded attendees dismiss these visitors as clowns, and many exhibitors and buyers question why they’re admitted at all. “You almost hope to see less of them…I’m a bit like, ‘what purpose does this serve here?’” said the photographer Mr. Ferguson, who prefers to document Pitti’s “less ostentatious” attendees.

Nevertheless it seems the fair’s peacockery is spreading. In keeping with general trends in men’s fashion, attendees who favor streetwear over dandified suiting have also developed a taste for the outlandish. At this once tailoring-focused show, they walked the floor in sweatshirts printed with huge logos, tie-dyed fleece jackets and neon-yellow Nikes. For Pitti peacocks, plumage comes in many different forms.

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Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com

Kanye West Donates $10 Million to Art Project

Kanye West, in New York last year, said Monday he will donate $10 million to artist James Turrell’s Roden Crater Project in Arizona.
Kanye West, in New York last year, said Monday he will donate $10 million to artist James Turrell’s Roden Crater Project in Arizona. Photo: Associated Press

Kanye West embarked on an art pilgrimage last month to the ethereal, glowing light installations of artist James Turrell. On Monday, the rap star said he’s donating $10 million to the Turrell Art Foundation to help fund Roden Crater Project—an extinct volcano in northern Arizona where Mr. Turrell has been embedding works for more than four decades.

Mr. West, who champions contemporary artists like Takashi Murakami and Vanessa Beecroft, visited Roden Crater with Mr. Turrell on Dec. 11. Two days later, he tweeted that the experience was “life-changing,” adding that one day “we will all live in Turrell spaces.” Mr. West returned a few days later with his team, who tweeted a photo of the rapper bundled up and overlooking the site.

Since 1977, Mr. Turrell has been transforming a volcano crater northeast of Flagstaff, Ariz., into an open-air observatory by carving tunnels into the crater’s cone that lead to spare, temple-like rooms. Oval slits or openings in the ceilings of some of the spaces allow in light so that the rooms’ hues differ depending on the time and weather conditions.

Mr. Turrell, who is 75 years old, is under pressure to finish his project after years of off-and-on funding. He recently teamed up with Arizona State University to raise $200 million to help complete his artistic projects at the site and also turn the 2.5-mile-wide crater into a creative campus with an amphitheater and residencies. Thus far $40 million has been raised. The goal is to open to the public in five years, the foundation said.

On Dec. 27, Mr. West and Mr. Turrell toured the artist’s light-infused installations at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. After that, Mr. West said he wanted to contribute. In a statement Monday, Mr. West said he wants Roden Crater to be “experienced and enjoyed for eternity.”

Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said the contribution stands out because Mr. West isn’t known to be a major museum donor. “The spirit of the gift is artist to artist,” said Mr. Govan, who is on the board of Mr. Turrell’s art foundation.

Mr. Turrell said he was “thrilled” by the gift at a “critical juncture of the project.”

Write to Kelly Crow at kelly.crow@wsj.com

WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future

WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins
Laura Harrier, 28

“It’s so easy to compare and want to change yourself. To look at other people and feel like, ‘If only I had more of this or more of that, or if I was prettier or skinnier.’ I spent a long time feeling like that,” says Harrier, who starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming and BlacKkKlansman and will next appear in Balance, Not Symmetry. “When I was like, ‘Oh, being comfortable with yourself and knowing who you are as a human being is enough,’ it just made me feel a lot better in life.” Louis Vuitton dress, price upon request, select Louis Vuitton stores.

Noah Centineo, 22
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

The actor says the best career advice he’s received thus far is a bit of an allegory. “If you’re running a marathon, you don’t take the advice of the people who are spectating, only those running with you. You could be on the last half mile and everyone outside is screaming that you’re so close, but they didn’t run the marathon. They don’t know that that half mile is the f–ing worst part,” says Centineo, who made his mark in the Netflix films To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and will appear in the 2019 Charlie’s Angels reboot. Sandro shirt, $220, sandro-paris.com, Heron Preston jacket, price upon request, similar styles at heronpreston.com, Hermès pants, $870, Hermès stores nationwide, Converse sneakers, $50, nike.com

Lana Condor, 21
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“Where we are in Hollywood is exciting because people have a higher standard of the way they should be treated. Someone told me, ‘Don’t demand respect, command respect,’ ” says Condor, the star of Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the upcoming Syfy series Deadly Class. “I got so lucky that I started working right now. The Asian-American actors that worked before me had it a lot harder than I do. We’re in a time where people are a little bit more woke. We’re not a dumb generation.” Gucci dress, $7,900, and jacket, $5,200, select Gucci stores nationwide.

Kaitlyn Dever, 22
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“Women are using their voices more than ever and in different ways—through music, art, acting. But it’s cool to see my peers speaking out aside from their work and getting involved in causes. I think that will grow,” says Dever, who appeared in Detroit, The Front Runner and Beautiful Boy and will next be seen in Olivia Wilde’s full-length directorial debut, Booksmart, and the Netflix series Unbelievable. “I’ve also noticed such a difference on sets. They are so much more inclusive than they used to be and safer. It’s going to continue to get better.” Versace dress, $34,375, select Versace stores.

Elsie Fisher, 15
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“I’m really happy Hollywood’s becoming more diverse, but I also think it should be diverse not just for diversity’s sake,” says Fisher, the Golden Globe–nominated star of Bo Burnham’s film Eighth Grade, who will have a role in the upcoming animated film The Addams Family. “I have acne, and I’m not conventionally attractive to a lot of people—or at least I wasn’t when I was in eighth grade. Diversity in weight would be great. Diversity in age. Just allowing more people to enjoy this industry.” Chanel jacket, $8,750, and belt, $2,000, select Chanel boutiques nationwide, Isabel Marant jeans, $295, shopbop.com

Alexa Demie, 28
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“I wish growing up that I had more people telling me that I could do more than one thing, rather than telling me I couldn’t. More people are realizing: You can be an actress and you can be a singer,” says Demie, the actor and musician who most recently appeared in 2018’s Mid90s and will next be seen in the film Waves and the HBO series Euphoria. “I want to help kids. I didn’t grow up with money, and I didn’t go to the best schools. I want to give them opportunities that they don’t normally have, whether it’s art supplies if they want to do art or music equipment if they want to make music.” Marc Jacobs blouse, $1,500, jacket, $1,400, and pants, price upon request, Marc Jacobs stores, Fabrizio Viti heels, $850, fabrizioviti.com, Laura Lombardi earrings, $120, lauralombardi.com

Lachlan Watson, 17
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“I’ve ended up with a lot of personal responsibility, because feeling like one of the only nonbinary people in the entertainment industry right now comes with a lot of weight,” says Watson, who just wrapped the latest season of the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. “As hard as it is, and as much pressure as it can be sometimes, I feel like everything I’ve gone through in my life to find my own identity has been preparing me to speak for so many people, in a big kind of way. I feel prepared for it.” Proenza Schouler vest, $1,590, Proenza Schouler, 121 Greene Street, New York, Maryam Nassir Zadeh pants, $1,845, mnzstore.com

Stephan James, 25
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“The people [I admire most] are bigger than filmmakers, bigger than directors and have their fingerprints on every aspect of the film,” says James—who starred in If Beale Street Could Talk and the Amazon Prime Video series Homecoming (for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination) and recently filmed 17 Bridges. “Barry Jenkins, to me, is a master and a genius. Ava DuVernay is changing the landscape of how this whole game operates. Sam Esmail is a visionary. I really love Don Cheadle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel [Washington], Idris [Elba]—I guess the bar is pretty high for me.” Prada sweater, $2,250, select Prada boutiques.

Joel Kim Booster, 30
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“I am just being unapologetically myself in a way that straight white guys have been doing onstage for years,” says Booster, the writer and comedian whose material on Conan, Netflix and Comedy Central, among others, mines his upbringing as a South Korean child adopted by white, conservative, evangelical Midwesterners. “I’m not making my sexuality or my race the centerpiece of my jokes. I’m just not apologizing for it either. This part of my career has really been about not being afraid.” Acne Studios shirt, price upon request, similar styles at acnestudios.com, Hermès jacket, $1,000, Hermès stores nationwide, Wales Bonner shorts, $510, walesbonner.net, Booster’s own Adidas socks and Fila sneakers.

Alisha Boe, 21
WSJ.’s Young Hollywood Portfolio: 10 Rising Stars on Progress, Inclusion and Their Responsibilities for the Future
Photo: Cole Sprouse for WSJ. Magazine, Styling by Stella Greenspan, Hair, Diego Da Silva; makeup, Courtney Perkins

“I think the first step was the #MeToo movement. I really think that sped things up. I’m hoping equal pay isn’t an issue,” says Boe, who plays Jessica Davis in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, about progress in Hollywood. “My main concern is making sure that what’s reflected in Hollywood goes beyond Hollywood. And I think people get confused by what being a feminist means—that you believe men and women should be equal. It’s a very simple statement that should be common sense.” Paco Rabanne dress, $1,150, shopbop.com, Araks bra top, $125, araks.com, Hanro briefs, $38, hanrousa.com