Fashion photographer Fabrizio Ferri's images of actress Monica Bellucci are in the center of a spat between Esquire and Italian GQ. Ferri's photographs, first taken for the February cover of
Esquire, appeared again on the November cover of Italian GQ, a rare occurrence in the competitive world of men's magazines.
The cover image on both magazines shows Bellucci naked with some caviar placed strategically on her body. In the Italian GQ issue, the magazine promises: "In an exclusive, Monica Bellucci offers the secrets of her sensuality."
The similar covers sparked an exchange of words in The WallStreet Journal between David Granger, editor of Esquire in New York, and Andrea Monti, editor of GQ's Italian edition.
Granger says: "I am amazed,especially because GQ and Esquire are direct competitors."
Monti tells the newspaper he was well aware Esquire usedit as a cover, but says the images were exclusive in Italy. He adds: "With all due respect to Esquire, they didn't invent Monica Bellucci."
Esquire's director of photography Nancy Jo Iacoi tells PDNewswire "it's insane." The assignment was given by former director of photography Fiona McDonagh, who's now at Rolling Stone. Iacoi says it's the first time she's heard of images being re-used on covers. It's an honor system, she adds, where one magazine who initiates and pays for an idea, usually has exclusivity over the images.
Other images taken in that Esquire shoot, including some of Bellucci covered in honey, also appear in Italian GQ. Photographer Ferri had an exclusive deal giving Esquire rights to
according to the Journal. Ferri's agent in New York, Marek Milewicz from Marek and Associates, says, "I don't have any comments onthe story. It's something between these two magazines."
Esquire is published by Hearst, while GQ is published by Conde Nast. Italian GQ is owned by Conde Nast's international arm, which operates separately from Conde Nast in the U.S.
Iacoi notes that extending the embargo period for assigned photos may not help. "It's better to write something in the contract that says, for example, the credit should be "Peggy Sirota for Esquire," says Iacoi. "I don't know if it's the photographer's fault, necessarily. is Italian and this was Italian GQ. If I knew for sure he was behind this, I wouldn't use him again. This is a relationship based on trust."
Want to see more heart-stopping images of Bellucci, including one where she's drenched in honey? Go to Esquire.com