I feel sorry for Rudy being called The Pink Powder Puff . Love the way he stood up to whoever called him that as well. Rudy was no wimp.
I've often thought regarding the Pink Powder Puff piece: What was the big deal here? Public personalities (politicians, film stars, etc.) have unfortunately always been targets for some members of the popular press who write this kind of junk. After all of the other public setbacks and criticism that Rudy had endured, it would seem he would have been able to just let this kind of thing be like water off a duck's back.
I am sure he did let this "kind of thing" go by for a long time. As I explained in the opener, at some point enough is enough. I understand that completely. We have had to endure being spit at for years on end and some times there is one piece that pushes you over the edge. And as I also pointed out this one had some very personal hits in it. I get it.
Comment 7:47 - I agree that when one enters a profession that demands constant public scrutiny, that person just has to ignore a lot of what is written about them. However, I can understand, though, when one reaches the breaking point and decides to fight back. Valentino put up with vicious untruths for years, until he finally made the decision to confront the crap. In those days, he did not have the luxury of going on talks shows, podcasts, or social media to tell his side of the story as so many people in the spotlight can do today.
It is poignant that Ullman relates how Valentino worried this would become part of his legacy. It has. For me the slur on his deceased father was the last straw. I know it was for me. When I face a day where it feels hopeless dealing with the "vicious untruths", I remember the attack on my father and am inspired to carry on and find justice. I think the mention of his father, calling him a "gardener" was an unforgivable insult. And I am sure Valentino regretted the stand-up admissions to using the clay as something he wished to forget. For all of Vivaudou's finesse in marketing, I found him to be a rough, aggressive man.
Pink Powder Puff
I purposely left the "puff" out of the title because it is about the powder itself.
Evelyn I have just listened to this and it's so sad that he felt such anguish leading up to his death. How can anyone be so cruel? xxxxx
I love your podcasts and your books x
This behind the scenes peek at the Mineralava Tour is extraordinary. While a lucrative opportunity for Valentino, the failed marketing strategy of Vivaudou would actually set in motion the events that resulted years later in the malicious Pink Powder Puff article. This is groundbreaking information and puts a whole new spin on that distressing event which would have dire repercussions for Valentino in those last weeks of his life.
The real tragedy to me was that they sent Norma Niblock out there to tour marketing the clay in the final days of Vivaudou's contract and just before he was sued. She did sue as I mentioned and was awarded a payment but Scotts' certainly knew it was a doomed enterprise and should have let people know the actual reality.
Fascinating and provocative podcast. I knew nothing about Vivadou, his literal pink powder product or his unisex marketing ambitions. Or his retention by the Mineralva team during Valentino’s cross country tour. I have always believed that the pink powder dispensary described by the diabolical “opinion” writer was apocryphal, and now I am certain there was no such thing. In hearing the piece read aloud I am repulsed anew at it viciousness and the lengths to which the author went to tailor the insults to Valentino. We know that Valentino was thereafter unable to live with himself, so its catastrophic impact cannot be overstated. What an important discovery to have identified the hand of Vivadou in this toxic tale.
Vivaudou's "hand" only became apparent to me as I researched the lawsuit Norma and her mother filed. I agree with 3:51, it is an important aspect to Valentino's tragic ending. I also realized that in the actual Mineralava tour performances, it appears Valentino keyed his orchestra to hit a rousing number as soon as he made his statement about using the clay. A small detail that says a lot. And if Vivaudou was working to design and produce simple compacts which dispensed a single dose of the pink powder, I doubt he had advanced to the wall dispenser at that point. I would love to see a photo of that.
Very strategic of Valentino to cue the music and resume the tango as an abrupt pivot from the product endorsement. Sadly it wasn’t enough to protect him from vile disparagement. $7000 a week during a dry spell is potent stuff, and Valentino had been painted into a corner. Cough up the praise for the product or bust.
I just posted one of the ads for the pink powder/talcum. (above) Notice the newspaper and the date. I guess I am a cynical person but I never believe so much in coincidence.
The reference to “Italian” talc was surely no accident. Talc is generic and Italy then and now has no particular association with the ingredient.
Precisely, 4:21! Is talc a specific Italian commodity? I think what we are inferring in the nuance of the ad is correct.
It was astounding to me that Vivaudou got nothing but bad reaction to that unisex sales talk from men and women, yet he kept it up and drove it into the ground. And by then Valentino had a great deal of fallout from it to deal with.
In my region, Piedmont, there are several mines of talc and graphite. The main factory of talcum was Paglieri in Alessandria.
Do I understand this correctly? Because Valentino did not promote sufficiently enough the idea that the product could be used by men, Vivaudou blamed Valentino for the decreasing sales of Mineralava? Then in 1926, he took out his revenge on Valentino with the PPP article? What a fiendish thing to do!
Vivaudou really lost everything professionally the end of 1923 and into 1924 and I am sure he was resentful of his super star front man Valentino that year. Imagine if Valentino had enthusiastically embraced the marketing of the clay? I think Vivaudou was exploiting the situation and thought as commenter at 3:43 mentioned it would just be another piece on Valentino. It all went too far. And Valentino was imo the exact wrong person to be attempting to convince men to use the clay.
Vivadou was a century ahead of the times with his unisex vision. It really is astonishing that he persisted with it in 1920s America. Nowadays of course, men undergo cosmetic procedures with the same frequency as women do, and sport a flick of mascara and foundation for business meetings, turns at crypt lecterns, and anything else imaginable.
Vivaudou was a character, ramming around Manhattan with his mistress draped in jewelry. He owned an entire stable of thoroughbred race horses, many cars, was arrested for smuggling, once crashed into a police car and his business was wildly up and down until the end. Just as Scotts was trying to cancel their contract with him he rented expensive office suites in New York. IMO he was reckless and driven.
I will add that he left an astonishing legacy of beautiful beauty products, compacts, boxes, lipsticks, perfume bottles which today are very valuable. Despite his ill-fated unisex ads, he created some gorgeous packaging.
I would recommend everyone google Vivaudou Mavis Pink Powder. There are many rare and vintage tins, boxes, and compacts of the product on eBay, Etsy, and Pinterest.
Comment 4:59 is thought provoking. I wonder how many men actually used his products, but kept it a secret to avoid ridicule.
The Vivaudou products are so gorgeous and I would love to be able to collect them. Despite his questionable history with Valentino!
So Valentino was promoting a product that was in direct competition with his step father in law? I wonder how that went over with Hudnut!
Hudnut was by then retired and fixing up his chateau in France. As I mentioned in the podcast on Norma, in Affairs Valentino I cited a Donna Hill mention in which she stated Hudnut was the manufacturer/sponsor of Mineralava. This turned out to be false. I think Hudnut would have been glad his step-daughter and Rudy found a way to make some money that spring. Richard Hudnut was successful enough to not be threatened by Vivaudou's products.
This îs so sad... That Valentino was so upset about that article. Im thinking that if Natacha were with him at The time she would have put things into perspective. But I suppose this was the last straw after a harsh year for him with his divorce from his love Natacha
"Harsh" is the word for that year for him. Exactly.
It was a year of the best of times and worst of times. Certainly this was a hard thing for him to take in. However, one would have thought that Rudy would have had more inner resources to let it go given that a great weight had been taken off of his shoulders with the freedom that came with the exit of Rambova from his life. It was a chance to move on and reclaim his truth after she was out of the picture.
I posted your comment 8:19 even though it is just Natacha bashing. "Reclaim his truth"? What does that imply? He was grief stricken with his marital break up and so was she. Do you believe he was seeking to "get rid of her" or any "great weight" to be taken off his shoulders with her "exit"? Your comment is surprisingly devoid of any testimony to the actual situation with stands as truth or much knowledge of Valentino's deep love for this great woman. They did reconcile in the days before his death and this was reported by several people there at the time. Who fantasizes that Valentino felt "free" when Natacha left? He tried to commit suicide and changed his will... went on benders so obvious to cope. He felt lost obviously. I think there is a campaign by those involved in the hoax to make Valentino gay... to diminish and misrepresent the Valentino marriage and its reality because it does not follow the false narrative as set forth by Terhune and Bret all these years. Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Valentino loved each other deeply by every account.
Comment 8:19 - I think Valentino's pushing back at the PPP article with his no holds barred response was part of his moving on and reclamation of his truth.
8:34. Exactly. 100%
Re comment 8:19: it’s sadly the case that there is something about Rambova’s potency that drives susceptible folks round the bend. They either assail her and tag her with responsibility for every setback Valentino experienced in his life or, perhaps even more disturbingly, attempt to hitch their ramshackle wagons to her glory. There is one pitiful nutter out there who claims to be Rambova’s descendant. That’s right, a woman who had no children, nevertheless, had descendants! You can’t make this stuff up.
Natacha must have cringed every time she had to listen to her husband make that statement as she knew well the situation.
I am sure that the descendants of Natacha would staunchly defend her and Ruby's love for each other. Cannot deny the newspapers that wrote that they reconciled before his death.
Apparently someone who hates Natacha because it is concrete proof that Rudy was not gay. He loved her and they know it.
Very few people believe Valentino was gay. No one will believe it in twenty , thirty or forty years. GET OVER IT!
Bret , Terhune and Constable , you cannot keep covering the truth with lies. All you do is hate, because Rudy was not what you fantasized him to be.
Actually, Vivadou sounds as though he shares much with Poiret. Both men were visionaries, French, crossed paths with Valentino, lived ostentatious lives, and left behind unbelievably exquisite product packaging. Poiret’s perfume bottles are unearthly beautiful. Poiret treated Valentino with great respect however, a key difference.
I think Vivaudou really marketed more to the masses and was not so cultured.
Poiret made less expensive versions of his fashion designs specifically for the US market and was actually a path breaker for the mass market merchandising of a haute couture designer. There are utterly fascinating ads that can be found from the period which show that his fashions and fragrances were offered at “special prices” in mid market stores for the ordinary consumer.
In reference to the Natacha bashing Blake Carrington , Rudy and Natacha reconciled abd founs each other when Rudy died. That is the truth and you know it. This person hates Natacha because Rudy loved her and knows it. Whoever it is is so transparent. How miserable you must be in your shallow little workd.
Makes me angry when people bash Natacha. Rudy and Natacha loved each other Period.
It really is time for them to stop spitting on the man's Queen.
Sorry about accusing Blake Carrington bashing Natacha. It was Anonymous who was bashing Natacha.