Henry Conway (socialite)

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Henry Conway
Born 1983 (age 31–32)
Newcastle, England
Nationality English
Alma mater The Courtauld Institute of Art
Occupation Journalist and party promoter
Parents Derek and Colette Conway

Henry Conway (born 1983) is an English socialite, party promoter, author and fashion journalist, occasionally self-styled as "Queen Sloane". He came to the attention of the press in January 2008 as a result of a scandal involving his father, MP Derek Conway. [1]

Derek Conway investigation[edit]

Derek Conway was suspended from the House of Commons after the Committee on Standards and Privileges reported that the MP had misused taxpayers' money by paying his younger son Frederick (Freddie) as a research assistant even though there was no record of his work.[2] Derek Conway maintained that both sons did work as research assistants and that the lack of records in respect of Freddie was merely a result of administrative shortcomings.[3] As a result of the controversy, Henry also came under intense media scrutiny, with Liz Smith of The Daily Mail saying the press had "opened up and prodded [him] like an albino mouse in a dissection class."[4]

After receiving a complaint, John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, announced in February 2008 that he would investigate whether or not Henry's employment was also in breach of normal protocol.[5] The investigation was completed the following year,[6] when it was concluded that Henry was overpaid for the work he did as a research assistant. Henry was accused of taking advantage of his "15 minutes of fame",[7] and continued to be associated with the scandal for years afterwards.[8]

Career of Henry Conway[edit]

Party promoter[edit]

Conway is mainly known as the organiser of Thursday nights at the nightclub Mahiki, which he has been involved with since 2008.[9] In 2008 he was also organiser of Wednesday nights at the London branch of Bungalow 8 and Friday nights at Maya in Soho, and was signed as a promoter for Whiskey Mist, which opened in June 2008.[10][11] In July 2008 he presided over the launch of Mahiki's own brand of rum.[11]

In November 2007, he held a party with the theme "Fuck Off I'm Rich". After the 2008 scandal broke, "Fuck Off I'm Rich" was frequently mentioned in articles about the Conways.[12][13] It received attention when The Daily Telegraph published a copy of Conway's invitation in the wake of the parliamentary payment scandal in January 2008.[14] It is typically used as an example of snobbery and decadence, with the Canadian National Post saying "if there ever was a burgeoning meritocracy in Britain, surely it died the night Conway threw a party he called 'Fuck Off I'm Rich.'"[15] Other papers took a lighter view of the party, with The Guardian calling it "undoubtedly magical" and saying sarcastically "everything about that sounds tempting, does it not?".[12] Several years afterwards, in 2012, Marina Hyde described Conway's party as "legendary", cynically comparing it to the excesses that predated the French Revolution.[16]

Conway was interviewed by the journalist, Richard Godwin, for a 2011 article about the clubbing scene in Chelsea.[8] He continues to organise events and club nights, such as a major Alice in Wonderland-themed club night for New Year's Eve 2011, held at the Sanderson in London.[17]

Journalism[edit]

Conway has written fashion columns for Super Super magazine (2010).[18] His column, "Conway Confidential", was syndicated to the ten London magazines published by Archant (including The Resident, The Hill and The Grove).[19] In 2011, Conway was among the fashion commentators approached by The Telegraph to assess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Ascot outfit for 2011.[20]

Television[edit]

Conway has also acted as a fashion pundit for television programmes, including the BBC's Newsnight Review.[18] Other television programmes he has appeared on include Twiggy's Frock Exchange, the BBC series British Style Genius, and Living's The Truth About Beauty. He is a regular co-presenter on Five's Vanessa Show and also appeared on Five's Live from Studio Five. In early 2012 he launched a new makeover show on MTV, Vera Wang Princess Super Sweet Party.[21]

In January 2014, he was a contestant in the Channel 4 show The Jump. He competed in the Men's Giant Slalom in the first show and placed 4th with 47.77.[22] Later, Conway sustained an injury to his hand during the training session for the skeleton competition which aired on 28 January 2014 and, subsequently, was forced to retire after seeking medical advice.

Style and social life[edit]

Conway's flamboyant personality, colourful social life and outrageous outfits were widely reported throughout 2008, such as when he wore a corset for photos accompanying his profile in the June 2008 edition of Tatler.[7][23] Deborah Ross, of The Independent, described Conway as "deliciously committed to fashion" citing his wearing of ruffled cravats and sequined peacock-feather headdresses as examples.[11] Jonathan Brown, also of The Independent, described him as "a dandy, always flamboyantly dressed."[24] Natalie Clark of The Daily Mail called him "an expert about all matters sartorial."[13] Hadley Freeman of The Guardian sarcastically wrote that "It's a rare pleasure to encounter a person in the real world who appears to have stepped straight out of a novel, but such is the gift that Henry Conway ... brings into our lives."[12] Conway's flamboyance occasionally extends beyond his sense of dress: in May 2008 he arrived at Mahiki in a horse-drawn carriage complete with two grooms.[25]

In 2009, Conway made it into the number 12 slot of British GQ's Top 20 Worst-Dressed Men 2009, for "going way past the mark of being too flamboyant". Reports sometimes note Conway's chosen styling: "Queen Sloane", an apparent reference to the term "Sloane Ranger" and the posh of Sloane Square.[26][27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woodward, Will. "MP faces suspension over payments to son". The Guardian (29 January 2008))
  2. ^ Summers, Deborah. "Conway suspended from Commons over expenses row". The Guardian (31 January 2008).
  3. ^ "Tory whip withdrawn from Conway". BBC News (29 January 2008). Retrieved on 29 July 2008.
  4. ^ Smith, Liz. "OK, MP Derek Conway's son didn't stuff enough envelopes ... but do the Post Office?". The Daily Mail (10 February 2008)
  5. ^ "MPs pledge broad expenses probe". BBC News (4 February 2008). Retrieved on 28 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Conduct of Derek Conway". House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Knight, Kathryn. "How Hooray Henry Conway exploited his 15 minutes of fame". Daily Mail (8 May 2008).
  8. ^ a b Godwin, Richard. The Hooray Henrys bringing chaos to the King's Road, 27 April 2011. Acceesed 22 April 2012
  9. ^ Merrick, Jane. Tories withdraw whip from MP facing police probe over Commons wages paid to his party-loving older son. Daily Mail (29 January 2008).
  10. ^ Deedes, Henry. "Hooray Henry! Loving the limelight". The Independent (8 May 2008).
  11. ^ a b c Ross, Deborah. "Hooray for Henry: The curious world of Henry Conway". The Independent (5 July 2008).
  12. ^ a b c Freeman, Hadley. "Meet Queen Sloane, the disgraced MP's son with a taste for fashion". The Guardian (31 January 2008).
  13. ^ a b Clark, Natalie. "Revealed: The flamboyant world of MP's gay son and his friend on the payroll (and his brother looks like a party animal too)". Daily Mail (31 January 2008).
  14. ^ Winnett, Robert. "Henry Conway, the 'Queen Sloane'". The Daily Telegraph (30 January 2008).
  15. ^ Himelfarb, Ellen. "Celebrity Spawn". National Post (12 July 2008).
  16. ^ Hyde, Marina, If Pippa's Parisian misadventure was a film, it could only be Dangerous Liaisons. 19 April 2012. Accessed 22 April 2012.
  17. ^ Martin, Stevie. Kitty cat wins over awful rom com, City A.M., 9 December 2011. Accessed 22 April 2012
  18. ^ a b Widdicombe, Ben, The Originals | Henry Conway, 23 March 2010. Accessed 22 April 2012
  19. ^ Conway Confidential columns for The Resident, 2011. Accessed 22 April 2012
  20. ^ Greene, Lucie. "Kate Middleton's rules for dressing for the races" 8 June 2011, accessed 22 April 2012
  21. ^ Flora Bradley-Watson, It's Time for Omega, 13 December 2011. Accessed 22 April 2012
  22. ^ The Jump#Episode 3 .2828 January.29
  23. ^ Singh, Anita. "Henry Conway poses for 'provocative' pictures". The Daily Telegraph (6 May 2008).
  24. ^ Brown, Jonathan. "Those Conway boys: Brothers at the heart of a scandal". The Independent (31 January 2008).
  25. ^ "Disgraced MP's son Henry Conway upstages Paris Hilton at nightclub by turning up in a horse and carriage". Daily Mail (12 May 2008).
  26. ^ "Henry Conway, the 'Queen Sloane'"
  27. ^ "'Ashamed? No, life is just dandy says', the Queen of Sloane, Henry Conway" by Rebecca Hardy, Telegraph, 26 September 2008, [1]