A photo with Ghislaine Maxwell has gone viral on social media. A man is pictured beside her in the photo. On social media, many people have claimed the man’s name is Bill Hutcherson and he’s the “president of operations” of Wayfair. But this isn’t accurate. The man she is pictured with is George Bamford and he has no connection to Wayfair. Back when the photo was taken in 2003, Wayfair had just been established a year earlier and it was going by a different name. And today, Wayfair still does not have a President of Operations. Heavy did a deep dive into the photo’s background and Wayfair’s history to get a better idea of what was going on when this picture was taken.
The Viral Picture Is from the 2003 Asprey’s Opening in NYC
The picture that’s being circulated on social media is from the 2003 opening of Asprey in New York City. Here’s another look at the photo.
The photo was taken on December 8, 2003 by Mark Mainz for Getty Images. The caption for the photo on Getty reads: “Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell with an unidentified male companion attends the opening of the Asprey Flagship Store on 5th Avenue December 8, 2003 in New York City.”
Two alert readers reached out to Heavy to let us know that the man in the photo is George Bamford, founder of the Bamford Watch Department. He’s identified in Tatler’s article about the event that was published in 2004. (In 2002, Tatler wrote about his 21st birthday party.) His name is not Bill Hutcherson and he’s not connected to Wayfair.
You can find two more photos of Maxwell with Bamford at ImageCollect’s website here. Those photos were taken by Sonia Moskowitz for Globe Photos. The photos don’t identify Bamford. The caption reads: “Grand Opening of Asprey Flagship Store on 5th Avenue, New York City 12/08/2003.” You can get an even better look at him in the photo for Getty Images here. This photo was taken by Djamilla Rosa Cochran (WireImage for PMK/HBH). The photo only names him as “guest.”
George Bamford’s company, Bamford Watch Department, is known for Rolex customization, Gentleman’s Journal reported. He recently formed a new business with his mother Carole Bamford, founder and owner of a luxury woman’s clothing brand called Bamford. They have launched a men’s care brand called Bamford Grooming Department. Bamford’s father was the founder of JCB.
Wayfair Was First Established in 2002, But Back Then It Was Called CSN Stores
The rumor accompanying the viral photo is that Maxwell is pictured in 2003 with someone named “Bill Hutcherson” who is the “president of operations” at Wayfair. This is not accurate. Here’s an example of the tweets that are circulating.
The photo was taken in 2003. Today, Wayfair does not have a President of Operations. Niraj Shah is the CEO, Co-Chair, and Co-Founder. Steve Conine is also the Co-Chair and Co-Founder. Additional people on the management team are also listed on the webpage and none of them look like the man in the photo from 2003 and no one is named Hutcherson. Only Shah and Conine are listed as having been with Wayfair since 2002 or 2003.
In fact, Wayfair was not even started until 2002, and then it was under a different name. Conine and Shah started Wayfair in August 2002, just a little more than a year before the viral Maxwell photo was taken. They started the company in Conine’s nursery in Boston and it was originally called CSN Stores (a combination of their initials.)
In its early renditions, CSN Stores was comprised of different domains that sold home products (such as racksandstands.com.)
At the time the photo of Maxwell was taken in 2003, the company was still called CSN Stores (so no one was “President of Operations of Wayfair” then) and the Wayfair domain hadn’t even been purchased yet.
Here’s a look at what Wayfair.com showed in 2003, as saved on Internet Archive. As you can see, Wayfair.com didn’t exist at the time the photo was taken.
A WhoIs search shows that Wayfair.com wasn’t purchased until 2004.
At the time the photo was taken, the company was operating as CSN Stores. Here’s what CSNStores.com looked like in December 2003, as shown by Internet Archive.
It was still a growing and relatively new business at the time. The About Us page explains that it focused on selling Racks and Stands, Mounts and More, and Teak, Wicker and More in 2003.
So in December 2003, when the viral photo was taken, there was no President of Operations at Wayfair. At the time, the business was still relatively small and it went by CSN Stores. It wasn’t until around 2011 that the company launched its new name, Wayfair, CBS Boston reported at the time. In September 2011, the company began redirecting all its domains to the Wayfair domain.
Today, there still is not a President of Operations at Wayfair.
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