NEW YORK — The fight between Gruner + Jahr and Rosie O’Donnell was back on the radar Thursday after O’Donnell filed an answer to the complaint against her with the state of New York. Among other things, O’Donnell’s...
NEW YORK — The fight between Gruner + Jahr and Rosie O’Donnell was back on the radar Thursday after O’Donnell filed an answer to the complaint against her with the state of New York. Among other things, O’Donnell’s complaint said that Gruner + Jahr had "manipulate[d] the financial books and records of the magazine [Rosie] to ensure that O’Donnell would not be able to exercise her contractual right to terminate her interest in the magazine automatically if the earnings from the magazine fell below a certain dollar amount on June 30, 2002."
In short, O’Donnell alleged that the company inflated its numbers "to ensure that the [financial] targets were met," because a clause in her contract allowed her to walk away from the magazine if its earnings fell below a certain level, which she claims they had. By manipulating the books, as O’Donnell charged, she was unable to abandon the magazine without paying a fee to the company or taking the matter to court, her complaint claimed.
In a statement, Gruner + Jahr said that the newsstand data it provided on Rosie was highly accurate (within 2 percent of what they reported) and that her claims are therefore without base. They did not provide any indication of whether ad revenue was dropping or how much subscriptions were costing the company.
If the allegations against Brewster are true, it would be the second time in recent weeks that his company has been connected to questionable business tactics.
Two weeks ago, a report in WWD revealed that , according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the company had inflated its newsstand data on YM by more than 57 percent in the first half of 2001. Magazine companies occasionally overstate their newsstand sales because advertisers view them as a better barometer of a magazine’s heat than subscriptions, which are frequently sold at cut-rate prices. Titles in the ABC can also do this without having to take a restatement if subscriptions over the same period are underestimated. But few companies inflate newsstand sales to such an extent.
Nor were the inflated numbers at YM in 2001 the company’s only instance of overreporting. Gruner + Jahr had also overreported YM’s newsstand data in the first half of 2000 by 22 percent and had done so in the second half with McCalls — by 16 percent — just before the title was turned into Rosie. Titles like Parents and Family Circle also inflated their newsstand sales by double digit amounts between 2000 and 2002, but only once each during the four reported periods"There was always a wink and a nod with Brewster and Diane Potter [the company’s VP in charge of circulation]. They said everybody inflated numbers," said one person who has worked with the company and sat in on circulation meetings with them. "But I don’t think everyone did it to that degree."
Another source contacted gave a similar version, claiming that it would have been impossible for titles to inflate numbers without Brewster’s awareness. The source also claimed that to characterize the practice as widespread would be inaccurate.
In a conference call with Potter, she said, "what we’re concerned about is delivering rate base on average. The variance to audit on the titles you are looking at is very small," and consistently reiterated that the overall variation on the company’s titles (subscriptions and newsstand together) was generally within 2 percent.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast