GIORGIO’S NEW MAN: Giorgio Armani may finally have found a new head of communications. Fabio Mancone, currently senior vice president, marketing, at Polo Ralph Lauren Europe, is a top candidate to replace Robert Triefus, former executive vice president of worldwide communications at Giorgio Armani SpA, according to sources. Triefus left the company in July 2008 to join Gucci as worldwide marketing and communications director. Mancone, based in Geneva, joined Polo Ralph Lauren in 2004, but is no stranger to Armani, as he was formerly international general manager, Giorgio Armani fragrances and cosmetics, at the L’Oréal luxury products division in Paris, where he was responsible for worldwide brand strategy and business development. Mancone also has worked as a manager at Kraft and Unilever. — Luisa Zargani
This story first appeared in the February 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
IF YOU CHARGE FOR IT, WILL THEY COME?: The New York Times is mostly free to readers on the Web, but that may be about to change. In a question and answer session on nytimes.com, executive editor Bill Keller said a “lively, deadly serious discussion” continues within the Times about ways to get online consumers to pay for its content. He admitted the paper’s former subscription model, TimesSelect, wasn’t the answer, conceding that “it’s possible we just put the wrong stuff behind the wall.” TimesSelect generated revenues of about $10 million a year but, in the end, executives thought it would be better to welcome the flood of additional, unpaid visitors to the site, to attract ad dollars.
Keller touched on The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, which both have paid tiers in their Web sites, adding the News Corp.-owned Journal doesn’t provide financial data, but if it did, one would see that wsj.com (which has 1.07 million current subscribers who pay around $89 a year each) generates far less revenue than nytimes.com. But Keller went on to say that if Web advertising takes a “long dive” or if an engineer figures out how to decouple a paid site from the search function, a subscription model is worth a closer look.
Although the current economic environment doesn’t quite qualify as a “long dive,” the New York Times Co. recently reported fourth-quarter Internet revenues down 2.9 percent to $92.5 million and Internet ad revenues down 3.5 percent to $81.9 million. Keller said another option that tops most study lists is a micropayment model that has readers paying a few pennies every time they click on a page. — Amy Wicks
MOVING DAY: So much for all that speculation about Details. Condé Nast executives gave the magazine a vote of confidence Tuesday when staffers were informed they would move into new digs at 4 Times Square. Though plans have not been finalized, Details is expected to vacate its 750 Third Avenue offices (also home to WWD) to move into Domino’s old space by the beginning of March. The Golf Digest Group is also leaving the East Side Condé offices to move into 4 Times Square, expected to take over Men’s Vogue’s former space. — S.D.S.
WHITE HOUSE: The home decoration skills of Maison Martin Margiela are spotlighted over a 10-page feature in the February/March issue of France’s Elle Decoration. The story details the renovation of an apartment in Paris’ architecture museum that will be on show for a year. The Belgian fashion label takes over from Christian Lacroix, who Elle Decoration approached to decorate the space last year as part of a new project to mark the magazine’s 20th anniversary. Editor in chief Catherine Scotto said the idea to approach Margiela came when photographing the designer’s studio a couple of years ago. “We were really inspired by the way they mix old flea market pieces with Ikea furniture, covering it all in white,” she said. The feature will roll out in other editions of Elle Decoration over the coming months, according to Scotto, though she couldn’t disclose territories or dates.
Fortunately, another feature in the magazine won’t be traveling: a profile on the apartment of Marie Chauveau, one of the heads of French advertising agency Mafia. The piece features a disturbing image from Pierre-Hervé Chauveau’s photo series, “Rituels,” of white-robed figures in long pointy hats pierced with eyeholes. A spokeswoman for the magazine said the photo was taken during a religious procession in Seville, Spain. — Katya Foreman
RUNGE RINGS THE CHANGES: Former vice-president Condé Nast International, Bernd Runge has joined Phillips de Pury & Company as chief executive officer, based in London. He will take up his position on March 1 and report to company chairman Simon de Pury, according to a statement Monday. Runge had been serving as president of Condé Nast Germany, as well as overseeing the New Markets Europe/Africa division and holding the title of vice president, Condé Nast International. He left late last year. Runge directed the company’s expansion into Russia with the launch of Russian Vogue, and oversaw moves into several other countries, for a total portfolio of 26 magazines in 10 countries. — Samantha Conti
BEACH BLANKET PLATO: So what’s the milky-skinned, flame-haired Vivienne Westwood doing cavorting in Malibu? Hanging out with her new pal, Pamela Anderson. Westwood’s spring campaign was shot on location by Juergen Teller in and around Anderson’s luxury trailer. The campaign, which breaks in the March issues of titles including British Vogue, Dazed & Confused and ID, also features Westwood and her husband, Andreas Kronthaler. And while there’s definitely a trashy vibe, with shots of the ladies in a local launderette, the campaign has its high-brow moments, including a shot of a bespectacled Anderson bursting out of her clothing and reading Plato’s “Republic.” — S.C.
A COMEBACK: It’s been more than 20 years since the German accessories label MCM has been sold in the U.S., but the brand has a new owner and plans to get back to the Louis Vuitton-like appeal it experienced in the Eighties. Sungjoo Group, owner of MCM, has successfully launched Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent in South Korea and last April opened an MCM flagship store in London. To enter the U.S. market, MCM is opening a 400-square-foot boutique in The Plaza Hotel. Assouline was tapped to create a new ad campaign that will soon launch online; a spokeswoman said the media buy hasn’t been finalized yet. The company declined to provide figures for its relaunch in the U.S. and new campaign. — A.W.