Elle is gearing up to fete its 30th anniversary with its September issue and an October party in Paris — what else?
Keira Knightley, also 30 years-old, fronts the cover of the September issue, which was shot by Paola Kudacki at a 10th-century Benedictine abbey in Avignon, France. The magazine will feature four covers of Knightley shot to different themes: beauty, accessories, American fashion and French fashion. It will also accompany a 30-page portfolio photographed by Max Vadukul of designers and their muses. The full portfolio list appears below, but some highlights include, Giorgio Armani with Karolina Kurkova; Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough with actress Chloë Sevigny; Calvin Klein Collection’s women’s creative director Francisco Costa with artist Olympia Scarry; Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquiére with actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton with model Stella Tennant.
The idea for the portfolio has been about 18 months in the making. Robbie Myers, who celebrates 15 years as editor in chief of Elle this year, worked with her creative director Alex Gonzalez on how to adequately communicate the glossy’s place in fashion.
Kevin O’Malley, senior vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer of Elle crowed about the success of the September issue from a business standpoint: “This is the largest issue that Elle and/or Hearst has ever published. I want to give kudos to Robbie Myers and her team. It’s not just the largest issue; it’s good content.”
O’Malley declined to quantify how many advertising pages were in the issue, however, but last September Elle logged 465 ad pages. O’Malley did offer that this year, Elle nabbed a gatefold ad and single page ads from Louis Vuitton. The issue also carries ads from Dior, Givenchy, Gucci, Balenciaga, Hermès, Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and others. Coach took a 32-page outsert in the issue, and Lands’ End, Cover Girl and Olay all bought native advertising pages in the magazine.
The issue, which will go out to subscribers this week, hits national newsstands on Aug. 18. O’Malley said ad buys also translated to digital, noting that September will mark the highest-ever revenue month for elle.com with a 25 percent plus increase. The magazine also signed up with retail app ShopAdvisor, which uses Beacon Technology to alert consumers on their phones when they are in the vicinity of a Barnes & Noble where the issue is sold.
Lastly, Elle US will party with big sister Elle France, which turns 70 this year. The bash will be held in Paris on Oct. 6 at U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley’s residence in Paris. Although a guest list isn’t yet finalized, O’Malley said it’s going to be the “who’s who” and take place during Paris Fashion Week.
While Hearst owns 15 editions of Elle, it does not own Elle France. That title is still owned by French publisher Lagardère. Sources have told WWD that Hearst has been trying to get its hands on the French magazine, but to no avail. Still, that has not stopped Hearst from partnering with its French counterpart.
“I still work with Elle France on global buys and lots of other collaborations,” O’Malley said. “It speaks to the power of the [Elle] network. There are a lot of mutually beneficial reasons to work together.”
The full September portfolio for Elle:
- Giorgio Armani: Giorgio Armani with model Karolina Kurkova
- Proenza Schouler: Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough with actress Chloë Sevigny
- Calvin Klein Collection: Women’s creative director Francisco Costa with artist Olympia Scarry
- Louis Vuitton: Creative director Nicolas Ghesquiére with actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg
- Alexander McQueen: Creative director Sarah Burton with model Stella Tennant
- Dries Van Noten: Dries Van Noten with model Hanne Gaby Odiele
- Valentino: Creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli with actress Alba Rohrwacher
- Loewe: Creative director Jonathan Anderson with model and musician Jamie Bochert
- Erdem: Erdem Moralioglu with model Alexa Chung
- Emanuel Ungaro: Creative director Fausto Puglisi with model Coco Rocha
- Michael Kors: Michael Kors with model Alessandra Ambrosio
- Dior: Artistic director Raf Simons with models Natalie Westling, Mica Arganaraz and Julia Nobis
- Tod’s: Creative director Alessandra Facchinetti with artist Polly Morgan
- Gucci: Creative director Alessandro Michele with model and musician Karen Elson
- Jason Wu: Jason Wu with model Stephanie Seymour
- Chloé: Creative director Clare Waight Keller with her daughters Charlotte and Amelia
- Anna Sui: Anna Sui with icon Jane Holzer
- Carolina Herrera: Carolina Herrera with actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw
- Salvatore Ferragamo: Creative director Massimiliano Giornetti with actress Valeria Solarino
- Diane Von Furstenberg: Diane Von Furstenberg with actress Allison Williams
- Coach: Creative director Stuart Vevers with actress Chloë Grace Moretz
- Derek Lam: Derek Lam with actress Laura Linney
- The Row: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with artist and writer Beatrix Ost
- Donna Karan: Donna Karan with her daughter Gabby Karan De Felice
- Christopher Kane: Christopher Kane with actress Annabelle Wallis
- Lanvin: Creative director Alber Elbaz with his design team
- Victoria Beckham: Victoria Beckham with model Alexandra Elizabeth
- Narciso Rodriguez: Narciso Rodriguez with actress Claire Danes
- Missoni: Angela Missoni with designers Vera and Viola Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga
- Dolce & Gabbana: Creative directors Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana with models Romina Mazzoni and Barbara Cassone and their children