Bruce Weber

<b>HOME IS WHERE THE HOOKAH IS:</b> Most young families choose the suburbs for raising kids, but <b>Mitchell Owens</b> and his partner prefer Marrakech. Elle Decor’s interior design director is informing colleagues individually and via e-mail...

HOME IS WHERE THE HOOKAH IS: Most young families choose the suburbs for raising kids, but Mitchell Owens and his partner prefer Marrakech. Elle Decor’s interior design director is informing colleagues individually and via e-mail that he and partner Matthew Zwissler plan to resettle in Morocco this summer to raise their infant daughter, Catherine, in a manner similar to Zwissler’s multinational upbringing.

But perhaps he just has a flair for the dramatic. Owens, who also writes frequently about style for The New York Times and has done previous stints at Architectural Digest and Traditional Home, denied that he had definitely made up his mind.

This story first appeared in the April 22, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Plans are still up in the air,” he said. “I have not bought my ticket yet.”

His boss, editor in chief Margaret Russell, backed him up, saying, “It’s something he’s been talking about doing, but it’s not written in stone. I’ll believe it when I see it, but right now he’s a very valued member of the team.” — Greg Lindsay

ROLLING AWAY: Don’t look for Seventeen to wind up at Wenner Media. While there were indications Monday that the bankers were still talking to potential suitors a week after the Wednesday deadline, sources said Wenner’s interest began to fade after executives there became increasingly convinced that the magazine was continuing to slide on the newsstand.

As of press time, sources said that the Rolling Stone/US Weekly publisher had not bid and probably would not. “It’s not going to happen,” said one source.

Spokespeople for both companies declined comment.

— Jacob Bernstein

A&F BARES IT AGAIN: The reigning champion of crypto-gay publications is back again, despite other contenders to the throne. Photographer Bruce Weber’s and art director Sam Shahid’s 24th installment of the A&F Quarterly, which hit stores Friday, has its familiar menu of teenage flesh, but the nine or so pairs of bare breasts tossed in feel less convincing than ever. The photo well, which borrows from B-movie iconography, goes so far as to include a six-page spread of naked boys on the beach (“Summer Boys 2,” reads the title, “The Touching ‘Coming of Age’ Tale Continues”). Another eight pages feature nothing but a boy, a girl, two pairs of thongs, a volleyball and a garden hose. It’s sure to generate plenty of inches of controversy, as always. — G.L.

COMING SOON TO A THEATER NEAR YOU?: Less than a year after debuting In Touch, Bauer Publications appears to be gearing up for another launch. According to sources, the company has put feelers out to female editors in the tri-state area about coming to work on a new women’s magazine. Bauer is playing it coy and editors who have been contacted were not told in preliminary conversations what type of publication it would be, but a source said that it would likely focus on “celebrity fashion or home.”

“They’ve done much better than anyone expected with In Touch so they’re pretty launch happy right now,” the source said.

A spokeswoman for Bauer did not respond to a phone call seeking comment. — J.B.

GOODBYE LADDIE, HELLO DADDY: Peter Howarth, the former editor of Arena and most recently British Esquire, has just launched a men’s magazine that’s heavy on babes — and doesn’t shy away from nipple talk. The pilot issue of Dad looks just like any other glossy men’s magazine, but features a column on sex and pregnancy, photo spreads of state-of-the-art feeding bottles and a cover story on Pierce Brosnan, father of five.

But Howarth, the man who stripped British Esquire of its scantily-clad, C-list cover girls — and replaced them with male celebrities — insists he’s not taking a shot at laddie culture. “I’m trying to find new ways of talking to new audiences. There are half a million new fathers every year, and research showed us that there is no source of information for them,” he told WWD. Howarth said it was also important that the title “have the same appeal as a men’s magazine.”

Dad, which has a cover price of 2.50 pounds ($3.90) will be released in March and September, with a total of 500,000 copies per year. It will be sold inside the maternity wards of the U.K.’s state-run hospitals, rather than on the newsstand, (although the pilot issue is currently available on newsstands). Advertisers include Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith, Nicole Farhi, Missoni and Land Rover. The magazine is part of a growing stable of titles inside Howarth’s new publishing company, Show Media. The company produces Fashion Week, a glossy fashion companion to Business Week, French Connection’s in-store magazine, and is planning other launches later this year. —?Samantha Conti

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