ELLE ON EARTH: Female icons long have served as the driving buzz factor for women’s magazines. Now the Hachette Filipacchi Médias-owned French Elle has spawned an entire magazine devoted to the subject. Dubbed “Very Elle,” the first issue of the new biannual glossy, with Amber Valletta on its cover, boasts a run of edgy fashion spreads featuring “It” girls. These include Chloë Sevigny in her New York loft; Charlotte Gainsbourg photographed by her sister, Kate Barry, in a faded rococo French hotel, as well as a shoot starring Rolling Stones offspring Elizabeth Jagger and Theodora Richards frolicking at the Joshua Tree National Park. Features include an interview with Youssef Nabi, director of L’Oréal Paris, as well as a profile of the hip French music video production team Jonas & François. The publication comes in a slightly bigger format than its mother magazine. “The approach is very visual, but there may be more text in the next issue,” commented publisher Franck Espiasse-Cabau, who added that the concept may be picked up in other territories. “It’s a creative way of working with icons that allows us to work with new photographers and have a different editorial approach than that of our weekly magazine, which is news-sensitive,” he said. The title has a print run of 150,000 copies and is priced at 4.90 euros, or around $8. The next issue is set for October. — Katya Foreman
BUILDING UP: CondéNet continues its string of acquisitions to build out its online footprint. The company’s online division Thursday acquired SFO*Media, publisher of travel blogs HotelChatter.com and Jaunted.com, to round out the content found on its travel destination site, Concierge.com. HotelChatter and Jaunted generate nearly one million unique visitors combined a month. HotelChatter covers hotels and lodging around the world, while Jaunted is a pop-culture travel guide. According to CondéNet president Sarah Chubb, Concierge.com drew 912,000 visitors a month in March. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This story first appeared in the April 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
CondéNet has been on a shopping spree since late 2006 — the company acquired wired.com from Lycos for $25 million, followed by Reddit.com. It also acquired NutritionData.com to complement both Epicurious.com and self.com. Chubb said that more acquisitions are likely this year, but did not name specific subject areas or properties. Beauty and fashion could be obvious areas of interest, since Condé Nast’s media outlets specialize in those categories and there are plenty of sizeable Web outlets out there, given the growth of beauty and fashion bloggers online. — Stephanie D. Smith
BLAZING TRAILS: Pharrell Williams’ Blason jewelry line for Louis Vuitton is to make its debut on the house’s Web site in synch with its brick-and-mortar launch on Monday, according to a Vuitton spokeswoman. The site, created by the cutting-edge Paris-based agency Spill — which has designed sites for the likes of Colette, Marc Newson, Marie-Hélène de Taillac and Repossi — features animations based on the line’s four themes: angel, crown, graphic and precious. “Everyone Knows,” the track recorded by Williams for Blason’s promotional video, serves as the site’s soundtrack. — K.F.
BAZAAR, THEN AND NOW: Perhaps Matthew Modine summed it up best when he said, “Fashion is like a time line of our lives,” on Wednesday at an exhibit sponsored by Hearst Magazines and the Council of Fashion Designers of America that included memorable Harper’s Bazaar images from CFDA’s tome, “American Fashion: 75 years of Headlines and Hemlines.” Modine joined a few Bazaar icons such as Anthony Mazzola, who edited the magazine for almost two decades prior to the late Liz Tilberis; model Carmen Dell’Orefice, and Marisa Berenson. Then there was the current regime holding court, led by editor in chief Glenda Bailey, who wore a Lanvin necklace her partner, Stephen Sumner, reassembled after it came back from a shoot dismantled. When Alber Elbaz saw the necklace again, Bailey said, he complemented Sumner on his handiwork.
CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg toured the exhibit, while Kenneth Jay Lane was cozying up to Bailey and Lynn Wyatt. Meanwhile, Berenson, who had her daughter, Starlight, in town, chatted up Modine, who joked about having alternative intentions for being at the event. “I’m looking at real estate in the building,” he said.
Others at Hearst Tower included Michelle Monaghan, in a pink Marchesa dress; former CFDA president Stan Herman; current CFDA executive director Steven Kolb, and a slew of designers from Jason Wu and José Ramón Reyes to Victoria Bartlett, Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli, Stephen Burrows and Maria Cornejo. — S.D.S. and Marc Karimzadeh
MORE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE: House Beautiful has added two big names to its lineup: Elizabeth Mayhew, who quit her job as editorial development director at Real Simple in 2006 after only a few weeks in the job, has been a contributing editor to the “Today” show since then, and will return to House Beautiful (where she worked for nine years, until 2002) to be special projects editor. Her “Today” show appearances on home topics are expected to continue, this time as a public face and columnist for the magazine.
Robert Rufino, former vice president of creative services at Tiffany & Co., will be editor at large, producing features and photo shoots. Before joining Tiffany in 1996, he was fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar and worked at Elle, GQ and The New York Times. He told WWD that, starting in November, after he had designed his 12th Christmas for Tiffany’s, “I felt that my mission was over. I did what I wanted to do, and I just thought about it, and I love magazines. I started talking to [editor in chief] Stephen [Drucker]. It’s an old name that’s been with us, and watching him take this magazine and give it all this freshness made me think it might be a good thing for me to do.” He will consult at Tiffany. — Irin Carmon