ELLE’S GREAT AND GOOD: Deciding on a cover star is always a difficult move, so for its October edition, British Elle has instead chosen to embrace variety, opting for 11 images for a range of covers to mark its special London issue.
The move, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week this month, sees Lily Allen shot by Rankin appear on one cover while Boris Johnson, the outspoken mayor of London, gamely poses for photographer Henry Bourne on another. The mayor’s appearance also links to Elle teaming up with the London Underground transport system, which will display posters created for Elle by British fashion figures during September. “Lorraine Candy [the title’s editor in chief] took what for many might seem like a huge risk. Who would have expected me to grace an Elle cover — or any other fashion magazine?” said Johnson, who also writes the magazine’s editor’s letter for October. Allen’s cover will feature on most of the editions printed, while the limited edition Johnson cover, along with ones featuring artwork by Paul Smith, Burberry, Pringle and singer Pete Doherty, will be sold exclusively through newsagents W H Smith and at Selfridges.
This story first appeared in the September 1, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It took six months to put this special collectors’ issue together,” said Candy.
Advertisers in the issue include Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Chanel, Chloé and Gucci, and the magazine will hit newsstands Wednesday. — Nina Jones
ANNA BEATS BORAT: This year’s September issue of Vogue may not have sold as much advertising as in years past, but the documentary “The September Issue” outpaced most other documentaries in its opening weekend. The movie’s debut in New York grossed $240,000 at six theaters and registered a per screen average of $40,013, the fifth-highest figure for a documentary in limited release. “That’s a very solid opening for a film that only debuted in six theaters,” said movie industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box Office. “A quarter million dollars in just six theaters is impressive, and of course the story of the making of Vogue magazine is very intriguing to people, particularly in New York City and Los Angeles.” The movie opens in Los Angeles on Sept. 11.
And compared with other big box office hits, “The September Issue” has outperformed even the most widely distributed films. According to Box Office Mojo, “The Dark Knight,” which had the highest opening weekend’s box office take in history, had a per screen average of $36,283. But that’s a nationwide figure: the movie debuted on 4,366 screens. Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” has one of the most successful openings of any documentary, with an average of $27,558 across 868 theaters at which it debuted. The more humorous (and documentary-esque) “Borat” did even better, with an average of $31,607 across 837 screens. And “The September Issue” outsold another fashion-related documentary of note this year — “Valentino: The Last Emperor” made $21,762 in its opening weekend at New York’s Film Forum. — Stephanie D. Smith
MARTHA’S PICK: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has tapped Elle’s longtime executive editor, Alexandra Postman, to edit Body + Soul, its eco-oriented, healthy living title.
Alanna Fincke, who has been editor in chief for three-and-a-half years, will stay on as a contributing editor. But she’ll remain in the Boston area, while the magazine is leaving its base there and moving to MSLO headquarters in New York. While the company said “opportunities will be available to Body + Soul staffers who are able to relocate,” a spokeswoman was unable to elaborate on the details of that arrangement.
MSLO acquired the magazine in 2004 for $6 million. In the first half of 2009, Body + Soul reported a circulation of just under 650,000, with single-copy sales down 7.2 percent in that period. In the first half, ad pages were down 23 percent, to 258, according to Publishers Information Bureau.
Postman has been at Elle for nine years, seven of them as executive editor. MSLO said she helped develop Elle’s annual green issue; she also cowrote “Heidi Klum’s Body of Knowledge,” and ghostwrote a book on keeping a healthy home. — Irin Carmon
SAKS GETS TUNEFUL: Saks Fifth Avenue is going viral. The department store’s Web site, saks.com., has launched a four-part music video featuring up-and-coming band Chairlift, with band members wearing the fall ready-to-wear and accessories collections from Marc by Marc Jacobs. “We’ve never done anything like this before,” said Katherine Rewey-Sexton, vice president creative for Saks Direct, adding it’s a new way of reaching out to a different audience. Saks.com shot the videos in Brooklyn, where Chairlift is based. “This is a way to get customers to connect more personally with the merchandise,” added Rewey-Sexton. To help viewers identify the outfits, fashion credits scroll along the bottom of the screen. Rewey-Sexton declined to comment on the cost to produce the video, which can be found on YouTube. It will run on the Web throughout the fall. — Amy Wicks