GENRE’S MODEL MUDDLE: Does Ford Models discriminate against gay magazines? Bill Henning, editor in chief of Genre, thinks it does. The 120,000-circulation gay lifestyle title abandoned plans to feature a male Ford model on the cover of its May issue after a Ford agent asked the magazine not to use him — after the photos had been taken. Henning, who took over as editor in November, claims Genre’s photo editor was told that appearing on the cover of a gay magazine would hurt the model’s ability to get lucrative catalogue work. “I really was floored,” Henning said, adding that no other agency has ever made such a request. Henning chose to honor the agency’s wishes, but said Genre will not use Ford again. “New York is not hurting for attractive men,” he said.
Ford executive vice president Neal Hamil, however, insists the agency could hardly be more gay-friendly. “There are so many gay men that work here, it’s not even funny,” said Hamil, adding he is one of them. He pointed out that Ford supermodel Marcus Schenkenberg graced the cover of Out’s January issue. Hamil said the request to pull model Noah Knipe from Genre’s cover was based on a feeling that Knipe had “been there, done that” before, having appeared last year on the cover of Têtu, a gay magazine published in France. “I think we’re being picked on, and I don’t think it’s justifiable,” he said. — Jeff Bercovici
This story first appeared in the May 11, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
SHOP AWAY: Condé Nast is casting a vote of confidence in Cargo, its two-month-old men’s shopping magazine. The company (which, like WWD parent Fairchild, is a unit of Advance Publications Inc.) said Cargo will publish 10 issues in 2005, up from six this year. Publisher Alan Katz said the consumer response to Cargo, both in terms of newsstand and subscription sales, has been “better than expected,” although he declined to provide figures. He noted that an ad in the magazine asking readers to join the Cargo Council, a combination focus group/VIP club, has produced more than 8,000 responses. All good news for Condé Nast — but will Cargo’s growth cut into the potential market for Vitals, another men’s shopping title set to launch in September out of Fairchild? Chris Mitchell, the newly appointed publisher of Details and Vitals, said he didn’t think so. “Vitals and Cargo are going to be very differentiated products,” he said. “Whereas Cargo takes a much more compendious catalogue approach, Vitals will be more selective and celebrity-driven.” — J.B.
POST-ER GIRL: The New York Post has hired Orla Healy to be its fashion editor. Healy’s career in fashion started in 1989 with an 18-month stint as Anna Wintour’s assistant. After 10 years with The New York Daily News, she joined In Style in 2000 as deputy editor, leaving in 2002 to become U.S. correspondent for The Sunday Independent, an Irish newspaper. “She’s unique in her ability to understand both news and style,” said Faye Penn, the Post’s features editor. Healy’s predecessor, Libby Callaway, left in February to edit The Tennessean’s Living section. — J.B.