MIRABELLA ON JANE: Want to know what it feels like to give up the reins of a magazine that bears your name, as Jane Pratt will be doing eight weeks from now? There aren’t very many people who could tell you, but Grace Mirabella is one of them. After being deposed from Vogue in 1988 in favor of Anna Wintour, she was hired by Rupert Murdoch to start Mirabella, positioned as a smart read for older women. By 1993, she had been effectively stripped of creative control, and in 1995 the title folded (only to be revived by Hachette and folded again.)
So how does it feel to see your name on a magazine that you didn’t edit? “Not wonderful,” Mirabella said. “As a matter of fact, not good at all.” For one thing, she said, no matter how radically your successor transforms the magazine, readers will continue to associate it with you. “They think whoever’s name is on it is playing a big role: If your name is there, you must be there.” Then, she added, there are all the well-meaning friends who want to sympathize with you about what the magazine has become.
Mirabella said it was probably for the best that Pratt will be making a more-or-less clean break with Jane rather than sticking around, as she did. She described the fate of figurehead editors who overstay their welcome: “Nobody really cares [what you think] as they go on about their business, and you’re there as what’s called a consultant, who is not somebody that anybody consults with.”
— Jeff Bercovici
Q’D UP: Fashion changes; that’s what makes it fashion. But there’s something to be said for clothing that looks good year after year. That’s the focus of Q, a new quarterly fashion title launching this week as a spin-off of Quest. Describing the mission of the magazine, whose circulation of 140,000 will include all 75,000 Quest subscribers, publisher Chris Meigher invoked timeless icons such as Grace Kelly, Babe Paley and Coco Chanel. The magazine’s tag line, “quintessential style,” sums up the types of pieces that will be featured in its fashion spreads, he said: “Stuff that can be in your wardrobe and stay in your wardrobe that you’ll use from now until you’re probably 60.”
This story first appeared in the July 27, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
TRUMAN’S WALKABOUT: James Truman has virtually disappeared since he resigned as editorial director of Condé Nast at the beginning of the year. But he hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth, he’s just been on the other side of it. Truman is said to have spent some time in Valencia, Spain, before traveling extensively in Morocco. According to those who’ve kept in touch with him, he is enjoying his new life and is expected back in New York next month for what’s sure to be a jealousy-inducing visit.
— Sara James
GETTING CARDED: Filipa Fino started her new job as Vogue’s senior accessories editor on Monday. But that’s not why she’s smiling. After living in the U.S. for 15 years, the Portuguese native has finally secured a green card. “The day I went to interview with Anna [Wintour], my lawyer called,” Fino said. “It’s honestly as big as going to Vogue” — because for the past decade-and-a-half, Fino has had to renew her visa every four years, a process that has kept her beholden to the employers sponsoring her and even caused a few snags during international travel. “Since 9/11, it’s been much harder,” she explained. When her green-card application stalled almost four years ago, “I ended up going on an O visa, which is for outstanding talent,” she said. “It’s what they give movie stars and models.”
Clearly, the status of fashion editors is rising in the world.
“I’ve been talking about doing a green-card party,” Fino said of her celebration plans, “for all the people who’ve listened to my stories through the years, listened to me get stuck in Mexico, listened to me get stuck in Texas, listened to all of my dramas.” (Vogue, like WWD, is part of Advance Publications Inc.)