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NOT-SO-PLAIN JANE: New editors taking over existing magazines have a safety net of sorts: the ability to blame their predecessors for the parts of the magazine that don’t quite work. As of the March issue of Jane, on sale Feb. 21, Brandon Holley will be working without a net. It’s the official relaunch issue for Holley, who replaced founding editor in chief Jane Pratt last August. With actress Kate Beckinsale on the cover, the issue showcases a new look, a variety of new sections and features and a substantially different approach to fashion.

The new approach, said Holley, is inspired by a change in the way Jane’s target readers regard fashion: They’re no longer embarrassed to care about it, as many were eight years ago, when Jane was new and the grunge ethic had yet to run its course. “Fashion has become less of a stigma,” she said Thursday. “A twentysomething doesn’t have to feel like a sellout for really wanting the Dior bag. A Jane girl can wear Marc Jacobs shoes and still be irreverent.” (Jacobs, as it happens, is profiled in the March issue.)

Thus, there’s a marked increase in the number of Jane’s fashion pages, from 28 an issue to between 36 and 40 going forward. The tone of the fashion photography also has shifted, away from melodrama and toward modern, upbeat layouts. “There was an element of darkness and moodiness before,” said Holley. “It felt like there was a disconnect between the girl in the fashion well and the rest of the book.”

The front-of-book fashion pages likewise are changed, with more dynamic product spreads and new offerings such as “The Rack,” in which rock chicks style themselves from a given selection of clothes. The crossover between music and style is a running theme, in fact, popping up in several places in the new Jane. “Music and fashion are really intertwined for this woman,” Holley said. “Our girl is a lot like her iPod.”
Jeff Bercovici

TOGETHER AGAIN: Stella McCartney and Kate Moss are back in action this season with an ad campaign that will break in the March issues of magazines including V, Vogue and W, WWD’s sister publication. The campaign was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin on location in St. Barth’s, and was styled by McCartney. Although McCartney and Moss are good friends and have worked together before, this campaign is a long-awaited one — at least in fashion terms. In September, in the wake of the Moss cocaine scandal, H&M canceled the campai gn for McCartney’s H&M capsule collection, which featured Moss. There was talk — inevitably — that the pair had a falling out, but it was all untrue. “I have worked with Kate on many projects in the past — including three of my previous ad campaigns,” McCartney said. “Kate is always inspiring, she reflects the mood of summer and this collection perfectly.”
Samantha Conti

This story first appeared in the February 3, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

MATRIMONIAL BLIP: How many editors in chief have clips from their weddings broadcast during prime time national television? This year, at least one. Details’ Dan Peres could be glimpsed briefly during “In Style: Celebrity Weddings” on ABC Monday night, first smiling sheepishly at his bride, actress Sarah Wynter, as she walked down the aisle, and then dancing with Wynter at the reception. (Details, like WWD, is part of Condé Nast Publications.) Call it the Peres effect: In Style’s annual special garnered its largest audience in four years and won its time slot among women aged 18 to 34. In an interesting move, this year ABC chose to air it before “The Bachelor: Paris” but after “Wife Swap.” Because gooey celebrity love is exactly what you want to see after watching two ordinary strangers swap wives.
Sara James

BACK IN THE RING: With a fa iled gadget magazine behind him, Tony Romando is once again trading on the preoccupations of adolescent males. Romando recently accepted a position as vice president of publishing for World Wrestling Entertainment, overseeing the company’s two magazines, Raw and Smackdown. His first hires were three ex-staffers from Sync, the consumer technology magazine he edited until November, when parent Ziff Davis media shut it down. Their mandate, he says, is to make the titles’ content reflect “the lifestyle of the WWE superstar” (“superstar” being the WWE’s preferred term for “wrestler”).

“We want to compete with the big boys,” said Romando, noting he turned down two other job offers to take the WWE gig. “We just need to make the product reflect the flashiness of the WWE brand.”
J.B.

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