QUICK WORK: The New Yorker’s biannual style issue arrives on newsstands today, albeit with a much different tone than past iterations because of the aftermath in Japan. Staff writer Evan Osnos flew from China (where he is based) to Japan last week and filed almost 4,800 words on the days following the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis. “The carnage seemed likely to be greater than any loss of Japanese life since the atom bombs,” Osnos reported, noting that, for the Japanese people, earthquakes are “a constant.” He observed very little looting or undue panic and “almost no acts of political exploitation.”
Meanwhile, a co-host at Japan’s largest commercial broadcaster told Osnos the public is brainwashed, in terms of the communication they receive from the government, explaining they pay little attention to independent journalists or updates on the Web or Twitter. “The Japanese public has become accustomed to receiving no information.”
This story first appeared in the March 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The weekly still plans to run a few style-related pieces, which had Lauren Collins riding on the back of Christian Louboutin’s Vespa for a chilly ride in Paris and Malcolm Gladwell reviewing a biography of Helena Rubinstein and Eugène Schueller, founder of L’Oréal. And Alexandra Jacobs’ interviews the founder of Spanx. Unfortunately, the issue will not include a word about how editor David Remnick had the fashion world buzzing during his recent trip to Milan Fashion Week (did anyone manage to get a picture of Remnick with Bryanboy at the Prada show?). A spokeswoman noted the issue is up almost 32 percent in ad pages versus a year ago.
— Amy Wicks
NEWHOUSE DONATION: The Newhouse Family Foundation has made a $1 million donation to the Red Cross Society of Japan, according to Condé Nast chief executive officer Charles Townsend. The donation is an expression of the company’s commitment to the Japanese people, including colleagues at Condé Nast Japan, he added. “I know everyone at Condé Nast joins me in expressing sympathies to those who are suffering such an unimaginable catastrophe,” Townsend said.
SOZZANI’S CAMPAIGN: Italian Vogue editor in chief Franca Sozzani took to her blog Friday to confront a growing concern of hers regarding various types of virtual portals that support and even sometimes encourage anorexia. Sozzani said her interest was sparked by a recent survey by the University of Haifa that claims Facebook is at least partially to blame for the spread of the eating disorder throughout the world — a statement with which she does not necessarily agree. “This is a real social commitment and I believe that if we must take action to protect these young people, blaming a social network will not solve the problem,” she stated.
Sozzani, who has gained quite the reputation in the blogosphere for her often blunt posts, went on to invite vogue.it’s readership (1 million unique users a month) to sign a petition against said pro-anorexia Web sites and blogs in the hopes of shutting them down. She concluded, “Fashion has been always blamed as one of the culprits of anorexia, and our commitment is the proof that fashion is ready to get on the front line and struggle against the disorder.”
As of Friday, more than 700 people had signed the petition.
— Christine Lee