IS HE OR ISN’T HE?: The rumor mill grinds on. It seems W magazine will be getting an editor in chief any minute now, and it will, in all likelihood, be Stefano Tonchi — depending on whom you ask. One highly placed source inside The New York Times confirmed Tonchi has been speaking with Condé Nast, but said the editor had not yet made a decision regarding the W job as of Friday. But several other sources said Tonchi had already signed a deal with Condé Nast. “It’s been known for a while, but they didn’t want to announce it all in one day,” said one Condé Nast insider, referring to the split between W and WWD. “They wanted to give [it] breathing room.” It is widely believed the company will reveal its pick for W’s top spot as early as today.
And while a Condé Nast spokeswoman denied a decision had been made, she said there “will be an announcement possibly early next [this] week.”
This story first appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
— Nick Axelrod
REMEMBERING MCQUEEN: The New Yorker’s style issue pays homage to the late Alexander McQueen with a cover illustration that features the designer’s butterfly hat, originally inspired by muse Isabella Blow. In addition, Platon provided the magazine with a previously unpublished photograph of McQueen, taken in his early days as a designer, as part of a photo portfolio.
Inside the issue there is a profile of cashmere titan Brunello Cucinelli, who points to President Barack Obama as a recent inspiration, calling him the new Marcus Aurelius. Cucinelli has even gone as far as commissioning a marble bust of Obama, which will be displayed in his home, next to those of Socrates, Seneca, Aristotle and Aurelius. “I sit in front of the fire and talk to them,” Cucinelli told writer Rebecca Mead.
Despite the economic downturn, Cucinelli said the business was profitable last year, and he has hired 20 people since the financial crisis began.
Meanwhile, the issue also has a look at fashion Web site Polyvore, which is referred to as “the world of virtual Anna Wintours.” Jess Lee, vice president of product management, told writer Alexandra Jacobs that the site sets out “to empower people on the street to think about their sense of style and share it with the world.” She believes that the “Funny Face” days are history. “Newspapers and magazines are, like, these things outside that get wet,” she said. “They’re like roadkill.” The style issue hits newsstands today.
— Amy Wicks
OK AT OK: Neal Boulton, former editor in chief of Men’s Fitness and Genre, is in talks with OK magazine, apparently speaking to editors about a possible position. According to sources, Boulton could take on an editor at large title. “If I’m asked to help turn the magazine around, I’ll do it, like all of the other magazines I’ve worked at,” Boulton told WWD. An OK spokesman said the magazine constantly meets and looks for quality additions to the staff, but added that no new hire has been made. “If there were, we wouldn’t comment on the process leading up to it,” he said.
FASHION LINK: Amanda Brooks, book author, consultant and social-about-town, is adding yet another facet to her fashion profile. Talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment tapped the New York-based executive as director of fashion, a newly created role. Brooks is not entirely new to WME. For the past two years, she served as a consultant to the agency, working with clients American Express and Revlon. She will now work with more WME clients, helping them to explore marketing opportunities in fashion. Brooks also is expected to bring in additional businesses, particularly from the fashion sector. She aims “to explore possibilities for the fashion industry in the entertainment world and to develop ways for designers to grow their businesses through new partnerships.”
Brooks will continue to represent people in the fashion industry looking for new jobs and opportunities, and consult for her existing clients, which include Diane von Furstenberg, Tod’s and Roger Vivier, and write her blog and books. At WME, she will report directly to Mark Dowley, who heads the agency’s marketing division.
— Marc Karimzadeh
NEW MAN AT FORTUNE: Jed Hartman has been named group publisher of Fortune and CNNMoney, a new position. Hartman joins Time Inc. from The Week, where he served as publisher since 2007. Hartman will report to Mark Ford, president of the news group at Time Inc.