NEW YORK -- Real Beauty, a new magazine published by The New York Times Magazine Group, wants a piece of the beauty action.
The magazine, which some observers have dubbed a "midwestern Allure," was tested last summer, and its second issue hits newsstands March 29. It will publish again in June and September, and will accelerate to six times in 1995, said Sally Koslow, editor in chief.
Koslow fired a broadside at her key competitor -- Conde Nast's Allure -- noting that Real Beauty will be "very reality-based." Real Beauty's readers, she said, don't necessarily know how to pronounce the names of Frederic Fekkai and Isaac Mizrahi -- two names likely to populate the pages of Allure.
Meanwhile, Allure's editor in chief, Linda Wells, said she was none too happy when she saw the first issue of Real Beauty last summer. "It's an homage to Allure. I was amazed. It was a knock-off. It was as if they took a fake Xerox of what we did, but didn't get it."
The beauty category, while a growing one, is hotly contested among the fashion and beauty magazines. Advertising revenues in the toiletries and cosmetics category grew 10.4 percent in 1993 to $809,871,862, according to Publishers Information Bureau.
"It was a really strong category in 1993, number two overall, and the indications are good for 1994," said a PIB spokeswoman. "One of the things that's driving the category is aging boomers and skin care products."
Editorially, however, the field is crowded with fashion magazines that devote about 10 percent to beauty coverage, and Allure, which is dedicated to beauty.
"It's very competitive in terms of beauty coverage. But there's room for competition," said Marion Aaron, publisher of Real Beauty. "Allure paved the way."
According to Aaron, Real Beauty is pursuing advertisers such as Revlon, L'Oreal, Oil of Olay and Elizabeth Arden. "I don't think there's lots of money [available]," she said. "There are a lot of mass vehicles that a lot of big advertisers will go in -- the Revlons and the L'Oreals. A lot of them are committed for the first half, but they don't plan for a whole year like they used to. There are opportunities for somebody new on the block."For a test issue last year, the company distributed 600,000 copies, and Aaron noted, "Sell-throughs were strong enough to guarantee a rate base of 300,000." Allure's rate base is 600,000.
Real Beauty is aimed at women in their late 20s and early 30s, with a median household income of $43,684. Allure's median income is $52,000.
"Allure does terrific things, but it's very coastal. We want to service women in Des Moines, North Dakota, Chicago and Staten Island," said Koslow.
Allure's Wells shot back: "I would disagree with that. We do reviews of salons throughout the country, in St. Louis and Detroit. Unlike a lot of magazines, we do a lot of trend stories throughout the country. We have a well-distributed readership throughout the country." She conceded that Allure's "highest readership is in New York and Los Angeles, but that's where the population is greatest too."
Wells also said Allure "is not elitist" in its coverage, and writes about products from both department stores and drug chains.
Koslow, meanwhile, said Real Beauty wouldn't be as "extreme" as Allure, in that it would never feature a waif model on its pages, nor will it be too critical of beauty products.
"I think what Allure does is great, [but] I think they're a little extreme," said Koslow. She said that, across the country, there's been a backlash to the waif look, adding, "We would not have embraced the waif. It's not what women want."
"We did it [the waif] as much as anybody else did," responded Allure's Wells.
Real Beauty will devote 50 percent of its coverage to beauty and grooming, 20 percent to health and fitness, 20 percent to apparel and accessories and 10 percent to amusements, culture and humanities.
But will there be enough ad dollars to go around?
"Real Beauty claims their point of differentiation from Allure is they are drugstore based, and it's a different approach," said Roberta Garfinkle, senior vice president, director of print media for McCann--Erickson, a major ad agency. "Because of that, you cut out half your advertising base, because upscale and department store products won't advertise. Allure does the whole pie. My biggest concern is if you're doing an article on mascaras and you're only talking about half the market, are you doing your readers a disservice?"
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)