SWEET SEPTEMBER: For the big four fashion magazines, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle and W, the September marathon is over--and they all won.
Though sweet, some of these victories may be hollow. Harper's Bazaar is reporting that October will be down 23 percent in ad pages, while even Vogue admits next month will be flat, and for the year, the magazine will be down 5 percent in ad pages. Vogue has also stumbled in circulation, with ABC reporting that first half newsstand sales were down almost 11 percent to 616,910.
Despite its impressive September, Harper's Bazaar has failed to regain its number two position and continues as the number three fashion magazine behind Vogue and Elle.
Elle, meanwhile, is predicting a 9 percent increase for October. But some question whether Elle bent the rate card to bolster September, via a liberal corporate buy. September's Elle's is packed with automotive ads, thanks to its sister publications, Car & Driver and Road & Track.
"Where our other titles are strong in their endemic
categories, [the corporate buy] does help us in our non-endemic categories," said Diane Silberstein, publisher of Elle.
At Harper's Bazaar, publisher Carl Portale acknowledged a cooling trend: "We're not as hot as we were in 1993, but we're relatively warm."He expects to be down about 6 to 7 percent for the year. Portale attributes the decline to fewer cosmetic launches. There were 75 cosmetic launches last year and only 20 in 1994. "Fashion and retail held their own," he said.
Harper's Bazaar, which had 476 total pages in September, ran a record 313 ad pages, up 5 percent from last year's 298 pages, according to Portale.
As for a weak October, and charges that HB was shifting ads from other months to September to make the issue look bulky, Portale said: "We're up against our biggest October issue we ever had. We're very happy with it, and our bottom line looks better. We didn't take anything out of October [to build up September]. We hit a bit of a wall because of the success of [October] 1993."
Vogue, a whopping 628 pages, showed a 5 percent gain in ad pages in September, logging 432 ad pages, versus 412 a year ago, said Ron Galotti, publisher.
Ironically, both Vogue and Harper's Bazaar featured the same model on their September cover--Nadja Auermann. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," said Galotti, implying the editors at Harper's Bazaar knew that Auermann was planned for Vogue's cover. It isn't likely, however, that anyone will confuse the two covers: Nadja is a hard-edged, wild fashion animal on HB and a tamer, more mainstream cover girl for Vogue.
Silberstein of Elle said the 368-page September issue was up 7 percent in ad pages. It ran 244 ad pages, versus 228 a year ago.
Stephanie George, publisher of W, said the September issue is 7 percent ahead of last year in ad pages. The magazine ran 160 ad pages, up from 147 last September. She attributes the increase to the retail category, as well as new men's business and strong fashion advertising. George is expecting a 20-page gain in October, and said November and December are ahead of budget. "It puts the whole year about 19 to 20 percent ahead," she said.ONLY IN NEW YORK: "I'm totally fried right now," said an understandably weary Jade Hobson Charnin, New York magazine's new fashion director. Hobson hardly had time to unpack her things at New York (which she joined Aug. 1), when she was assigned a 54-page fashion section to produce within two weeks. The results will hit newsstands Monday. The issue contains six major fashion stories and was photographed entirely in New York City by Duane Michaels, Albert Watson, Deborah Turbeville, Michael O'Neill and Hugh Kretschmer.
Featured on the cover is Hunter Reno, the 24-year-old niece of Attorney General Janet Reno, who was photographed by O'Neill in mid-air (jumping off a trampoline on a barge) in a Jil Sander outfit. Incidentally, Charnin, former creative director of Mirabella, scooped her former publication, which is running Hunter Reno on its October cover. Charnin had completed the October issue before she left Mirabella.

HORNE TO UK: Tierney Gifford Horne, fashion director of Mademoiselle, has resigned her post to move to London with her husband and twin girls. She'll continue as a contributing editor at the magazine. She is succeeded by Madeline Weeks, former associate fashion director at GQ.

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