GILLES’S UNINSPECTED LIFE: Looks like the fashion crowd may never get a chance to read the juicy story about Gilles Bensimon, publication director of Elle, and his rise to the top of the masthead. Apparently, Michael Gross wrote the article for Talk magazine, but since Talk died, the article never ran.
AMY’S WORLD: Kate Beckinsale is featured on the cover of Fashions of the Times, edited by style editor Amy Spindler that comes out Feb. 24. Both on the cover and in the fashion pages, Beckinsale plays the role of Oona O’Neill Chaplin, the embodiment of uptown glamour and the daughter of Eugene O’Neill and Charlie Chaplin’s wife, and the pages re-create some moments in her life. Another fashion shoot, “Tokyo Pop” takes the reader to Tokyo, where models, deejays, singers, street kids, and even fashion designer Limi Yamamoto, Yohji’s daughter were photographed in both designer and local boutique clothing. A third fashion story is called “Babs in Toyland,” and is based on Barbra Streisand’s first TV special in 1965 called “My Name is Barbra” where Streisand fantasizes about trying on clothes at Bergdorf Goodman. For the Times’ shoot, they hired a model that resembled Streisand and let her loose in Bergdorf’s where she could try on dresses and jewelry.
The issue, which has 100 ad pages, down 8 pages from a year ago, carries new advertisers such as Anne Klein, Vera Wang, Charles Jourdan and Charles David.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: “It’s like the Cliff Notes of the week,” said Dr. Samir Husni, referring to The Week, the Felix Dennis-owned weekly magazine that summarizes published news and feature articles from all over the world. Husni named The Week “Launch of the Year.”
Husni is a magazine journalism professor and author of “Samir Husni’s Guide to New Magazines,” that is published annually. The next edition comes out in March.
At a dinner party at the Four Seasons Tuesday night honoring Husni and celebrating The Week’s victory, Husni noted that The Week beat out 701 other launches in 2001. He said the rating is not based on the magazine’s revenues, but is about the potential “to create a relationship with the reader.” But, Husni pointed out, “2001 was a lackluster year of launches. There was no Oprah, no ESPN and no In Style. The only magazine that kept jumping out from the crowd saying I’m different was The Week.”
Other magazines that made the top 30 launch list included Elle Girl, Beauty Biz (published by Fairchild Publications), Organic Style, Gotham, Rosie and Spruce. Husni added there were 25 percent fewer launches in 2001 versus 2000.
ULTIMATE HOOK-UP: The editors of Elle and Elle Decor have co-produced an issue called Ultimate Weddings, that focuses on style, fashion, beauty and the home. It will be polybagged with the April subscription issues of both Elle and Elle Decor. The issue contains 60 advertisers, including Gucci, Cartier and Calvin Klein and accounts for $1 million in plus business, said Carl Portale, senior vice president and publisher of Elle. It will also be sold on New York and Chicago newsstands.