WENNER HEADING FOR 3 FOR 3?: The Wenner Media makeover continues. Just months after bringing in Bonnie Fuller at US Weekly and Ed Needham at Rolling Stone, sources close to the company have confirmed that Jann Wenner is in the preliminary stages of a search to replace Men’s Journal editor in chief Sid Evans. Still, little is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks as Wenner is currently on vacation.
This story first appeared in the July 26, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The news comes at a time when the magazine is experiencing something of an exodus. Early this month, Men’s Journal executive editor Jack Wright, senior editor Alex Bhattacharji and assistant art director Thomas Alberty quit. Now the magazine has also lost its senior writer, Devin Friedman who is returning to GQ as a senior writer. While the defections would not be such a big deal at a larger magazine, Men’s Journal has a small staff with just 11 editorial people. A Wenner Media spokesman said, “We’re just focused on the magazine’s 10th anniversary issue right now.” The issue comes out in November.
Elsewhere at Wenner, US’s Fuller has poached Mara Reinstein, a staff writer at Teen People, for a similar post at US.
NAPTIME: Blame it on AOL Time Warner’s battered stock portfolio, the firing of Bob Pittman, and the revelations that AOL may have cooked the books, but Time Inc. editor in chief Norman Pearlstine is apparently getting a bit worn out. At the premiere of “The Kid Stays in the Picture” on Tuesday night, Pearlstine seemed to find his chair so cozy and the darkness of the theater so relaxing that he took a nap. Reached by phone later in the week, Pearlstine denied that the woes of his company had contributed to his most recent narcoleptic episode. “I was nodding off much less than usual. I’m notorious for it,” he said. “Whenever the lights go down it takes me a while to adjust.”
Still, he said, “I found the documentary fascinating because I’d worked in Los Angeles for the Wall Street Journal covering entertainment, among other things, in the 1970s; I knew of [Bob] Evans,” he said, referring to the movie producer on whom the documentary is based.
“My interest was more than casual. But my wife is constantly jabbing me in the ribs at movies when I fall asleep.”
WALLPAPER’S WISH LIST: The folks at IPC, the division of Time Inc. that’s in charge of Wallpaper, are still hunting for a replacement for Tyler Brülé, who resigned as editorial director in May. Industry sources in London said IPC has already approached Don and Ann Morrison, the outgoing editors of Time Europe; Ashley Heath, editorial director of Emap titles The Face, Arena and Pop; Margit Mayer, editor of German AD; and Chee Pearlman, former editor of the design magazine I.D. One source said none of them are interested. Simon Mills, who works for British GQ and the Evening Standard’s ES Magazine, is also on the list and is still talking to IPC. Mills did not return phone calls. An IPC spokeswoman declined to comment on the list of names, and said: “No one has been offered the job yet.” Meantime, Christina Ferrari continues as Wallpaper’s acting editorial director.
CHINA GIRL: How do you make an impact in fashion advertising with a small budget? Not necessarily with models, hair and makeup, according to Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz. Seeking to stand out from the pack with his fall campaign, his first since he joined the house last year, Elbaz commissioned Chinese porcelain artist Liu Jianhua to create a dozen sculptures of select dresses. He then had these unusual pieces — which are miniature sized and lack heads and arms — photographed by Roger Deckker. “They’re very sensuous, but at the same time there’s nothing vulgar about them,” Elbaz said. “I hope that different is good.”
Elbaz discovered the unusual work of Jianhua last April when he traveled to Shanghai to show his collection during Chinese Fashion Week. The designer said the miniatures recall a little-known fact about house founder Jeanne Lanvin: she often draped dresses on dolls. Elbaz said he was also attracted by the “fantasy” element of the sculptures. The campaign breaks in September, mostly in French fashion magazines such as Elle, French Vogue, Madame Figaro, Número, Jalouse, Mixte and Air France Madame. Elbaz said he plans to place ads in a couple of American titles, but has not finalized the media buy. Market sources estimate Lanvin is spending $500,000 on the campaign.
Meanwile, Elbaz will stage a fashion show in New York Sept. 5 at Barneys New York to debut his fall-winter collection.
FASHION HAVENS: Elle Decor’s October “Glamour” issue gives a glimpse into how the fashion crowd lives. The cover features Cindy Crawford dressed in Roberto Cavalli. Her 1920s Spanish hacienda-style house in Brentwood, Calif. is featured inside, as is Cynthia Rowley’s mod white TriBeCa loft, and Cavalli’s home outside Florence. In another feature, Isaac Mizrahi visits the New York townhouse apartment of Elizabeth Saltzman, fashion director of Vanity Fair.
ON HER OWN: Stacy Berns, a former senior executive at Morgen-Walke Associates investor relations who implemented media programs for high-profile IPOs and M&A transactions including Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Talbots, and Donna Karan, has broken out on her own. She’s president of a new business communications firm called Berns Communications Group LLC, or BCG for short. Berns was with Morgen-Walke for 10 years, overseeing corporate media relations and before that worked at Edelman Worldwide, managing corporate communications programs.
TEEN VOGUE MOVES: Ian Scott has been named associate publisher of Teen Vogue. Most recently, Scott was ad director of Gourmet, a post he has held since February, 2000. He reports to Gina Sanders, vice president and publisher of Teen Vogue, which will be launched with a February/March issue in 2003. Also joining Teen Vogue is Patricia Foster, who has been named executive beauty director. She had been ad director at Allure. Lucy Kriz joins Teen Vogue as fashion-retail director. She held a similar post at Harper’s Bazaar.
HEIST: Diane Salvatore is gearing up for her run as editor in chief of Ladies’ Home Journal and she’s taking one of her top lieutenants from Hearst with her. Salvatore has tapped Cosmogirl’s managing editor Mary Witherall to fill the same post at LHJ. Witherall replaces Carolyn Noyes, who left the magazine in April. Salvatore was formerly the editorial director for Hearst’s 16 magazine titles. Previously, Witherall had served as Salvatore’s managing editor at YM, where Salvatore was the editor in chief from 1998 to 2000.
STRATEGIC ALLIANCE: In an effort to drum up more international business, Stephen Niedzwieck, who owns Yard, an ad agency in New York, has teamed up with Alan Aboud, who has his own British ad agency, Aboud Sodano, to form Yard NY and Yard UK. While they will each retain their own firms, they will pursue international accounts together.
Best known for his work for Gap from 1997 to 2000, where he headed up Gap Kids and Baby Gap advertising, Niedzwieck set up his own firm in New York last year. He has also held art director posts for Estée Lauder, Origins and Nautica. He recently landed the Bobbi Brown account.
Aboud began his career in 1989 in London, and has handled the Paul Smith account for the past 12 years. He has also done advertising work for H&M, Levi’s, Oliver Peoples and the Design Museum of London.
ENTERTAINING ADS: What’s the next wave in retail marketing? Mark Ledzian, a filmmaker for some of Manhattan’s finer retailers, calls it “advertainment.” It’s advertiser-supported DVDs about designers, athletes, artists or musicians, merchandised alongside products to boost retail sales. So hypothetically, there could be a DVD of a Versace shoot in the Versace shop. Ledzian, who has created commercials for Bloomingdale’s, fashion films for Saks, training films for Barneys and a documentary called “Lady BullRider,” recently formed a digital video production company, called N9. He also produces the N9 feature magazine, which is on a DVD and is distributed at 60 Thompson Hotel and other trendy spots.”