NEW YORK -- For the second time in a year, Mademoiselle is putting on a new face.
On Feb. 15, one year after former editor Gabe Doppelt put out her first issue, new editor Elizabeth Crow's March Mademoiselle, with Claudia Schiffer on the cover, will hit the newsstands.
While the February issue contained Crow's editorial direction, she considers March the first issue where the art, fashion and editorial all fit her idea of what Mademoiselle is about.
It will also be the debut of a new senior staff, including Crow, art director Cynthia Hall Searight and fashion director Tierney Gifford.
Although ad pages, according to Media Industry Newsletter, had dropped only slightly in 1993 -- to about 1,275, down 1.63 percent from the year before -- rumors said Conde Nast's top brass were concerned that Doppelt's edgy approach would turn off advertisers. Crow, who oversaw successful redesigns of YM and Parents, is said to take a more mainstream approach. Publisher Julie Lewit Nirenberg was not available for comment.
With the redesign, Crow is looking to create a young woman's guide to everyday life. Gone will be busy and avant-garde fashion layouts, unhealthy-looking waifs and what Crow perceived to be the magazine's cynical tone.
Cover lines on the current issue spell out Crow's priorities: "MEN. SEX. LOVE."
"If a reader gets just one piece of information that she uses in her everyday life from a magazine, she's much more likely to subscribe, or buy it again. I want there to be multiple points of entry for the reader anywhere she opens the magazine," said Crow.
To find out what her reader wants, Crow introduced 24-hour 800 phone and fax numbers in the February issue. She said she's already received about 200 responses, including such questions as "Can you get pregnant if you don't use a condom?"
"The poor assistant who tabulates these responses was practically in tears," said Crow. "She wanted to call the young woman back right away and say, 'YES!"'
While her focus is on information and relationships, Crow said fashion and beauty will not take a back seat. "You'll see more accessorizing and more fashion to get up and do your life in," said Crow. But even the fashion pages will have explanatory text on them, said Crow, adding, "I believe you can tell the reader visually, but also with words, how the look came together.
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