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A WALL NO LONGER: After less than a year at Maxim, fashion director Kelly Rae is leaving Alpha Media Group behind for Spin and a switch to the advertising side. Today, she’ll take on the new position of executive fashion director, reporting to publisher Malcolm Campbell. He plans to tap into Rae’s experience at Stuff and Maxim to help grow Spin’s fashion advertising, which a spokeswoman said it hopes will become a top category for the magazine. Rae will be involved in everything from public relations, promotions and sales to photography for the ad side. “I’m looking to bridge the gap between the two worlds,” said Rae. So much for any church-and-state divide between editorial and advertising but, hey, why pretend?
For the first half, Spin’s ad pages were up 15 percent and fashion ad pages rose 52 percent (going from 49 pages to 74.5 pages) during the same period. Fashion advertisers so far include Marc by Marc Jacobs, DKNY Jeans, Ben Sherman and Silver Jeans. “We don’t want to become a fashion magazine but we know that fashion will continue to rely on print because the Internet is not good at building an image,” said Campbell. “We’ve done a good job at hitting the core endemic stuff but there is huge potential in high-end and urbanwear.”
And, like New York and Fast Company, Spin is moving downtown. In October, Spin will change its address to 408 Broadway, at Canal Street, in a 14,300 square foot space with a roof deck.
— Amy Wicks
A NEW ACCESSORY: J. Crew customers will do a double take when they receive the brand’s next accessories catalogue around Sept. 2: The format has been totally redone in 10 1/2 by 15-inch recycled newspaper. It’s also clear the content has progressed beyond the familiar mittens and chunky hats, which J. Crew historically embraced to a sophisticated array. The book displays fine Norwegian leather and Italian calfskin handbags, metallic totes, satin fleur clutches, satchels with a wax patina that changes with age, gold and beaded necklaces, pearls and pared down colors.
The image is further heightened with most of the accessories shown with items from Collection, which provides luxury versions of Crew classics, like coats in shearling and T-shirts in cashmere.
“Because we mail catalogues so often, 13 a year, we felt it was time for something a little more arresting. There’s an element of surprise,” said Jenna Lyons, creative director. “We didn’t want people to think this is a normal catalogue.”
She acknowledged J. Crew has been more recognized for sportswear. “We want accessories to be top of mind as well.”
That may be the case down the road, too, for Collection, Lyons added, noting a Collection catalogue, which hasn’t been done this year, is a probability. First up, however, is a Collection store opening soon on Madison Avenue.
— David Moin
RULES OF THE GAME: A GQ guy probably owns a skinny tie and a great blazer, but may not have the creativity to give the items personal flair. So, clearly believing such things can be taught (or, at least, that it can teach them), the magazine has just launched a second iteration of GQ Rules on its Web site last week, a series of video clips with GQ senior style editor Adam Rapoport, creative director Jim Moore, and GQ “Style Guy” Glenn O’Brien. GQ Rules advises men on “how to become a well-dressed rebel in 30 days,” according to the teaser. The clips include commentary from men’s wear designers Scott Sternberg from Band of Outsiders, Michael Bastian, Thom Browne, Gap designer Patrick Robinson, Domenico Vacca and Spurr’s Simon Spurr. They also reference stylish men of the past, from Sammy Davis Jr. to Robert Redford. Users can sign up to receive a video a day in their inboxes. And aiming to build its men’s business, J. Crew, which doesn’t advertise, sponsored the video series and guaranteed to sell 50,000 subscriptions over the next year via its Web site as part of the deal. Last year, 50,000 readers signed up for GQ Rules.
Incidentally, GQ misreported its ad page numbers for September to WWD for a story on ad page totals for the September fashion issues (“September Falls Flat for Most Mags,” July 21). For the September 2008 issue, GQ carried 293 ad pages, a decrease of 8.5 percent over the year prior. Year-to-date, GQ has carried 1,108 pages, or 4.2 percent fewer pages than the same period in 2007.
— Stephanie D. Smith