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AUGHTS ARTIFACT REVIVED: The resuscitation of the early-Aughts magazine Domino will finally take place with much fanfare on Thursday with the unveiling of an e-commerce Web site, a print quarterly and a story, exclusively trumpeting the comeback, in The New York Times.
WWD first reported Domino’s impending revival on Aug. 29. At that time, the launch date was said to be as early as September. Its debut is now coming just a few days into October.
This story first appeared in the October 2, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Though there is a quarterly print magazine, Domino 2.0 revolves around e-commerce. The Web site will be updated regularly with home decor posts — tips on lighting, for instance, or an “at home” feature with an interior decorator — but the gimmick is that every item on the site is shoppable.
The items for sale are not exclusive to the Domino site. Instead, the aspiration is that shoppers will be persuaded by the Domino sensibility, and curation, and use the site for their home shopping needs.
Project Décor — a one-year-old e-commerce design site launched by, among others, Andy Appelbaum, one of the cofounders of Seamless Web, and Cliff Sirlin, an angel investor — is taking the lead in Domino’s revival and is handling the back-end of the sales. Domino was founded in 2005 by Condé Nast and much to the dismay of its cult followers was shuttered four years later amid a spate of magazine closings at the publishing company that also later claimed Cookie and Gourmet. Condé kept the outlines of a brand on life support in the way of twice-annual special interest publications, or SIPs, like Domino Quick Fixes.
Project Décor, which is beginning to find its sea legs as an e-tailer of furnishings, took an interest in applying its e-commerce savvy to Domino, which retains some name recognition, and offered to license the name from Condé. The publisher is hanging on to an ownership stake in the new venture, according to sources, though the exact percentage share could not be confirmed.
Among Project Décor’s founders, Sirlin is spearheading the great Domino return. While the focus of this Domino is on e-commerce, the quarterly is being handled by several magazine veterans. The editor is Michelle Adams, who has deep roots in the shelter category from her days as a market assistant at the original Domino, and later as the founding editor in chief of digital shelter magazine Lonny.
Though ad sales for the biannual special issues had been handled by Condé, the role of chief revenue officer will now fall to Beth Brenner, who was the founding publisher of the original Domino and most recently was at Meredith Corp.’s Traditional Home in the same capacity.
The first issue of the print quarterly, the contents of which will also be revealed Thursday, is timed to coincide with the holiday season — “We’re back!” chirps a cute pink headline on the cover, which carries a $12 price tag and is hitting newsstands Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Domino declined to discuss details about the relaunch, including the total number of advertising pages in the inaugural quarterly, or whether Condé is getting a cut of the advertising revenue.
As a bonus to Domino zealots, the magazine’s archives will also now be available online, though it’s unclear if there’s an added fee to access them.