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FIRST TIMER: Not everyone is holding back during the recession: On Tuesday, Derek Lam shot his first ad campaign, which will break in the August issues of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. “This is not a moment to be scared or meek,” said Lam. In what could be a nod to his California roots, the images are set against a beach (made at Pier 59 in New York), featuring model Karmen Pedaru, who walked in his last runway show. “This is about a woman that is having a personal moment, not a fashion moment,” said Lam.
Doug Lloyd of Lloyd & Co., served a creative director and Solve Sundsbo was behind the lens. “We are creating a message that will last more than one season,” he added. Lloyd described the images as bold and cinematic, with lush techno color. — A.W.
GETTING VISITORS TO STICK: With its magazine decidedly challenged in both circulation and advertising, Playboy Enterprises will today launch a Web site that’s been redesigned from top to bottom — double entendre intended — including eight new features and interactive services that will differ from the content that runs each month in the magazine. “Only 36 percent [of our readers online] regularly read the magazine, so for many, this is their first introduction to Playboy,” said John Lumpkin, divisional vice president and associate publisher, Playboy Digital. He also took playboy.com out of an advertising network to ensure consistency, which from now on will only take “premium” advertisers — Mini, Patron, EA, Bushmills and Bridgestone have signed on for the launch.
And while most readers might associate Playboy more with taking clothes off than putting them on, the new site will have a section geared toward men’s fashion, Style Recon, featuring opinions from people in pop culture, such as Pharrell Williams, on what he wears and how he wears it. Lumpkin said fashion in the section will be a mix of “high-low” prices. There is also a new humor section of animated content, called Play-Mation Nation (think “Adult Swim” on Cartoon Network), as well as a collection of city guides that list the top restaurants, bars and entertainment in 15 cities around the world.
Jimmy Jellinek, editorial director of Playboy magazine and playboy.com, said the average stay on the site is 10 minutes, 21 seconds, but with the redesign he wants to increase that to 20 to 30 minutes for each visitor. “More than any other metric, we are focused on increasing time spent on the site,” he added. Playboy.com had 3.1 million unique visitors, according to Quantcast, as of March. — Amy Wicks
THE CHINA SYNDROME: The Economist may have dedicated a recent issue to how China sees the world, but Wallpaper has taken its treatment of the Asian giant a step further by temporarily transferring its offices to China for the June issue. The bulk of the design title’s editorial staff is already installed in two pop-up offices in Beijing and Shanghai. “We thought about looking at what we used to call the emerging markets, but are now almost like the new establishment,” said editor in chief Tony Chambers during a telephone interview from Shanghai. Chambers said the Made in China issue will be driven by the design trends emerging from the country. The magazine has assembled a creative panel to help produce the magazine, including Tim Yip, an Oscar-winning art director and costume designer; Fan Di’an, director of China’s National Art Museum, and Yue-Sai Kan, a TV personality and founder of her own cosmetics company.
Chambers said the magazine has photographed Chinese “movers and shakers” in their homes, and produced a shoot featuring the work of emerging Chinese fashion and costume designers, such as Ma Ke, Qiu Hao and Han Feng. The magazine is also working with the art photographer Li Wei on a fashion editorial for the issue, and has tapped photographer Gautier Deblonde to shoot inside Chinese artists’ studios.
If the issue is a success, the magazine may produce similar special issues each year from other emerging markets, such as Brazil, said Chambers. — Nina Jones