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FRANCO-PHILE: James Franco appears on the cover of the latest issue of British GQ Style, the twice-yearly, stand-alone title that lands on newsstands today. It is the first edited by Ben Reardon, who landed at Condé Nast U.K. last year after leaving the helm of i-D. Reardon calls Franco a modern icon, “the new James Dean,” and dedicates no less than 5,000 words to the actor, short-story writer, filmmaker and Gucci poster boy. Inside, Franco takes on a number of guises including rebel, wearing a dangly skull-and-bone earring; a leather-clad Adam Ant, and giant pullout centerfold model wearing black nail polish, a vintage coat and Gucci belt. Photos were shot by Ines van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
The magazine, whose audience has an average age of 32, also features a story on Gore Vidal, penned by the novelist and editor Jay Parini, and a photo shoot with the beefy British boxer David Haye wearing — wait for this — designs by Gareth Pugh. “I wanted the title to be opera and X factor, a balance of high and low — and I didn’t want to scare anybody,” says Reardon. “You look at men’s biannuals and they can be alienating. I want this to be inspiring.”
According to Condé Nast UK, ads are up 23 percent year-on-year, and new advertisers include Giorgio Armani, Hermès, and Dunhill. Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Margaret Howell are among the returning advertisers.
— Samantha Conti
DIGITAL ELLIES: On Wednesday afternoon at ASME’s second annual National Magazine Awards for Digital Media, The Washington Post Co. was the big winner with three Ellies. Foreign Policy won twice for Blogging and News Reporting, and Slate won for General Excellence in News and Opinion.
Condé Nast won twice for Epicurious in the General Excellence (Service and Lifestyle) and Interactive Tool categories — a bit of irony given Condé Nast Digital’s recent forced budgetary diet as company titles have taken on responsibility for their own Web operations, including apps. “Honestly, I’m almost as shocked as when the doctor said to me ‘You’re having identical twins,” said Epicurious editor in chief Tanya Steel on her second trip to the stage. She thanked Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr., Condé Nast digital editorial director Jamie Pallot and Apple Inc. chief executive officer Steve Jobs, “who was actually a huge champion of the brand.”
Hearst and Time Inc. each took home one award, with Esquire editor in chief David Granger accepting the Mobile Edition Ellie, and Bill Shapiro picking up the Photography award for life.com. Last year Hearst went home empty-handed. Virginia Quarterly Review editor Ted Genoways, who hasn’t been heard from much since he was accused of bullying a staff member who committed suicide, returned to the winner’s circle, picking up the Multimedia Package award. Tablet magazine also won again, this year in the Blogging category.
The Digital Design Ellie — one of the tightest categories with The Daily Beast, New York, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Vogue all in the hunt — went to The Times Magazine. Design director Arem Duplessis took the stage to pick up the award. “This is a huge, huge nod,” he told the room, thanking both Hugo Lindgren and Gerry Marzorati, the magazine’s current and former editor, respectively. Tina Brown, who sat at the very front of the room waiting on The Daily Beast’s three nominations, never made it onstage.
— Zeke Turner