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LOVE, ACTUALLY: Never let it be said Katie Grand is one to perch on fashion’s fence. The editor of Love, Condé Nast UK’s latest title, has decided her affair with the perfect woman is over — so she’s picked the rotund gay crooner Beth Ditto as cover girl for the launch issue.
“She says the wrong things. She looks the wrong way. Isn’t it confounding and amazing to have an iconic figure…who doesn’t have a 25-inch waist?” asks Grand in her first editor’s letter. “She is happy with who she is and the way she is.”
Inside, there’s a whole new brand of celebrity confessional. Not for Ditto’s coy admission that she “battles” with her weight or was “unpopular” in high school — instead, we get: “I really, really want Lindsay Lohan to be gay,” says Ditto. “We haven’t had the hot young dyke couple before. We don’t really have the hot young boy couple either.”
This isn’t the first time Grand has worked with Ditto. In the fall 2007 issue of Pop, Grand tapped Steven Klein to shoot the singer wearing specially made outfits by designers including Giles Deacon, Louis Vuitton and Gareth Pugh.
Love, which costs 5 pounds — or a little over $7 at current exchange — hits newsstands on Feb. 19. The launch issue also includes a Bruce Weber shoot with Iggy Pop; an interview with Anjelica Houston, who is photographed by her stepson Terry Richardson, and a chat with the British model and actress Kelly Brook.
Advertisers include Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, Burberry, Gucci, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Dior Jewlery, Stella McCartney and Dolce & Gabbana. There are 116 ad pages in the 336-page launch issue.
Like with Grand’s former venture Pop, which Emap plans to relaunch later this year, there’s a retail component. For one week, starting on Valentine’s Day, there will be a Love In at Dover Street Market in London. The store will sell limited edition clothing and accessories from brands including Burberry, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Gap, House of Holland, Katie Hillier, Loewe, Luella, Prada and Stella McCartney.
Stella McCartney, Prada and Burberry have all designed underwear; Chloé has come out with customized handbags and belts; while Luella and Henry Holland have each created T-shirts. There will be Loewe nappa leather cushions featuring “I Loewe you” embossed in gold, and silk dresses from Victoria Beckham.
— Samantha Conti
STEPPING DOWN: Walter Anderson, chairman and chief executive officer of Parade Publications, is retiring. Anderson, 64, has spent 31 years at Parade, where, during his tenure, circulation for the paper increased to 33 million from 21.6 million. Parade is now carried in 470 newspapers. Anderson was also responsible for attracting a stable of top writers to the publication, including David Halberstam, Norman Mailer, Gail Sheehy and James Brady.
“Walter has played a major role in Parade being one of the most successful publications in the company while publishing books, writing plays and being an active public servant,” said Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. “We will miss him tremendously but wish him all the best in what I’m sure will be a very fulfilling retirement.” Anderson joined Parade as a senior editor in 1977, became editor in chief in 1979, and chairman and ceo in 2000. He will stay with the company until his replacement is named.
According to a Condé Nast spokeswoman, “The company is interviewing a number of highly qualified candidates.” Sources close to Parade say the candidates are both inside and outside Condé Nast. But insiders are already buzzing about a possible one — Richard Beckman, Condé Nast chief marketing officer and president of Condé Nast Media Group. Insiders believe Beckman, who’s run the corporate sales group for more than four years, is angling for a larger executive role at the company. They also speculate he could be searching for a new challenge given that two of his main projects, Fashion Rocks and Movies Rocks, have been canceled for 2009. “It’s a huge job,” said an insider of the Parade role. Anderson reported to Newhouse as ceo of Parade, and Newhouse will choose his successor. Should Beckman get the nod, the jockeying for the corporate sales post is bound to be bruising.
— Stephanie D. Smith
PROJECT BLOGGER: Last season, Time Style & Design editor Kate Betts tapped Isaac Mizrahi and Joel Stein to guest blog for the magazine during New York Fashion Week. This year, she’s enlisted “Project Runway” season four winner Christian Siriano to blog with her on time.com. Siriano, known for his sharp-tongued commentary on fashion and his competitors, will squeeze in blogging for the site as he preps for his second official collection, which will be shown Thursday. Time Style & Design will also feature backstage photos from British photographer Andrew Lamb and videos by Betts and Siriano.
ON SECOND THOUGHT: Condé Nast has pulled the plug on its upcoming launch of Glamour Japan as it seeks to cut costs and wade through the financial crisis. “The only reason for this is the economy,” said Kazuhiro Saito, president of Condé Nast Japan, who added the concept and mock-ups for the new title were “perfect.” About 10 employees, including editor in chief Sayumi Gunji, are affected by the decision, but some will likely be placed elsewhere within the company. Glamour Japan would have entered the country’s crowded field of mass-market fashion magazines including AneCan, Oggi, Sweet and Glamorous.
— Amanda Kaiser
GET ME MAKEUP!: At a lunch to honor Evelyn Lauder and mark the 15th anniversary of her Breast Cancer Research Foundation, many in the room had fond memories that included, but weren’t limited to, Lauder’s advocacy work. In her toast, co-host and Self editor in chief Lucy Danziger recalled getting taken out to lunch by Lauder at the Four Seasons soon after taking over the magazine. ‘You’re not wearing enough makeup,’ Lauder exclaimed, pulling out a kit for a touchup. Also at the Four Seasons that day were Danziger’s then-boss, Steve Florio, and Lauder’s husband Leonard, who dryly remarked Estée Lauder hired people to do that kind of thing.
The intimate lunch at Rouge Tomate was also hosted by Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive and Allure editor in chief Linda Wells, with guests including Lesley Stahl, Ann Curry, Nora Ephron and Gayle King. Katie Couric popped in later to get the latest on cancer research from the foundation’s Dr. Larry Norton.
— Irin Carmon