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MARK YOUR CALENDARS: There are still a few weeks left to summer, but as far as the fashion crowd is concerned, it may as well be over (sorry, editors). The drum roll to New York Fashion Week is already beating loudly and tickets are being mailed out. And this being the first season at Lincoln Center, magazines are pulling out all the stops to help propel the hype, from exhibitions to cafes — probably part of that “added-value” pitch for the September issues that publishers love to give advertisers. Here, a rundown of some of the events planned by fashion (and nonfashion) titles:
This story first appeared in the August 17, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
What: For the first time, the CFDA is linking with a fashion title other than Vogue in an initiative that will showcase a handful of up-and-coming accessories designers, with an exhibit at Avery Fisher Hall. Participating designers include Alexis Bittar, Philip Crangi, Albertus Swanepoel and Alejandro Ingelmo. The Accessories Bazaar will kick off with a cocktail party on Sept. 13.
When: The exhibit will be open Sept. 14 and 15 to all fashion week attendees.
What: The magazine, in partnership with American Express, is erecting a “skybox” high above the runways at Lincoln Center. Designer Bill Sofield has been commissioned to trick out the lounge-type space, which will offer visitors (VIP AmEx cardholders) a 360-degree view of the fashions and fashionable people throughout the week.
When: Sept. 8 to 16.
What: A “Hospitality Headquarters” near Lincoln Center on the ground floor of Mandarin Oriental’s 60th Street entrance, where people can pick up a special “Style Pass” Lincoln Center neighborhood guide and copies of the “Fall Fashion Issue.” The magazine is also co-hosting (with Svedka vodka) a cocktail event at the Mandarin Oriental’s MObar on Sept. 13, during which chefs including Andrew Carmellini, Wylie Dufresne, Asiate’s Brandon Kida and Pichet Ong will serve their “signature fashion week cocktails.”
When: The headquarters will be open between noon and 5 p.m., from Sept. 13 to 16.
Also: Nymag.com deputy Strategist editor Rachel Baker will make an appearance at Maybelline’s pop-up store at 54th Street and Broadway on Sept. 16, from 12 to 2 p.m., to host a fashion presentation.
What: “Fashion Next,” a runway show event at Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater that will showcase the designs of 22 Rhode Island School of Design students (picked by Elle editors), some of whose work will be featured in the magazine’s 25th anniversary October issue. After the show, awards — grants, mentorships, etc. — will be doled out by the judging panel, which will include Tommy Hilfiger, Derek Lam, Nicole Miller, Waris Ahluwalia, Marcia Patmos, Kate Spade New York’s Deborah Lloyd, Maybelline New York’s Doreen Arbel, Creative Time’s Anne Pasternak and photographer Dan King, plus Elle staffers Joe Zee, Anne Slowey and Alexis Bryan Morgan. The title will also be rolling out a five-part documentary-style series about the students’ journeys on elle.com.
When: Two runway shows, at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., on Sept. 9.
What: The InStyle Lounge. Visitors can check e-mail, have a snack, a cup of coffee or glass of wine in the lounge, located in the Hauser Patron Salon in Alice Tully Hall. While the magazine provided few details about the project, the spokeswoman did promise a live show schedule ticker and a concierge who can help with “tickets, reservations and getting around town.”
What: Cocktails and canapes with Hearst brass (Cathie Black, David Carey, Michael Clinton) and editors (Glenda Bailey, Joanna Coles, Stephen Drucker, David Granger) to mark the opening of Lincoln, the buzzed-about new restaurant at Lincoln Center. Expect Italian-influenced fare from Lincoln’s chef, Per Se alum Jonathan Benno.
When: Sept. 9, 6 to 9 p.m.
What: The Bon Appétit Café, a pop-up restaurant that will serve celebrity chef-designed dishes — coffee and pastries in the morning, lunch specials and small plates and wine in the evening.
When: Sept. 12 to 16. Breakfast in the morning, lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a wine bar from 5 to 9 p.m.
— Nick Axelrod and Amy Wicks
TALKING THE TABLET: The good news for magazine publishers: tablet-computer-ready periodicals could be a $3 billion business within the next four years. The bad news for magazine publishers (at least those betting on the iPad and its ilk as a one-stop white knight) is that $1.7 billion of those revenues already exist. A study released Monday by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that, after accounting for potential cannibalization of print sales, “interactive periodicals” could bring in $1.3 billion in true incremental revenues to the magazine industry by 2014. Next Issue Media — the digital distribution outfit that includes Condé Nast, Hearst Corp., Meredith Corp., News Corp. and Time Inc. — commissioned the study, which polled 1,800 participants on their current and potential media habits and built a model marketplace based on the results. Among other notable findings, the survey showed consumers willing to continue to pay a comparable price for digital subscriptions as they do currently for the print versions at $1.49 an issue, and would be prepared to pay a premium price of about $1.99 an issue for both products bundled together. Researchers also found a favorable environment for new subscription models, such as a flat-fee system similar to Netflix.
Next Issue Media chief executive officer Morgan Guenther praised the study’s researchers Monday, but also said he thought the results underestimated the total size of the opportunity for publishers because it didn’t account for other potential revenue boosters, such as premium advertising and single-copy digital sales (which would presumably still come at an up-charge like their dead-tree forebearers). “Correctly done, the opportunity to really drive incremental revenues and grow the size of the pie…there’s huge opportunity here,” Guenther told WWD. As for when readers will be able to start contributing directly to the Next Issue partners’ coffers through its digital newsstand, Guenther would only say the venture is in “stay tuned” mode in terms of a launch date. He did perhaps provide some hint of a timetable in his predictions for the e-reader market in the coming months. “I think there will be a critical mass of devices in the U.S. by mid-next year,” he said. “We know the category is going to grow rapidly and going to grow explosively, especially as price points come down.” — Matthew Lynch