NEW FOODIES: Adam Rapoport is beginning to staff up at his new Bon Appétit.
Christine Muhlke, most recently the food editor at the New York Times Magazine, is coming on-board as an executive editor.
“Christine is incredibly prolific as a writer and editor and is obsessively knowledgeable about every last thing going on in the food world every minute, every day,” said Rapoport. “She knows the restaurant you don’t know about yet, she knows about the chefs that matter. And, I am jealous of what a great home cook home she is, which in my book is critical to being at Bon Appétit.”
Muhlke was on a short list of candidates for the top job at Bon Appétit that eventually went to Rapoport, sources said. Muhlke’s first day as executive editor is Jan. 3.
Rapoport has also hired Meghan Sutherland to become the magazine’s deputy editor. Sutherland had most recently been a deputy editor at Teen Vogue. She begins on Dec. 15. Her successor at Teen Vogue will be Leigh Ann Boutwell, who was a managing editor at Radar and at Teen Vogue in the early days of the magazine. — John Koblin
SAKS SPEAKS: How times change. Five years ago, social media guru, author and NYU professor Clay Shirky mused in WWD about whether Saks Fifth Avenue would ever have a blog. He predicted it would, though at the time it seemed hard to imagine a retailer as elegant and venerable as Saks blogging. What would a luxury department store blog about? And why?
He turned out to be right, though. Today, Saks unveils The Saks Point of View (sakspov.com), a magazine in blog form whose subject is Saks itself. Posts will include interviews with designers, profiles of people who work at Saks, trends and inspiring people. There will be posts on sapphire rings, fashion director Colleen Sherin’s favorite Manhattan haunts and the exclusive holiday dresses in Saks’ windows. The store is hardly the only one to add more magazine-like content to its Web site lately. Barneys New York added its B-Sides blog last year, and Bergdorf Goodman debuted 5th at 58th in May.
“There is more of an emphasis on editorial,” said president of Saks Direct Denise Incandela. “We find customers respond very well to that, they look to us as a fashion authority for that. If you look at us now versus two years ago, you will see a big shift there. It’s very well received by customers, and we measure that in terms of traffic as well as sales conversions.”
In addition to its blog, the retailer has added more videos and articles on trends in its women’s apparel section, including picks from Glenda Bailey and a photo diary from streetwear photographer Tommy Ton. As for user-generated content, in November it broke new ground for a luxury store when it added customer reviews. — Cate T. Corcoran