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CATHY VS. MARC: For those wondering where Cathy Horyn was during the Marc Jacobs show on Friday, her On the Runway blog explains it all. Unlike some editors who missed the show since it unexpectedly started almost on time, it turns out Horyn became ill Friday and passed her reporting duties to colleague Eric Wilson. But he didn’t get the last word. Using the wonders of the Web, Horyn viewed the collection online and mused about it on her blog. “I’ve looked at the MJ show on Style.com and can see why some people found it a little slack,” she wrote on Monday. “I like Jacobs’ sportive take on casual dressing, a category that has been stuck in neutral for awhile (too girlie, too Marni, too high-low, etc.). I don’t know if Jacobs intended to focus on casual, especially on trousers and tops, but I like the direction here.”
She subsequently received comments from her readers — as well as from Jacobs himself. Jacobs wrote: “Dear Cathy….I wish you could have been at my show. I think it was a really good one. I am happy with it on every level. I deliberately stated I was uninspired this season as I have felt that talking about inspiration is so not the point to making and showing a collection. Inspiration is a catalyst. One is left with an interpretation of those thoughts. In a show context they are meant to ‘say’ something….I felt it necessary to allow the audience to say what they want, to see what they saw.”
Jacobs went on to say that he looks forward to the chance to speak to Horyn soon and had a message for those who didn’t think the spring collection sold. “Perhaps they should check our figures before assuming such as fact. I hope you are feeling better….All my best, Marc.”
While it’s not the first time he has appeared, Jacobs is the only designer to date who has posted his point of view and put his name on it, said Horyn. She hasn’t replied to Jacobs yet, adding she’ll see him in Paris, but said she appreciates the fact that he is up-front and always says what he thinks. — Amy Wicks
FIRST WORDS: “I’m First Lady while my husband’s in office, and his wife until death,” Carla Bruni declares in French magazine L’Express, granting her first interview since her Feb. 2 nuptials to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. “I’m Italian and I would not like to divorce.” It’s the model-turned-singer’s first marriage, and her declarations stand out, given her fast-girl reputation. Bruni-Sarkozy is just discovering the political scene and says it’s full of vital issues concerning people’s lives, while art and fashion — her turf — are important “to the soul, the heart and for pleasure.” The singer, who is recording her third album, will play her first official role at the end of March, when she’ll accompany her husband for an official visit to the U.K., and she says she is eager to meet the Queen. The eight-page article includes several photos of her at home in Paris in several outfits: a white shirt, a sweater and slacks, and an evening gown. In the Q&A, France’s First Lady is ebullient about her happiness and her husband’s qualities, but gives few particulars regarding what she’ll do with her new role. “I will do my best,” she vows. — Chantal Goupil
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR…: For the first time, the Magazine Publishers of America has sought to count traffic on consumer magazine Web sites as a whole, hoping to shed light on the impact of a medium magazine publishers are still struggling to master. The MPA came up with the figure using numbers from Nielsen Online, narrowing the list to 320 sites associated with consumer magazine brands — a magazine’s Web site, a multibrand site like Style.com, and the site of a magazine no longer publishing a print edition — and concluded that these sites averaged 67.5 million unique monthly visitors during the fourth quarter of 2007, 8.1 percent more than the same period in 2006.
Still, this number has its limits. Little information has been made public by magazine companies about how much revenue they are generating through their titles’ Web sites, how much they’re investing, and if anyone is even close to making any money. But on the heels of a rather grim newsstand story that showed tough times for single-copy magazine sales, it’s no wonder the MPA wants to get some good news out.
MPA president Nina Link disputed the dismal view, pointing out that Mediamark Research Inc. audience numbers for magazines have grown five percent over the past five years. “When you consider that about 15 to 16 percent of the distribution of magazines is on the newsstand, you can’t just look at the newsstand numbers,” she said. “And there was a lot going on — the first half of 2007 was up, and in the second half, you were seeing things like people testing higher prices, leading to smaller sell-through but higher revenue.”
As for the desired goal of growing a magazine’s Web site, Link argued that in addition to increasing digital revenues, the sites increase brand awareness for magazines, help draw in a high-value audience, and will hopefully convince advertisers to take note. — Irin Carmon
HAIL TO THE KIDS: The publisher position at Teen Vogue has finally been filled after a flurry of Condé Nast executive changes in January sent former publisher Gina Sanders to Lucky. Vogue associate publisher Laura McEwen will take the helm at Teen Vogue as of today. McEwen has roots in the teen category, having been publisher at YM and YM.com from 2000 until 2003. She joined Vogue as advertising director for the beauty category in August 2005, and was previously vice president, publishing director of Reader’s Digest. While there, she helped launch that company’s newest launch, Every Day With Rachael Ray. — Stephanie D. Smith