NOT STANDING ALONE: Clearly the advertising cutbacks by the fashion and luxury goods sector have hit T: The New York Times Style magazine. The women’s summer issue of T will appear in a special 24-page “bonus section” of the New York Times Magazine on Sunday rather than as a stand-alone issue. It will begin on page 49, with a cover featuring Diane Kruger, shot by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Inside the Cannes-themed issue, Quentin Tarantino (wearing women’s heels) is featured in a Q&A with Lynn Hirschberg, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is profiled, and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin shot seven actors who emerged as stars after appearing in films at the Cannes International Film Festival, including Uma Thurman, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Cheung and Björk. “We decided to do an issue about Cannes because it’s one of the biggest events in contemporary culture,” said T editor in chief Stefano Tonchi. “It brings fashion, movies and luxury together. I mean, whatever is left of luxury at the moment.”
And speaking of the New York Times Co., a spokeswoman confirmed a Reuters report Tuesday evening that there is a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild of New York to cut union worker pay at the Times by 5 percent, which would save the company $4.5 million. Earlier this month, nonunion members were also affected by pay cuts.
— Amy Wicks
This story first appeared in the April 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WHO’S WHO: Stella McCartney joins the group of media moguls, politicians, scientists and other leaders who have earned spots on the Time 100 in the past six years. This year, McCartney is the only fashion name on the list (that is, if you count First Lady Michelle Obama as a political power instead of fashion icon). In the past, the list has included the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Carine Roitfeld, Tyra Banks and Kate Moss. Time 100’s brightest are profiled by their peers for the annual list, and Gwyneth Paltrow bestowed praise for McCartney’s “uncanny mélange of passion and cool.” Paltrow also said the designer has a talent for convincing carnivores to become vegetarians. “Even if you are not interested in being a vegetarian, somehow Stella gets you to believe. She manages to convince you (never sanctimoniously, never from a soapbox) that killing animals is needless and cruel and bad for the environment. It may last the duration of just one dinner, but you start to feel a bit sad for your neighbor’s lamb and a bit embarrassed by your chicken.” The Time 100 issue will be on sale Friday; McCartney, Roitfeld and many of their list mates will gather at Time Warner’s Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 5 for its annual gala.
— Stephanie D. Smith
STILL STRONG: Michelle Obama’s newsstand appeal translated into above average sales for Vogue this spring. The March issue, where the First Lady wore clothes she handpicked from J. Crew and Jason Wu, sold 560,000 copies on the newsstand, just edging out their most recent best-selling issue on the newsstand in September 2008, which hit 559,000 copies. The March results trounced last year’s newsstand sales: Drew Barrymore’s cover turn sold 397,000 copies. The First Lady has been featured on the covers of Ladies Home Journal, More, Ebony, People and Us Weekly, however sales for those titles have varied. (According to Advertising Age, sales for the September issue of Ladies Home Journal with both her and husband President Barack Obama on the cover were 21 percent smaller than the year prior.) Obama is also featured on the April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, along with Oprah Winfrey, and the May issue of Essence with her mother, Marian Robinson.
STILETTOS IN A MINEFIELD: “The Towering World of Jimmy Choo: A story of power, profits, and the pursuit of the perfect shoe” (Bloomsbury) lands in stores this week, but it’s not the book authors Lauren Goldstein Crowe and Sagra Maceira de Rosen initially set out to write. When they began piecing together their proposal in 2006, most of the company principals were ready to cooperate — including Choo founder and president Tamara Mellon, former chief executive officer Robert Bensoussan and Lyndon Lea, a former owner and investor. “We approached them, and they were cautiously enthusiastic,” Crowe said. “What we didn’t realize is that by the time we actually sold the book, the relationship between the three was deteriorating.”
Bensoussan eventually left the business, and Lea, founder of Lion Capital, flipped his investment to TowerBrook Capital, Choo’s current owners, in 2007. When research began in earnest later that year, Mellon and Bensoussan had already changed their minds because it was a project they couldn’t control, said Crowe. Lea was the only one of the three to speak on the record. So Crowe and Maceira de Rosen started digging around Mellon and Bensoussan. One of the book’s main, firsthand sources is Mellon’s estranged mother, Ann Davis Yeardye. “She helped enormously, and she didn’t have an ax to grind,” said Crowe. “She saw herself as the voice of Tom Yeardye [Tamara’s late father] who helped build the business.”
Crowe added that, eventually, “emissaries were received from nearly all camps.” The exception was the eponymous Jimmy Choo, who left the business he founded in 2001, and who signed a previous agreement not to speak to the press about his relationship with Mellon or the company. Mellon is maintaining her silence: She did not return phone calls seeking comment.
— Samantha Conti