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DONATELLA’S COVER VERSION: Donatella Versace isn’t often seen on magazine covers, but Out does the honors for its October issue, on which Versace shares the space with model Paul Sculfor. The two were photographed by Alexei Hay. In the interview inside, Out editor in chief Aaron Hicklin asks Versace if there is such a thing as being too sexy or seductive. “Never, never!” Versace says. “You can be too boring, but you can never be too seductive.” Having dressed the Jackson family for Michael Jackson’s memorial, she credits Gianni Versace with kick-starting celebrity dressing. “Celebrities — the cult — they don’t exist before Versace,” she says. “This kind of thing to go and dress a rock band — nobody did that before Gianni did.” — I.C.
This story first appeared in the September 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
OUT OF STYLE: Time Style & Design will suspend publication after its latest issue, which will be distributed today. The fashion spin-off of Time published six issues year at its peak, but had planned to publish four issues this year as luxury advertising dramatically decreased. Ad pages for the title had shrunk from nearly 400 pages last year, to fewer than 100 this year so far. A Time spokeswoman said the company could bring back the title if the ad climate improves. Kate Betts will remain at Time as a contributing editor and cover fashion for the flagship newsweekly. “Time has a long-standing history of covering fashion. That will not change,” said the spokeswoman. Betts will also cover the shows for time.com, blogging and tweeting for the site and attending the shows in Europe. However, four editorial staffers and two business side employees will be let go as a result of the closure. — Stephanie D. Smith
COVERING THE SHOWS: Speaking of covering the shows, fashion Web sites and blogs in flusher times have roped in celebrities as buzzy contributors to their sites. (Remember Tinsley Mortimer and Melania Trump reporting for New York magazine?) But in a recession, fewer publications are looking to pay actors and reality TV stars to write for them, and several editors admitted that online items written by celebrities aren’t any more popular with readers than reviews and commentary by seasoned fashion critics. So this year, many are deploying their own staffs to report in timelier ways, adding Twitter and video look books to their Web sites to cover the collections. Glamour, Elle, In Style, Lucky, New York and Harper’s Bazaar are all covering the shows via Twitter, many for the first time this season.
Meanwhile, Style.com will provide “The Fashion Feed,” a one-stop shop for tweets from 40 fashion individuals and publications, including models Chanel Iman and Dree Hemingway; designers Tory Burch and Chris Benz; MTV host Alexa Chung, and blogs like The Sartorialist, The New York Times’ style blog The Moment, and WWD. Style.com’s editors will also be tweeting from the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
But some publications will welcome back guest contributors for September fashion week. The Fug Girls will be back to New York magazine’s Web site, along with Lynn Yaeger, street style photographer Tommy Ton and video artist Jeremy Kost. The site is adding new Web features such as user-generated versions of its “Look Book” franchise, curated by their editors into slide shows, and a beefed-up model database. At Cosmopolitan, the magazine is enlisting Rachelle Hruska, founder of the party blog Guestofaguest.com, to serve as fashion week reporter for cosmopolitan.com. She’ll provide three-minute video reports that will live on cosmo.com and Guestofaguest.com. Lucky will tap Shopbop.com’s Kate Ciepluch and Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast to guest blog on its site. Meanwhile, Jezebel.com is sending Jenna Sauers, who formerly contributed as Tatiana the Anonymous Model until identifying herself in July, to cover the shows. It will be Sauers’ first time covering the shows as an observer rather than a participant.
Conversely, some editors will be guest blogging for other media outlets — Harper’s Bazaar’s editors will provide their commentary on The Huffington Post each day of fashion week. — S.D.S., Irin Carmon and Amy Wicks
AMERICAN APPAREL AD BANNED: American Apparel’s famously controversial advertising has resulted in a ban on one of the company’s ads in the U.K. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority ordered that an American Apparel ad featuring a 23-year-old model cannot appear again in its current form, after it ruled that the ad “could be seen to sexualize a model who appeared to be a child,” and that it could “cause serious offense.”
The ad — in which a female model wears a hoodie unzipped to varying degrees, in one picture partially exposing a nipple — originally appeared on the back cover of Vice’s Volume 7.4 issue. The ASA made the ruling after the ad drew a single complaint in the U.K., on the grounds that it was unsuitable to appear on the back page of a free magazine and that it was inappropriate because the model seemed “young and vulnerable and could be seen to sexualize a child.”
In response, American Apparel told the ASA the model was a 23-year-old adult and “strongly refuted the complainant’s belief that the ad could be seen to sexualize a child.” It also pointed out Vice was an appropriate publication in which to place the ad, “as it typically deals with controversial issues.” American Apparel said in an additional statement that it agreed to the ban but defended its edgy marketing tactics.
“American Apparel will continue to express itself through photography, art and design as the company grows in the U.K.,” the company said. “Although it does not seek to offend anyone, it recognizes that some minor discomfort may occasionally accompany [its] process of questioning various beauty norms and standards within the fashion industry.” — Nina Jones