DOUBLE LIFE: Some may have thought it dead, but Vogue Living lives on after all. Vogue will publish a second edition of the magazine in October even though the first version left many media watchers underwhelmed. And for those who can’t get enough interiors in a 200-page magazine, there’s also a coffee table tome coming called “Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People” that can be had for $75. The 400-page book, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf, will include 35 of the best home and garden profiles in Vogue’s history.
“There are stories that everyone at the magazine has loved over the years — Oscar de la Renta‘s house in the Dominican Republic, all of Karl [Lagerfeld]’s houses, Madonna‘s…old house in the English countryside,” said Hamish Bowles, Vogue Living’s editor in chief and editor of the book. “We wanted to get a mix of fashion designers and the kind of creative style makers that Vogue applauds and give insight into the further creative process of creative minds.”
The idea for the book, said Bowles, has been kicked around for many years, but the editors began work on it while putting together the first Vogue Living magazine last summer. Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour oversaw the book, but Bowles edited the stories and wrote the introduction. Calvin Klein, whose minimalist loft overlooking the East River appeared in Vogue in the mid-Seventies, wrote the forward. Knopf will produce 25,000 copies in its initial run.
“Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People” is a nod to the fashion monthly’s previous book, “Vogue’s Book of Houses, Gardens and People” published in 1968. The title overlap, said Bowles, was Wintour’s idea. As for the price, Bowles said it’s a bargain. According to bookseller Alibris, the 1968 version goes for about $500.
Meanwhile, the second issue of Vogue Living will hit stands Oct. 23 with a 500,000 rate base. Last year’s edition was polybagged to 300,000 subscribers, and a spokeswoman said plans are the same for 2007. Newsstands sales for the 2006 copy reached about 145,000 copies, a spokesman confirmed. Comparatively, Architectural Digest sold about 102,000 copies per month on average in the last half of 2006, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations — although Vogue Living was on newsstands for three months.
Though Vogue is calling it a success, company insiders say they’ve heard very little about Vogue Living’s newsstand sales or plans for the future. Bowles said there are talks of publishing more than one issue annually beyond 2007. The book, he added, further illustrates the magazine’s viability. “It vindicates the reason for a Vogue Living magazine simply for the reason that here is a century and more of stories that have been in Vogue that celebrated the lifestyle, homes and gardens of taste makers who continually and enduringly engaged the magazine.”
Though the latest Vogue Living is still under construction, Bowles said the issue will have a larger perspective this time (since most of the stories in the launch issue were based in or around New York). “With the first issue we wanted to make the center of the book American-centric and we have a different theme for this issue, which has required a more global vision.” That theme includes more on innovation and trends in home and garden. — Stephanie D. Smith
WILD KINGDOM: You can almost hear the roar of the Pacific Ocean in Tommy Hilfiger‘s fall-winter advertising campaign — which boasts a backdrop as majestic as a spread in National Geographic.
And that was precisely the intention. Hilfiger signed a partnership with the nature magazine that will see him run a four-page gatefold in the December issue of European editions, post the campaign on the National Geographic Web site and use its 2004 article on Washington State’s Olympic National Park, the location for the sportswear shoot, for a direct-mail brochure. Several hundred thousand copies are slated to drop in September. “We’ve always shot outdoors,” Hilfiger said Wednesday. “But the outdoors and the earth is much more important to all of us than it’s ever been. Celebrating it in different ways is important.”
Photographer Dewey Nicks lensed a gaggle of models in runway looks gathered for an elegant dinner party on the rugged beach, complete with chandeliers dangling from driftwood, against a stormy sky. “The mood is more dramatic for sure,” Hilfiger allowed. “Nature is very inspiring.”
This is the third time Hilfiger has shot his global sportswear campaign in iconic landscapes, previously using Monument Valley in Arizona and a frozen lake in the Yukon.
Avery Baker, executive vice president of global marketing, said the advertising spend is up for fall, reflecting Hilfiger’s ongoing retail expansion. He declined to reveal the percentage increase, however. The sportswear campaign will break in the September issue of titles including Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ and Elle, along with large-scale outdoor placements, including double-decker London buses.
Meanwhile, Hilfiger focused on a different force of nature, French soccer deity Thierry Henry, for another global campaign for fall. Henry, the designer’s newest international brand ambassador, contorted his lithe figure for photographer Nathaniel Goldberg despite an injury sustained on the field.
Henry models a capsule Hilfiger collection, inspired by the sport hero’s lifestyle, with all proceeds going to the sports star’s new antiracism charity, The One For All Foundation. Baker said the media buy would be weighted to Europe and Asia, with ads also appearing in Details and The New York Times. — Miles Socha
DIVERSE TIMES: At a panel on “Race, Identity and Privilege” hosted by the Magazine Publishers of America Tuesday, the travails of Time Inc. hung heavily over the room. Men’s Fitness editor in chief Roy S. Johnson recalled getting laid off as assistant managing editor of Sports Illustrated, panelist Carolina A. Miranda had worked at Time for three years, and Essence managing editor Angela Burt-Murray was left in the unenviable position of toeing the line between representing her company and critiquing its lack of diversity. “I work for a company of over 100 magazines and most of the senior African-Americans are in this room,” she said. “[Time Inc.] was happy when they acquired Essence because it helped out with the numbers.” Miranda argued “the minute Time Inc. hit financial troubles, the Logan scholars [a minority-oriented fellowship] got cut. That showed me it just wasn’t a priority.” Panelist and consultant Ramon Marmolejos said he was a veteran of the Logan program but had left after its completion “because I just didn’t see a future path” at the company.
Burt-Murray also lamented there had not been more public outcry over GQ editor in chief Jim Nelson‘s recent editor’s letter. (Her incorrect recollection was that he had “referred to Asian women as whores”; in fact, Nelson used the phrase “Asian whores” twice in discussing wishes that might be fulfilled by self-help book “The Secret.” The GQ editor told the New York Post that his piece was “skewering a Western attitude that one ought to find noxious.” Incidentally, Nelson’s publicist was one of the few white men attending the panel.)
But panelists also saw signs of progress: Johnson said he is now the only African-American editor in chief of a nonethnic magazine, a move so recent that the bio distributed of him didn’t reflect the new title. “I want to give public credit to [American Media chief executive] David Pecker,” he said, for taking him out to lunch and, “20 minutes later,” offering him a consulting job on Men’s Fitness with then-editor Neal Boulton. “If you had asked me what my top 10 post-Time Inc. jobs would have been, I wouldn’t have said editor in chief of Men’s Fitness,” Johnson said. Still, “One month and a half [after the lunch], I’m the editor in chief. Someone is always watching.” — Irin Carmon