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FACES AND NAMES: Though fashion magazines’ September issues seem to contain ads for every clothing label under the sun, usually only one glamorous gal gets to grace the cover. And in surveying this year’s choices, it appears that editors, like gentlemen, definitely prefer blondes. Sienna Miller is on the cover of September Vogue, its biggest issue ever. Apparently editor in chief Anna Wintour is a huge fan of the British actress — Miller also appeared on the magazine’s January 2006 cover. In Style spotlights Gwen Stefani, while W (also with its biggest issue ever) has Gwyneth Paltrow.
Marie Claire opts for Ashley Olsen; Vanity Fair features supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and Harper’s Bazaar photographed Kate Hudson.
Allure and Elle made more controversial choices. Allure chose pop tart gone wild Britney Spears. Why would a magazine about beauty put on its cover an unstable woman who shaved her own head, went to rehab and is a regular on celebrity weeklies’ worst dressed lists? Editor in chief Linda Wells explained in her editor’s letter: “I thought we could present the profile as her comeback. Perhaps Britney’s story would be redemptive, like those of Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore and Mariah Carey before her.” Instead, Britney took the photos and bailed — she missed four scheduled interviews with writer Judith Newman, and the accompanying comeback story went untold. Newman instead penned a story about the state of celebrities in 2007, and Allure crafted the cover line “Britney Spears: Tells Us Nothing and Everything.”
Elle, meanwhile, shot wild child Lindsay Lohan, a decision that already has caused a stir among media observers, given the actress’ arrest for the second time on July 24 on charges of drunken driving and possession of a controlled substance.
But it isn’t only blondes who are having fun in September. A few titles did choose raven-haired cover girls — Jessica Alba will appear on Cosmopolitan’s cover, Redbook has Brooke Shields and Cookie features Angie Harmon and her two kids. Glamour, on newsstands Aug. 7, went both ways with Claire Danes (blonde), Mariska Hargitay (brunette) and Queen Latifah (brunette and African-American), while Lucky opted for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
On the teen beat, Seventeen photographed Ashlee Simpson and CosmoGirl will publish a split cover with “High School Musical” stars Ashley Tisdale and Zac Efron. Over at Teen Vogue, meanwhile, Wintour proves she isn’t carrying a grudge after “The Devil Wears Prada”: the magazine’s cover girl is that movie’s star, Anne Hathaway. — Stephanie D. Smith
JUMP STREET: Converse by John Varvatos is sticking with its “Get Chucked” theme for the third season in a row, but for fall, John Varvatos is getting more rebellious yet refined. Varvatos said he has chosen more well-known models — including Missy Rayder — and photographer Tom Munro in order “to bring the clothes up and make it more classy.” As for rebelliousness, the campaign features images of Rayder fully clothed in a bathtub, holding a book titled “Who Shot J.V.?” while another image is meant to be a shout-out to The Sex Pistols, with Rayder wearing a jacket that says “God Save Queens, NY.” The images will run in several magazines, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, W and The New York Times Magazine. — Amy Wicks
STILL GREEN?: Now that Earth Day has come and gone, will magazine editors stick with their eco-friendly initiatives? Vanity Fair, Elle, Domino and Town & Country all published special green-themed issues last spring, and while most agree the cause was worth backing, some may approach the topic differently next year.
Town & Country, according to vice president and publisher Jim Taylor, wanted to be involved with the green movement since its affluent readership has the means to buy eco-friendly, but more expensive, appliances and cars. But the magazine will not dedicate an entire issue to the subject in 2008; instead it will incorporate articles on green living into each issue. As Taylor explained, “I can’t come out and say it was a huge hit in terms of bringing in lots of new advertisers.” The April issue ran ads for special green beauty products L’Or de Vie and Amore Pacific, but “there aren’t a lot of huge luxury advertising categories yet for this whole green movement,” he said.
Elle and Vanity Fair produced their second annual green issues in May, but the titles produced different results. Elle’s green issue outperformed the one in 2006, which was the worst seller of last year’s first half. Ad pages for this year’s issue were up 22 percent from 2006, while the magazine increased its newsstand sale by double digits. The Hachette Filipacchi Media monthly will produce another green-themed issue next year, with Laurie David guest editing for the third year in a row. Also, its Living section will dedicate a small column to green in every issue beginning next year.
Vanity Fair did its first green issue in May 2006, which performed better on newsstands than this year’s with Leonardo DiCaprio and the polar bear Knut on the cover. The May 2006 issue sold 391,285, versus 351,849 this past May. But the 2007 issue carried 23 percent more ad pages — 158 — than the year prior. “We are not that far along in planning next May’s issue. But we do have a number of stories for it that we are presently working on,” said Graydon Carter, the magazine’s editor in chief. “In that Vanity Fair was the first major magazine to devote a whole issue to the environment, we intend to remain committed to this ongoing discussion.”
Domino produced its first green issue this past March and has since incorporated eco-friendly content into every issue. For example, the August issue includes a story on constructing a green kitchen. The title’s first green issue sold above its single copy average sale of 100,000 per issue, and its ad pages were up 6 percent, thanks to ads from Levi’s Eco (a line made from organic cotton), Ikea and fuel-efficient car models from GMC and Ford. The title plans to dedicate another issue to green next year. — S.D.S.